Our big takeaways from the Summerfest 2019 lineup

Our big takeaways from the Summerfest 2019 lineup

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Local releases that we’re snagging on Record Store Day 2019 in Milwaukee

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Milwaukee releases for Record Store Day 2019

Photo courtesy of GGOOLLDD


WMSE’s fifth annual Record Store Day seven-inch will feature two songs from GGOOLLDD. Side A includes an unreleased track called “Piece Of Mind” and Side B will have GGOOLLDD’s newest digital single, “Success.” There are 300 copies available, which you can find at Acme Records & Music Emporium, Bullseye Records, The Exclusive Company (East Side location) and Rush-Mor Records on Saturday.

Abby Jeanne and Saebra & Carlyle

These two Milwaukee artists came together to press a split seven-inch for Record Store Day, featuring two unreleased songs. One side features Abby’s “Jacul8or” and the other is Saebra & Carlyle’s “1234.” There are also only going to be 300 copies of this record available at Hi-Fi Cafe, Rush-Mor Records, Exclusive Company’s East Side and Greenfield locations, Luv Unlimited and Bullseye Records. As a bonus—Saebra & Carlyle will be doing a 6 p.m. Record Store Day show at Milwaukee’s Exclusive Company.

Violent Femmes

Yes, we still consider the Violent Femmes a Milwaukee band. Limited to 2000 copies, the 35th anniversary reissue of “Hallowed Ground” has been cut from the original stereo tapes by Kevin Bartley at Capitol Mastering, and pressed on dark green vinyl for Record Store Day this year.

Wisconsin Vinyl Collective 

The third volume of the Wisconsin Vinyl Collective will be out on Saturday. This is always a compilation that we look forward to. The 2019 album consists of previously unreleased recordings from Wisconsin artists including: Michael Perry and the Long Beds, Bascom Hill, Kerosene Kites, Derek Pritzl and the Gamble, Lost Lakes, Madison Malone, Christopher Gold, The Belle Weather, LASKA and Craig Baumann.

[Read more: All the 2019 releases for Record Store Day and where to find them in Milwaukee]

Local music to see on Milwaukee Day

Direct Hit! at X-Ray Arcade in Cudahy

We’ve talked a lot on this podcast about how our city needs more all-ages venues. Well, the X-Ray Arcade in Cudahy is a new one. And what better day to support the venue than on Milwaukee Day? X-Ray Arcade’s head honcho/Direct Hit frontman Nick Woods takes his own stage for the first time. Rational Anthem and ’83 Wolfpack are also on the bill. Get more details about the show here. And of course, everyone is welcome.

Milwaukee Day Showcase at The Cooperage

Celebrate Milwaukee outdoors on the river at The Cooperage with Platinum BoysKlassikJoseph HuberLauryl Sulfate and her Ladies of Leisure and host/poet Kavon Cortez Jones. On top of the music and poetry, they’ll also have yard games on The Cooperage’s patio for your enjoyment. The show will also host booths from a number of local non-profit organizations. Get more details here.

MKExpanded Milwaukee Day showcase at Cactus Club

Cactus Club is putting on a fantastic local hip-hop showcase with performances by Genesis Renji,
Camb, Nile NileSharrod SloansMo’CityShun MillionsJ-Lamo and Spaidez. Get more info. here.

Milwaukee Day party at the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery

Join Breaking And Entering at the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery & Taproom for a matinee show featuring TigerniteMidwest Death Rattle and Beach Static, with a bonus afterparty DJ set by BestFriends. Find more details here.


88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Our Summerfest 2019 lineup predictions

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2019 Summerfest headliner predictions

chaka khan summerfest milwaukee

Chaka Khan on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Photo by Randy Holmes courtesy of ABC

So far, we know that Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Schoolboy Q, Lionel Ritchie, Bon Iver, Jennifer Lopez and The Killers are going to be headlining Summerfest in 2019. We think we can take a guess at a few others.

Chaka Khan

In February, Ebony announced Chaka Khan and Michael McDonald’s co-headlining tour. It was the only outlet that listed a Summerfest appearance, on July 3. It could have been an error, but hopefully it was them spilling the beans on the truth.

