Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summerfest 2013 is here!!

Yes! Summerfest 2013 is finally here! Opening night was Wednesday, June 26, but last night (Friday, June 28) was the first night I went. Normally I would have written about Summerfest long before now, but this year was different. Though it may be different, it is still going to be one helluva time!

When the lineups were announced this year, I was less than impressed. Sure they have a lot of new, younger, pop-type bands that are very popular today, such as Fun., AWOLNATION, Atlas Genius, Imagine Dragons, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Neon Trees. They also have the classic bands from the 70s and 80s, such as REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, Alice Cooper, and Loverboy. Mix in your country acts, jazz, your local and regional bands and you have a very impressive collection of music from all genres and all walks of life. Definitely something for everyone, but something was missing this year. Where are the rock bands?  Where's the heavy metal?

Summefest 2013 is definitely light on the hard rock and heavy metal this year. That's okay though. While there isn't any one band (aside from seeing Skillet again) that I absolutely have to see, I will still see some really good bands and hopefully discover some new ones. Personally, I am a little disappointed at the lack of hard rock and heavy metal, but that's okay. When you live in Milwaukee, like I do, and you have the opportunity to go to Summerfest at least eight days every year, you can get spoiled. I'm a die-hard Summerfest attendee and I realize how difficult it must be to book the over 700 bands that play every year, especially when Summerfest competes against dozens of other festivals both in the U.S. and overseas. I'll get off that soap box now. Let me talk about last night.

I get down to the Summerfest grounds and stopped off at the rock stage. It has another lengthy sponsor this year, so I'll just refer it to the rock stage. A young band from Detroit, Citizen Zero, was playing. I listened to a few of their songs. Good young rock band. Got my head bobbin' and my foot moving. Left the stage to get something to drink and eat. The skies were a little grey, but it wasn't raining yet. Let's hope it stays that way. Summerfest not only has great music and great food, but this being "Brew City", they have great beer too. Draft Magazine recently listed Summerfest as on of the 7 summer music festivals with great beer. I headed to the Lakefront Brewery booth and ordered me a cold Fixed Gear red ale. Excellent beer!

Back to the rock stage and to the second row awaiting the Lovehammers. Met up with a few of Lovehammers' close followers whom I met at Club Garibaldi on St. Patrick's Day this year. From Chicago, Lovehammers are at Summerfest nearly every year, with the last time in 2010 playing at 10:00pm.  Here's what I wrote about them then. They played at 6:30pm last night. Still a great show and a band every one should see. Marty even got out into the crowd during one song.

After the show finished, I walked around some. Had a Black IPA from Water Street Brewery. Stopped at the Harley-Davidson stage where Brother Ali was killing it. DJs from Minnesota, there were four guys on stage in front of mixing tables the length of the stage. They were mixing up a great mix of classic rap along with current hip hop. The stage was packed! People all over the place, dancing and singing along. It was pretty intense. Brother Ali was good, but Atmosphere was on at 10:00pm. They packed the Miller Lite stage at 6:00pm last year. They packed the H-D stage this year.

I went over to the BMO Pavillion to catch LL Cool J. That was a fun show. The new BMO Pavillion is such an awesome stage. I was 20 to 30 feet outside the stage and still had a great view because of how the stage was designed. LL got funky too, rapping some of his classics like "The Boomin' System" and "Goin' Back To Cali". I really enjoyed the show.

Check out some pictures.

My brother Dennis is back this year. Picked him up this morning. Should be another great year of fun and music!  Not sure if we'll head to Summerfest tonight or if we'll end of doing something else. Hey, the Big Gig is 11 days long, plenty of music to see.

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