Tag Archives: Musikfest 2016

Recapping the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase

To me, Sunday’s incredible Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase at Musikfest’s Plaza Tropical reinforced a few things that I already knew:

  • Rock is alive and well in the Lehigh Valley.
  • Our area has a wealth of local talent.
  • The Greater Lehigh Valley Music Association is a pretty cool organization to work with.
  • Musikfest might be the best thing on the planet.

Personally, it was a blast to be on-hand for four great, local bands like Another Day Dawns, Doubting Thoma$, The Cherrybombs, and Social Call. All four bands rocked so hard and put on such a great show that, in all honestly, it’s hard to say which one was my favorite. It was an excellent night of rock across the board.

I also have to thank the GLVMA and, of course, ArtsQuest for the opportunity to introduce each of the bands and represent Lehigh Valley Underground at the event. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of Musikfest in this way, and I look forward to working with both organizations again in the not-too-distant future.

Of course, since I was there all night, I couldn’t help but to bring my camera and get some photos. So, you get some bonus shots of the action!

Another Day Dawns

Doubting Thoma$

The Cherrybombs

Social Call

Musikfest Five-Point Preview: Day 5

Tuesday’s lineup is particularly exciting to me. The official halfway point of Musikfest 2016 is marked by artists I’ve personally had the privilege of covering, as well as those I’ve seen, but who might be new to the Lehigh Valley Underground audience.

Come along with me, and I’ll make sure you know who’s who before the day is through.

Musikfest Five-Point Preview
Day 5 – Aug. 9, 2016

Joyous | 12 p.m.
Stage:
Wells Fargo Festplatz (North)
Description: Sneak out for lunch (or just take the day off) to hear some classic soul and R&B.

Seamus Kennedy | 5 p.m.
Stage: Red Stag Pub Liederplatz (North)
Description: The popular Celtic folk artist returns to Bethlehem once more.

The Groove Merchants | 7 p.m.
Stage: Provident Bank Main Street (North)
Description: Funk, soul, blues, and jazz collide for the second time today (the band also plays in the same spot at 5 p.m.).

Voirvoir | 8:30 p.m.
Stage:
Provident Bank Main Street (North)
Description: There Are No Good Goodbyes, so say hello once more to the local indie rock masters.

Scythian | 9 p.m.
Stage: Air Products Americaplatz (South)
Description: One of the ‘Fest’s most popular returning performers brings their unique, thrilling brand of rock.

There’s more where that came from! Check in with DustinSchoof.com every morning throughout Musikfest for a full free stage lineup!

A Monday Night Party at Musikfest

After taking the earlier part of the day to recover — and to spend an exorbitant amount of money on long-overdue car repairs — I walked down to Musikfest, planning to catch a few acts in particular.

I caught all of the ones I intended to hear, and then some. My evening began at the Provident Bank Main Street stage, where Butterjive was bringing the chill with their brand of jazz on this beautiful evening.

After enjoying Butterjive’s smooth sounds for a while, I moved a bit further down Main Street, where I ran into Fire Guy. No, he’s not a Mario villain — he’s a street performer who juggles and eats fire. His performance involved humor, audience participation and, true to form, death-defying stunts.

Fire Guy concluded his act by eating a flame, as depicted above. Once that was done, I began to head down to Plaza Tropical to check out Summer Scouts… until I realized that I had a little bit of extra time. That meant a bit of bonus action, so I headed down to Volksplatz, where I discovered Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, whose old-school, toe-tapping jazz had the crowd up and moving.

After hanging out with the Hookers for a bit (I just realized how bad that sounds — oh well, I’m keeping it), I traveled back over to Plaza Tropical to catch Summer Scouts in the middle of their set, a mix of covers and originals performed in front of a hot and lively crowd.

By the end of Summer Scouts’ set, night had fallen, and an energy was in the air that is usually reserved for Friday or Saturday nights any other time of the year. It carried back over to Volksplatz, where the tent had a definite Friday night feel when Flowers for Taco took the stage.

