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Matt Mueller's Articles
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Arts & Entertainment - July 7, 2015
My interview with "Marvin Gaye" of "Motown: The Musical"
Summerfest may have closed its gates for 2015, but following closely after is "Motown: The Musical," a traveling Broadway production of the jukebox musical arriving at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, July 7. Stepping into the soulful shoes of Marvin Gaye is actor Jarran Muse, who got a chance to chat with about playing an icon, his favorite songs and why Motown music still sings - culturally and socially.
Festival Guide - July 5, 2015
Avett Brothers fill the Amp with superb strumming, if not spectators
It shouldn't have come as a surprise to see the Marcus Amphitheater a maybe generous 50 percent full - albeit an extremely enthusiastic and appreciative 50 percent - on Saturday night for The Avett Brothers. But while the bluegrass folk rock band had apparent problems filling the venue with fans, the band had no problem whatsoever completely filling the venue with strong, soulful music on the Fourth of July.
Festival Guide - July 3, 2015
Who needs treadmills? OK Go proves it's more than just viral music videos
In fact, other than some busy confetti cannons - and I mean very busy - OK Go's 90-minute set pushed aside any sign of the viral video prop-heavy gimmickry the band is most famous for and instead relied on its power pop rock music and some charming banter to click with the Summerfest crowd. And, as it turns out, that was more than enough to deliver an awesome and entertaining evening.
Music - July 2, 2015
Milwaukee rapper WebsterX keeps ensnaring fans locally and nationally
Barely two years after his first show in 2013, WebsterX is now living his dream world he created of being a rap star. The 22-year-old rapper has risen to become one of the Milwaukee music scene's biggest stars, grabbing local and national headlines and, most recently, opening for global superstar Lupe Fiasco at the Miller Lite Oasis on Friday, July 3 at 8 p.m.
Festival Guide - July 2, 2015
The vibes were alive and well at Lamar's swift Summerfest set
During his Amphitheater performance Wednesday night, Kendrick Lamar noted the last time he was here, "the energy was so motherf*ckin' loud," and if that was a 10, he wanted this show to hit a 12. Well, it certainly felt like a 12, with the packed crowd bobbing their heads, swaying their arms and just generally going crazy for every verse. And even though it barely lasted 60 minutes, Lamar's vigorous fireball of a set gave them plenty to go crazy about.
Festival Guide - July 1, 2015
Linkin Park roars a parade of past hits through the Amp
I'll admit it; before Tuesday night's Marcus Amphitheater show started up, one of those people was me. I wondered why a band, whose last seemingly notable moments came at the service of three-fourths of Michael Bay's "Transformers" franchise, was a Big Gig Amp headliner. Well, one large serving of crow, please, cooked medium rare.
Festival Guide - June 30, 2015
7 questions for pop rockers and viral music video experts OK Go
Most bands desperately hope that their music videos will go viral. For pop rockers OK Go, at this point, it's almost expected. With a Summerfest headliner set scheduled for the Uline Warehouse on Thursday, July 2, I chatted with bassist/vocalist Tim Nordwind about the band's stories behind some of their viral sensations.
Festival Guide - June 30, 2015
PHOX's Matt Holmen rephlects phondly on Summerfest and the phuture
After traveling the globe in support of its star-making self-titled debut album, PHOX's tour is bringing the band right back to where its journey started in the first place: Wisconsin. Before it heads home to Baraboo, the band is dropping by its "home away from home" of Milwaukee to play Summerfest, opening for Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros on Thursday, July 2. Before then, we talked to Matt Holmen about his own fond Big Gig memories.
Festival Guide - June 29, 2015
One night with Paris: Inside Hilton's not so hot Summerfest DJ set
According to, well, herself, DJ Paris Hilton is one of the top paid DJs currently working. Unfortunately, much like the "Transformers" movies, her Summerfest set was one of those situations where the amount of the money involved was inversely proportionate to the amount of skill on display. Also like the "Transformers" films, it was loud, clunky, sporadically dull despite all of the noise, unnecessarily lengthy and, by the end, left me in a little bit of pain.
