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Articles tagged with 'music'


Who needs treadmills? OK Go proves it's more than just viral music videos

Published July 3, 2015

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.


Milwaukee rapper WebsterX keeps ensnaring fans locally and nationally

Published July 2, 2015

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.


Brand New brings emotional energy to Summerfest

Published July 2, 2015

Even with Brand New's depressing lyrical subject matter and introverted performance style, the emotion lead singer Jesse Lacey put into the vocals and the well-paced instruments made for a great show at the Miller Lite Oasis Wednesday night.


The vibes were alive and well at Lamar's swift Summerfest set

Published July 2, 2015

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.


Vassar gets wild under a Summerfest full moon

Published July 2, 2015

As soon as Phil Vassar opened his mouth to sing at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Wednesday night at Summerfest, he had me. But then, in truth, he lost me.


Chilly temps can't dampen Figureheads' energy

Published July 2, 2015

Jeremy Bryan is a rapper. Greg Marshall is an emcee and lyricist. Dave Olson is a beatmaker and producer. Together, they form Milwaukee's the Figureheads, a hip-hop tour de force. I sat down with Bryan, Marshall and Olson before their show on Wednesday, July 1 and talked to them about music, life and philosophy. Then I took in their live show. Here's what transpired.


Gogol Bordello packs punky passion into its safe Summerfest setting

Published July 1, 2015

The BMO Harris Pavilion just doesn't really seem like a solidly punk venue, and the question that kept gnawing at the back of my mind was this: Could Gogol Bordello really overcome this high-budget stage with blue plastic chairs and bleachers to sit in? Could it still deliver that same angry music that I love? To answer my own question: Yes.


Linkin Park roars a parade of past hits through the Amp

Published July 1, 2015

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.


Bella Cain uses cool country covers to warm up a cold Summerfest night

Published July 1, 2015

It might be odd to say that I was expecting a lot from Bella Cain, but I was. WAMI's 2014 Country Group of the Year has been billed as one of the busiest Top 40 Country cover bands in Southeastern Wisconsin. Which maybe isn't saying a lot; I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that Bella Cain, despite being a cover band, brings its own special sauce to its music and performance.


7 questions for pop rockers and viral music video experts OK Go

Published June 30, 2015

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.


PHOX's Matt Holmen rephlects phondly on Summerfest and the phuture

Published June 30, 2015

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.


Latest Flame Records schedules farewell shows for October

Published June 29, 2015

On Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24, Latest Flame Records will host a two-day farewell show at Club Garibaldi, featuring 14 of the label's favorite bands it supported over its dozen years of existence.


One night with Paris: Inside Hilton's not so hot Summerfest DJ set

Published June 29, 2015

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.


Martina McBride's music proves everlasting

Published June 29, 2015

Martina McBride's performance Sunday night at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard demonstrates why she is, and will always be, one of country's top and favorite female artists.