Saturday, July 14, 2012

Summerfest 2012 Superlatives

Another Summerfest is in the books. Summerfest 2012 was a definite success and it's time for me to announce my Summerfest 2012 Superlatives. This will be the third year that I do this. If you're interested, check out the Summerfest 2010 Superlatives and the Summerfest 2011 Superlatives. They are good reads. It's fun to go back and see what I thought back then.  The superlatives are my own way of reviewing Summerfest and ranking all of the bands that I saw. I see each band differently and feel I enjoy bands from different genres in different ways. That's why it is difficult for me to just list them out.

Just as in previous years, I'd like to give a big Thank You to all of my friends, old and new, and family, who enjoyed this Summerfest experience with me: my brother Dennis making his first ever appearance, Mark and Pam, Joe and Jaime, Chad and Anne, Chad's brother Todd, Dusty and his new 'girlfriend' Kelly, Rick and Lori, Zach, Marc, Spiro, Nicki, Evelyn, Julie, and the Hansons - I know Hanson played the Potawatomi stage, but I'm talking about my Hanson family friends Hillary, Alicia, Julie, and Charles. Again, if I missed anyone, please accept this Thanks and my apologies.

Without further ado...

General Observations and Notes

  • My brother Dennis made his first ever appearance at Summerfest after listening to me talk about it year after year. Great week!
  • Only 9 days attended this year. Down from 10 in 2011 and 11 in 2010. Don't worry, this downward trend won't continue. 
  • I give credit to Hillary for attending all 11 days. Just know that when I did it in 2010, there wasn't a day off in the middle. Kudos to you, Hillary!
  • The 'walk about' trend continued.
  • Not only was this the first year I purchased a ticket for the Marcus Amphitheater, I went 3 times! Unheard of!
  • Only saw 27 bands in the 9 days attended, partly due to 3 nights at Marcus.
  • The new BMO Harris Pavilion is an awesome venue! Sound system is great! Seats are great! Crowd control during the show is top notch!
  • Do all 70's bands have 4 guitars?
  • Dennis, Dusty, Kelly, and I took in a Riverboat Beer Tour that took us from Molly Cool's to Milwaukee Ale House to Rock Bottom. We never made it back to Molly Cool's though. Instead we stayed at Rock Bottom (Flip cup was too much fun to pass up) and then walked to Summerfest.
  • Temperatures hit a 'melting' point.
  • Subsequently no golf nor frolf for me.
  • Tree deck building at Mark's house was something new. Great job Mark and crew!
  • Limited Rock Band playing.
  • I really enjoyed Leinenkugel's special beer celebrating the 45th Summerfest, Summer Festeweizen. Yum!
  • The phrase "Have you met my friend Mike" made a comeback, but wasn't used much.
  • Great seats are important!

As I was thinking about this category, I was asking myself if there was a band like 12 Stones in 2010, Red Jumpsuit Appartus in 2011, or Beatallica in 2011, that was so terrible they infuriated me?  Yes, yes there was, and it happened on the last day of Summerfest. A band called Ours opening up for Bush. The few opening notes to their first song had promise. Then the singer opened his mouth. Terrible!

Fools for Rowan - 2nd year in a row. Only thing good was the two cute girls in the band.
Moxy Roxx - Old dudes who opened up for Scorpions. Awful drum solo.
Animation - Rush tribute band. I'm not a fan of Rush.
Kessler - Lead singer was pretty hot, but that's where it stops.
Ken Saydak Band - Bluesy background noise before Fools for Rowan and Skillet

Aerosmith - 3rd time I've seen them. Same show as it was 20 years ago.
Alice Cooper - Never a big fan, but glad I got to see him.
Scorpions - I'll add them here only because this is their supposed farewell tour.

Skillet - Simply AMAZING!
Cowboy Mouth - Surely not a headliner, but definitely a lot of fun.

Lazarus A.D. - from Kenosha, WI
The Heroes Lie - from Milwaukee, WI

Halestorm - Powerful vocals! Great energy! Amazing drum solo!
Atmosphere - a Hip Hop/DJ group from Minnesota. Most packed I've ever seen the Miller Lite stage at 6pm.

Skillet - Never before, since I have been going to Summerfest, have I seen a band put on such an amazing show on a free stage with fireworks, sparklers, fire, explosions, lights, elevators, and a drum set that elevated and spins! Skillet won this award back in 2010 and they win it again in 2012, only it was better because we were closer!

5. Adelita's Way
4. Iron Maiden
3. Scorpions
2. Foo Fighters
1. Skillet

Art of Dying

Take another look at the pictures.

I have seen over 100 concerts over the last three or four years, many of them I've written about in this blog. As I have watched, observed, listened, and felt each and every show, one thing is for certain. You cannot fully enjoy a rock show if you have terrible seats. You need to be up close! 

Still five and a half months left in the year and already have two more shows lined up - Trapt at the Brat Stop and Rise Against at The Rave/Eagles's Ballroom. Rock on friends!!

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