Movies & TV - June 28, 2015
"Lava" director James Ford Murphy draws a path from Marquette to Pixar
If you've seen Disney/Pixar's latest animated hit "Inside Out," there's a good chance a certain song has been rattling around in your mind ever since. No, not that TripleDent gum jingle, but the chorus to "Lava," the brief and beautifully rendered short about a volcanic island looking for love. While the short takes plenty of inspiration from Hawaii, as it turns out, Murphy's journey to get there made a stop right here in Milwaukee.
Festival Guide - June 28, 2015
Walk The Moon launches a crazy Summerfest crowd into orbit
As clearly proved Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, "Shut Up And Dance" pop rockers Walk The Moon can now draw a packed house. The only question: Would they put on a show worthy of the face painted mob they gathered? Most certainly.
Festival Guide - June 27, 2015
7 questions for blues Hall of Famer Elvin Bishop
For a guy whose latest album was titled "Can't Even Do Wrong Right," a lot has gone pretty right for legendary blues rocker Elvin Bishop over the past 365 days - an award-winning new album, a place on the soundtrack of one of Hollywood's biggest hits, a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and now a headliner gig at Summerfest on Tuesday, June 30.
Festival Guide - June 27, 2015
Old-fashioned folk fiends Punch Brothers tap the BMO Harris Pavilion roof
The old-school folk group Punch Brothers tried something different and set their goals somewhere new Friday night at the BMO Harris Pavilion. Lead singer and maniacal mandolinist Chris Thile said their mission was not to raise the roof, but "tap the roof," delicately nudging the ceiling with his pointer fingers. Well, congratulations Punch Brothers; you tapped the roof Friday night at Summerfest. And then some.
Festival Guide - June 26, 2015
X Ambassadors: Meet the heir to Imagine Dragons in training
Judging by X Ambassadors brief seven-song Summerfest set at a well packed U.S. Cellular Connection Stage early Thursday evening, there's still some work to be done before the band officially earns the title of Top 40 rock heir apparent. However, the potential is most certainly there, and by the end of the rockers' setlist, it was on full display.
Festival Guide - June 25, 2015
Talking "Rumperbutts" and rejecting LPs with Mates of State's Jason Hammel
Before the indie pop duo's upcoming Summerfest gig at the Miller Lite Oasis on Sunday, June 28, caught up with Mates of State's Jason Hammel to chat about the band's decision to stop making LPs, his sad memory of Milwaukee and "The Rumperbutts." Yes, "The Rumperbutts."
Festival Guide - June 25, 2015
Bastille battles nobly through a bummer of a bad throat
Even with the raw, raspy state of lead singer Dan Smith's voice, indie rockers from across the pond Bastille put on a show Wednesday evening at the Miller Lite Oasis that played much more like Pompeii the infectiously catchy radio hit than Pompeii the infamous natural disaster.
Movies & TV - June 23, 2015
All the feels: The emotional powerhouse "Inside Out" is a paragon of Pixar
Let the debate begin on whether "Inside Out" is the best Pixar film - my vote: it's up there - but it certainly might be the most Pixar film, an exemplar of the studio's signature combination bright, brilliant creativity and ageless, profound emotional deftness working in glowing harmony.
Movies & TV - June 20, 2015
French crime drama "The Connection" efficiently sells a familiar saga
The odds are good you've seen "The Connection" before - and not just because of its titular and topical relationship to William Friedkin's award-winning action hall of famer "The French Connection." Still, while the French true crime drama wears old threads, much like its award-winning retro-brand star Jean Dujardin, at least it wears them well.
Arts & Entertainment - June 18, 2015
"Modern Rebels" brings big names to the Milwaukee Art Museum
Van Gogh. Picasso. Pollock. Warhol. Dali. These aren't just huge names to fans of art. These are cultural icons. And thanks to the new touring exhibition "Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels," those household names - amongst the works of many, many other influential figures in the history and evolution of modern art - will decorate the walls of the Milwaukee Art Museum throughout the summer.
Music - June 14, 2015
The love affair between Imagine Dragons and Milwaukee lives on
From their first performances, it seems to have been love at first song between Milwaukee and the top 40 rockers Imagine Dragons. Two years and a new album later, no love seems to have been lost between Imagine Dragons and its loyal Milwaukee following - at least judging by Saturday night's concert at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
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