The complete lineup of who will be performing at Musikfest 2019 has been announced.
With an impressive 11 ticketed headlining acts and over 500+ FREE performances, this year looks to be another exciting year for the festival’s 35th year.
This year’s Sands Steel Stage at PNC Plaza headliners will include:
8/1: Earth, Wind & Fire 8/2: The Chainsmokers 8/3: Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart 8/4: Lady Antebellum 8/5: Weezer at Musikfest 8/6: Train & The Goo Goo Dolls 8/7: Incubus 8/8: The Revivalist 8/9: Godsmack 8/10: Phillip Phillips 8/11: Brad Paisley
Since 1984, Musikfest has been an annual 10-day celebration of music, food and the arts in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The festival is presented by the nonprofit arts organization ArtsQuest. All proceeds from the ‘fest support the Banana Factory, ArtsQuest’s community arts center and gallery in Bethlehem, as well as other nonprofit groups in the region. Musikfest takes place from August 1-11!
Every year since it’s inception in 1984, Musikfest has celebrated the visual arts through their iconic posters. The imagery helps set the tone of the week-long event. The poster for 2019 celebrates the legacy of Bethlehem Steel and it’s workers who helped build this city and notable landmarks throughout the nation.
The digital illustration was created by fine artist and arts educator Jessica Bastidas, a Bethlehem native and graduate of Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts. Her work will be incorporated in almost every element of the festival in 2019, from official Musikfest apparel to the event’s popular mugs.
“This year’s poster borrows symbols of the past as it looks to the future of our ever-progressing city and festival,” says ArtsQuest Lead Creative Juliann Masenheimer. “Jessica’s talents exceeded our expectations. As an emerging artist, she is now a part of our history and the face of the future.”
TILE has also released a new video for “Change The World,” which is found on the band’s new LP, Come On Home, Stranger. The LP was released earlier this month through Limited Appeal Records, and on the same day TILE kicked off an Eastern US tour supporting the album.
TILE celebrates their twelfth year as a band with their new LP, Come On Home, Stranger. The album is out today through Limited Appeal Records and is now streaming in its entirety. The aggressive and infectious Come On Home, Stranger LP packs twelve tracks into forty-two minutes, filling every second of the record with their gnarled, varied style.
The new video for “Change The World” was co-directed and co-produced by Pat Heine and TILE bassist/vocalist Ray Gurz. “You want to get your shit together, but it seems like you just can’t. In the end, burn it down. The world is a hot mess,” Gurz offers of the video’s plot. “We filmed this in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I basically had this vision of a guy trying to get his shit straight. He finds this temp agency that promises a better life. But, they screw him and set him up to become a street performer. Life is a crazy rat race, but it seems like the trap keeps catching your tail.”
Come On Home, Stranger is out now through Limited Appeal Records. Stream and purchase the album at Bandcamp HERE and place orders for the LP HERE.
Since 2006, TILE has inundated the diverse Lehigh Valley DIY underground scene with their dynamic blend of angular noise rock, revved-up hardcore punk, and grinding sludge/doom riffage through a plethora of EPs, singles, split releases, and their 2013-released debut LP, ‘You Had A Friend In Pennsylvania’. In the winter of 2017, TILE returned to Shards Recording Studio in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania with owner and engineer Matt Molchany who engineered and mastered the upcoming follow-up LP, ‘Come on Home, Stranger’. The record is completed with photography by Tim Wynarczuk, of a shoot arranged by the band, in the theme of their prior releases.
The Blast Furnace Room at ArtsQuest is used for a ton of events, mostly comedy, but on some occasions, music events. On this particular evening, Friday December 1st, Beach Slang, Dave Hause and friends came to town.
If you aren’t familiar, The Homeless Gospel Choir is a one-man acoustic project that plays like part Listener’s spoken word ramblings and part angry, stripped down punk. The set was full of protest songs, as boldly declared for nearly every song and autobiographical musings, many of which were humorous.
