"Rebel Stage Spotlight" is an OnMilwaukee-exclusive series of interviews with bands that will perform on The Rebel Stage during Summerfest. The Rebel Stage – located along the lakefront, directly to the east of the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse stage – is a completely independent venue that hosts more than 90 bands during the Big Gig and is staffed entirely by volunteers. Rebel Stage manager, Eoin McCarthy, hand picked the line-up from more than 2,000 submissions.
If you don't dig loud, raucous music and hot, female lead singers, you should probably steer clear of OnceTheSun this Thursday.
OnceTheSun is a local hard rock/alternative/metal group featuring Anna Bohn – aforementioned hot lead singer – on vocals and keyboards, Nick Mitchell and Jason Rabus on guitars, bass player Josh Morrison and Samuel Morrison on the drums.
They will dominate The Rebel Stage on Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m.
"We'll be alongside our friends in Ultrea, Disappearance and Divyded," says Bohn, who will also perform a solo set on Sunday, July 10 at 5 p.m.
OnceTheSun has played The Rebel Stage every year since its inception in 2009. OnMilwaukee recently chatted with the band about their music, favorite fest foods (is beer a food? Of course it is!) and upcoming gigs.
OnMilwaukee: What do you like about playing on the Rebel Stage and why is it an asset for Summerfest?
OnceTheSun: We love playing The Rebel Stage because it is more than a stage at Summerfest: It’s a community and a family. Whoever plays that stage is automatically a part of a scene and has the support of everyone at the stage. That feeling of being a part of a something permeates the crowd and helps all of us to recapture that feeling we all had when we went to our first show. For some of the performers, it's their first chance to play in front of a larger crowd, which is a stellar thing in its own right. Not only that, but its location allows for a larger audience to cycle through while you are performing. Its also gives a more personal experience – for both performer and audience.
How long have you been together, and how would you describe your music?
We've been together since late 2004. We've put out two full-length albums and an EP. We all come from pretty diverse backgrounds and influences, and this band allows us to showcase them all. We are very proud to announce that at our Rebel Stage appearance, our newest album "The Ghost Inside Me" will be available for the first time ever. It’s definitely our most dynamic and hard-hitting album to date. We really went all out on this one.
Which bands are you looking forward to seeing at Summerfest this year?
There are so many. We’re mostly excited to see all of the independent artists at the Rebel Stage, along with The Roots, Garbage, Blink 182 (featuring Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio), Gin Blossoms and Sir Mix-A-Lot.
Where else is the band playing in the near future?
We are playing Saturday, Aug. 27 with The Dayrollers at Route 20 Outhouse in Sturtevant. It’s going to be a killer show at a really awesome club!
What's your favorite thing to eat or drink at Summerfest?
Sam and Josh like anything from Charcoal Grill because it's meat, and it's right near the Rebel Stage. Anna is a sucker for anything deep fried and sugary. Jason loves the A.J. Bombers peanut butter burger, and Nick likes the beer.
Read more about The Rebel Stage here.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.