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Summerfest Shout Out: AWOLNATION


Its hard not to feel bad for the Bravery (a band I enjoy) at Summerfest. This will be the second year as 10pm headliner where they’ll be upstaged by the 8pm band. Last year, it was The Heavy at the US Cellular Connection Stage. This year it will be AWOLNATION.



Aaron Bruno is AWOLNATION, but you might remember him from a punk-pop band Home Town Hero (“Questions” was something I played on alt-rock radio for a time) or Under the Influence of Giants which was way too smart for the room in the mid 2000’s.  AWOL is a departure from both bands; their self –titled debut available now. Incorporating, rock, punk, disco, electro, and yes even dubstep, the album is in constant motion, changing styles and genres while (mostly) making sense as a whole. Time signatures and key changes multiple times throughout a few songs, and Bruno is quick to eschew traditional songwriting structure on a few tracks as well, making you wonder where is going next. Notably on the sprawling epic 10 minutes Knights of Shame.





But the band was delivered to the masses on the strength of Sail, with it’s unusual theme of…I’m guessing alien abduction.






Normally it’s easy to say, “avoid first time bands” at concerts because they’re still getting live chops up, but with Bruno’s work in UTIOF and HTH, it’s a show to be excited about. AWOLNATION is playing the US Cellular Stage the last day of Summerfest. I know it’s the last day. Go see them, you’ll be glad. And hey, stay for the Bravery too. They’d appreciate it.


Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee