The passion was palpable last night as local favorites Slingshot Dakota graced Musikfest’s Plaza Tropical stage.
We continue our steadfast march toward the second weekend of Musikfest. It’s hard to believe we’re already working our way into the latter stages of the festival, but all that means right now is that the party is set to pick up once again.
With that, there’s plenty to like about today’s lineup, which once again includes a healthy dose of local artists. Check out the full lineup here.
Musikfest Five Point Preview: Thursday, August 10
On Saturday night, indie pop duo and hometown favorites Slingshot Dakota return to Bethlehem for a special night of music at SteelStacks. The bill also features Chicago’s Ratboys and the Valley’s own Sing, Bird of Prey. Tickets can be found here.
Carly Comando, who comprises the band alongside husband Tom Patterson, chatted with us to talk about the band’s busy 2017, which has so far included an international tour that went all the way to the UK, and their post-summer plans.
As festival season works into its middle stages, you’re guaranteed more great times out on the scene this week in a variety of forms.
You can go to a delicious festival, listen to some hometown heroes, chill out in a record store, and much more. See below for our…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
Local indie rock favorites Slingshot Dakota are coming back to SteelStacks this July – and they’re bringing company!
This week, Saturday seems to be the day around here. With shows happening across genres and at different venues throughout the region, you could very well have a Super Saturday of your own.
There’s more to this story, though. It’s also a good week to travel to nearby locales and check out the action. Learn more below about our…
Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!
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.
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!
It was a packed house Friday night in the Fowler Blast Furnace Room at SteelStacks in Bethlehem for the hometown heroes Slingshot Dakota‘s record release show with fellow Lehigh Valley comrades Voirvoir and Summer Scouts.
With everyone excited for the start of the summer, spirits seemed high as we anticipated hearing songs of the brand new record, “Break,” the release of which was officially being celebrated by Slingshot Dakota that night.
The always excellent Voirvoir started off the show with their distinctive sound of heavy, synth-infused indie punk. The generally soft vocals and hard synth leads of singer/keyboardist April Smith, combined with the fuzzy guitar riffs and strident, pleading vocals of guitarist/singer Matt Molchany, are some of the defining characteristics that make this band great.
Summer Scouts were next on the bill, and they were noticeably excited to be on the stage playing for us. This punk rock/indie band hyped the crowd as much as possible in between their fast-paced repertoire of punk rock and indie songs. Lead singer Katherine’s impressive vocal range was met with gang vocals by the rest of her band to provide an even heavier appeal.
And finally, it was time for Slingshot Dakota to do what they came to do – play an incredible set to a room full of their closest fans, friends, and family. For those who may not know, they are a 2-piece band from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Husband-wife duo Carly Comando and Tom Patterson have been touring and performing around the country for the past 10 years. This band seems to radiate happiness and positive energy, and it is certainly expressed in their music. Even between songs, both members frequently thanked their friends and family — many of whom were in the audience — and showed nothing but gratitude and respect for the local scene and everyone involved.
With Carly expertly navigating the keyboard while singing raw, introspective lyrics — and drummer Tom Patterson holding it all together with his unrelenting style of heavy, deliberate drumming — there wasn’t a person in the room who wasn’t grinning ear to ear.
Artist: Slingshot Dakota
Album: Break (LISTEN)
Released: March 11, 2016
Genre: Indie punk
On Friday night, Slingshot Dakota returns home to Bethlehem to hold a hometown album release show for its newest release, “Break.” The duo, which released its newest effort on Topshelf Records, blend indie pop instrumentation and atmospheric distortion to re-imagine popularized genres.
“Break” grabs you right away with dreamy distortion on album opener, “You,” which pulls a listener into an atmospheric soundscape that is contrasted on the next track, the grunge-influenced, fuzzy “Monocacy.”
Pop sensibilities reign over a couple of tracks, like the laid-back “Lewlyweds,” which carries a Minus the Bear-esque vibe, and “Paycheck,” an anthemic tune and clear candidate as the album’s first single.
Slingshot Dakota shows an affinity for balladry on “Break.” The searching, stripped-down “Too Much” laments a love on its last legs, while the album’s title track closes things out with a sweet-sounding performance from vocalist Carly Comando.
Overall, Slingshot Dakota’s “Break” builds a wall of sound that should carry well into the Bethlehem night on Friday. The duo returns home this weekend with much to celebrate.
7) Too Much