Deutschtown Music Festival
North Side, Pittsburgh
July 8 & 9, 2016
Article by Randy Jarosz
Photos by Randy Jarosz and Whitney Lerch
The Commonheart took the stage a little after 9PM at Allegheny Elks Lodge #339 on the North Side. A line wrapped around the venue for a chance to see one of Pittsburgh’s hottest bands. Inside, the crew of 9 gathered around drummer Shawn McGregor for a last minute assemblage before ripping through their set. Lead vocalist Clinton Clegg paced back and forth on stage as if he were going to destroy anything in his path, in this case the microphone would feel the wrath. Clegg embodies an energy like no other, and clearly it was radiating into the brimming crowd.
“Happy Deutchtown everyone,” proclaimed Clegg.
…and that it was.
180 bands hit 24 stages over the span of 2 days. Ferdinand the Bull and Metacara kicked things off early on the park stage Saturday, before the main stage at Middle and Foreland Street officially started. Memphis Hill, a six piece blues rock outfit, began the festivities at the main stage with an incredible version of the Dead Weather’s “Hang You From the Heavans.”
Keyboardist Dan Styslinger kept the park stage locked down for two sets. One with his newly formed band, Old Soles and Seedy Players and again with Delicious Pastries. “I love playing music, so being able to be on stage back to back like that was a dream. I even played another set with The Mutiny later that night. DMF was definitely a highlight of my music career,” admitted Styslinger.
There was more than enough great music to go around in a half mile radius of the main stage, but also plenty more if you were willing to venture out. Modern Cafe on Western Ave, hosted William Forrest and Emerson Jay, while Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse and Whiskey Garden on Spring Garden Ave. had Morgan Erina and Brooke Annibale.
Grand Piano was getting ready to play their 4th DMF in a row when they found out their venue at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy at the ballroom was shut down by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a noise complaint. They continued on though at YMR Club on Suismon St.
“The situation at James Street was really frustrating. Fortunately, we were able to round up enough gear to play a late night set at the YMR. The room was totally packed and vibes there were great. It was probably one of the highest energy sets we’ve ever had, said Ryan Booth, saxophonist for Grand Piano.
Despite a quick rainfall and the closing of the ballroom at James Street it’s safe to say everyone had a happy Deutschtown on this unofficial music holiday.
NOTE: You can help James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy to renovate the ballroom, to keep local live music in the ballroom, by donating to their indiegogo campaign or by attending one of their 5 fundraiser shows.
Strange Monsters (Park Stage)
Memphis Hill (Main Stage)
Full Counts (James Street Ballroom)
Good Ship Gibraltar (James Street Speakeasy)
Bindley Hardware Co. (Main Stage)
Hedonism Bots (Allegheny City Brewing)
Blithehound (Arnold’s Tea)
Paddy the Wanderer (Park Stage)
Old Soles and Seedy Players (Park Stage)
Nameless in August (James Street Speakeasy)
Working Breed (James Street Ballroom)
Devin Moses and the Saved (Main Stage)
Flock of Walri (James Street Ballroom)
Some Kind of Animal (Wigle Whiskey)
Delicious Pastries (Park Stage)
Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo (Park Stage)
The Red Western (Main Stage)
Jimbo and the Soupbones (Main Stage)
Nox Boys (James Street Ballroom)
The Hawkeyes (Main Stage)
Lofi Delphi (James Street Ballroom)
André Costello and the Cool Minors (Allegheny Elks Lodge #339)
Wreck Loose (Allegheny Elks Lodge #339)
The Garment District (James Street Ballroom)
Meeting of Important People (Main Stage)
The Commonheart (Allegheny Elks Lodge #339)
Bastard Bearded Irishmen (Main Stage)