Friday, July 7, 2017

Summerfest Day Eight Recap

Nineteen Thirteen are Victor DeLorenzo  and Janet Schiff
Day 8 of Summerfest for me was all about seeing Milwaukee area bands. Unfortunately we arrived a little too late to see D'Amato, but we've seen their dynamic performances elsewhere around town. We did, however, see our friends Nineteen Thirteen at the BMO Harris Pavilion. This is a great venue to see them perform. Nineteen Thirteen makes the kind of music I wouldn't know that I liked until I heard it. The melodies are often trance-like punctuated with sharp jabs of precisely timed percussion. Often the things I like most about simple rock 'n' roll can be found in the strains of their songs. It's particularly fun for me to see them because we know their music so well. They only played a few songs that were new enough that I did not know them. Great stuff, check them out. I think they're playing next weekend at Bastille Days too. (Yep. They are. I just checked. They're at the Cathedral Square Stage between 5:00 and 6:30 on Sunday, July 16th.)

Just a word here, too, about the BMO Harris Pavilion. Is this not the best stage at the fest? It is by far. It's the only one without those miserable aluminum benches. The viewing angles are great even from far away. It's covered, so the incessant threat of rain is defeated. Another bonus is the views of the city and Lake Michigan from here are fantastic. The only bad thing I see about the stage is what it does to the adjacent American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Much has been written about the noise from the BMO flowing over into the Amphitheater. Last week I had the displeasure to experience this myself when Paul Simon performed one of his quieter songs from his Simon and Garfunkel days. Next door at the BMO, House of Pain's beat stomped all over his song. If this is distracting to a fan, imagine how distracting it is to the performer! I saw this happen to Neil Diamond a few years ago when The B-52's played next door. there was one moment I could clearly tell that Neil was irritated.

The BMO Harris Pavilion
NO/NO's Cat Ries
As soon as Nineteen Thirteen completed their set, in haste we made our way to "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Bands to Watch" at the Uline Stage. Three bands selected by the Journal Sentinel's Piet Levy. The bands were Faux Fiction, Bo & Airo, and NO/NO. I completely missed Faux Fiction, which bummed me out, but I caught the last half of Bo & Airo's set and NO/NO's entire set. NO/NO was the band that I really wanted to see because I've been listening to their latest record on Spotify. Bo & Airo was good and they were entertaining, but their music isn't my thing. It's hip-hop loaded with profanity. Coming directly from Nineteen Thirteen, hearing a song where the primary lyric is MF'er something something, it's a jarring contrast. Nonetheless, they've got mad skills and I wish them well. Bass player Bo Triplex is particularly masterful of his instrument. (The drummer is Airo Kwil, hence the name 'Bo & Airo'.)

NO/NO's brand of captivating synth-pop was great. Their website describes them as "Milwaukee’s most evolved electro pop band, pairing new wave sensibilities with the fuzzy, dreamlike quality of shoegaze." I can totally see that. But what I did not know is that this band was formed from remnants of The Delphines, another Milwaukee band whose music I enjoyed. Check out NO/NO's latest on Bandcamp:

Direct Hit! rocks the Harley stage
Next we caught Milwaukee's most enegetic pop/punk band Direct Hit! over at the Harley Stage. These guys are veteran rockers and are really good at it. My wife and I both agreed that this exactly the kind of energy we have been missing at Summerfest this year. Direct Hit! brought it big time. This was good.

And after Direct Hit!, it was time to leave. I gauge my departure time on when people start standing on benches. Once they do, it's time for me to leave.

Looking forward to stalwart rocker Bobby Friss today followed by one of my favorite Milwaukee bands: glam-rockers Tigernite. I hope to get there early enough to get a good seat at the Miller stage.

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