The National

The National will be at Northerly Island in Chicago June 28. We can’t imagine Summerfest would book them to compete for the crowd on the same day as Bon Iver on June 29, but we know the National isn’t booked anywhere on June 30. So they could play the Big Gig then. Or it’s possible that some of the members of National will make a guest appearance with their friend and Eaux Claires collaborator Justin Vernon during Bon Iver’s set.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi Carlile has a good history of playing Summerfest and she’ll be in the area around June 29 when she also plays Northerly Island in Chicago. Her books seem to be open before and after that date. Hopefully she takes a short trip up north to play a Summerfest set.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Why Mott The Hoople coming to Milwaukee is a big deal

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Mott The Hoople, Photo by Tia Haygood, Ross Halfin and Trudi Knight courtesy of the artist

Mott The Hoople in Milwaukee

With a set based around the 1974 albums “The Hoople” and “Live,” Ian Hunter, Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher have regrouped to bring the return of “The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” to the U.K. and the U.S.

The tour launch in Milwaukee will return Mott The Hoople ’74 to the building (then called the Milwaukee Auditorium) where they performed on May 22, 1974. That show and the Columbia Records-sponsored after-party at the Pfister Hotel made Milwaukee front page news back then, which is rare for a concert review.

You can thank the show’s promoter and Shank Hall owner Peter Jest for the band’s return. He has a history of bringing acts to town that haven’t played Milwaukee in ages, including Patti Smith, Nick Cave and the late Leonard Cohen.

When he heard that Mott was going back on its last tour, he called the agent who told him there was one date left. Jest sent in a generous offer and snatched the date up.

You can see this once-in-a-lifetime Milwaukee concert at the Miller High Life Theater on April 1, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

And listen to the full podcast episode above to hear our continued conversation on concert etiquette for intimate shows like this and some faux pas we’ve seen at recent acoustic shows.

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The Wisconsin bands to watch in 2019

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Five Wisconsin bands to watch in 2019

Telethon, Photo courtesy of the artist

Here are the picks, taken from Piet’s article in the Journal Sentinel:

  1. Chicken Wire Empire, a bluegrass band selling out theaters and getting prime fest slots.
  2. Crystal Knives, a dynamic EDM producer dropping tracks as powerful as any A-lister, and racking up millions of streams.
  3. Telethon, a blast of a live band that’s following up an ambitious rock opera with an even stronger album.
  4. Vincent Van Great, a versatile rapper, producer, singer and songwriter who is fully embracing R&B for his next project.
  5. Zed Kenzo, one of the most intense live performers in Milwaukee, who’s taking her style of hip-hop, and her profile, to a whole new level.

And you can see all of these artists in one place, for free. All five acts are performing in the upcoming Journal Sentinel Wisconsin Bands to Watch 2019 showcase at 8 p.m. May 3 at the Radio Milwaukee Studios.

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Artists who have never done a Milwaukee concert…yet

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Artists who haven’t done a Milwaukee concert…yet

beyonce concert


Okay Beyoncé has been to Milwaukee once. But that was with Destiny’s Child at Summerfest in 2001. Beyoncé, if you’re reading this, it’s about time you come back for a solo show. May we suggest performing at the DNC?


Adele’s last arena tour hit Chicago right around Summerfest. We thought that would have been the perfect opportunity to make an appearance. Summerfest offered her a lot of money, but she ultimately turned it down. Apparently she didn’t want to do outdoor shows that year. Maybe the Fiserv Forum will appeal to her more in the future.


This is surprising. Drake isn’t from that far away. And he has toured almost everywhere else in the US. But not Milwaukee. If he ever comes here, he’d be sure to sell any venue out.

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean hasn’t been to Milwaukee, but he hardly performs anywhere. So we won’t take this one too personally.


Same thing with Björk. She is very selective about where she does concerts. But hey, it could happen!


We’re very surprised to realize that Gorillaz has never been here. They’ve been touring far and wide for many years. And again, we know that Gorillaz in the area could easily pack a stadium.


RiRi, where you at? The last time you were here was before “Umbrella.” We know we’re close to Chicago, but we think you could sell out both cities.

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2019 might be the best spring concert season Milwaukee has ever seen

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2019 spring concerts in Milwaukee

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Vince Staples, Photo by Emanuel Rios for The Rave

Billy Joel is doing his only Midwest show of the year in Milwaukee at Miller Park. That impressive fact lead us to ask, “Is 2019 the greatest spring concert season Milwaukee has ever seen?” It’s probably the biggest we’ve seen in our careers at least.

