Today’s Summerfest schedule and picks: Thursday, July 6
Every morning throughout Summerfest 2023, 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 2023 Summerfest lineup here).
Today at the AmFam Amp
Yung Gravy, 7:30 p.m.
Whether it’s Summerfest or Thanksgiving dinner, it’s hard to say no to a second helping of gravy. That’s what the festival will ladle out for us tonight, when Yung Gravy follows last week’s snack-laden show at the Generac Power Stage by putting in a last-minute performance at the Amp.
This particular amphitheater date has been a tough one to fill for a couple unfortunate reasons — a hospitalization for rumored initial headliner Jimmy Buffett and a family illness for AJR, who announced the cancellation just a couple days ago. Fortunately, “Mr. Clean” is ready for another hometown show (sort of … Gravy is a UW-Madison alum) and a rare free one at the Amp.
If you missed him the first time around or were farther back than you’d like, get there early because all seats are first come, first served.
Radio Milwaukee staff pick #1
Horsegirl @ Uline Warehouse, 3:30 p.m.
Chicago teen-ish band Horsegirl released their debut, Versions of Modern Performance, to Matador Records last year, and any fan of the seminal indie label would readily agree that Horsegirl fits Matador’s classic indie-rock sound to a tee. Pitchfork even remarked, “Versions of Modern Performance glows with the drowsy heat of 30 years’ worth of indie rock.”
Indeed, elements of indie rock (and Matador) artists of yore like Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Bettie Serveert, Superchunk, Helium, Unwound and Sonic Youth all surface in Horsegirl’s sound. In fact, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley were guest musicians on the recordings for “Billy” and “Beautiful Song.”
For being a fairly young band, Horsegirl also has a pretty firm toehold in Chicago’s indie-rock scene and call fellow Chicagoans Friko and Lifeguard among their peers. Seeing a young band, especially an all-female one, at the precipice of their power is something well worth watching.
— Erin Wolf
Radio Milwaukee staff pick #2
Jenny Lewis @ AmFam House, 2 p.m.; Uline Warehouse, 5:30 p.m.
Jenny Lewis arrived in the very exciting and saturated indie-rock scene of the late ’90s/early 2000s as part of Rilo Kiley and contributing to The Postal Service’s iconic 2003 album, Give Up. After that memorable introduction, Lewis’ debut solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat (made with The Watson Twins), marked a new, even more memorable era as she became known for her sweet ‘n’ sour appeal — winning vocals paired with wry lyricism.
Lewis capably infuses bubbly hooks into most of her material to create an effervescence not unlike dry champagne. Her latest album, Joy’all, stays on trend. Lewis created the LP as part of a Beck-organized songwriting camp, helped along by engineer and producer Dave Cobb, who has worked on countless country records. The effect is indie rock meets country funk that never takes itself too seriously, powered by Lewis’ healthy dose of humor.
Lead single “Psychos” is a great example. Lewis sings, “I'm a rock-and-roll disciple / In a video game,” telling the tale of a misfit trying to game the system while finding rock ‘n’ roll redemption, all while euphoric sonic elements of Fleetwood Mac swirl. You actually have two opportunities to catch Lewis today, an acoustic matinee at 2 p.m. and a full-band affair at 5:30 p.m.
— Erin Wolf
Radio Milwaukee staff pick #3
Cautious Clay @ Uline Warehouse, 7:30 p.m.
Whenever I’m in the car with my sister, she controls the aux cord. Although it bruises my ego, she has turned me on to some great artists, including Cautious Clay, who quit his job as a real-estate agent and in advertising to pursue music full time. In return, he has created an infectious mix of R&B vocals with jazz elements and electronic beats.
I would describe Cautious Clay’s music as the soundtrack for a coming-of-age film, one where you can’t help but pull out your phone to save for a deeper listen. Fun fact: Taylor Swift sampled his song “Cold War” for “London Boy” on her album Lover, so he is officially Swift-approved. If you’re looking for a lo-fi groove as the sun sets today, Cautious Clay is not one to miss.
