Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summerfest Day One Recap

414 Golden Tee
Day One of my quest to attend Milwaukee's Summerfest for at least an hour per day for all eleven of its days is in the books. Unfortunately weather was not Summerfest's friend and rain continually threatened the festival. No sooner would we take off our plastic ponchos then the sky would start dropping water again. We left the fest around 6:30 PM and, good thing, because after that the really strong storms rolled in. I cannot imagine what it must have been like in the lawn seats at the amphitheater because the rain was coming down in buckets. We pulled into our driveway around 8:30 and the rain was coming down so hard that our house's gutters were overflowing. It was torrential.

For our first day we spent time discovering what's new. For the most part, not too much, but here are a few highlights.

The new Miller stage is quite nice. I particularly like their little pavilion to the right of the stage. I know it's all advertising, but I do like that Miller highlighted Milwaukee so much in the design of the pavilion (including Too Much Metal's 414!). I also prefer to buy my Miller products here. It's seven bucks for a big cup and you can use a credit card. I'm not sure how much beer is in the "big cup," but I'd guess 20-ounces. It seems like a much better deal than the normal cup that's six bucks, or the 16-ounce aluminum bottle that's $7.50.
TMM's 414 Represent!

Also at this Miller pavilion one can walk right to the front of the stage. It's standing room only and after 5 o'clock you'll need a pass to access this area, but it's good to know if you're at the festival before five.

Speaking of beer, there are not many choices outside of Miller-produced products. However, Lakefront Brewing has a significant tent roughly at the centter of the grounds. For $6.50, you can get a Riverwest Stein, IPA, East Side Dark, El Wisco lager, Lakefront Pils, or New Grist (gluten-free pilsner). For an additional $3 you can upgrade to a Clutch Cargo Double IPA or Daily Firken (on day one it was Hullmelon - a single hop ale with strawberries). Outside of Lakefront the only other "beer" that I saw was Leinenkugel's.

RHCP's Chad Smith
Introducing Denim Matriarch
One funny highlight of the first day was my wife seeing a guy she recognized while I was making a pit stop. Some guy arrived at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage in a golf cart. An assistant pulled apart the gate and the guy entered. My wife thought it was unusual the way it was done and thought that she recognized the guy as a member of Milwaukee's 'Johnny On Washday' -- a ubiquitous summertime band that would rove the streets of Milwaukee's festivals in the 90's. But only a few minutes later did we discover that the guy she recognized was introducing Denim Matriarch. He was Chad Smith, the drummer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, whose band was headlining the amphitheater later that evening. Haha. Johnny on Washday, Red Hot Chili Peppers, same thing! We had a good laugh about this throughout the day.

Summerfest also has an upgraded merchandise tent where I scored a new Summerfest '50' baseball cap. One particular piece that I think will be popular is Too Much Metal's Summerfest golden anniversary tee. It's eye-catching and when we visited the merchandising tent, it was getting a lot of oohs and ahs.
New Summerfest '50' Cap

Heading back today for Throwback Thursday. There's lots of bands from 80's highlighting the venues but I've got my eye on Soul Asylum. They're taking the Miller Stage at 5:30 and they were a stalwart member of my 1980's soundtrack of life.

1 comment:

  1. 1 down. 10 to go. Look forward to reading this!