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Today’s Summerfest schedule and picks: Friday, July 7

(Clockwise from left) Zach Bryan, Japanese Breakfast and Disq are all part of Summerfest's Friday lineup.
Colin Ridgway
Courtesy of the artists / Facebook / Instagram
(Clockwise from left) Zach Bryan, Japanese Breakfast and Disq are all part of Summerfest's Friday lineup.

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

Zach Bryan, 7:30 p.m.

Zach Bryan went right to the Triple-A level for his first Summerfest appearance last year, playing the Miller Lite Oasis. The overflow crowd made it pretty clear he was destined for the big leagues, and tonight he’ll do the honors at the Amp.

Bryan’s making a habit of this “meteoric rise” stuff. He very quickly went from a guy gathering a big following on YouTube to a major-label artist unleashing a triple album, American Heartbreak, as his debut. He sort of rides that line between alternative and country, joining the likes of Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, and has the crossover fans to show for it. They’ll no doubt be out in droves again for his first — but probably not the last — show on Summerfest’s biggest stage.

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #1

Disq @ Generac Power Stage, 1:45 p.m.

A band with four songwriters and four lead singers sounds like they’re destined for a Looney Toons-style brawl — just a cloud of smoke with random arms and legs shooting out the sides occasionally. But, boy, does Disq make it work.

Their latest album, Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet, shifts gears but never grinds them, moving seamlessly from sound to sound. You get dashes of R.E.M., Wilco, Queen-esque guitar solos straight out of the Brain May playbook — all filtered through Disq’s brand of organized chaos. The Madison outfit is sure to deliver an excellent show this afternoon, and then you should think about just staying put all day long, right through our second pick for Friday.

— Brett Krzykowski

Radio Milwaukee staff pick #2

Japanese Breakfast @ Generac Power Stage, 9:30 p.m.

Former 88Nine music director Justin Barney was all about Japanese Breakfast. Michelle Zauner’s singing voice initially didn’t appeal to me — I think because it’s actually too similar to my own — so I was on the fence. But Justin’s endorsement was enough to pique my interest.

I read Crying in H Mart, Zauner’s best-selling book about her relationship with her recently deceased Korean mother, not long after my own immigrant mother died (although their relationship was very different than mine with my mother). I listened to Jubilee and enjoyed it, especially “Slide Tackle” and “Be Sweet.” I followed Japanese Breakfast on Instagram.

But the turning point that locked me in as a fan was when I saw them perform on Saturday Night Live. I felt so proud! Losing one’s mom is rough, and to see this young woman banging a gong on SNL during “Paprika” and enjoying her success brought me such joy. I can’t wait to share that joy in person.

— Doris Wessels

Bonus Radio Milwaukee staff pick

NEWSKI @ Generac Power Stage, 5:30 p.m.

In a late move, Summerfest called in a dose of quality local flavor to what was already an "all killer, no filler" lineup at the Generac, adding Milwaukee's own NEWSKI. The all-caps iteration of Brett Newski’s musical stylings debuted this year and brought a new record with it: Friend Rock, which dropped April 7 and includes the single “Freak Flag Fly” (one of our Milwaukee Music Premieres earlier this year). He’ll bring those songs to the Generac stage for your dinnertime listening pleasure as you enjoy this daylong feast.

— Brett Krzykowski

How to get in free today

It’s Free with Fritos

Not a ton of explanation required here. Everyone who arrives between noon and 6 p.m. gets in free. You don’t even need to like Fritos, although the chili cheese variety is perfection, and everyone should like them. Plus, if you’re one of the first 1,000 people, you’ll receive a free Fritos/Summerfest co-branded bag.

Summerfest schedule for Friday, July 7

American Family Insurance Amphitheater

AmFam House Stage

  • 4 p.m. — The Pretty Reckless
  • 2 p.m. — Cafuné

BMO Pavilion

  • 9:30 p.m. — Styx
  • 7:30 p.m. — Jet Black Roses
  • 3:30 p.m. — Boomer Nation
  • 1:30 p.m. — Sonic Circus

Miller Lite Oasis

  • 10:15 p.m. — The Pretty Reckless
  • 8:15 p.m. — Piqued Jacks
  • 6:15 p.m. — Good Boy Daisy
  • 4:15 p.m. — Here Come the Mummies
  • 2:30 p.m. — Sugo
  • 12:45 p.m. — Soul Speed

Generac Power Stage

  • 9:30 p.m. — Japanese Breakfast
  • 7:30 p.m. — Built to Spill
  • 5:30 p.m. — NEWSKI
  • 3:30 p.m. — Cafuné
  • 1:45 p.m. — Disq
  • Noon — The Cuz

Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard

  • 10 p.m. — Grupo Niche
  • 6 p.m. — Tito Puente, Jr.
  • 4 p.m. — Cache Milwaukee
  • 2 p.m. — Ecuador Manta

UScellular Connection Stage

  • 10 p.m. — Tyler Hubbard
  • 8:15 p.m. — Frank Ray
  • 6:15 p.m. — Annie Bosko

Uline Warehouse

  • 9:30 p.m. — Collective Soul
  • 7:30 p.m. — Soul Asylum
  • 5:30 p.m. — The Honest Heart Collective
  • 3:30 p.m. — Galactic feat. Anjelika Jelly Joseph
  • 1:45 p.m. — Balkun Brothers

Sound Waves Stage

  • 7 p.m. — Mr. New York: Lovers & Friends R&B Concert

Johnsonville Summerville

  • 5:30 p.m. — Harmonious Wail

South Party Pavilion

  • 8 p.m. — Mt. Olive

Northwestern Mutual Community Park

  • 7:30 p.m. — Professor Pinkerton & His Irrelevant Orchestra