What's their deal?
During Summerfest you’ll see bands on the bill that you’ve heard of but you’re not quite sure “What’s Their Deal?” With a few sentences and a few links, I’ll get you up to speed with the cool kids. Let’s Go!
Wednesday, June 27 - Lupe Fiasco - Harley Stage - 10 p.m.
Lupe Fiasco has one of the most unique voices in hip-hop. His slick rhymes can go from witty to insightful all in the same verse. If you like hip-hop but you’re not into the angrier stuff, you’ll dig Lupe’s set.
For Lupe Fiasco's full bio, click here.
One he better play: Lupe Fiasco - Hip-Hop Saved My Life
Thursday, June 28 - Ben Folds Five - BMO Harris Pavilion - 9:45 p.m.
Ben Folds Five is the stage group supporting Ben Folds, who is one of the most unique dudes in music. Ben Folds can be deadly serious or laugh out loud quirky. He plays the piano, but that doesn’t mean the set won’t rock a little bit too. They're talented, fun and perfect for an evening near the lake.
For Ben Folds Five's full bio, click here.
One he better play: Ben Folds - Brick - A tad of a downer, but one of his best tracks.
Friday, June 29 - Fun. - Miller Lite Oasis - 10 p.m.
Their monster hit “We Are Young” is a Godzilla-sized ear worm that recalls “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. The gu ys describe the band as amusement park ride, but in their video they’re wearing tuxedos. So, yeah...I don’t know what their deal is. But - they’re hotter than the sun and the show one I’m very interested in seeing.
For Fun.'s full bio, click here.
One they better play: We Are Young - Fun.
Saturday, June 30 - Red Hot Chili PIPERS - Summerfest Rock Stage - 10 p.m.
Confusion Alert! Confusion Alert!!! I’m putting the over/under on 250 drunk people who expect Anthony Kiedis and Flea to stroll out on stage. This is NOT THEM. This is a big group of dudes in kilts, rocking the bagpipes. This is also my pick for “Most Fun Show of Summerfest.” (Sorry Cowboy Mouth, you’re second). They played last year at Irish Fest and brought the house down. They cover hard rock songs and Irish standards. If you need to get your Celtic on, this is the show!
For the Red Hot Chili Pipers' full bio, click here.
One they better play: Smoke on the Water & Thunderstruck Mash-Up. yes. Listen to it.
Sunday, July 1 - Robyn - Miller Stage - 10 p.m.
Robyn is a Swedish pop star and dance goddess. Her music has a european clubby vibe with bigtime hooks. I’m trying to think of a good analogy here. Maybe this: If you like Nicki Minaj, you’ll like Robyn.
For Robyn's full bio, click here.
One she better play: Indestructible
Tuesday, July 3 - Skillet - Harley Stage - 10 p.m.
Christian rock with an emphasis on the word ROCK. If you’re lucky enough to catch their uptempo, high-energy show you’ll be 4 songs in before you say - hey wait, this is God Rock? I saw them 2 years ago at Summerfest and they just ruled. Not to mention they have a female drummer (Jen) which is just cool. Awesome production, good hooks, uplifting message = good time.
For Skillet's full bio, click here.
One they they better play: Hero
Wednesday, July 4 - Fountains of Wayne - Summerfest Rock Stage - 10 p.m.
The guys are responsible for the “Stacy’s Mom” song a few years back. Plug in their amps and you’re going to have a fun show. What else do you need to know? Some shows are just simple to sum up...an instant good time.
For Fountain of Wayne's full bio, click here.
One they better play: Stacy’s Mom
Thursday, July 5 - Death Cab for Cutie - Harley Davidson Road House - 10 p.m.
If you know nothing about these guys, quickly get the image of Death Metal out of your head. I mean, “Death Cab” sounds like a heavy metal band - right? These guys are NOT that. They’re an alternative group with a mesmerizing lead singer (Ben). His voice is light and airy but the band can still rock. They also have recorded one of the songs in my all-time top 10 (see the “One they better play" below). Bonus points for you if you knew “Death Cab for Cutie” is a song from the “Yellow Submarine” Beatles TV show.
For Death Cab for Cutie's full profile, click here.
One they better play: This song is so powerful and gripping - it is on my desert island mix tape
“I will follow you into the dark”
Friday, July 6- Big Time Rush - Marcus Amphitheatre - 7 p.m.
If there is a 'tween in your house, you know all about this show. If you don’t, here’s their deal: Boy Band. Nickelodeon show. Lots of screaming girls. I think that about does it. Talented kids, incredibly slick production value.
For Big Time Rush's full profile, click here.
One they better play: Boyfriend - Featuring Snoop Dogg
Saturday, July 7 - Anthony Hamilton BMO Harris Pavilion - 9:45 p.m.
Whoa, now THIS is a voice. Anthony Hamilton is leading the charge for real R&B. He’s sung with just about everyone you’ve heard of (Jill Scott, Dt. Dre, Young Jeezy, etc.). I love his quote “R&B is about to be the new mainstream. Real music is coming back.” This show is gonna have a vibe to it like very few others during the festival.
For Anthony Hamilton's full bio, click here.
One he better play: “So in Love” Jill Scoot feat. Anthony Hamilton
Sunday, July 8 - Bush - US Cellular Stage - 10 p.m.
Gavin Rossdale and boys are still bringing it. One reviewer says it’s “like they never left.” Since their first pass into alt-rock stardom in the '90s, Gavin became Mr. Gwen Stefani. Congrats on that-BTW. Anyway, their latest work is just as big and buzzy as ever. Lots of old favorites from the '90s alt-days with plenty of new stuff to enjoy, too.
For Bush's full bio, click here.
One they better play: Yes, they have newer stuff but they better play “Machinehead” I’m just sayin’