How fittingly appropriate that a festival that uses a giant smiley-face as its logo and used the phrase “Smile On” as a marketing motto wrapped up with a hometown favorite playing a hit song named “Smile.”
The Gufs returned to the Maier Festival Park to close out the 40th anniversary of the Big Gig with a predictable yet enthusiastic and crowd-pleasing show on the Zippo/WJJO Rock Stage Sunday night.
Opening with a handful of longtime favorites like "Crash" and some special treats like "Ride" and "Chosen," The Gufs gave fans exactly what they were expecting … predictable, in a very, very good way.
Unlike most bands, which will play a handful of memorable favorites before trying to sell their latest album, Goran, Dejan, Scott, and Morgan -- who not long ago released “A Different Sea”, their first album in seven years -- played to the crowd before delving into the new stuff; most of which has already reached sing-along status.
“Maybe we should play the final night of Summerfest every year,” Goran told the crowd. It’s a welcome thought. The Gufs are a band that would be just as comfortable playing at an East Side bar as they are playing in the professionally-produced atmosphere of Summerfest.
It was a fitting way to end things; one of Milwaukee’s best-known groups playing to a crowd of Milwaukeeans, wrapping another Summerfest with its single “Smile.”