It's hard to imagine a better homecoming than a performance at the world's largest music festival.
The Fatty Acids, a techno-infused rock band based in Milwaukee, topped off their American tour with the Sat. Nite Duets (who will also be performing at Summerfest on July 4) with an energetic show at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage early Wednesday night. The opening day crowd, which respectably filled up about half of the stage's bench area, was more than eager to greet them back to Cream City.
The band, which formed in 2007, has grown wildly in popularity since their debut album, "Stop Berries, Berries and Berries, Berries," in June 2010. Since then, the Fatty Acids have not only been growing their name nationally with a robust tour (they noted in between songs that they had been potentially performing for 23 days straight), but also locally, where they've earned recognition and a few awards, including a 2011 88.9 Radio Milwaukee Music Award for Best Music Video.
After their performance Wednesday night, one could see where the praise was coming from.
The Fatty Acids started off their set with "Howl" and "Memory Banks," two energetic hits off of their first album. The two songs gave the group a chance to showcase some of the more unique elements of their sound, mainly a trumpet (played by Kurt Raether) and a beat machine, as well as their exuberant garage band-esque charisma.
Early, the variety of instruments created an unfortunately muddled blend of sound. Raether's trumpet was often lost in the mix, and lead singer Josh Evert's lyrics turned into an incomprehensible, yet pleasant sounding, blur of noise.
After some quick tweaks, the Fatty Acids songs quickly became audio gold, starting with the third song, "Astrovan." The song featured the group's lively energy while also showing off their musical skill, unhindered by muddled audio.
The biggest beneficiary of the perfected audio was Evert, who will never be confused for a lazy performer. The man played the piano and the beat machine while singing into one mic and occasionally two, one of which needed to be held. At one point, he stuck one of the microphones into his mouth, perhaps for an interesting musical effect or possibly just out of rushed necessity. Evert's joyously bouncy beat machine solo in "Astrovan" was easily the highlight of the song.
While less showy than Evert's rapid-fire solo, the second half of the show created some surprisingly beautiful and rich music. The end of "Marks We Leave" dissolved into an almost mournful trumpet breakdown, layered on top of the echoing guitars, piano and lyrics. Several of The Fatty Acids' later numbers built on the soaring instrumental harmonies to ear-pleasing effect. It almost seems like the group is an experimental electronic band, such as Animal Collective or MGMT, disguised as a garage band.
The Fatty Acids' approximately 30-minute set ended suddenly, yet satisfyingly, with "Hiroshima."
The young group has some places in which they can grow as performers; it would have been nice if the audio started off as clean-sounding as it ended up, and they surprisingly interacted very little with the hometown crowd, though that may have been due to time restrictions.
If they fix those tiny flaws and keep developing their fascinating sound, however, The Fatty Acids may be leaving town on far-reaching tours a lot more often.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by OnMilwaukee.com Staff Writers
Published Feb. 23, 2017
A "world lounge" called Points View Boite, planning to offer different music every night from regions around the world, is set to open in late May in Walker's Point in the former home of Monkey Bar and, most recently, Mezcal Tavern.
Published Feb. 23, 2017
Walking up to the Riverside Theater, all you could see was a swarm of people lined up along the river, dressed in outrageous outfits, homemade shirts and eccentric accessories. It was clear: "The Price is Right" had taken over.
Published Feb. 22, 2017
Whether you're a soccer player, sports fan or community advocate looking for a fun way to give back, all are welcome to come together and improve the quality of life of Milwaukee's children in the 2017 SCORES CUP Charity Indoor Soccer Tournament.
Published Feb. 21, 2017
Roger Waters, one of the key original members of Pink Floyd, will bring his solo "Us + Them" tour to Milwaukee's BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday, July 29.
Published Feb. 19, 2017
When it comes to bars, Milwaukee dominates, offering everything from comfy taverns to posh clubs. Once again, OnMilwaukee will celebrate the city's hearty and diverse drinking culture with Bar Month, including your chance to vote for your favorites in the 2017 Best Bars poll.
Published Feb. 18, 2017
You may look at National Drink Wine Day as just another day, but for us it is an opportunity to partake in some great pours and more. Sip away at these options in this edition of the OnMilwaukee WeWant.
Published Feb. 18, 2017
When I Will Not Die Young co-founder Muhibb Dyer learned that his organization had received $25,000 from Milwaukee-born Colin Kaepernick, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, he thought it was a prank, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reports.
Published Feb. 17, 2017
With a variety of restaurants located conveniently near ski hills, snowmobile trails and more, winter is the perfect time for a warm Wisconsin-style meal. Here are five snowy Wisconsin supper club hot spots.
Published Feb. 16, 2017
February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and it couldn't come at a better time for the country, because anytime is a great time to be kind. If you're looking for a special occasion to do something particularly nice, now is your opportunity, Milwaukee.
Published Feb. 13, 2017
Cupids and chocolates are fine, but to spread the local and cheesy love send one of these free Brew City Valentines to your sweetheart.