Obviously the Fiserv Forum has a lot to do with this. But it’s not pulling all the weight. We’re also seeing lots of great bookings like Branford Marsalis Quartet coming to the Pabst Theater, The 5,6,7,8’s at Shank Hall, Vince Staples at The Rave, Caroline Rose at The Back Room @ Colevtivo and more.

One venue in particular is turning heads: The Miller High Life Theater. This spring, it’s hosting Mariah CareyMott The Hoople and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Mariah Carey has never played Milwaukee, Mott The Hoople hasn’t toured in the U.S. for 45 years and Clinton is choosing to kick off his farewell tour here. These are pretty impressive gets for the often quiet and under-utilized venue. But it’s a beautiful place for a show, so we’re glad to see more and more large headlining tours there.

We think 2019 might be the biggest spring concert season Milwaukee’s ever. And yes, we know we said the same thing last year, but concerts in Milwaukee just keep getting better and better.

See for yourself. Read Piet’s top 20 concerts to see this spring in Milwaukee here.

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The singers of ‘Lollipop’ and ‘Mr. Sandman’ join the Wisconsin music Hall of Fame

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2019 WAMI awards and Hall of Fame inductees

Joining Harvey Scales, Les Paul, Violent Femmes and Liberace, this year’s inductees into the WAMI Hall of Fame are: The Chordettes (as previously mentioned), treasured songwriter Paul Cebar and the ’80s/’90s heavy metal band Realm.

Yesterday, WAMI also announced the nominees for the 39th annual award show, which is back in Milwaukee this year on Sunday, April 14 at the Turner Hall Ballroom.

Below is a list of all the nominees. WAMI will host a free party celebrating the nominees on Sunday, March 31 at Saloon on Calhoun in Brookfield, which is also up for the Best Live Club/Venue award. And voting is now live for the People’s Choice awards.

Artist of the Year
Lex Allen
Chris Kroeze
Unity The Band
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Field Report
Feed The Dog
Dead Horses

Album of the Year
Field Report – “Summertime Songs”
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – “The Ode”
Lorde Fredd33 – “Norf: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald”
Feed The Dog – “Tenderloin”
Warrior Songs – “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2”
Yipes! – “Yipes!!!”
Lex Allen – “Table 7: Sinners and Saints”
Keith Pulvermacher – “45 Story”

Song of the Year
Amanda Huff & Peter Thomas – “Only In Dreams”
Reyna – “Heartbeat”
Calliope – “Sea of Red”
Buffalo Gospel – “18 Wheeler”
Trapper Schoepp – “On Wisconsin”
Webster X – “Feels”
Abby Jeanne – “Be In The Sun”
Vinyl Theatre – “Masterpiece”

New Artist of the Year
The Docksiders
The First Wave
Block Party
Brett and The Dandys
Spirited Strings
Jessie Marie and the Rippers

Male Vocalist of the Year
Rich Hoffman
Steve March-Torme
Chris Hodgson
Andre Beaudot
Julio Reyes
Jeff Taylor
Sean Jones
Eddie Martinez

Female Vocalist of the Year
Kaylee Pecha
Erin Krebs
Jennifer Schafer
Paige Baker
Jackie Brown
Michele McCarthy
Anastasia Lee

Singer/Songwriter of the Year
Ben Wagner
Keith Pulvermacher
Kyle Feerick
Laura Petersen
Kurt Gunn
Sammy Ray Marshall
Joe Richter
Alyssia Dominguez

Rising Star of the Year
Figure It Out
Jenna Kopitske
Lilie Fouts
Parker Collar
Ebony Loren
Sadie Jo Schwefel

Alternative Rock/Rock Artist
More Then Merry
Chris Haise Band
Horace Greene

Bluegrass/Americana Artist
Wise Jennings
Feed The Dog
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Mascot Theory
The Fainting Room
Dead Horses
Chicken Wire Empire
Zach Pietrini

Christian/Gospel Artist
Spirited Strings
Kevin Hayden
Night Divine
Mike Westendorf
Masonic Wonders

Blues Artist
Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys
Altered Five Blues Band
Robert Allen, Jr.
Madtown Mannish Boys
The Blues Disciples
Jay Edward
Tallan Noble Latz
David Miller Band