The high-energy cover band ripped through the early part of their set, attacking each song with an excitement that had built up for 15 years. That’s how long vocalist and guitarist Rusty Snow said he had been waiting to perform on that stage, and he and the band did not disappoint.

As much as I didn’t want to leave Flowers for Taco in the midst of a raging Monday night party, I knew that there was one more band I wanted to see before calling it a night — Bethlehem’s own Slingshot Dakota.

I had covered the duo — and Mimey, their interpretive dancing mime — back in June at SteelStacks. They were solid then, and they’re solid now, playing selections off of their album, “Break,” while telling funny stories behind their songs in front of a packed Plaza Tropical tent.

Happenings Around Day 3 of Musikfest

While we certainly found ourselves on-hand for the duration of the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, there was much more action to be enjoyed last night at Musikfest.

For one thing, we arrived to Plaza Tropical early enough to catch a good chunk of a set from Asbury Park, New Jersey’s Remember Jones. The stage name of soul singer Anthony D’Amato, Jones and his band used their immense talent to keep the early evening crowd singing and dancing along with interpretations of a jukebox worth of hits.

Then, as night fell and the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase got underway, we remembered that something pretty cool was going on at the other end of the festival. Down at Volksplatz, The Amish Outlaws were playing Musikfest for the second night in a row. Lisa Robinson was a trooper last night, heading down there and pulling double duty in the process to capture some of the Outlaws’ always-entertaining, diverse set.

We’ll be heading back out this evening to catch Summer Scouts, Flowers for Taco, and Slingshot Dakota — and who knows what else!

PHOTOS: The Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, Sponsored by Lehigh Valley Underground

Last night, Musikfest was rocked by four local bands as part of the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Underground.

Local rockers Another Day Dawns, Doubting Thoma$, The Cherrybombs, and Social Call packed Musikfest’s Plaza Tropical tent with friends and fans all night long. The evening featured a mix of originals and covers, and was hosted onstage by LVU Founder Gerard Longo.

Here are some photos — more are coming with a full recap a bit later. Enjoy!

Another Soulful, Spirited and Remarkable Performance from Scott Marshall & Marshall’s Highway

Lehigh Valley-based singer-songwriter Scott Marshall and his band, Marshall’s Highway, gave another rousing and inspiring performance on opening night at the Musikfest Cafe presented by Yuengling.

Every chance I get, I try to see this authentic and heartfelt musician and his accomplished band.  They continue to connect with audiences with their eclectic mix of country, rock, blues, and soul. The lyrics are meaningful and spiritual, and I always seem to lose at least one of my false eyelashes due to the tears that well up during a few of Marshall’s original songs, like Sweet Surrender, Make Time and Hope on the Cross.

Photos do not do justice to the power and emotion of this band; all I can advise is that you go see them for yourself if you haven’t already. And for those of you who have seen Scott Marshall and Marshall’s Highway, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

  

Musikfest Five-Point Preview: Day 4

Wow. Now that, my friends, was a night of rock. Thank you to the bands, the Greater Lehigh Valley Music Association and, of course, ArtsQuest for letting us share in such a special event. Photos and a full recap are still to come!

I’m a bit unsure of how I’m going to recover from that one in time for more ‘Festing today. However, I’m a man of my word, and when I said we were going to cover Musikfest, I meant it!

Better get caffeinated and ready to go!

Musikfest Five-Point Preview
Day 4 – Aug. 8, 2016

Sydnie Keddington | 5 p.m.
Stage:
Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas (South)
Description: Start your evening at SteelStacks with some country from an Allentown native.

Summer Scouts | 7:30 p.m.
Stage: FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical (North)
Description: The local power pop juggernaut plays tunes from its album, “Furthest Reach,” and more.

Flowers for Taco | 9 p.m.
Stage: Volksplatz (North)
Description: Have a Monday Night Party with this unpredictable band and its eclectic mix.

Slingshot Dakota | 9:30 p.m.
Stage:
FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical (North)
Description: Bethlehem’s favorite nationally-touring couple returns (with Mimey!) to play tunes from its latest album, “Break.”

