Catbite / Slingshot Dakota / Stop The Presses – ArtsQuest – Bethlehem, PA – 9/11/22

ArtsQuest’s last free concert of the season would feature Catbite and Slingshot Dakota on the Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks and Stop The Presses at the Town Square Stage.  The show was being promoted as an Anniversary show for Catbite and Slingshot Dakota since both bands feature married couples that surprisingly share the same anniversary date. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want the last show and celebration to take place outside, but thankfully it was able to be moved inside the ArtsQuest building.  Stop The Presses would play on the first floor while Catbite and Slingshot Dakota would play on the third floor. Even though the rain kept some people away, the turn out was still pretty high.

Stop The Presses played on the first floor of the ArtsQuest building to which gave way to anyone walking in would right away see how much fun and excited the band was having while performing. Singer/keyboardist Ali Culotta and singer Karole Alexander danced nonstop through their set which was mostly choreographed. For a ska band, this gives Stop The Presses an unique quality because you don’t see that out of ska bands from the States. There enthuism and music is very ineffectious and if you enjoy bands like The Slackers, Westbound Train or The Pietasters, Stop The Presses are your next band to get in to.

Once Stop The Presses finished, the remainder of the show happened on the third floor at the Musikfest Cafe stage. Slingshot Dakota played first and if you are from Bethlehem you know their hometown shows are the best. The celebration of marriage was fully celebrated when Carly Comando tossed an actual bouquet in the audience during their set. There should be a follow up show to see if the person that caught it eventually got engaged, but Slingshot Dakota’s set was very love focused. If you ever been to a Slingshot Dakota show you know that both Carly and Tom compliment each other and look at each other with love in their eyes. Maybe it was because of the theme of the show, but the love in the room was much higher and contagious. Even if you aren’t a fan of their music, the postivity that radiates from their show is unlike any other and you always leave their show feeling great.

It hasn’t been long since Catbite has played Bethlehem. In August they played to their ever growing crowd at the yearly Musikfest, and for this show the crowd was just as big. Bethlehem has kind of become their second home in a way. Playing songs from both their albums along with a great cover of No Doubt’s “Sunday Morning”, Catbite’s performances are always energetic, full of crowd participation, and a feeling of community. The amount of times I’ve seen Catbite never gets old and having Slingshot Dakota also play really made the room feel full of love. This show should be taken on the road, because I think everyone should witness these two bands in the same room. If not, we can always, hopefully, expect Catbite to make it back up to Bethlehem in 2023 and maybe it will be with Slingshot Dakota.

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