By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 17, 2022 at 12:37 PM

The Extravabandza music festival is back after a two-year break as Lakefront Brewery hosts seven bands – all with members who work at the brewery – on Wednesday, May 25 at the Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave.

The much-anticipated third edition of this employee-led event – which is a benefit for the long-lived underground rock and roll club – includes alt-country band Ladybird, “doom country” group The Resurrectionists, rock-and-rollers Mortgage Freeman, punk group Chinese Telephones, pop-punksters Gold Steps, and hardcore bands Snag and Garden Home.

"Cactus Club is an incredibly welcoming, safe, fun, enjoyable bar that is an artist-run, queer-owned establishment," says Lakefront Beer Hall Manager Sam Szymborski, who is in Snag.

"I have known the owner of the club since I was in high school and have always taken value in their opinion and work ethic.

Adds Mike Walker, who does on-site development at Lakefront, “Mortgage Freeman has performed at Cactus Club more times than we can count.

"It’s a wonderful establishment and we’ve made some incredible memories there … Overall, I love that this is a fundraiser for Cactus Club, they deserve all of it and more! Hope we can continue performing there for years to come.”

The event – hosted by drag queen Ester Flonaze – will also include a Maker’s Market selling art and items made by Lakefront staffers.

“(Lakefront owner) Russ (Klisch) is a great person to work for," says Garden Home guitarist Dylan Mazurkiewicz. "He invests in our artistic community, and supports the wacky scheduling that can come with being a performer of any kind."

The 18-and-up event kicks off at 4 with the market and bands start at 6.

Tickets are available at the door for $5 and all proceeds go to the Cactus.

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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.