How to Get in Free Today
Come prepared with raincoats and umbrellas again, because week two of Summerfest is kicking off with more thunderstorms.
Playing at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater
What do you get when you shine a spotlight on a musician who has sold more than 100 million albums and managed to release a no. 1 record every year for 9 years in a row? One helluva great Summerfest show, full of classic hits like “All Night Long,” “Dancing on the Ceiling” and “We Are the World.”
Staff Music Picks by Generation
9:45 p.m., BMO Harris Pavilion
“I love Chaka Khan, starting with her first hit, Tell Me Something Good, all the way through I’m Every Woman and I Feel for You. Finally, I get to see her in person!” – Carole Nicksin
8:30 p.m., Johnson Controls World Stage
“New soul with old school production? Yes, please.” – Paul Higgins
10 p.m., Miller Lite Oasis Stage
“Because I’m hoping Marshmello will show up.” – Libby Lang
“Surprised they’re still a free show with the success they’ve had. They draw a super energetic and excited crowd which makes them fun to watch.” – Katie Williams
Young the Giant
10 p.m., Uline Warehouse Stage
“Young the Giant’s anthemic single ‘My Body’ is always in heavy rotation on my Spotify playlists, because I listen to it whenever I’m running, or just in need of a quick energy boost. But the band has so many other jams too.” – Lindsey Anderson
9:45 p.m., Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
“Liz Phair is the GOAT. I saw her this winter at Turner Hall amongst 200 35-year-old women reliving their high school memories. I’m sad First Aid Kit had to drop out, but Phair brings a solid and rocking repertoire of hits from her glory days that is a worthy replacement.” – Emma Fisher
Sports in Milwaukee connected with David Gruber? Unheard of. The One Call, That’s All folks will be bringing sports fun to every day of Summerfest, including nightly BMX stunts and Brew City wrestling on July 2. Stop by for wrestling at 6:00 p.m and for the BMX stunt show, 9:00 p.m.
Not in the mood for actual sports? Go see some competitive improv at the Kohl’s Captivation Station, starting at 6 p.m. every night. No two shows are the same as teams of crack-wit comics vie for the attention and affection of the crowd. (The jokes are clean, so bring the kids.)
• Sentry Foods Children’s Fest Day
Come between noon and 3 p.m. on July 2 to receive a Map of Fun to embark on a Summerfest Grounds adventure! Be sure to get a stamp from each stop on the map of fun and be on the lookout for select food vendors who will be offering discounts during Children’s Fest Day.
REYNA is Living Their Childhood Dreams
by Elizabeth Johnson
In 2008, two teenage girls from Texas arrived at Summerfest for a Rush concert. Exploring the festival grounds before the show, they quickly reached a prophetic conclusion: “We’re gonna play here one day.” Eleven years later, these sisters prepare to take the stage for their fifth Summerfest performance.
REYNA is a pop duo composed of Gabby and Vic Banuelos, supported by Patrick Ridgen on percussion. The sisters moved to Milwaukee in 2009, where they eventually kicked off their musical careers as Vic and Gab, an indie group that received substantial local acclaim.
In 2016, the siblings started a new musical chapter by launching a new group called REYNA; this transition marked a clear shift in their style and energy.
“We have more tools; we have more help,” Vic said of REYNA’s production style. “Everything is more intentional.”
Gabby and Vic felt that even their new name was more purposeful and emblematic of their personalities; REYNA is a play on the word ‘queen’ in Spanish, a nod to their heritage and a representation of strength.
Well before that 2008 Rush concert, Gabby and Vic knew they wanted to perform together. When they were very young, their grandmother would bring them to nursing homes to sing in a mariachi band for the residents. Just a few years later, around ages 9 and 11, they began writing songs on their own, and continued to do so throughout middle and high school.
So far, REYNA has dealt primarily in singles. The band’smost recent song, “The Way I Loved You,” came out less than a week before Summerfest began; this is the first in a series of singles that will make up an EP to be released this fall.
In the spring of 2019, REYNA participated in the Backline program, which is designed to provide select local musicians with mentoring and networking opportunities.
Although it emphasized industry networking, Backline also reminded Gabby and Vic that ultimately, it just comes down to doing what you love.
“You have to make sure that you’re writing music you believe in,” Vic said. True to these words, REYNA’s lyrics are built largely on personal experience and storytelling, providing their performances with a strong sense of sincerity.
Gabby summed up her approach to music in one concise statement: “Be authentic, be yourself and don’t give up. Don’t take no for an answer.”