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In Festival Guide

Taj Mahal headlines the Potawatomi stage Friday, July 1. (PHOTO: Tsui/Manfred Werner)

Summerfest picks: Alex Wendland


In recent years, the Summerfest lineup has left a lot for me to desire. This year, however, I found it difficult to narrow it down to one headline show per night. Here are my picks for the duration of the fest.

June 29 – Tough decision between Buddy Guy (10 p.m., Harley Roadhouse) and Meat Loaf (10 p.m., Briggs and Stratton). Going to have to go with Meat Loaf since I can't get enough of "Paradise By The Dashboard Light."

June 30 – One of the only nights the most intriguing show is at the Marcus Amphitheater, at least for me. Kanye West (10 p.m., Marcus Amp) should be a whole lot of fun.

July 1 – Taj Mahal (10 p.m., Potawatomi). Not even close. I've wanted to see Taj since I was in high school and this might be my best chance to do so.

July 2 – I saw Jason Mraz (6:30 p.m., Marcus Amp) open for the Dave Matthews Band at Wrigley Field and the show was awesome. I'm kind of surprised to see him get a headlining spot at the Marcus, but I'll definitely be looking forward to seeing him carry the show this time.

July 3 – I love "Don't Fear The Reaper" as much as the next Joe, but Ben Harper (10 p.m., Harley Roadhouse) piques my interest for the 3rd.

July 5 – I would call this my "day of rest." If I really needed to get to Summerfest though, I keep hearing the buzz about Wiz Khalifa (10p.m., Harley Roadhouse), and I haven't understood it yet. Maybe a Summerfest show is just what I need to turn the corner on the Wiz kid.

July 6 – Another of the Marcus headliner standouts, as The Black Keys (7:30 p.m., Marcus Amp) should put on a fantastic show. If my parents were in town, however, I would have no problem going to see Peter Frampton (9:30 p.m., M&I).

July 7 – Yonder Mountain String Band (10 p.m., Potawatomi) has always been an under-my-radar band that I've enjoyed when I've heard. This will be where you can find me.

July 8 – I'll probably be in Chicago at the Dave Matthews Band's Caravan festival, but, especially tonight, a piece of me will still be thinking about Summerfest. Word to the wise: spend your entire afternoon/evening at the Harley Stage tonight. Get there early for Gaelic Storm (5 p.m., Harley Roadhouse), another of my favorite bands and that always puts on a fantastic show for its devoted and raucous following. Later that night, be sure to catch the Dropkick Murphys (10 p.m., Harley Roadhouse) as well. Afterward? A well-earned night's sleep.

July 9 – Stop by the Harley stage at 4 p.m. to catch Purgatory Hill. Pat MacDonald and Melaniejane will put on an awesome show with their dirty, grungy blues. For a late show, The Flaming Lips (10 p.m., Harley Roadhouse) should be good, but I think I have to cross seeing the BoDeans (10 p.m., Briggs & Stratton) off my Wisconsin bucket list.

July 10 – I'm not looking forward to seeing anyone in particular. For me, it's a good night to wander around a bit and enjoy the people watching, arguably Summerfest's best offering any given year.


Talkbacks

gregrnel | June 28, 2011 at 8:29 p.m. (report)

For the most part....yuck!

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