By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 06, 2024 at 12:45 AM Photography: Dan Garcia

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Milwaukeeans must be used to all this rain by now because even some ominous skies didn’t stop Brew City for turning out big for hip-hop/R&B singer Bryson Tiller at the Big Gig Friday night.

Bryson TillerX
Bryson Tiller at SummerfestX

Those skies opened up briefly just before Tiller took the stage at Summerfest's BMO Harris Pavilion at 9:30 p.m., and the downpour was heavy enough that even those of us seated well under the roof could feel it.

Still, people kept coming.

But it would’ve taken a monsoon or more to dampen the spirits of the devoted crowd at Tiller’s show, which pretty much filled the reserved seats and drew a large crowd to the open area behind.

Though Tiller’s setlist looks formidably long, the Louisville singer mostly did abbreviated versions of hits from all four of his albums, stretching from 2015’s “Trapsoul” to his self-titled record, released in April.

Bryson TillerX

Tiller’s tour ended in late June, and the Summerfest date was an add-on after break of a few weeks, but, still he was in top form, segueing seamlessly from song to song, accompanied by a DJ and a dancer.

Though there was no band, there were plenty of swirling, colorful graphics on a screen behind Tiller and company for added visual interest.

The crowd was on its feet for most of the performance, usually singing along, but that participation really ramped up for some tunes, like “Run Me Dry,” “Exchange,” the H.E.R. tune “Could’ve Been” (on which Tiller was featured), “Overtime” and the encore, “Whatever She Wants.”

Bryson TillerX

Midway through the show Tiller teased the audience with a snippet of “Whatever She Wants,” vowing to play it in full later on. When Tiller thanked the crowd and said goodbye at 10:22, much of the audience started to file out, despite having not heard this recent hit.

But the house lights hadn’t come on and some of us had seen setlists from the shows at the end of the recent tour and suspected he’d be back.

When Tiller came out to play the song, reminding the crowd of his earlier promise, folks ran back into the rows of seats and went wild, capping a relatively short, but high-energy and eagerly appreciated headlining set.

Bryson TillerX
Bryson TillerX


  • Intro (Difference)
  • Sorry Not Sorry
  • Inhale
  • Run Me Dry
  • For However Long
  • Outside
  • Exchange
  • Let Em' Know
  • Wild Thoughts
  • Timeless Interlude
  • Ciao!
  • Canceled
  • Open Interlude
  • Could've Been
  • Playing Games
  • Blame
  • Finesse
  • Persuasion
  • Let Me Explain
  • ÆON L U S T
  • Overtime
  • Just Another Interlude
  • Calypso
  • Don't
  • Sorrows
  • Right My Wrongs


  • Whatever She Wants
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.