Country Artist
Grand Union
Rebel Grace
Dexter Road
Buffalo Gospel
Driveway Thriftdwellers
Stetsin & Lace
Madison County

Cover Artist
Panic Station
Star Six Nine
Almighty Vinyl
The Now
The Toys
33 RPM
A-Town Unplugged
Bella Cain

Folk/Celtic Artist
The Roving Scallywags
Warrior Songs
Killarney Blarney
Trapper Schoepp
John Stano
Derek Byrne and Paddygrass

Hard Rock Artist
Lords of The Trident
The Homeland Conspiracy
Last Crack
Imperial Fall
Sons of Kong
Cyanide Son
Stone Crow
Killing Rapunzel

Metal Artist
Memories Wither
Jungle Rot
Morta Skuld
Monorail Central

Punk Artist
Slaughter Party
The Cherrypops
The First Rule
Solid Freex!
Fox Face

Jazz Artist
KWT featuring Tom Washatka
The Jazz Orgy
Randi Fay
The Bill Schmidt Jazz Ensemble
Match Stick
Mike Standal Quartet
Jerry Grillo
Meade St. Collective

Polka Artist
Val Sigal
Happy Schnapps Combo
The Squeezettes
Alpine Blast
Tuba Dan Jerabek
The November Criminals
Steve Meisner
Rhythm Playboys

Pop Rock Artist
Brett Newski
Xposed 4Heads
Well-Known Strangers
Rocket Cat
Gin, Chocolate & Bottle Rockets

Hip Hop/Rap Artist
Vincent VanGreat
DJ Milo Gambino
Webster X
Zed Kenzo
Shle Berry
Lorde Fredd33

R&B/Soul Artist
Charles Walker Band
The People Brothers Band
Eddie Butts Band
Valerie B. and The Boys
Lex Allen
The Pocket Kings

Luma Knotty
Unity The Band
De La Buena
The Us Project
Salsa Manzana
Sista Sensi & The B Easy Band
Natty Nation
Something To Do

Club/DJ/Dance/Electronic Artist
No No Yeah Okay
DJ Zello
DJ Flux

Horn/Big Band Artist
FBI & The Untouchable Horns
The Jimmys
Extra Crispy Brass Band
Water City Jazz Orchestra
Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns
Big Style Brass Band
Cold Sweat and The Brew City Horns
Hot and Dirty Brass Band

Tribute Artist
The Prince Experience
Master of Puppets – A Tribute to Metallica
Light Up
Steely Dane
The Rush Tribute Project
Project Pink
The Hellion

Danny Walters
Johnny Washday
Ken Gore
Jim Sorensen
Fred Velpel
Chris Hanaway
Craig Neuser
Mary Farmer

Mark Anastasi
Matt Gieseke
Chris DiDomenico
Dean Tassone
Jim Winter
Adam Hatton
Andrew Lynch
Jim Kube

Sean Williamson
Jeff Mitchell
Paris Ortiz
Angie Swan
Kyle Stair
Jay Stulo
Tom Theabo
Miles McConnell

Rebecca Kettler
Noah Harmon
Shawndell Marks
Logan Dier
Jimmy Voegeli
Josh Becker
Theo Merriweather
Sam McClain

John Vollmar
Ross Catterton
Michael Clobes
Jack Naus
Jamie Beckman
Ben Hohenstein
Greg Balfany
Matt Antoniewicz

Chauntee Ross
Thea Morton Vorass
Kayla Potter
Russ Greeley
Joe Ketchum
Tim McIlree
Monique Ross
Angela Licari

Best Studio Engineer/Producer
Eric LaBrosse
Jeff Hamilton
Marc Golde
Joe Hite
Geoff Wilbourn
Gary Tanin
Michael Mann
Steve Hamilton

Best Recording Studio
Musicmann Studios
Stories Studio
Rock Garden
Cherry Pit Studios
Tanner-Monagle, Inc.
Hi-Five Studio
Renwood Messenger Studio
Makin’ Sausage Music

Best Live Club/Venue
Shank Hall
The Saloon On Calhoun
The Cold Shot
Gibson Music Hall
North Star Casino
Potawatomi Fire Pit Sports Bar
Dundee’s Roadhouse

Best Live Engineer Sound/Lights
Todd Fink
Cole Grygny
Tom Mussa
Dan Henszey
Jon-Paul LeClair
Craig Vetrone
Steve Fry
Jason Lueck

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Is Travis Scott at the Fiserv Forum (finally) the start of more Milwaukee stadium rap shows?

