After a long, brutal Winter consisting of record streaks of temperatures under zero degrees and countless inches of snow, Summer is finally here! My apologies for conjuring up nightmarish memories of a long, cold season that didn't seem to want to go away. Here in Wisconsin, one thing is certain. When the weather finally breaks and Old Man Winter finally packs his bags for his vacation, the people here in Wisconsin definitely embrace the warmer months and do it in style. We only have a few short months to enjoy the warm weather before the old guy returns and we don't waste any time. That is one thing I love about living here in Milwaukee. As soon as the sun shines and the temps rise just above 50, everybody heads outside to enjoy it. We didn't hit above 50 until some time in May and, even though you may still have needed a jacket, you were outside. Summer in Wisconsin means many fantastic things. One of those is the beginning of festival season. Beginning in June with PrideFest and then Polish Fest, nearly every week of the Summer there are ethnic and music festivals happening in and around this great city. There is always something to do and a great time to be had doing it. I seem to always discover something new each year that I hadn't done before. Yes, I'm excited that Summer is here! Why? Because Summer in Milwaukee means my absolute favorite festival all year...SUMMERFEST!
In just three short days, the gates will open for this magnificent music festival - 11 days, 11 stages, over 800 acts, and nearly 1 Million of my closest friends! I've got two tickets to the entire thing...
...well, almost the entire thing. These Power Passes give me admission to all 11 days. They just don't get me into the Marcus Amphitheater, where the main headliners play each night. Those tickets cost extra. I've gone to main headliners in the past, but you don't necessarily need to buy those tickets to see some great bands. I will admit that the main headliner lineup is pretty solid, including the likes of Bruno Mars, Lady GaGa, Outkast, Usher, Motley Crue, and Zac Brown Band, but there isn't any of those bands that make me want to spend the extra cash. Maybe I'll score free tickets, like I did last year to Pitbull. You never know.
So who will I see? That's a great question and one that my friends and I have discussed. This year's lineup is a bit better than last year, but overall it's still not on par with previous years. Let me explain. The last couple of years' lineups has lacked bands in the hard rock and metal genre. That's not the only genre of music I like, which you'd know if you've read my other Summerfest posts. Don't get me wrong...the lack of hard rock and metal bands doesn't take away from the total awesomeness of Summerfest. It just means that I get to see bands that I would not normally get to see. Also doesn't mean that there aren't any hard rock bands. There just aren't any that I haven't seen before. That's what I'm trying to say. I'm spoiled some because of Summerfest and the other great music venues in town. I've seen so many bands the last ten years alone that there just aren't many newer bands that come through. First World problems, right?! So I digressed a little here and haven't told you who I'm going to see yet. I don't have a solid plan. I am going to wing it mostly. Hell, I have plenty of options. Some of those options are: Arctic Monkeys, Neon Trees, Crystal Method, Joan Jett, George Thorogood, and Kansas. How about DJ Pauly D? Maybe. Five Finger Death Punch? Absolutely! Rise Against? Definitely! Maybe a new band like Kongos. Rap artists Ludacris or Nas? You just never know.
Summerfest encompasses a few of my favorite Summer things...live music, great beer, people watching, and friends (old and new). Feel free to check back here later as I'll be writing about this year's adventures. Summerfest 2014 starts in three days!