"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.
It will be the third time The Young Revelators storm The Rebel Stage when they play at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 5.
The bluesy rock trio is comprised of Alejandro Martinez on guitar and vocals, his brother Frank Martinez on drums and Ben Michalski on bass.
OnMilwaukee recently chatted with Martinez about music, best Summerfest foods and more.
OnMilwaukee: What do you like about playing on the Rebel Stage and why is it an asset for Summerfest?
Alejandro Martinez: The Rebel Stage is really the only venue at Summerfest that has just local bands playing, and it’s a great opportunity to get your music out to people who may not be exposed to local music very often.
I think the whole Rebel Stage crew is doing something really amazing, something not only important for Summerfest but for our local music community as a whole. For the most part at Summerfest, either you get in by connections with people who book the stages or you win some sort of ‘battle of the bands’ contest which usually has more to do with how many friends you can drag to a few shows rather than what kind of musician or band you are. At the Rebel Stage, it’s different. If you’re good at what you do and you want to play, you have the chance to do so.
What else notable has happened in 2016 for you guys?
How long have you been together and how would you describe your music?
We’ve been playing with this lineup since July of 2013, although my brother and I have always played together since we picked up an instrument, which I wanna say I was about 12 years old, so maybe 10 years now?
Our music has deep roots in blues and rock ’n’ roll, but I wouldn’t say that’s all we do. To keep it simple, it’s blues rock with soul that can be light or get heavy when the music takes you there. That’s the only way I can describe it other than by actually playing live.
Which bands are you looking forward to seeing at Summerfest this year?
I just looked up the lineup to see who was playing this year, and Chris Stapleton with Alabama Shakes looks like it’s going to be a great show. As far as side stages go, some good bands to go see would be The Cavewives, Midwest Death Rattle, Greg Koch & the Tone Controls, The Steepwater Band, Jack Spann, Hugh Masterson, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, Dave Fitzpatrick Band, Mr. Blotto and not to mention that crazy amount of good music that will be happening on The Rebel Stage every day. There’s definitely lots to choose from.
Where else is your band playing in the near future?
Our next gig after Summerfest is at Mile of Music in Appleton, which is going on from August 4-7. We don’t know how many sets we will be playing yet, but you can definitely catch us up there.
What's your favorite thing to eat or drink at Summerfest?
Oh, that’s hard to say. If they still have mint flavored Dippin’ Dots, that might be it for me. And for drinks, I’m gonna have to go with the champagne of beers, Miller High Life. Plus whatever is in the flask that day.
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.