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In Festival Guide Commentary

Yer damn right Brett Newski's at Summerfest.

Summerfest picks: Bobby Tanzilo

It's time for the Big Gig once again. Here, I scour the schedule to make some suggestions for some must-see acts at Summerfest 2014.

Wednesday, June 25 – Though I admit I've lost touch with Britain's Arctic Monkeys, the opening night of Summerfest seems like a good time to get reacquainted. The post-punk-inspired band hits the Miller Lite Oasis stage at 10 p.m.

Thursday, June 26 – Milwaukee globetrotting song stylist Brett Newski plats at 7:15 on the KNE New Music Stage and that'll serve as a nice warm-up for two local reunions under the tented roof of the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage: The Wigs (8:30) and Yipes! (10 p.m.), with Pat McCurdy and Mike Hoffmann.

Friday, June 27 – Make a day of it and see local boy Bryan Cherry play tunes from his new record, "Black Holes," at 2:30 p.m. at the Johnson Controls World Stage. Then check out Milwaukee's Mike Benign Compulsion at 6:30 p.m. at the Uline Warehouse. At 8 p.m., Wild Cub plays the U.S. Cellular Connection. It's the Nashville band's third gig (so far) in 2014.

Saturday, June 28 – Get over, under, sideways but get down to the BMO Harris Pavilion to see The Yardbirds. Last year, this veritable college of British rock and roll celebrated 50 years. The band still includes original member Jim McCarty (colleague Chris Dreja was forced into retirement by ill health last year). I would NOT, however, expect to see former members Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Buy, hey, you never know.

Sunday, June 29 – Milwaukee's own Semi-Twang is as locally star-studded as The Yardbirds were in their milieu. Catch the group at 8 at the Johnson Controls World Stage before heading south to the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard to see The Head and the Heart, who were here earlier in the year, too. The Seattle band headlines at 10 p.m.

Tuesday, July 1 – I'm stretching the now-obligatory Monday off into a two-day pause.

Wednesday, July 2 – Milwaukee's own Maritime is on at 9 on the KNE New Music Stage and you'd be remiss if you were not on hand.

Thursday, July 3 – Check out local boys Trapper Schoepp & the Shades at 8 p.m. on the U.S. Cellular Connection before deciding whether you want some Ziggy Marley (Briggs) or The Hold Steady (U.S. Cell) at 10. The latter has a local connection in bassist Galen Polivka, but the former has Squiddly Cole on the drums. This isn't helping.

Friday, July 4 & Saturday, July 5 – I'm making this a double-local whammy, with Hugh Bob & the Hustle on Independence Day at 6 p.m. (Johnson Controls World Stage) and Kane Place Record Club on Saturday at 9 on the KNE New Music Stage.

Sunday, July 6 – Is there a better way to close out Summerfest than with Cheap Trick? Nope, didn't think so. 8 p.m. at the Bee-Mo.


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