Sound Scene Express

Tight Music Community Makes Deutschtown Music Festival a Success

Deutschtown Music Festival
July 12, 2014
Northside, Pittsburgh, PA

Photos and article by Randy Jarosz

Single and multi day festivals are popping up all over the country. Even Pittsburgh had the one-off New American Music Union festival. The all day concert featured Bob Dylan, the Raconteurs, the Roots, Gnarles Barkley and the Black Keys in 2008. Sure, Pittsburgh has the Three Rivers Arts Festival and WYEP’s Summer Music Festival but until recently, there had been nothing like the Deutschtown Music Festival or Lawrenceville’s R.A.N.T. This all day festival features over 90 bands in 13 venues. Best of all it was free. There weren’t any huge national touring acts, just homegrown talent at its best.

Deutschtown Music Festival is a celebration of great Pittsburgh music, and solidifies the notion that the local scene is a tight knit community. André Costello of the Cool Minors says, “the local scene is finally getting its due respect and attention. We’re all on the up and up.”

It wasn’t uncommon to see local bands supporting each other at the fest. In fact it was the norm. Danny Rectenwald of Bastard Bearded Irishman could be seen making his way to Max’s Allegheny Tavern to catch Dan Getkin and the Masters of American Music while the boys from Triggers sweated it out during André Costello and the Cool Minors set at James Street Ballroom. Costello made his way around the festival visiting the Main Stage, Elks, Park House, James Street, The Park Stage and Max’s. The Nox Boys could be seen making their rounds including an appearance at Weird Paul Rock Band at Key West after their own set and members of Grand Piano made it a late night, dancing to Shelf Life String Band after midnight.

Josh Verbanets of Meeting of Important People joined Scott from The Wreckids at 8PM at Key West, upstairs, after his set at 5PM at Wigle Whiskey, for an acoustic set. Verbanets recalls breaking down in front of Key West when he was 17, and being afraid to use the payphone. “It’s really exciting to see so many different types of Pittsburghers wandering around streets looking for music through areas of Northside where you wouldn’t normally see such a wide variety of folks,” says Verbanets.

The diversity in music at the fest made it easy for concert goers to discover new local artists. “There were people there (Key West) that we don’t usually play for and I would look out and see them smiling or laughing because it was their first experience seeing us, it was all new for them. It (Deutschtown Music Festival) brought us to a different audience, which is great, because it makes us remember how much fun playing for people is,” says Weird Paul Petroskey, known for his humorous parody songs.

“I am completely in awe of the sheer amount of diverse, amazing, artistic talent this city has to offer. In the greater scheme of things, Pittsburgh has been a mostly unsung cultural haven. The town is riddled with musical ambition and talent. At James Street, we played with 3 Pittsburgh bands that I’ve never heard of that blew my mind. Shade? I can’t believe I’ve never heard of them before,” says Costello.

Meeting of Important People at Wigle Whiskey

Dan Getkin and the Masters of American Music at Max’s Allegheny Tavern

André Costello and the Cool Minors at James Street Ballroom

Nox Boys at October Development

Weird Paul Rock Band at Key West

Shelf Life String Band at James Street Ballroom

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