Milky Chance's tour stop at Summerfest on Thursday night was one show that nobody should have missed.
The German folk duo made up of Clemens Rehbein and Phillipp Dausch first went viral with their first single “Stolen Dance” in 2013. It is a great song – but their performance here in Milwaukee showed their versatility as musicians, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the people who came just to see just that hit left with their entire discography downloaded to their Spotify.
The band opened with “Fallen," a song from their 2019 album “Mind the Moon." Despite some audio issues, the crowd was patient and Rehbein laughed it off. Once they got going, though, it was really interesting to hear the house undertones in some of their music.
It can be hard for bands and artists to pull off blending multiple genres – especially those on opposite ends of the spectrum like folk and house – but they killed it nonetheless and brought something unique to the table that caters to a broader fan base.
The energy within the crowd was almost indescribable. It felt electric and alive, a feeling that's been hard to re-discover coming out of the pandemic. The band felt this way too and Rehbein had something to say about it.
“You guys seem like a really cool f*cking crowd,” he said, as he toweled off his sweat. “This is beautiful; I can’t believe it.”
Some fans were adamant about getting the towel, and after enough convincing, he tossed it into the crowd. What a great souvenir? Pretty sure you can’t buy a Milky Chance sweat towel from the Summerfest merch table.
They played “Cocoon” from their 2016 release “Blossom," which is another one of their popular songs which has more of a pop touch to it. The energy shifted during “Loveland," a love song off of “Sadneccessary." It was the perfect come-down between dancier songs and brought a lot of emotions to the pit.
Another added challenge for the band was their time slot at the festival. Bands sometimes struggle to pull larger audiences earlier in the day simply because it's both working hours for some – and in the case of yesterday, it isn't even the weekend yet, typically making casual fans a harder draw. But this did not seem to be a problem for the pair, as everyone – truly a headliner-level crowd – showed up to sweat it out at their 6:15 p.m. set.
The show had the perfect balance of older and newer songs; even deeper cuts like “Running” kept the intensity high. In fact, that song was definitely a high point, one of the moments that highlighted their ability to transition from their folk-focused sound to something more fast-paced and electronic.
The singer eventually stopped the show to have a giveaway and asked the crowd if anybody liked to roll. There were some confused faces, but it all made sense when explained he had some rare one-of-a-kind rolling papers to toss into the audience. People were fired up over this; unfortunately, there wasn’t enough for everyone.
This was a great intro to their next song “Colorado," a single from 2021 that did really well on the charts. Earlier in the day at Milky Chance's FM102/1 Summer Camp show, the duo talked about the importance of smoking in their songwriting process – and this song showed that off.
They ended the show on a high note with “Flashed Junk Mind” and “Stolen Dance” from their first 2016 album they wrote out of high school. It’s hard to imagine what it must feel like to come so far and see people sing every word to some of the first music you put out. They definitely made the last weekend of Summerfest memorable – and if you weren’t there, you should have been.