Every year, Milwaukee is home to one of the best musical festivals of all time! It lasts 11 days and hundreds of bands play, from emerging artists to the most popular of the year! For those who can't find a band to watch at one of the many stages, there's a lot of other stuff to do including extreme sports/stunts shows, shopping, good food and lots of drinks! I went three days this year and took quite a few pictures!
I almost wasn't able to go this day, even though I really wanted to! I ended up using free tickets and a free parking pass that I had, so Nikki and I drove down around 6pm. We walked around a bit and luckily ran into Dan Rodriguez playing at the Tiki Stage on the lake. He's been playing every day of Summerfest for a few years now and I love to catch his sets. Halfway through, we went to the Miller Lite Oasis stage for Miniature Tigers!
We cut in front of the benches and watched from the right side of the stage. I could see alright but didn't get many good pictures. Their dummer missed his flight, so it was an acoustic set. I was still happy to see them, but I wish I could see them in a more intimate energetic set!
After their set, we walked around a bit before returning to the stage to watch Fun. at 10. By then the crowd was HUGE. We tried to watch by standing on the picnic tables in back (as we did a few years ago for Violent Femmes) but still couldn't see. The crowd was just too insane, so we decided to walk around instead. I'm really proud of them for getting so much exposure. Last time I saw them was in 2010 and I was one of five people singing along. They deserve all the fame they're getting because they're just great!
I actually had to work from 10 to 2:30 this day, so as soon as I finished with work, I changed in the bathroom and drove 2 minutes to the Summerfest shuttle bus. Erica was supposed to meet me there to take the 2:55 bus but she was LATE, so we took the 3:25. Summerfest is cheaper if you go before 4 and we didn't end up making the cut off. However, as soon as we got there, a woman gave us two free tickets she had left over!
Again, soon after arriving we saw Dan Rodriguez. He's so talented you just HAVE to check him out. He's also a really funny dude and tells great stories before his songs. You can check out more of my pictures from his set HERE.
After Dan Rodriguez we made our way over the the Harley stage for K. Flay! I first heard of her when she played with MC Lars in 2009 and I've been excited to see her again ever since. She's such a fantastic rapper! Her set was GREAT, but she sounds so different live than recorded. Great both ways though. The crowd didn't really know who she was, because they were all just waiting for 311 but they were pretty hilarious to watch. I wish I had been able to find some of her merch, but I don't think she had any out! More of my pictures of her HERE.
After K.Flay, we got pizza and then went to the small Cascio stage to see a local band, Animals In Human Attire, play. We went to school with Jack (The one in the American flag hat & shirt on the right) so there were a lot of kids from our high school there! I don't really listen to them, but they put on a great show and they've got a lot of talent. I hope they keep at it because they're really good! Pictures HERE. Also, if you find them on Facebook you should eventually be linked to their tumblr and bandcamp, which has free music!
We were pretty much done for the night after that, but decided to walk around for a bit while Erica thought about getting a tattoo. We ran into a performance by the Pogo Dudes. Basically they do AWESOME stunts on big pogo sticks...as you can see...
As we kept walking around the grounds we stopped at the Refugee stage when the band playing sounded cool. I believe they were called 4 Asprin Morning, and there were way too many people in their band to fit on the stage so a few of their members were on the ground, haha.
After that we found Erica's parents and we all took the shuttle bus back to Delafield. Took this one on the bus! It was super hot that day, so we were pretty sweaty and gross, haha.
I was originally planning on going as soon as it opened on this day, but it was supposed to be even hotter than the 4th, so we pushed the time back to 3ish. I went with Nikki, Anthony, and his cousin. This day there was a promotion that everyone who got there before 3 got in free, and we actually made it on time! This means I got into Summerfest free all 3 days!
Who did we see first? DAN RODRIGUEZ OF COURSE. Can't stop wont stop with this guy! Halfway through the set, Anthony's cousin met up with some of her friends so we didn't really see her for the rest of the day. Right after the set, Jenny showed up with her brother TJ so they hung out with us for the rest of the day!
After Dan, we decided to set up camp at the Rock stage for MCS that night. We were front row and to the left. The first band we saw was XOHeart. It was made up of two girls who met at American Idol auditions and they ended up becoming friends on the way to Hollywood and later fromed the band! They weren't really my taste, but you can see more of my pics of their set HERE.
Jenny and TJ. Also, that girl behind them with blue hair, we met her at a Motion City show in 2009 and 2010 have run into her at every Wisconsin MCS show since!
Nikki got this purse. She bought one in a different color that looks exactly like it from Summerfest a few years ago. She was pretty psyched.
Next up was the Smoking Popes. I had heard of them before and know there song Megan from Bayside's cover, but had never actually listened to them! They were really good, and it was cool to see them after listening to Bayside for so long. You can just tell from their live performance how inspired by them they are. You can see the resembalance off their musical styles! More pics from their set HERE.
Saw this fantastic woman in the bleachers by herself. She had party glasses, a marionette (which was dancing) and a ciggarette. Awesome.
Jenny & me!
Then Super Happy Fun Club played. Their music isn't really what it sounds like it should be. It sounds like it should be synthy pop but it's kind of alt rock...I don't know.
Around now is when we got SUPER ANXIOUS AND EXCITED for Motion City. We got really obnoxious and loud really fast.
Motion City Soundtrack was PERFECT as usual! They played the perfect set full of songs from all of their CDs and I danced my ass off. Between their last song and their encore, something happened to my shoulder and I either pinched a nerve or like, dislocated it or SOMETHING, I have no idea, but it hurt really bad and I couldn't move it for like, 5 minutes, and then it was okay again. It was a fantastic time and it was worth the wait. I love them so very much and I had a great time, You can see more pictures from their set HERE but be warned, their mostly of Justin, haha.
This was definitely the best Summerfest experience I've had in the last few years! We went a lot in high school and had some good times, but the last few years have been pretty lame until now! I hope next year brings even more awesome! Also, I would REALLY appreciate it if you would check out some of my photos comment/buzz/whatever. I did try to take some decent pictures even though I was just shooting from the crowd. If you've already looked at them and everything, thanks so much! Also, figured I'd mention, over the next few days I'll be posting a few galleries of photos from Tinlely Park Warped that I took from the crowd and eventually will be doing a roundup blog like this as well, so keep an eye out for all of that!
Have you ever been to Summerfest? What are your favorite Summer festivals?