K'NAAN moves the Summerfest crowd
K'NAAN moved the Summerfest crowd on July 6, bringing a soulful, powerful performance to the Big Gig in a return to his roots.
Nelly sends crowd into nostalgic mania
Nelly did not disappoint. Known widely for his break-out album "County Grammar," he performed the title track early in his set, closely followed by "Ride wit Me," churning the audience into a nostalgic mania.
Fire at the Miramar Theatre
There was an electrical fire at the Miramar Theatre last night. The East Side venue is temporarily closed.
The Delta Routine rocks, roams and couch surfs with its own crowd
In today's Kramp Cast I talk to Nick Amadeus of The Delta Routine about the band's new line up, touring from Antigo to New York, couch surfing with a wanna be rapper and his cockroaches. Plus hear Amadeus perform a special acoustic version of "New York Avenue."
MGMT show delivers a less-than-electric feel
The large crowd gathered at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse Wednesday night for MGMT told you everything you needed to know about the concert. Tepid applause between numbers. Plenty of small talk and chatting during songs. An audience member to my left couldn't even be bothered to look in the stage's direction for most of the show.
The Go-Go's still got the beat
Tip your cap to the Go-Go's. They made some great New Wave music in the late '70s and early `80s, and even though they planned a "farewell tour" in 2010, here they are three years later, still playing their greatest hits.
Help Cebar kickstart his next record
Paul Cebar has recorded a new full-length disc and the Milwaukee musician has turned to fans, via a Kickstarter campaign, to help "Fine Rude Thing" see the light of day.
Mangione electrifies the World Stage
Although they played on the energy-efficient Johnson Conrols World Stage tonight at Summerfest, Mike Mangione and The Union did not conserve energy when it came to their performance.
Count Collins among the hardest working folks at Summerfest
Who are the hardest working folks at Summerfest? Someone in the ticket booth or one of those folks slinging beer for 12 hours a day, or maybe a soundman at a stage, you say? You're right, they're all kickin' it hard for 11 days. But don't forget 19-year-old singer and songwriter Nora Collins, who has - count `em - 10 performance slots at the Big Gig this year.
The past, present and future of Milwaukee band Fever Marlene
In today's Kramp Cast I talk to Scott Starr of Fever Marlene about his early recordings, his relationship with drummer Kevin Dunphy, the progression of the band's sound and members, the stupid purchases the band has made, and you'll hear a very special acoustic version of "Easy Eyes" off the latest CD, "Medicated Friends."
Cold War Kids pleasantly thaw audience on chilly night
The weather late Sunday night at the U.S. Cellular Stage didn't exactly put the summer into Summerfest. It was not what anyone would describe as warm. Thankfully, clattering bluesy rockers Cold War Kids didn't hang their fans out to dry, delivering a non-stop hour-long set that was low on frills but high on sweet tunes.
Familyman's Wailers conjure memories of Marley
Despite the fact that there are no original members of the vocal group that included Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, among others, a group called The Wailers continues to pound the musical pavement. The group, fronted by a founding member of the instrumental outfit that backed Marley from the late 1960s until his death in 1981, headlined the Miller Lite Oasis at Summerfest Sunday night.
Ageless Alice Cooper shock-rocks "The Good Land"
Against the background of the beautiful BMO Harris Pavilion, Alice Cooper and crew turned it up for a wind-blown a crowd ready to hear his hits. It's funny to think that in the `70s, Cooper - aka Vincent Damon Furnier - was considered scary. Funny, because he didn't seem scary to me. Just good. And way ahead of his time.
Dr. John's technical difficulties
Being close to the stage, it was obvious that Dr. John and his band were performing incredibly. The tight funk pockets of the drums and rhythm guitar locked in under the Doctor's grizzled vocals and wildly impressive piano playing. Unfortunately, unless you were in the front rows, this was completely lost in the mix coming from the main house speakers in front of the stage.
Imagine Dragons, Summerfest prove to be a perfect combination
It's been less than four months since Imagine Dragons last played Milwaukee, but the band was back on Day 4 of the Big Gig to play before 15,000-plus at the Miller Lite Oasis stage. Once again, the chemistry between the band and the Cream City was evident, resulting in 70-minute show of passion.
Matt & Kim reward rain-soaked fans with raucous, rapid-fire show
The antsy electro-pop rock duo Matt & Kim hit the U.S. Cellular Stage Friday night much like one of the many downpours from earlier in the day. They hit fast. They hit in a fury. And just like that, the crazed storm of energy was over.
Femi Kuti delivers at summerfest
The tightness and quality of the band was beyond belief and those who were in attendance were given a very rare chance to experience some of the best contemporary world music being played today.
LL Cool J mixes it up
Taking a one-day breather off headlining the Kings of the Mic Tour, veteran emcee LL Cool J breezed into Day 3 of Summerfest to play to a near capacity crowd at the BMO Harris Pavilion. The 45-year-old performed his songs with energy, but on balance the 60-minute show felt more like mixtape than a true show.
Kulick talks KISS, Summerfest and more
Ask prolific guitar player Bruce Kulick why being a judge for the School of Rock "Battle of the Bands" June 29 and 30 at Summerfest is important to him and the former member of KISS says that "seeing them be creative or just cover a classic rock tune is truly a joy to me."
Garric plays bass guitar and golf with Alice Cooper
In today's Kramp Cast I talk with musician Chuck Garric about the current Alice Cooper/Marilyn Manson tour that he's on, his Milwaukee ties, past collaborations with some big named musicians and playing golf with Alice Cooper in black eyeliner at a country club last week.
Mali to MKE: Amadou and Mariam deliver Afro-blues straight to Summerfest
It's possible you've never heard of Amadou and Mariam, but this was a show I circled as soon as it was announced. They played Thursday night at Summerfest.
Local bands bring talent and spirit to the Big Gig
Tales of ego trips, prima donna performances and hissy fits are legendary among the rock and roll elite of the caliber that play major events like Summerfest. But standing in stark counterpoint - and playing on the same stages, albeit earlier in the day - are the local musicians who are eager to share their skills for Summerfest patrons basking in the noonday sun or taking a lunch break at the festival.
Capital Cities is safe with its sound
In today's Kramp Cast I talk to Sebu Simonian of the breakout alt-dance group Capital Cities about how the band got to where it is today, the way the hit single "Safe And Sound" has taken off commercially and the influence that the Pink Floyd has had on him.
Karen O, Yeah Yeah Yeahs provide plenty of reasons to scream "yeah!"
Mere minutes after the traditional opening day fireworks finished lighting up the lakefront sky, punky indie rockers Yeah Yeah Yeahs proceeded to light up the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage with a propulsive set that had the entire crowd screaming, well, yeah!
Diplo gets Milwaukee moving
Los Angeles-based producer and DJ Diplo took the stage at 10 p.m. at the Miller Lite Oasis in front of an ecstatic crowd of festival attendees who were eager to kick the summer off with a bang.