— Salam Fatayer
Radio Milwaukee staff pick #4
Smash Mouth @ UScellular Connection Stage, 10 p.m.
Smash Mouth has been one of those bands I never thought I’d get to see live — until now! Their hits like “All Star,” “I’m A Believer” and “Walkin’ On The Sun” have been a part of my family’s car-trip playlist for as long as I can remember. Most millennials my age are familiar with the band because of Shrek, but I knew them from the fantastically horrible movie Mystery Men. Either way, I’m excited to check out their new leading man and just have a good time listening to all of their fun and catchy songs.
— Kiri Salinas
Bonus Radio Milwaukee staff pick
Stephanie Joanna @ BMO Pavilion, 7:30 p.m.
Most Milwaukee music fans will know Stephanie Joanna from her time fronting the band LO/ST. The group will certainly be represented on stage tonight, with Joanna's solo pursuits getting top billing. She stopped by the Radio Milwaukee studios for a chat earlier this week, so check out the interview to hear about everything she has planned for the Summerfest show.
How to get in free today
Direct Supply Seniorfest Day
If you’re 60 years old — or older — you can walk right through the designated turnstyle at any gate after presenting a valid ID. Not only that, you also get a voucher for $2 off any food or non-alcoholic purchase over $10. After you’re inside, you’ll find throwback acts like The Bar-Kays, Doo Wop Jukebox and Downtown Harrison. Or you can go see Yung Gravy. You do you.
Silgan Community Food Drive
You’ve had two weeks to build up your pantry from the first food drive of Summerfest, so let’s do it again and help Hunger Task Force. Just bring three non-perishable food items (canned fruits and veggies are particularly appreciated) to the Mid-Gate Promotions Both between noon and 3 p.m., and if you’re one of the first 2,000 people, you’ll get a free admission ticket.
Summerfest schedule for Thursday, July 6
American Family Insurance Amphitheater
- 7:30 p.m. — Yung Gravy (free with Summerfest admission)
AmFam House Stage
- 3 p.m. — Jenny Lewis
- 9:30 p.m. — Lauren Daigle
- 7:30 p.m. — Stephanie Joanna
- 5:30 p.m. — The Docksiders
- 3:30 p.m. — Southbound
- Noon — Doo-Wop Jukebox
Miller Lite Oasis
- 10:15 p.m. — Dylan Scott
- 8:15 p.m. Tanner Adell
- 6:15 p.m. — Levi Riggs
- 4:15 p.m. — Runaway Jane
- 2:30 p.m. — Willow Hill
Generac Power Stage
- 9:30 p.m. — Yungblud
- 7:30 p.m. — The Regrettes
- 5:30 p.m. — Joey Valence & Brae
- 3:30 p.m. — Leah Kate
- 1:45 p.m. — Definitely Maybe
- Noon — Shotgun Jane
Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
- 10 p.m. — Dinosaur Jr.
- 8 p.m. — Smoking Popes
- 6:30 p.m. — Porcupine
- 5 p.m. — Husbands
- 3 p.m. — The Bar-Kays
UScellular Connection Stage
- 10 p.m. — Smash Mouth
- 8:15 p.m. — The Gufs
- 6:15 p.m. — Louie & The Flashbombs
- 4:15 p.m. — KB & The Dungarees
- 2:30 p.m. — The Listening Party
- 12:45 p.m. — Jonny T-Bird & the MPs
- 9:30 p.m. — The War on Drugs
- 7:30 p.m. — Cautious Clay
- 5:30 p.m. — Jenny Lewis
- 3:30 p.m. — Horsegirl
- 1:45 p.m. — Lifeguard
- Noon — wht.rbbt.obj
Sound Waves Stage
- 7 p.m. — City Lights: New Wave Hip-Hop
- 5:30 p.m. — Doug Demming & The Jewel Tones
South Party Pavilion
- 8 p.m. — Eddie Butts Band
Northwestern Mutual Community Park
- 7:30 p.m. — David Seebach’s Wonders of Magic