Add live music, couples in dancing shoes, smiles and laughter to fully-stacked shelves of books, coffee and tea and watch a bookstore café turn into a hot spot for Saturday night dancing.
The night was “hot” on Saturday at Webster’s Bookstore Café when swing band The Sizzle Sticks performed for a crowd of friends, students and community members for a three-hour set.
“That’s what we get when we play in college towns. We get a really sophisticated audience,” Stacy Tibbetts , guitarist and vocalist, said during the band’s performance.
The Sizzle Sticks, which formed in 2010, has history playing at The Darkhorse Tavern and The Autoport . The quartet consists of tenor sax, clarinet, acoustic bass, violin and guitar.
Tibbetts described the band’s music as 1930s hot swing and said that it comes from the era when jazz was popular in the dance scene.
The performance was open for people of all ages to come and enjoy.
“I remember not being able to go out to 21-and-over places as a student. We want to play for everyone,” Tibbetts said. “It’s a good place to hang out. All ages can come out.”
It wasn’t long after the band began to play that couples started to swing dance the night away.
Luke Wilhelm (graduate-kinesiology) and Christen Vallimont, of Bellefonte, took advantage of the live swing music. Even while wearing a knee brace, Vallimont was ready to dance.
“It’s rare to have a band playing live swing music,” Vallimont said. “We’re usually used to places that don’t play live music.”
Aside from dancing, others like Kerry Brunner and Christina Johnson chose to sit back and enjoy the performance with food and café beverages.
“I’ve never seen them before, but I like Jazz,” Brunner (senior-mechanical engineering) said. “I think they’re very talented and it’s nice to relax and listen to tonight.”
Johnson (senior-psychology) added that it’s hard to find an event that students can attend downtown, especially on a football game weekend.
The band played covers of songs such as “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” and “Sweet Georgia Brown” and finished off the night with “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” which was a favorite for everyone.
“We’re hoping to play for some of Penn State’s swing dance club’s events this year,” Tibbetts said. “The music is fun, it’s fast, we love it.”
The band plans to play at Webster’s at least once a month for people of all ages to enjoy a night of live swing music and dance.
For sound clip samples of the band’s performances, visit TheSizzleSticks.com.