Thursday, December 27, 2007

Slowing Down for the holidays

I must admit that I have been busy watching the Green Bay Packers. More so than keeping on top of the Wisconsin music scene. We have seen a lull in the concert announcements too. Looking forward, we have a Billy Joel Milwaukee show, Van Halen, Trans Siberian Orchestra and more. 2008 in Milwaukee is shaping up nicely.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

WWVHD What Would Van Halen Do?

Van Halen's last tour stop is Milwaukee Wisconsin. Their tour wraps up on April 7th at The Bradley Center. Now, does the band pull out all the stops for their last show? Does Van Halen tick off the days on the tour calendar, look at Milwaukee, and think screw it, I'm done. This all comes about because the Van Halen tour was extended. I suspect that the band had planned to extend this tour based on ticket sales. Sales were good, so the band added dates, and Milwaukee was one of them. If you have nothing left to give, why not leave everything on the Bradley Center stage. I'm going to get an upper level ticket and watch the spectacle.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Goo Goo dolls on ice

January 5th, The Goo Goo Dolls play before the Milwaukee Admirals game. This is a get-butts-in-the-seats promotion that the Bradley Center does at regular intervals. I think it works well. The Goo Goo dolls will be playing in front of kids that have never seen them before. The Bradley Center sets up a stage on one end most times, but since this show is before the game, one can wonder if they will set up the stage on center ice? Considering the way that The Milwaukee Bucks are playing, the Dolls could stick around for that game too?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hannah Montana, is that a real person?

It's one of those shows where I feel obligated to post. Hannah Montana will be at the Bradley Center on January 13th. Her CD is a whopping $16.90. The face value of the show is reasonable. The Bradley Center held 1000 tickets aside for fans. Thank goodness for the Jackie Coogan law. Otherwise, Miley's cash might be burned up before she turns 18. That is if Disney corp. actually pays her a fair wage for this dreck.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rain at The Riverside Theater

Sunday, March 2nd @ 8pm The Riverside Theater you will find the show Rain. As I write this post, The Beatles are playing on the radio. Ok, I don't want to seem jaded, but here goes: If you put on mop top wigs you are not The Beatles. If you put on marching band uniforms and round wire rim glasses, you are not The Beatles. If you play their songs note for note, broadcast video footage, have pretty lights, are still not The Beatles. I'm not a huge nostalgia fan. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing old bands. They have to be the real thing though. I have seen Gary Numan play many times. His only hit in America was back in 1981. Still, I'm watching Gary Numan, not some guy dressed up like Gary Numan. Same goes for Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. When the band "3" played at Billy's Old Mill, I was watching Keith Emerson, and Carl Palmer. Sorry you Beatles fans, I just can't accept this event. Once you put fakes up on a stage, you have lost me. To quote Mark Lewis of Rain " The five members of Rain, each a huge Beatle fan himself, use the Beatles' albums like textbooks, constantly referring to them to ensure the songs performed live include every harmony, vocal tone, chord inversion, hand clap, cowbell, string arrangement - even possible good. That's why Rain's music meets the expectations of audiences who know the Beatles' music subconsciously." If the members of Rain were good enough to impress Beatles fans with their renditions of the real Beatles without the wigs and lights, then I would give them their due. If the musicians were actually themselves, not dressed up as a look-alike AND sound-alike band, I would have no problem with Rain. This picture isn't Rain, but you get my point. Looking back is fine. Living in the past is not fine.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Billy Joel at The Bradley Center

Piano Man Billy Joel comes to The Bradley Center on March 2nd, 2008. This makes the third baby boomer show for The Bradley Center in 2008. Billy Joel fancies himself a "Rock" musician. That's a stretch. He's a pop singer. Sorry Billy, you have a string of hits longer than Wisconsin Avenue, but they are all pop songs, or piano ballads. My wife saw Billy Joel at the Marcus Amphitheater a very long time ago. She went because her friend begged her. That friend drank too much at the show. At the end of the night, that friend walked face first into a bus door. It was not good. Back to BJ. He has an angry look about him when he sings. I wonder if he smiles when he's at home. Will BJ sell out? I think so.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Asia at the Pabst Theater

