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Today’s Summerfest schedule and picks: Saturday, June 29

(From left) Cherry Glazerr, Ethel Cain and BigXthaPlug are among the range of sounds you'll find at Summerfest on June 29.
Courtesy of the artists
(From left) Cherry Glazerr, Ethel Cain and BigXthaPlug are among the range of sounds you'll find at Summerfest on June 29.

Every morning throughout Summerfest 2024, we’ll deliver a guide that covers the day’s entertainment and how you can get in the gate free of charge. This is where you’ll find info about the AmFam Amp headliners, eclectic picks from our knowledgeable staff and the music lineup for the day (see the full 2024 Summerfest lineup here).

Today at the AmFam Amp

Keith Urban, NEEDTOBREATHE, Alana Springsteen, 7:30 p.m.

Urban brings a boatload of accolades to the Amp, including four Grammys, 13 Country Music Association Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and eight albums certified platinum. The Aussie artist is no stranger to Summerfest — having visited in 2022, 2015, 2009 and 2005 — and this time he brings along rock chameleons NEEDTOBREATHE and fellow country act Lindsay Ell.

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #1

Cherry Glazerr @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 4 p.m.

Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr may have “the most quiet little voice” (according to her), but that little voice cuts through the heavy, bass-laden guitars of her brand of rock ‘n’ roll with ease, maxing the emotional headrush — and headbanging opportunities — without altering the beauty of her music.

While her latest effort, I Don’t Want You Anymore, swaps Creevy’s previous politically charged music for tones of love, there’s nothing soft about it. Guitars and drums collide, and even though Creevy goes all out on the choruses, she reins things back in knowingly, exploring effective dynamic shifts to convey the tumble of emotions she naturally produces. She calls it “freako-noir,” and it’s coming to the Big Backyard this afternoon.

— Erin Wolf

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #2

Ethel Cain @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard, 10 p.m.

When the Summerfest lineup dropped and I saw Ethel Cain on the list, I practically launched myself at my phone to text my friends. "We have to go," I insisted, even joking about camping out to secure a spot at the barricade. Despite the mere thought of standing all day to hold our place making my back ache, I’ve already been scouring Goodwill racks to curate the perfect outfit that would earn Cain’s nod of approval.

With her eerie blend of gothic Americana and alternative rock, Cain creates ethereal and atmospheric soundscapes that elevate every note. Her lyrics delve into dark, introspective themes like trauma, religious imagery, familial struggles and personal identity. Preacher’s Daughter is a prime example with its harrowing tale of being consumed by love, turning to sex work and ultimately being cannibalized by her lover.

It’s a powerful, unsettling and haunting narrative that stays with you long after the music stops. The first time I heard “A House In Nebraska,” I was so enthralled that I missed my bus stop and gladly walked back several blocks, listening to that track over and over again. Good music always makes a little discomfort worthwhile.

— Salam Fatayer

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #3

BigXthaPlug @ Generac Power Stage, 8:15 p.m.

Is everything really bigger in Texas? BigXThaPlug proves that statement to be true by filling the air with booming, bass-quaking beats when he hits the stage. Cutting through that is a deep, relaxing voice flowing with stories about a former life filled with crime, retribution and a new path taken so he and his family could survive.

His love for his home of Texas also sets a tone in his music, most directly in the hit song that shares the Lone Star State’s name. It hit 7.3 million streams on Spotify VERY fast and deserves the praise it’s been getting for how hard it goes. A lot of BigXThaPlug’s music is described as something you’ll blast in your car with the windows down. I can’t wait to see how that translates to his live performance at Summerfest.

— Benjamin Koenigs

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #4

The Hold Steady @ Miller Lite Oasis, 6:30 p.m.

This Brooklyn band stays true to their Midwest roots with uniquely deep storytelling about drug addiction, religious trauma and satisfying redemption arcs, along with different Minnesota adventures featuring characters that show up on a couple different tracks.

When I listen to The Hold Steady, I hear different influences that stem from punk, classic rock and even a bit of hip-hop. Their songs are almost like listening to a friend you care about and want to help in any way possible, which can make their live shows seem very intimate — even if there are thousands of people watching. Go to this show, get ready to feel, and have fun!

— Benjamin Koenigs

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #5

The Church @ Miller Lite Oasis, 10:15 p.m.

I fell in love with The Church via an obscure radio promo CD called Life Before Starfish that was released to American radio in an attempt to spur interest after the album track “Under the Milky Way” became a hit in 1988. Thirty-something years later, jangly, textured, melodic rock from Australia should sound great under the night sky at Summerfest.

— Doris Wessels

How to get in free today

Summerfest Military and First Responder Appreciation Day with Generac
Noon to 6 p.m.

All active-duty military personnel and veterans, police, fire and EMT (along with up to four family members) who present a valid Military ID, copy or photo of a DD-214 form, driver’s license with Veteran classification, law enforcement or fire department agency-issued credentials at the designated turnstile at any gate will be admitted free. Police and fire union ID cards will also be accepted with a photo ID.

Northwestern Mutual Make a Child Smile Day
Noon to 3 p.m.

The first 2,500 patrons who donate new or gently used children’s books with a $10 minimum value will receive one free admission ticket valid for the day and time of the promotion only. Picture books and early readers for children ages birth through 10 are preferred. All books collected at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth will be donated to Next Door.

Summerfest schedule for Saturday, June 29

American Family Insurance Amphitheater

  • 7:30 p.m. — Keith Urban, NEEDTOBREATHE, Alana Springsteen

AmFam House

  • 4 p.m. — Mario
  • 2 p.m. — Alana Springsteen

BMO Pavilion

  • 9:30 p.m. — Fletcher
  • 7:30 p.m. — Xana
  • 5:30 p.m. — Carlie Hanson
  • 3:30 p.m. — Austin Williams
  • 1:30 p.m. — Rocky Rose

Miller Lite Oasis

  • 10:15 p.m. — The Church
  • 8:30 p.m. — The Afghan Whigs
  • 6:30 p.m. — The Hold Steady
  • 4:30 p.m. — The Dandy Warhols
  • 2:45 p.m. — Left on Sunset
  • 1 p.m. — Kitty Soft Paw

UScellular Connection Stage

  • 10 p.m. — Mario
  • 8:15 p.m. — Lloyd
  • 6:30 p.m. — Paul Wall
  • 4:15 p.m. — Baby Bash
  • 4 p.m. — DJ Bizzon
  • 2:30 p.m. — Pat McCurdy
  • 12:45 p.m. — Hildur Höglind

Generac Power Stage

  • 9:30 p.m. — Key Glock
  • 8:15 p.m. — Bigxthaplug
  • 7:30 p.m. — Symba
  • 7 p.m. — Steve Da Stoner
  • 6:30 p.m. — Skodi

Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

  • 10 p.m. — Ethel Cain
  • 8 p.m. — quinnie
  • 6 p.m. — Sarah Kinsley
  • 4 p.m. — Cherry Glazerr
  • 2 p.m. — Genevieve Heyward
  • Noon — Carly Cooper & The Inside Girls

Uline Warehouse

  • 9:30 p.m. — Amos Lee
  • 7:30 p.m. — Ziggy Alberts
  • 5:30 p.m. — Donavon Frankenreiter
  • 3:30 p.m. — Mike Campbell & The Dirty Knobs
  • 1:45 p.m. — Hosts
  • Noon — Six Foot Blonde

Aurora Pavilion

  • 9 p.m. — Mad Planet
  • 4:30 p.m. — Afrofuxion w/Zeeblast
  • 3:15 p.m. — Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
  • 12:45 p.m. — Rockonsin