What was your favorite summer concert? Here's ours!
Summer shows are dying down, but they are still fresh in our memory like the sweet taste of a cream puff or roasted corn at Summerfest. What was your favorite show this summer? Here are our favorite memories!
Painted Caves at Westown
For me, it was a smaller show. Painted Caves at Westown. The night was cool, and the show started very chill. The energy had a quick crescendo into a dance party. After some food truck treats, we all headed down to the edge of the stage and joined an energetic crowd for some amazing dancing. My daughter was hoola-hooping with a group of other little girls, while my son danced his way to the edge of the stage, ripped off his shirt and waved it over his head to a huge applause. While the crowd was small, the vibes were HUGE. The diversity of the crowd and the love they were exchanging with the band was a moment that made me proud to live in Milwaukee.
The Rolling Stones at Summerfest
The Rolling Stones, Summerfest, June 23rd. While I've seen the Stones countless times since the Steel Wheels Tour in 1989, this one was special in the way I got to go. The day before the show I looked at second-hand ticket markets and tix were off-the-charts expensive. I lamented on the radio how I'd like to go but was ticketless. A nice 88Nine member reached out and told me he had an extra he'd let go for face value. DONE! The show was spectacular, especially with Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy opening and playing "Champagne & Reefer" with the band. I wrote a review HERE.
Belle & Sebastian/Courtney Barnett at the Pabst Theater
Belle & Sebastian and Courtney Barnett at the Pabst Theater on June 19th.
Courtney Barnett opened and rocked my socks. I half expected that she would be more of a relaxed performer (based on slurring charm of her vocals), but I was dead wrong. She rocked hard on her guitar and screamed those lyrics. She gave me energy and I wanted to hear more. Belle & Sebastian were also better than I had expected. I'm a huge fan and I figured the show would be of the gentle, sit-down type. It was the opposite. The audience was brought on stage for numerous dance parties and the band encouraged sing-a-longs. My favorite moment of the show was hearing the entire audience singing to "Stars of Track and Field." Hands down, my favorite show of the summer.
The Faint at Summerfest
One of my all-time favorite bands came to Summerfest from Omaha, Nebraska. I've been a fan of The Faint since they first started back in 1995. I've seen them every time they've been in Milwaukee and traveled to Chicago on the times they skipped playing here. Their blend of electronic beats, punk, dance and new-wave music speaks right to my soul. What made this night extra special was being plucked right from the crowd (along with our gang of dancers) to enjoy the show from the VIP area right up front. Plenty of room to dance, instead of balancing on the bleachers. Thanks to the stage manager Sasha for making our night extra special and to The Faint for always bringing the crazy wild light show and energy to their shows.
Sir Paul McCartney at Lollapalooza
Yeah... It was pretty nuts. But to be fair, from a guy that's got years of performing under his belt, some of the (arguably) best songs of all time in his lineup, the cool accent and (definitely) the budget, how could it not be? I went down to Lolla with some of our 88Nine interns this year (one of which was a HUGE Beatles fan) and after a long exhausting day of walking around in the heat, watching the sunset and singing along with Paul was was the perfect way to close out the night. ...Not to mention the killer duet with Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes was pretty cool to see. And the fireworks didn't hurt, either.
Kendrick Lamar at Summerfest
My favorite concert memory from this summer was seeing Kendrick Lamar at Summerfest. I ended up going last minute with Tarik. I usually don't dance but that show had me feeling the summer vibe and in a carefree state of mind.
Sylvan Esso at Eaux Claires
I've seen Sylvan Esso multiple times in settings as intimate as less than 100 people, but seeing them among thousands at Eaux Claires was an incredible experience. It felt like every song was an encore because of how loud and long lasting the crow's reaction was to each song. It was truly remarkable.
Rhythm Lab Micforfest. It was my favorite because it was very intimate, and diverse. It didn't offer your typical large festival amenities like port-o-johns, terrible food, huge crowds. In addition to the main event, couple of the artists took part in workshops the next day to hang out with youth from True-Skool.
How about you? Share your favorite summer concert memory below!