Local favorites Digger brought their triple vocal attack to the party and inspired a lot of nostalgia among many in the crowd who remembered the band from their 90’s heyday.
Dave Hause brought his band The Mermaid, still fairly fresh off of the release of ‘Bury Me In Philly.’ The album is a brighter, more upbeat and bolder effort from him, partially inspired by the newfound collaboration between he and his younger brother Tim. With 3 solo albums and of course two Loved Ones albums to theoretically cull from (no Loved Ones songs were played tonight), he has the material to put a very varied set together.
Things began with the title track off his new album and dipped into his previous release for “Autism Vaccine Blues” and “We Could Be Kings.” To be honest, as a long time fan, the song selection was perfect as he got to nearly all of my personal favorites from his solo work. It’s also a surprising thing to note that his newest material easily got the biggest reactions. Their nearly 150 shows this year have sharpened the Mermaid into a very formidable band. Another highlight that they have been doing lately is a cover of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down.” Hard to go wrong with that gem.
Beach Slang‘s frontman James Alex did his part to live up to the “Drunk Or Lust” title of the tour…well…at least the first part. By his own admission, he is usually intoxicated when he plays but never to the extent he was on this day. Alex was drinking what appeared to be a big gulp sized vodka and cranberry juice and some beers that were passed up to him. At first his voice seemed a little shot, perhaps from many weeks of touring. Then, after just a few songs, he found the right mix of grit and clarity, perhaps having become warmed up. Despite a few early minor mishaps, the set was fun and loose, frequently lapsing into micro-covers of 80’s and 90’s songs on a whim. As Alex pointed out, the band usually goes off course eventually in the set, but by the third song, he was happily taking requests from the audience. As an Allentown resident, he seemed thrilled to be home and even had the bass player FaceTime their manager in the middle of the set to show him the crowd and to remind him to have them play in Bethlehem again.
Despite never seeing the band live before and them playing some of my favorites of the tracks I had heard on records early on, the excellence was sustained throughout the evening, inspiring me to revisit their discography. From the first time hearing the band, their debt to the Replacements was apparent. They paid their respects with a cover of “Bastards of the Young.”
There was no pretense of walking off stage and walking back on, they just KEPT PLAYING. Despite frequent pleas from the tour manager than they only had x number of minutes to go, they just kept going until about at or just after midnight.
Toward the end of the night, Alex informed everyone that they would be off from touring for the next few months and after playing the next night in Philadelphia, he was gong to hunker down at home and concentrate on writing a new record. He even went so far as to give out his email address and inviting people to be creative with him and to maybe see him around town at open mic nights trying out material.
It was a great night that went into overtime with two headlining-quality bands for the price of one in a really intimate setting.
Sounds like an intoxicatingly good time to me.
Beach Slang – ‘A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings’ LP
Willimantic, CT based indie-rock outfit The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die (TWIABP) announced that their next LP will be put out vie their new label Epitaph Records. But before then, they’ll release a few 7”s coming out including a split with Rozwell Kid via Broken World Media on June 23rd and a 2-song 7” via Topshelf Records on July 28th.
Also announced is a “We Are Only Going on Tour to Get Hot Dogs” Tour in June with Spraynard and Makeshift Shelters. Dates below!!
6/24 – Albany, NY – Bogies
6/25 – Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar 6/26 – Allentown, PA – Planet Trog
6/27 – Amityville, NY – Amityville Music Hall
Chart-topping indie rockers Modest Mouse helped kicked off the new “Yuengling Summer Concert Series at SteelStacks” last week in front of one of the most unique concert backdrops in the nation, the former Bethlehem Steel industrial plant in Bethlehem, PA on the Levitt Pavilion.
This marked the first of many great shows coming to the SteelStacks via ArtsQuest.
The Levitt Pavilion is an outdoor music venue located at the base of the 250-foot-tall former Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces with a standing-room-only capacity of 3,000.