"Whenâ€™s the last time you saw a keytar?" asked Liz Ofte, in the middle of her set at Summerfest on Saturday afternoon.
Thatâ€™s a good question, and even though the keytar is one only two of the instruments (along with drums) in the two-person Pet Tiger, Ofte and Jeremy Keith donâ€™t really need more to produce a big sound.
As we previewed on Friday, todayâ€™s Summerfest show was a breakout gig for the New Wave garage punk band out of Las Vegas. Ofte grew up on a farm in Western Wisconsin: "I try not get emotional, but this was a dream of mine since I was a little girl," she told a small but excited crowd at the Harley Roadhouse.
Her nerves werenâ€™t evident, though, as the band powered through its debut album, sounding a lot like No Doubt, Blondie, and even Toni Basil when it covered "Mickey."
Clearly, a little of the music was pre-recorded, but the stripped-down sound was almost all keytar, drums and Ofteâ€™s strong vocals. Keith did a little backup, but oddly, it wasnâ€™t needed â€“ two people were just enough, and Keith sounded great on drum. Hey, it works for the White Stripes and Black Keys. Why not Pet Tigers?
Of course, the keytar can be made to sound like anything, so Ofte turned it into synth guitar for "Big Bad Wolf" and "Run This City." The former made use of a little rapping and almost reminded me of Debbie Harry in "Rapture."
Pet Tigers closed their roughly 40-minute set with their newest song, "Youâ€™re My Favorite Flavor," "Shake Baby" and "Go Go Girl," and surely made a few Milwaukee fans today.
How far can a retro, dance punk band go with just two members? Who knows. Their sound is full enough, but a third or fourth member might make Pet Tigers even better. On covers like "Mickey," they did sound a bit too stripped down â€“ but not on their own tunes, which is exactly what matter.
On the first clear, hot afternoon of summer, Pet Tigers was a real treat. Something tells me their first Summerfest show wonâ€™t be their last.
Youâ€™re The Last Thing
Get Out Of My Head
â€¨I See A Light
â€¨Donâ€™t Leave Me
â€¨Big Bad Worf
â€¨Run This Cityâ€¨
Youâ€™re My Favorite Flavorâ€¨
â€¨Go Go Girl
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published June 11, 2016
"It's good to be king." Mel Brooks actually said that, quoting himself, to a sold-out show Saturday night at the Riverside. Based on the remarkable stories, the adoring reception and the super-human energy from this soon-to-be 90-year-old film legend, I believe him.
Published May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Published April 28, 2016
Angry readers, self-righteous writers and surly social media speculators are in a tizzy about an uptick in "clickbait," and in many respects, they have every right to be. In lots of cases, it's a bogus attempt to lure gullible readers, and ultimately, it won't and doesn't work.
Published April 25, 2016
I've known about Mel Brooks' upcoming June 11 visit to Milwaukee for a little while now. Make no mistake, this is a "bucket list" show for me: Brooks is one of my all-time favorites in Hollywood, and "Blazing Saddles" has sat atop my favorite movie list forever.
Published April 15, 2016
For the many dozens of times I've visited the historic Pfister Hotel - for meetings, meals, weddings and drinks - until prepping for OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, I never spent an overnight at this Victorian masterpiece. Cross that off my bucket list - and I didn't even have to meet a ghost to do it.
Published April 14, 2016
As today's the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to - it's a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.
Published April 11, 2016
I've been binge-watching HBO's "Vinyl." During a scene at an L.A. beach party, the camera panned to a sideburned record executive, smoking a joint and talking about Elvis. Even 25 years since I saw him last, I knew immediately that was my friend from high school, Dave Shalansky. I'd recognize that guy anywhere.
Published April 4, 2016
I'm sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are either rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they're passed out).
Published April 2, 2016
It's been a long while since we interviewed FOX6 meteorologist Vince Condella for a personal profile, but with the long-time weather man's upcoming retirement, it was time to catch up.
Published March 15, 2016
I'm a big fan of Atlas Obscura, a website that calls itself "the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places." And it does a good job. Yesterday, it took a look at Milwaukee and its 12 quirky treasures.