Tape Swap Radio hosted the latest event in our concert series at the Ice House in Bethlehem on Thursday, January 24, 2019. The event took place on the Ice House’s balcony overlooking the historic Bethlehem building which sits between the Lehigh River and the canal. Returning to our series was Portland, Maine’s Weakened Friends and Lehigh Valley’s bloodmoon. Making their first appearance at a Tape Swap show was Asbury Park, New Jersey’s Well Wisher. The event raised $300 for the Center for Animal Health and Welfare, a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter in Easton.
Headlining the night was Weakened Friends who last appeared in our concert series in November 2015, which also happened to be our first-ever show at the Ice House. Band members Annie Hoffman, Sonia Sturino, and Cam Jones mostly featured songs from their 2018 album Common Blah. The band’s 90s-leaning alt rock sound was on full display with plenty of distortion and pounding drums. We’re big fans of how they mix this DIY punk-inspired sound with raw and catchy vocals.
Not to be overlooked was bassist Annie’s pedal trigger sounds which were straight fire. She showed off the Law & Order dun-dun, the opening seconds of the X-Files theme, and (best of all) a Somebody Toucha My Spaghet clip. Let’s be honest, we all need these on the ready in our lives.
Well Wisher played second, made up of Natalie Newbold, Lynsey Vandenberg, Lucas Dalakian, and Mike Linardi. Singer/guitarist Natalie commented from the stage that this was one of the band’s longest sets after reaching their eighth song of the night. The band would go on to play ten songs. Aside from playing songs off of their 2018 album This Is Fine, they delivered a great rendition of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag.”
Well Wisher began as a solo project for Natalie after the disbandment of the New Brunswick pop trio Dollys in 2017 where she played drums. With the recruitment of the other three members of Well Wisher, the band released their debut album This Is Fine on indie favorite 6131 Records last year. The band’s blend of punk energy with melodic, heartfelt vocals shined brilliantly in their set.
Starting off the night was Lehigh Valley three-piece post-hardcore band bloodmoon made up of Andrew Rutledge, Eric Pevorus, and Jay Uhler. bloodmoon had the heaviest sound of the night with guitarist/vocalist Andrew favoring screamed/shouted vocals over top a sound that moved seamlessly between shoegaze and punk.
bloodmoon originally formed in 2017 and performed at three Tape Swap events before taking a hiatus for the second half of 2018. This was the band’s first show since May 2018 and this was the tightest we’ve ever seen them. Among the set was the band’s new song “Time,” which was released on the bloodmoon Bandcamp page the day of the show.