Photos by Adam Ryan Morris
There’s simply no shortage of great music options at Summerfest. But with the Big Gig’s 700-or-so performers taking the stage during the festival’s duration, occasionally, very promising shows can get lost in the shuffle. While we’d like to think our weekly recommendations help steer Festers in the right direction, we feel certain bookings warrant even more attention. Friday brings about two mustn’t-miss performances – one local and one international.
The first recommendation comes in form of a local favorite: Milwaukee’s own Jaill. Though history has shown the band to be best experienced as musical backdrop for bowling alley taco parties, pairing the band’s lo-fi summery style with mullets, fannypacks and Saz’s will do just fine too.
Fresh off the release of its sophomore Sub Pop album, the utterly catchy Traps, little over a fortnight back, Jaill is to take the Summerfest Rock Stage at 8 p.m. to play its third (and likely final) local show of 2012 before embarking on a West Coast U.S./Canada tour in July. Milwaukeeans accustomed to seeing Jaill in a crowded back room of local watering holes will be treated to hearing the band play a rare outdoor concert. Those wondering what all the hubbub regarding Jaill is about can see the band in style, with numerous other entertainment alternatives nearby, should Jaill let you down – which they assuredly will not.
And once Jaill’s last note rings out, don’t even bother moving a muscle. The 10 p.m. Summerfest Rock Stage offers an even better act… perhaps the best non-Marcus booking of Fest45. Really, there’s no shortage of great options at the vaunted Friday 10 p.m. time slot. You can catch the end of the Collections Of Colonies Of Bees set at the local stage. MUTEMATH and Fun. will hold down headlining slots at adjacent main stages, as will Morris Day And The Time” of Purple Rain fame. However, the only real option out there is to see The Hives.
When the Summerfest headliners were announced weeks ago, few (if any) names stuck out more than that of Swedish garage rock band The Hives. For one, the almost-20-year-old band has churned out consistently good studio albums since the late '90s, some of which included raucous hit singles like “Hate To Say I Told You So” and “Tick Tick Boom.” But the pleasing sounds you’re going to hear from the will be dwarfed by the amazing things you’re bound to see. The suit-clad quintet of aliased Swedes is widely considered to be among the best live bands around. Between its album quality performance and the brash, confident showmanship of cocky Hives frontman Howlin’ Pete Almqvist, you’re in for quite a ride.
Do not miss this. Seriously.