Dr. Bacon / Bella’s Bartok // Live @ Neighborhood Theatre // 2.9.2023 CONCERT REVIEWS FEATURED MUSIC by Jason Robey - February 14, 2023February 17, 2023 CHARLOTTE, NC — Thursday night was full of wild and eclectic music at the Neighborhood Theatre, featuring a pair of up-and-coming bands, making a tour stop in the artsy NoDa area of Charlotte. The show started with a unique and raucous opening set by Bella’s Bartok. The band’s quirky take on Americana with a twist of European folk and vaudeville style got the audience up and moving from the first note of “Graveyard Funk.” Audience members who were unfamiliar with the band knew they were in for something different just by seeing the stage set up. Large eyes, which later turned out to be masks, lined the stage, and in addition to the expected guitars, drums, and keyboard on stage, there was a washboard and an accordion. Vocalist / guitarist Asher Putnam led the band through an hour and half set with his animated and theatrical style, with the band playing through a hefty setlist that included an interesting take on System of a Down’s “Hypnotize.” Following a short break, Asheville, NC band Dr. Bacon took the stage with their blend of funk, hard rock, and bluegrass. After kicking off with “Peculiar,” from their 2017 Cobra EP, the band focused largely on songs from their upcoming album, “Chaotic At Best.” The set was an upbeat and highly danceable one, with spirited songs like “Wake Up! Go To Bed!,” and the jammy harmonica-heavy “Music My Soul.” Their foot-stomping cover of Alabama 3’s “Woke Up This Morning,” known to many from its use in The Sopranos, was showed the audience a bluesier side of the band, while a set-closing fan favorite “Pancakes,” highlighted their bluegrass roots. The band explored a range of influences, sometimes heavy and sometimes jazzy, taking the audience on a sonic journey that feels both familiar and fresh. Dr. Bacon and Bella’s Bartok will be doing a series of shows together up and down the east coast, check both bands’ social media pages for tour dates.