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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Hat making. Not just for the under-12 crowd anymore.
Hat making. Not just for the under-12 crowd anymore.

Random fest guests #3

I’ve had a great time walking around Summerfest this year and randomly interviewing people who look like they know how to have a good time. Among others, I met a man who was "celebrating" his 214th consecutive visit to the Big Gig, two women giving out free hugs and a couple walking around in handmade Summerfest hats.

"We saw all these kids wearing hats and so we decided to get in on it," says Crystal who was visiting Summerfest with her husband, Kevin. 

The two went to The Kohl’s Captivation Station where they were the only adults diving into the craft making opportunities.

"We started out making buttons but then thought, what the hell, let’s make hats," says Crystal. "Actually, he made one first and then I got jealous and made myself one, too."

I love it when grown ups don’t act like grown ups.

Crystal and Kevin, who live in Racine, were attending Summerfest for the second time this year, to check out Ziggy Marley.

"Reggae sounded like a good idea," says Kevin.

They also came down to get a pizza cone. I was late to the game on this popular festival concession as I kept hearing the words "pizza cone" and yet had never tried one myself – nor was I entirely sure what it was.

"It’s a pizza crust wrapped up like an ice cream cone and filled with cheese and pizza toppings," says Crystal.

Suddenly it all made sense. And so I bought one from SoLo Pizza. Not bad.

 

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Bernard Sumner fronted New Order at Summerfest tonight. (Photo: David Bernacchi)
Bernard Sumner fronted New Order at Summerfest tonight. (Photo: David Bernacchi)
Tonight's show was sold out. (Photo: Summerfest.)
Tonight's show was sold out. (Photo: Summerfest.)
New Order performed a mix of old and new songs, along with a few Joy Division "covers." (Photo: Andy Tarnoff.)
New Order performed a mix of old and new songs, along with a few Joy Division "covers." (Photo: Andy Tarnoff.)
'Twas a great opportunity for longtime Joy Division / New Order fans. (Photo: Andy Tarnoff.)
'Twas a great opportunity for longtime Joy Division / New Order fans. (Photo: Andy Tarnoff.)

New Order revisits Summerfest after 25 years

Anyone with more than four Facebook friends is well aware that New Order – some of whose members were previously in Joy Division – gigged on the BMO Harris Pavilion stage at Summerfest tonight. (Were my five selfies with an empty stage behind me too much?)

Currently, New Order is on a mini tour promoting, well, nothing at all, really. The band released a B-sides compilation, "Lost Sirens," in 2013 but its last album came out in 2005 – and although it didn’t spawn coke piles of hits like records past, it has its share of addictive tracks without sounding dated.

It had been 25 years since New Order played in Milwaukee – in 1989 the group shared the stage with PIL and The Sugarcubes – a fact that New Order frontman Bernard Sumner reminded us of tonight.

If memory serves, the word-of-mouth reviews of the ‘89 show were not flattering. I remember a friend saying she would have been more entertained by a boom box blasting "Blue Monday" in front of a collection of cardboard cut-outs.

But that wasn’t the show we got tonight. Sumner, who is 58 years old, stood in the shadows with his bandmates for much of the performance, but delivered enough enthusiasm to fulfill a potentially once-in-a-lifetime concert opportunity for long-time fans. 

Sumner is a resilient character, a survivor who has managed to keep his sh*t together despite the suicide of former Joy Division bandmate / friend Ian Curtis and the downward spiral of Peter Hook, bassist in both bands.

It was inspiring to see him so strong tonight. Uncharacteristic of his younger self, he even clapped his hands over his head and offered genuine sentiments of gratitude to the crowd. 

Oh, how age changes us.

But fans had to wait for the goods, both old and new, to be delivered by Sumner and company.

Billed as an 8 p.m. show, New Order did not take the stage until almost 10 p.m. DJ Whitney Fierce opened the show for almost two hours and her beats seemed to drag on, at least for those of us who didn’t …

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Eatin' healthy at the Big Gig.
Eatin' healthy at the Big Gig.

5 healthy Summerfest foods (no, that is not an oxymoron)

There are a lot of rich, decadent foods at the fest, but there are certainly plenty of healthy edibles. They're not necessarily easy to find.  So, we did the legwork (and the mouth-work) to track down five food items that will allow you to save your calories for beer or wine coolers. Mangia.

1. Corn-on-the-cob from Robbys. Skip the butter. Do not skip the toothpick.

2. Turkey asaparagus salad from Mader's. You can eat all of the lettuce you want and not feel a shred of guilt.

3. Koepsell's Popcorn. A filling, low-fat beer-soaker-upper.

4. Caprese salad from Mille's. $6 is a little steep for a dish that's primarily sliced tomatoes, but it was at least $5-worth-of-fresh.

5. Fresh fruit from Catalano's. Apples are debatable but everyone loves a plum. Don't they?

6. Oh, screw it. We all just really want the sampler platter from Saz's.

 

 

Linda Kramer is the co-owner of the Gluten-Free Trading Company.
Linda Kramer is the co-owner of the Gluten-Free Trading Company.

Gluten-Free Trading Company will close Bay View location

Gluten-Free Trading Company, 3116 S. Chase Ave., will close for good on Sunday, July 6.

Linda Kramer and John Shaw opened the gluten-free grocery store in 2000 and OnMilwaukee.com reported on it a few times, including a piece I wrote in 2012. 

Most likely, the abundance of gluten-free items available at chain grocery stores affected sales.

In 2010, the owners opened a location in Pewaukee, which will remain open.

A post on the Gluten-Free Trading Company's Facebook page today reads, "Over the past couple of years, changes in business conditions in Milwaukee have impacted the Milwaukee store’s financial viability. After much deliberation, we have decided to consolidate our business and focus on the Pewaukee store."