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In Festival Guide Commentary

Andy is only slightly embarrased to admit that he's looking forward to reviewing the Katy Perry show.

Summerfest picks: Andy Tarnoff


Nowhere in Milwaukee, or anywhere else for that matter, can one see so much diverse much in such a short time, than what is available at our treasured Summerfest. Here are my 2011 picks for the world's largest music festival.

June 29 – Even though the Big Gig opens with fireworks, the first day is a little less than explosive. I'm a fan of Peter Gabriel's old stuff, but I don't really relish the idea of sitting through a whole show. My ironic side would probably enjoy Hall and Oates at 10 p.m. at the Classic Rock Stage, as I dressed up at John Oates for Halloween a few years ago (and, embarrassingly, Hall and Oates greatest hits album was the first CD I bought when I was 13).

June 30 – There are two shows to see on Thursday, but they'll be happening at the same time. It's cool that Summerfest is bringing in Kanye West to headline the Amp; I legitimately like him, and this booking strays a bit from the rest of the lineup. I've seen George Clinton before, and I'd happily see him again, at 8 p.m. at the Big Backyard. That's your best free funky bet.

July 1 – I would recommending taking the day off Friday, but if not, Taj Mahal would be a very cool choice at 10 p.m. at the Potawatomi Stage.

July 2 – You can't argue with Loretta Lynn, 10 p.m. at the Classic Rock Stage. I don't know who 100 Monkeys are, but on name alone, I'd consider checking them out at the U.S. Cellular stage at 8 p.m. Local band, The Danglers, plays at the Cascio Stage at 7:30 p.m., and I interviewed this talented group several years ago.

July 3 – I reviewed the Kid Rock Amp show a few years ago, and it was a lot of fun. Mr. Rock puts on a super high-energy show, and I'd recommend it. He plays with Sheryl Crow, who always has a soft spot in my heart, at Marcus at 7 p.m. And, if you go see Blue Oyster Cult at 10 p.m. at the Classic Rock Stage, please don't be that guy screaming, "More cowbell!"

July 5 – Between Def Leppard and Cinderella on the grounds on Tuesday, this would be another day to rest up. Mow your lawn, maybe.

July 6 – I can't find anything bad to say about The Black Keys. Every song I've heard from them, I like. Go to this show at the Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. If not, check out Peter Frampton at the Classic Rock Stage at 9 p.m.

July 7 – I know where I'll be on Thursday, and that's reviewing the Katy Perry show. You know what? I like Katy Perry, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Call it a guilty pleasure. Alternatively, you could check out Finger Eleven or ex-pat Mark Mallman that night.

July 8 – I find them a little cliche (but, hey, I like Katy Perry), yet I recommend the Dropkick Murphys at the Harley Roadhouse at 10 p.m. This will be a lot of fun, I'm sure.

July 9 – Because we review every Amp show, I volunteered to see Britney Spears at the Amphitheater. Why? Because I want to see the spectacle, and because I want to see the crowd. Seriously, though, The Flaming Lips should be a great show at the Harley Roadhouse at 10 p.m., and you've gotta give it up for America at 10 p.m. at the M&I Stage.

July 10 – I'll warmly endorse 311 at the Miller Lite Oasis at 10 p.m. as a way to say goodbye to another jam-packed Summerfest season.


Talkbacks

sandstorm | June 23, 2011 at 7:01 a.m. (report)

same old same old in the Flaming Lips camp, and if Katy Perry looked like Kathy Bates, you wouldn't cross the street to see her, would ya Andy?

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LegallyBlonde | June 22, 2011 at 1:45 p.m. (report)

The Flaming Lips put on an incredible live show. Between the giant bubble walk, the dancing santas or the animatronic aliens, there is never a dull moment. Oh yeah, the music is also pretty awesome. Thanks for the preview, Andy.

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devidia | June 22, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. (report)

Sorry, Andy. Gotta disagree with you here. I sure don't see much diversity in the schedule this year. Still seems same old, same old. Still no jazz, no reggae, and what happened to the comedy stage? When was the last time Lewis Black or Will Durst were here? And while Katy Perry is awesome eye candy to be sure, her music flat out sucks, I'm sorry. I'll probably go to just people watch and hang out for a while, but, to me, the musical "diversity" needs work.

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BrewHaHa0706 | June 22, 2011 at 10:24 a.m. (report)

I think the Black Keys will be good, but I'm I really want to catch Danny Gokey that night. It makes me feel good to see a hometown boy playing such a large event!!! I think I can catch that and still make it to see the Keys.

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BrewCityGuru | June 22, 2011 at 5:46 a.m. (report)

I agree with a lot of your thoughts on the line up. Don't forget Animation - Rush Tribute on opening day as well. I really think The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant will be a show that will be talked about in Summerfest lore for years to come, that is my top pick. I'm going 7 out of the 11 days so maybe I'll see you there Andy, I'm the guy in the turban...

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