Tag Archives: Sands Bethlehem Event Center

PBS39 to Present Soul & Doo Wop Spectacular at Sands Bethlehem Event Center on April 2

PBS39, the Greater Lehigh Valley’s public television station, is preparing to host a musical trip down memory lane.

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Sunday Thought Series: Six Months

I find it hard to believe that tomorrow marks six months since the official launch of Lehigh Valley Underground. I say that, not necessarily because time has flown, but because doing this has since become so ingrained in my daily life, that I could swear I’ve been doing it for years.

Those six months started humbly enough. I was just starting to become immersed in the local music scene in our region, and I remember actively having to go out and poke around for something – anything – that would qualify as local, music-related, and newsworthy. As time went on – namely, after one particular piece in March that blew this thing wide open – I found myself developing relationships with the folks who make this scene what it is. I found myself actively on the scene, sometimes multiple nights a week, and loving every minute of it.

Since then, we’ve covered festivals. We’ve developed relationships with publications like The Valley Ledger. We’ve covered major shows at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center and Musikfest Café, while never losing our Underground roots. We’ve reviewed albums, delivered news, recorded podcasts, and have done it all with the intention of #BuildingBetter across our region for local musicians.

There’s no way of telling what the next six months will hold. However, I believe (and know on good authority, in some cases) that we’re built for big things leading up to our first birthday. Lehigh Valley Underground will continue to add an important voice – your voice – to the musical landscape, and we will create more opportunities than ever for folks like us who refuse to give up on their dreams and passions.

Thank you for joining the ride so far. It’s only just beginning.


Review: JD & the Straight Shot at Sands Bethlehem Event Center

On Friday night, Jewel’s Bethlehem stop on her “Picking Up the Pieces” tour was kicked off by JD & the Straight Shot, who are on the road with the Alaska native in support of their new album, “Ballyhoo.”


JD & the Straight Shot’s Jim Dolan welcomed thousands to Sands Bethlehem Event Center on Friday night.

The six-piece Americana band came to Sands Bethlehem Event Center to perform a 45-minute, all-acoustic set of selections mostly off of the new album. Frontman Jim Dolan was particularly welcoming with a confident, calm charisma in front of a near-sellout crowd. As a whole, the band was in sync for the entirety of its set, marked by crisp vocal harmonies and well-balanced, skillful instrumentation.

Highlights included the new album’s title track, whose instrumental buildup – marked by Erin Slaver’s epic fiddle work – translated well live and left the audience in awe. Also, the jazz rhythms and duet-style harmonies of “Better Find a Church” carried well through the venue and showcased Dolan and Slaver’s onstage chemistry. Staying on vocals, the band’s soaring four-part harmony on “Nature’s Way” provided another magical moment, especially for the trained ears in the audience.

JD & the Straight Shot heads with Jewel to Atlantic City tonight, before heading back north to Boston to round out the weekend. We wish them well in their travels, and hope they’ll visit the Lehigh Valley again soon!

Violet’s Song
Nature’s Way
Don’t Waste My Time
Better Find a Church
Let it Roll (Little Feat cover)

QSLehighValley: Apr. 14, 2016

This Way to the Egress is one of the most unique bands you’ll find, not only in the Lehigh Valley, but anywhere. Today, Sarah from This Way to the Egress joins QSLehighValley, sponsored by The Valley Ledger, to discuss the band’s musical adventures and more!

Also, make sure you listen to this one all the way to the end… 😉

Track listing:
REVEL 9 – All I’ve Become (Opening theme)
Mo7s – So Important
Alex Radus – Genius
This Way to the Egress – We Won’t Go
This Way to the Egress – Lucy
The Revere – The Exile
Go Evolution – What If
Michael Meade – As Long As I Have You

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week: Apr. 11-17

We get our MoJo back and much, much more this week!

It’s a big week at Lehigh Valley Underground. Not only are we coming off of an insane lineup of great shows from last week, but we’re going to keep the momentum moving right along. From free shows to big tickets, it is our duty this and every Monday to bring you the…

Can’t-Miss Shows of the Week!

Thurs., Apr. 14 | 7 p.m.
The Originals Music Series
Venue: Chicago Restaurant, 1179 Airport Road, Allentown
Admission: FREE
Description: It’s singer-songwriter night with Adam Jacob, Jonny Cornelius and MoJo.

Fri., Apr. 15 | 6 p.m.
Jewel “Picking Up the Pieces” Tour with special guest, JD & the Straight Shot
Venue: Sands Bethlehem Event Center, 77 Sands Blvd., Bethlehem
Admission: $35-65
Description: Find out what the “Ballyhoo” is about as JD & the Straight Shot joins international star Jewel on tour.

Sat., Apr. 16 | 10:30 p.m.
Soundtrack Comes Alive: This Way to the Egress in front of Reefer Madness
Venue: ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem
Admission: $15/$13 student/$12.50 ArtsQuest member
Description: One of the Lehigh Valley’s most revered (and unique) bands plays in front of this cult propaganda film from the 1930s.

Review: JD & the Straight Shot – Ballyhoo

Artist: JD & the Straight Shot
Album: Ballyhoo (LISTEN)
Released: Jan. 15, 2016
Genre: Americana

When JD & the Straight Shot comes to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center this Friday to open for Jewel, they’ll surely play selections from their latest release, “Ballyhoo.”

If that’s the case, those in attendance at Friday night’s show are in for a treat.

The 11-track, all-acoustic offering is JD & the Straight Shot at their stripped-down best. Mirroring the band’s typical acoustic songwriting process, the record features poignant stories told in frontman Jim Dolan’s baritone voice, rich vocal harmonies, and a variety of influences spread across music history.

Album highlights include the title track of “Ballyhoo,” where Dolan takes a carnival barker approach to remind us that each of us has a “freak” inside. The song also features a blazing, fiddle-driven instrumental break that picks up in tempo and intensity, showcasing violinist Erin Slaver at her very best on the album.

Slaver also adds important accents on “Hard to Find,” an old-time waltz that laments unwelcome winds of change brought on by love and life. Another unique moment is the uplifting “Glide.” Bright and with a bluegrassy feel, its lyrics approach life with a childlike enthusiasm and sense of boundless wonder.

For any fan of storytelling roots rock, “Ballyhoo” is a must-have. The album will give you a greater look inside the human condition, while leaving you in awe of its musical sophistication.

Track listing:
1. Empty
2. Better Find a Church
3. Under That Hood
4. Perdition
5. Glide
6. Nature’s Way
7. Don’t Waste My Time
8. Ballyhoo
9. Hard to Find
10. Here He Comes
11. I’ll See You Again