Katie Faust | 11 p.m.
Stage: TD Community Stage on Air Products Townsquare (South)
Description: How about some indie pop from Philly as a nightcap?

There’s more where that came from! Check in with DustinSchoof.com every morning throughout Musikfest for a full free stage lineup!

Blues and Acoustic Tunes for Sunday Afternoon

After a raucous first Saturday night of Musikfest — one during which Facebook Live just wouldn’t work, probably due to the mass of people using bandwidth in such a small area — we hit the scene this afternoon for a couple of early shows before coming back to prepare for tonight’s Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Underground.

We arrived to Plaza Tropical in time for Miller and the Other Sinners, a blues/soul outfit from Buffalo, New York. Fronted by David Michael Miller, the Sinners played a noteworthy set full of blazing instrumental solos and extended jams — and, as luck would have it, Facebook Live was back up and running, if you want an example.

After the Sinners finished up at Plaza Tropical, we started to head back, but not before stopping at Red Stag Pub Liederplatz at the Sun Inn Courtyard to catch the end of a set from Reading-based folk band, Grexin’. The band was playing an unplugged set as part of the stage’s Acoustic Roadshow, and their crisp vocal harmonies and down-home rhythms made for a pleasant listen.

We’ll head out a bit later, of course, for the LVMAs Rock Showcase, featuring Another Day Dawns, Doubting Thoma$, The Cherrybombs, and Social Call. The fun starts at 8. See you there!

 

Musikfest Five-Point Preview: Day 3

I’ll start by saying this: You know where you need to be tonight.

Just in case you don’t, I’m here to tell you: You need to come to the Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Underground.

Starting at 8 p.m., Another Day Dawns, Doubting Thoma$, The Cherrybombs, and Social Call will be at FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical. We’ll be there. Everyone will be there!

Including you. Yes, you.

Musikfest Five-Point Preview
Day 3 – Aug. 7, 2016

Fritz’s Polka Band | 12 p.m.
Stage:
Wells Fargo Festplatz (North)
Description: Would it be Musikfest without polka? No. The answer is no.

Burning Bridget Cleary | 3 p.m.
Stage: Volksplatz (North)
Description: Sunday’s diverse offerings continue with the popular Celtic folk group.

Eric Mintel Quartet | 4 p.m.
Stage: Red Stag Pub Liederplatz (North)
Description: Jazz on a beautiful, lazy Sunday afternoon? Where do we sign up?

Belle-Skinner | 5 p.m.
Stage:
Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas (South)
Description: Keepin’ it indie from all the way in Albany!

The Lehigh Valley Music Awards Rock Showcase, sponsored by Lehigh Valley Underground | 8 p.m.
Stage:
FLYLVIA Plaza Tropical (North)
Description: We already told you, didn’t we?

There’s more where that came from! Check in with DustinSchoof.com every morning throughout Musikfest for a full free stage lineup!

PHOTOS: X Ambassadors at Sands Steel Stage

Friday night featured a high-energy show on the Sands Steel Stage, when alternative rockers X Ambassadors came to rock the opening night of Musikfest.

Supported by opening acts Jukebox the Ghost and Rachel Platten, the Ithaca, New York-based four-piece rocked an opening night crowd of a couple thousand mostly 20- and 30-somethings.

Although we regretfully missed Jukebox the Ghost (we hadn’t arrived to South Side from opening ceremonies in time), LVU arrived just in time for Platten to take the stage. The pop singer excited the younger members of the audience in particular with hit songs like, “Fight Song” and “Stand By You.”

As night fell, X Ambassadors took the stage and delivered a strong and energetic performance that immediately captivated the audience. The band contrasted fun, swinging rock tunes like “Naked” and “Gorgeous” with mellow tunes like “Low Life” just as well as the intense “Jungle.”

A particularly powerful moment came toward the end of the show, right before the band played its biggest hit, “Renegades.” Frontman Sam Harris took time before the song to call upon the audience to unify and evoke positive change in the world, and then encouraged a sing-along to the tune’s catchy, “Hey-hey-hey” chorus.

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