Bella’s Bartok @ Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Featured, Live Reviews | Apr 2nd, 2023
Date: April 1st 2023
Bella’s Bartok played a free show at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on April 1st. Taylor Swift sadly didn’t perform that night.
Since moving down to Delaware from NJ, I’ve been longing for some shows. I had Jimmie Allen playing in my backyard (not literally) last August and then I traveled to see Carbon Leaf in Annapolis in December. I was checking out Dogfish Head’s event calendar and saw some bands playing. Bella’s Bartok from Massachusetts stood out, despite me not knowing of their music until just now. Thankfully, I went to check out the show because they were a super fun band to see live!
Bella’s Bartok’s music is hard to describe – it’s like if you put the sounds of Frank Zappa, DeVotchKa, Tom Waits, Gogol Bordello, Squirrel Nut Zippers, World / Inferno Friendship Society into a blender and this is what you get. I guess people call it circus punk but regardless of what it’s called, it’s just fun!
I didn’t know if I was going to check out the show since there were tornado and t-storm warnings all day. There was a confirmed Tornado west of where I lived earlier in the evening. I managed to get to Dogfish Head in downtown Rehoboth before the next onslaught of rain came. While the band was sound-checking, thunder and lightning struck so close; there was feedback or a loud boom in the amp. That freaked everyone out.
The band started playing and I can’t really tell you the entire set since the band is fairly new to me. I know they played songs “Sticks and Stones,” “The Fiddler and The Devil” and “Ramona.” I loved the performance from the band, particularly the lead singer/guitarist and singer/washboard player for their theatrical style and expressions. I know I’ve seen videos and photos of the band having horns, but not sure if they are currently touring with them. They plan on going to Germany soon and then will follow that up with more dates in the Northeast.
I was on the side taking pictures and enjoying the sounds. It was a little awkward at first, with families eating and others by the bar not really focusing on the music. Either people were sprinkling out and leaving or the band eventually won them over to have them come up front and dance. There was one enthusiastic fan just having a ball dancing around the entire restaurant. Dogfish Head is a big place and I’m sure in the “on-season” a.k.a. Summer, more and more people will be there. I’d love it if the place got some ska bands to play there. I know back in the day, at the old building, some bands played there.
Bella’s Bartok played for like 90 minutes and I was enjoying it a lot, as well as others at Dogfish Head. I’d love to see them play a packed club because I feel like it would be even more raucous. At one point, the keys/accordion player was playing on tables which I got a kick out because I love when Wille Nile does stuff like that. Good thing the table didn’t give out. I was happy to get out of the house and enjoy some live music. Bella’s Bartok are a really fun band to see, even if you don’t know their music. If they are playing in your area – check them out!
Some photos from the show last night: