Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summerfest Haters, Stop It Already

I'll never understand Summerfest haters. Oh sure, it's a lousy place to see a band you enjoy, a tad spendy if you're the drinking type and parking can be a bitch, but if you adapt and do it right, It's an absolute joy.

We went down yesterday afternoon with no plan but to enjoy our long-awaited Summer and discover something new. It didn't take long! We were immediately captivated and drawn in to an energetic, young band out of Charleston, South Carolina--Stop Light Observations. Not certain we'd like a whole album of their songs, but they sure put on a great live show! Next we made it over the KNE New Music Stage where my first encounter with Madison's Lords of the Trident "The Most METAL Band on Earth!" was to be slashed in the belly by the leather-clad lead singer's plastic cleaver. For the next twenty minutes we were highly entertained by cheese-metal madness--Lords of the Trident rock hard with humor and energy. Too fun!

Lastly we ambled over to the Harley Davidson stage where we were delighted by Milwaukee's own Naima Adedapo. I did not have high expectations, but wow, she put on a great show! Her Summerfest story is compelling: as a youth, she was a grounds crew worker sweeping up garbage and cleaning toilets. She took a moment to ask us to say "thanks" to the blue-shirted crew when we spot them on the grounds. It kind of put a lump in my throat, but that was nothing compared to her most excellent finale: performing with the Ko~Thi Dance Company for which she has been involved since she was a youth. It was fantastic. She'll be performing at Tosa Tonight on August 27th. I highly recommend attending this show!

Naima's show ended right around 9 o'clock. Summerfest's witching hour, the time when all the drunk crazies enter the grounds to see the headlining acts. Now this part I can agree with the haters--Summerfest is the WORST place to see a band you like. Knowing this, we left the park, beat the traffic insanity and were back home in Wauwatosa early enough to enjoy a nightcap and get a good night's rest.

Kay and Bobby Friss
We are very lucky to have this festival in Milwaukee. Next year, when the schedule rolls out, look at it and grumble (everybody grumbles, "Hmph. There's no good bands.") and then throw it in the trash. Instead, go to the fest in the afternoon and let your ears do the walking. Without question, you'll find something rapture worthy. Whether it be a cover band that absolutely nails it (related: Bobby Friss) or a band out of Butternut, Wisconsin making compelling original music (Hello, Hugh Bob!), Summerfest is truly Milwaukee's shining star of music.

Enjoy it.

Now some music...

Stop Light Observations

Naima Adedapo

Lords of the Trident "The Most METAL Band on Earth!"

Bobby Friss nailing Stranglehold

"Blame Me" Hugh Bob and the Hustle

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