On Sunday August 3 the Steve Balich Band performed in the afternoon at Swiss Park in Newark. Steve Balich Sr. is recovering from surgery, so Steve Jr. (aka Stevie) will play solo accordion until his dad is back on his feet and can rejoin him. Stevie did a fantastic job, backed up by Art Wood on trumpet and Scott Vonheim on drums and vocals. Scott replaced Tom Casazza about a year ago and he impresses us every time we see him with a strong tempo and fantastic vocalizations.
Swiss Park is by far the best dance hall on the west coast with a raised wood floor which no one has mucked up with varnish or any other finish that ruins most floors for dancers. Not only is there no need for dance wax on this floor, but it would be sinful to put anything on it. The hall acoustics are superb and the Balich band put out some great sounds.
Like most clubs we visit, this one has its own audience who rarely miss the Sunday dances. They are a dancing crowd, filling the floor for every song. And they loved this band.
We had many choices for this Sunday. The Internationals performed at Nature Friends in Oakland at the Biergarten Fest. The fest is held outdoors and draws a huge crowd of over 500 with German dancers and lots of beer and food. Thankfully we see the Internationals at Teskes and other venues in our area regularly, while the Balich Band’s visit was a rare treat.