Band of the Week: Belgrade

The Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival is all about tasting new things, and patrons who arrive early to the second session will also get to hear brand new tunes from the recently formed indie rock band Belgrade.

"We're playing at noon on Saturday, which will be the earliest show we've ever played, but I think it'll be great," says guitarist Matt Hanemann, 36, of Philadelphia.

The group is a combination of five guys from the Greater Philadelphia area who have all played in a variety of aggressive, heavy metal bands previously but came together to try a different direction, aiming at a more melodic, alternative style often called shoegaze.

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"We're really expanding and seeing how far we can push our pop sensibilities and mix it with this more atmospheric sound," Hanemann says.

The name stems from the days when Hanemann and drummer Jeff Myers were practicing together in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia a few years ago. Hanemann would inevitably get lost, and Myers would always remind him to make a right on Belgrade Street.

In April, they plan to release their full-length, self-titled, self-released LP, which they also plan to play in its entirety during their set at the beer festival. They are already planning an EP for the fall as well, with the goal of touring up and down the East Coast in upcoming months.

"We'd love to play along the Jersey Shore," Hanemann says.

The festival will be their first show in Atlantic City, and although their set will be less than an hour, Hanemann says they'll find plenty to do with the rest of their time there.

"Everyone in our band is a huge fan of craft beer," he says.

Learn more and hear their music:;

The band: Matt Hanemann, guitar; Mike McNelis, vocals and keys; Jeff Myers, drummer; Jason Bucci, guitar; Derek Zglenski, bass guitar.

Upcoming shows:

Saturday, April 6: Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, 12:15 p.m.

To get tickets and see a full lineup of bands at the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival, go to

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