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Travis Scott at the Fiserv Forum

travis scott astroworld tour

Photo courtesy of Epic Records

Travis Scott’s original Milwaukee stop on his ASTROWORLD: WISH YOU WERE HERE tour was scheduled for December 9, then rescheduled to Friday, February 22 due to “production issues.”

We’re not sure exactly what that meant. But we do know that Travis Scott is known for insane production in his shows—so if it wasn’t ready, we’re happy to wait.

We trust Fiserv Forum General Manager Raj Saha when he said, “Travis Scott’s production on ‘Astroworld’ cannot be missed and will certainly give you goosebumps. We are happy to announce his rescheduled date of Feb. 22, 2019 in a performance that will leave you stargazing.”

Put it this way: His last performance in Milwaukee at the Rave was so legendary that it had the crowd going crazy, rushing the stage (at Scott’s request) and Jabari Parker making it rain by throwing cash into the crowd from the balcony. And that was at the Rave. Imagine how hyped he’s going to get the crowd with all the tech of the Fiserv Forum at his disposal.

The state of stadium hip-hop in Milwaukee

If this show goes well, we think it could finally mean that we’ll get more big arena hip-hop concerts in Milwaukee. It’s about time.

We haven’t had a tour like this come through in a long time. And we’re talking about big stadium, album-cycle tours, not Summerfest shows or other random Milwaukee appearances. We’re talking about the big names like Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye, etc.—why have their national tours never made a stop in a Milwaukee stadium?

Maybe it’s the proximity to Chicago, maybe it was the Bradley Center, but we hope the Fiserv Forum and Scott’s booking means change.

Raj Saha, who books the Fiserv Forum’s entertainment, has certainly pledged to make that change. He says he’ll bring more diverse types of music to Milwaukee. Hip-hop is the number one genre of music right now and he knows it. He also knows the city is hungry for it. Hopefully Scott’s show will prove it.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Remember when Elton John was the surprise guest at Harley’s 100th anniversary?

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Elton John’s Milwaukee missteps

Elton John 2017

The centennial anniversary celebration for Harley-Davidson was a big deal in Milwaukee. These days, we’re used to Harley hosting these parties about every five years. But in 2003, Milwaukee practically shut down for this massive event for the first time to welcome about 20,000 riders. Hotel rooms were booked solid and Milwaukeeans were getting paid to leave town and rent out their homes to visitors. All of this was for a week long celebration, a three day festival at the Summerfest grounds and a free concert in Veterans Park on the last day with a surprise guest.

With acts like Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Poison and REO Speedwagon booked earlier in the week, the bar was set high for the surprise concert. Harley rider’s took this and ran with it—hoping that the Rolling Stones or Bruce Springsteen would be performing (even though the Stones were in Europe around that time and the Boss was scheduled to play Miller Park the following month).

When it came time for the finale concert, openers The Doobie Brothers and Tim McGraw took the stage to a tepid response, though after all, they were only the openers. The crowd remained patient. Then, Kid Rock came out to the excitement of many. Little did they know, it would be the highlight of the night.

Then, when it was time for the headliner, Elton John appeared on stage only to be met by thousands of people booing and walking out. And though John came out with the hits like “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” he struggled to win the crowd back over.

One of Piet’s fellow writers at the Journal Sentinel, Jim Stingl, said Elton John at the Harley 100th was as ludicrous as seeing Metallica at German Fest or Carole King at Metalfest.

And in 2007, when Harley-Davidson announced plans to host a 105th-anniversary bash in Milwaukee, they promised John would not be back, to which everyone cheered. Instead, they gave Harley fans what they wanted in 2003, Bruce Springsteen.

John has been back to Milwaukee since—his actual fans showed up to a well-received 2005 Bradley Center appearance. Now, his next concert in Milwaukee is close to selling out, proving thousands of people in Milwaukee do care about him, just not the Harley biker crowd.

When people know they’re getting Elton John, they love Elton John. Hopefully they also won’t mind waiting a few extra months to see him in October.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee