Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are you ready?

I said Are You READY?? Oh yeah, just over two weeks until the World's Largest Music Festival...Summerfest 2012! It's the 45th anniversary for this 11 day highlight of Milwaukee's lakefront. 11 days, 11 stages, and over 700 bands from all genres of music. Always a great time!

In years past, I've attended what I like to call a 'Summerfest warmup' show just prior to the 'Big Gig'. This year was no different, other than I haven't written about it until now, sort of. On Friday May 25th, some friends and I went to see Nickelback at the Bradley Center (my first ever concert at this indoor arena). Wait...don't scoff...don't laugh. Nickelback happened to be touring with Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days. Now that's a lineup you can't pass up. Nickelback is the only band of these four that I had not seen live yet. I have read a lot of the articles and heard all the criticism, but needed to see for myself. Here's one good article worth reading, A Night With the World's Most Hated Bands. It's actually a pretty good read. Nickelback came out at a the time after grunge music ended and before the nu metal movement began. So you could say they were lost. They obviously found a formula for success and have become a very successful band. It's funny to hear people hate Nickelback for no apparent reason other than to just hate them. Are they bandwagon haters? Who knows? Nickelback doesn't really care because even with all the haters out there, they sell out every single concert. To each their own. Back to the concert...

Friends and I head downtown early, find a good parking spot, and head to the bar across the street, Center Court I believe it's called. We had a few beers and some food...

Oh here's a funny story... While sitting there (the windows were open) a lady comes to the window looking for help. Let's call her a 'lady of the afternoon'. She had a hotel room key and needed to be there by a certain time apparently. She was asking how to get there because the "road was broken". Honey...the road was closed to cars, not pedestrians. It was funny!

...As we are sitting there, we look across the street and see a guy with a mohawk riding a skateboard. It was My Darkest Days' lead guitarist Sal Coz Costa. So of course we went out and met him. Cool guy!

Some time later, we are in the arena and we are right up against the barricade on the right side of the stage. We quickly make friends with the security guards and the people around us. Going to be a good night. First band up, My Darkest Days. Saw these guys in 2011 with Bush and Chevelle. Had never heard of them then. Now I am a fan. Really good band. Their most popular song is probably "Porn Star Dancing".

Next up was Seether, a band that, although I really enjoy their music, I had thought they were pretty boring live. Maybe it's maturity...on my part. Maybe they have stepped it up a bit. They played just 8 songs and most of my favorites.
Third band to hit the stage was none other than Bush. Second time I see these guys in the last year. Great band. Very glad they got back together. Their new album is really good. If you haven't seen Bush, go see them.
Finally, the headliner of the night, Nickelback. For all of the crap that people give to this band, they certainly put on a great show. Sure they have all of the sterotypical 80's stage gimics like fireworks, pyro, levels, props, glitter, etc., but they know how to work the stage and perform to the audience. While they may not be the first band I think of when I want to listen to music, they do have a lot of really good songs.

Check out the rest of the pics. After the concert, we did take in a really good cover band back at the Center Court bar. It was a good night and a good warm up to Summerfest. What's on tap for Summerfest?  What bands will I see?  I'm sure the list of bands I see may be different at the end of the 11 days, but I will tell give you a few of them I plan on seeing, including two biggies...Halestorm, Art of Dying, Adelita's Way, Skillet, Iron Maiden, and...are you ready for this?  I said..ARE YOU READY???  The Foo Fighters!!!  Look for more in a couple weeks. Rock on!


  1. Nice blog Mike. Fun to share that concert experience with you too. Like you, I do not understand the Nickelback haters. I have one in my circle who is almost mean-spirited about it! Kinda strange! I thought Nickelback put on a hell of a show -- enev more explosive than the first time I saw them a few years ago. Thought all the bands did a great job. Had never seen Bush and was very impressed with them. Liked My Darkest Days too. Have likes Seether for a long time. It was a fun time!!!

    Looking forward to Summerfest. Sure we will share some music there too!! See you soon!


  2. Saw Bush and Seether in concert in Rochester, MN last night. They put on a great show. Seether did a set of all their biggest hits and the newer "Country Song". Just go my tickets to attend them alive nd mix of older hits and a few from their new album.

    I hear they are heading to Omaha for a concert tonight. I recommend seeing it if you like their music. It was a blast!