Friday night was an experience more than five years in the making.
We had the honor of teaming with our friends at ArtsQuest and the Your Next Favorite Band podcast to return to Bethlehem, PA for our first hometown event in a half-decade. Titled Nashville Meets Bethlehem, this songwriter showcase featured a mostly-local lineup, featured in a traditional Nashville writers round format. This empowered our eight performers to share their original songs — and the stories behind them — in an intimate setting.
Round 1 featured the high-energy rock and roll of Roi and the Secret People; the velvet-voiced alt-rock stylings of TIOGA’s Greg Adams; the heavy, emotive pop of Slingshot Dakota’s Carly Comando; and the phenomenal Americana storytelling of Dirty Dollhouse’s Chelsea Mitchell.
As for Round 2, we were treated to the intricate, melodic work of Bethlehem-based hard rockers The Beautiful Distortion; the indie folk-pop of Nashville’s own Bronte Fall; the ever-soulful R&B of Chasing Daylight’s Bobby Siegfried; and the poignant jam-rock of Billy Bauer.
This diverse lineup — presented to a room filled with upwards of 130 people — delighted the crowd with every lyric and chord, while creating an engaging atmosphere in the shadow of the iconic Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces.
On behalf of UMC, a huge thank you goes out to everyone who made this event a team effort worth remembering. We can’t wait to see you again, Bethlehem — and it certainly won’t take us another five years!