Let me first begin by giving another hearty Thank You to all of my friends, old and new, that enjoyed the Summerfest experience with me: Mark and Pam, Joe and Jaime, Chad and Anne, Dusty, Rick, Marissa, Zach, Nicki, Annie, and the Hansons - Hillary, Julie, and Rick. I apologize if I forgot to mention someone.
General Observations and Notes
- After running the gauntlet last year (attending all 11 days), I only went 10 days this year. Thus ending my consecutive streak of days attending Summerfest at 20. Still, 10 days is still respectable. I partly blame the lackluster lineup as there really wasn't a band I wanted to see on the day I did not go. Either way, I'm okay with missing the one day.
- I saw 37 bands this year.
- First time I have seen a show at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard stage.
- The renovated South end of the Summerfest grounds, including the Briggs & Stratton stage, looks great.
- For years, when the Rock Stage finished, they would play Todd Rundgren's 'Bang the Drum'. This year, Todd Rundgren was there to sing it live, though not at the Rock Stage.
- 2011 was the year of the 'walk about'.
- Also the year for meeting bands (4).
- Only golfed once and it was way too hot.
- I really enjoyed the two new beers brewed especially for Summerfest - Let's Fest Ale (an amber ale) and Big Gig IPA.
- I got a new camera so pictures were much better this year.
If you want to read the 2010 Summerfest Superlatives, click here.
Without further ado, here are the 2011 Summerfest Superlatives:
BIGGEST DISASTER and BAND THAT PISSED ME OFF THE MOST
Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - In early 2009 at The Rave, they were downstairs where the acoustics are terrible. I gave them a pass. At Summerfest 2009, the lead singer had serious voice issues and barely completed six songs. I wanted to chalk that up to voice problems. This year, after two disappointments, they had a chance to redeem themselves. They had two years of touring and had finished recording a their 3rd album. Within the first six words of the first song, it was obviously apparent that these guys do not know how to perform. The singer cannot even sing in tune. It's almost as if the singer on stage is someone completely different than the person who sung on the cd. Not only could he not sing, but he spent way too much time talking in between songs, talking about himself like he had this huge ego. Bands that have been around less time put them to shame. I'll go out on a limb here and say that these guys were the worst live band I have seen out of all that I have seen as Summerfest. Terrible!
Sevendust - This was the 5th or 6th time I've seen Sevendust over the last five years and this, in my opinion, was the worst performance of them all. While they usually always put on a great show, I felt they left something on the table. Their encore was only one song and they were done nearly 30 minutes before many of the other headliners had finished. I may have to pass on seeing them again.
SOiL - With three or four different singers in five years, this band lacked continuity and cohesiveness. They have some great songs and, at one time, had the potential to make a name for themselves. As it is, they were a 6pm band. Find a good singer and stick with him and maybe they'll be better in the future.
Me Talk Pretty
Fools For Rowan
BUCKETLIST BANDS (SAW AND NEVER NEED TO SEE AGAIN)
BoDeans (Not sure they were even on my bucketlist)
BANDS THAT EVERYONE SHOULD SEE
Here Come the Mummies (2 years in a row!)
Flatfoot 56 - Irish punk band that opened for Rise Against
BANDS WITH MOST POTENTIAL
A Heroes Lie - Local Milwaukee band
Middle Class Rut - Great sound from a two-man band
Hollywood Undead - Wasn't sure what to expect. Awesome!
Rise Against - They always bring it!
5. Saving Abel
4. Sick Puppies
3. Better Than Ezra
2. Hollywood Undead
1. Rise Against
BEST OF THE REST
Middle Class Rut
Take another look at the pictures.
I'm already looking forward to next year. My brother may make an appearance. There will, however, be concerts between now and then. Stay tuned! Rock on!!