In what is surely among the biggest concert news – and perhaps the worst-kept secret – ever at Summerfest, the Big Gig will move its opening date up a day to host the Rolling Stones on Tuesday, June 23 at 8 p.m. at the Marcus Amphitheater.
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards made the official "Zip Code" tour announcement Tuesday morning on Jim Kerr's radio show on Q1043 in New York.
Tickets for the show will go on sale Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m. For more ticket information, visit the Stones' website.
The festival was originally scheduled to open Wednesday, June 24 with headliner Florida Georgia Line. It is as yet unclear whether or not Summerfest will offer a full slate of entertainment on all stages on June 23. However, there will be a pre-party – presented by Fiduciary Management Inc. – held from until 7:30 p.m. inside the south gate of Henry Maier Festival Park with food, beverages and two stages of live entertainment.
"Signing perhaps the most iconic rock ‘n roll band of all time, The Rolling Stones, to kick-off Summerfest a night early is unprecedented and a monumental way to begin Summerfest 2015," stated Don Smiley, President and CEO of Summerfest.
"We jumped at the chance to host The Rolling Stones and feature them in true Milwaukee fashion. There were a variety of key factors to consider, including the multiple day lead time needed to set up the show, which worked seamlessly with our preparations to open The Big Gig. Needless to say, June 23 will be a historic night for Summerfest, music fans and Milwaukee, and we could not be more thrilled!"
The show is part of a 15-city North American tour by legendary British band, that kicks off in May at Petco Park in San Diego and includes stops in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Minneapolis and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, among others. No shows have been announced for Chicago.
With a capacity of around 25,000, the Marcus Amphitheater is by far the smallest venue on the tour.
The group has vowed to perform 1971’s landmark "Sticky Fingers" LP in its entirety at each concert.
"Sticky Fingers" with its distinctive "zipper" cover concept by Andy Warhol was the band’s ninth studio set – the 11th in America, where the label typically chopped down LPs and added singles tracks to create more albums.
The disc, which spawned massive hits like "Brown Sugar" and "Wild Horses," topped album charts in the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and across Europe. The record has sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone. A remastered edition will be released on May 26 to coincide with the tour.
News of the tour emerged last September when Keith Richards told concert industry site Pollstar.com that the band’s "14 On Fire" tour would likely be extended into the new year. It was confirmed early in February when guitarist Ron Wood told Billboard about it.
"Yeah, we had a meeting in New York with the boys and we're gonna come (to) North America again in the summer," he told the music industry magazine.
By early March, rumors about the performances were already swirling in Milwaukee and other cities on the itinerary.
The tour announcement – hinted at by billboards in the tour cities – was initially scheduled to drop on "Satisfaction Thursday" – aka March 19 – but was reportedly delayed by a ticketing snafu, reminding fans that you can't always get what you want, at least not when you want it.
The Rolling Stones made their Milwaukee debut at the Auditorium in 1964 and most recently performed here at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in 2005.
A complete run-down of the band's Brew City performances is here.
Photo courtesy Rich Zimmermann Photography.
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 OnMilwaukee.com 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.