Asia comes to the Pabst Theater on April 23rd. I happen to like Yes, and ELP, but I do not like Asia. Perhaps it was the time, but Asia doesn't seem to have the qualities of Yes or ELP. Heat of the Moment is a perfect example. It's weak. At least they had a place in the movie 40 Year Old Virgin. If you want to see Carl Palmer, check him out in the Carl Palmer Band. He's down to earth, the band is super tight, and you get to hear ELP tunes in a new light.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Van Halen coming to Milwaukee in April 2008

Van Halen, is coming to the Bradley Center on April 7th, 2008. You could see that they were booking tour dates to extend this current foray. I think that this show will be good for them. Some dates on their current tour weren't spectacular as far as ticket sales. Milwaukee is an old-fashioned rock and roll town. I'll bet it's close to a sell out show for Van Halen. I know that they could sell enough Milwaukee Theater tickets, but they play in the cavernous BC. I haven't looked at any grainy, shaky camera, cell phone video's on Youtube, featuring the aged Van Halen. I would rather see them live, and make my judgements afterword. This great photo came courtesy of Anandamide, the blog.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Who would you like to see at...

Do celebrities draw too much attention when they show up at a show? I guess that it depends on the show, the size of the venue, such as a Bradley Center or Rave and how much of a distraction that person may be. I would certainly be distracted if a pro athlete showed up. Consider first their size. Many of them are tall and huge. They might stick out. Say for example, what if Donald Driver of The Green Bay Packers showed up at Points East last Saturday night. He'd be the biggest guy in the club. How does a band compete with that? That's why I'm all for the celebrity zone at a club. They get to relax, and the distractions are few.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Celine Dion

She's coming to Milwaukee September 29th and the Bradley Center tickets are moving fast .
She's spent a lot of time in Las Vegas, and I can't blame anyone for hitting the road if your home base is that city. There is a long time to wait, plan, and age before she gets here. This show is 10 months away. Celine Dion's shows in Las Vegas brought in lots of cash. She was a top attraction there for sure.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Feist the band

I picked up the Feist disk, The Reminder. Yes, the Ipod Commercial got to me. The hit song (in my opinion 1,2,3,4) is buried down half-way into the disk. You gotta love the Bacharach style horns in that tune. I don't quite understand how the label picked the order of the songs. Song #1 is pretty dark, then it picks up for a while. What's up with the experimental vocal mixes? Some of those vocal mixes took away from Feist's power. The drum mixes were solid. The kick drum was pulsing through my truck. If Feist makes it to the Pabst Theater or Riverside Theater, I'll consider making a go at attending.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dust in the wind and Kansas brings 38

Just announced: Kansas comes to the Pabst Theater with a huge orchestra. I'll guess the demographic on that one is 45+, white, and living the 70's. Speaking of 45+ and white, Bon Jovi just announced a Bradley Center date. February 21st Bon Jovi rolls into Milwaukee. Bon Jovi could play here every month and still not satiate the thirst of their devoted female fans. I'm going to go forward in time. It's 8 degrees outside, and the ladies are lining up to see that short guy sing hits from nearly three decades back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ghost town in Milwaukee next Thursday

My boss has to entertain friends this coming Thursday. He asked me to search all the larger local venues for something to do. I started with The Pabst Theater and worked my way down to Shank Hall. Nothing. If he was talking about a Friday night, there are plenty of things to do. They Might Be Giants are in town. The Music of Led Zeppelin performed by the MSO on Friday and The Wallflowers are in town on Saturday night. If you are touring the country, I guess Milwaukee is the last place you want to be on a Thursday night. Speaking as a touring musician (over the years), I wanted to be in large cities on those off nights. That increased your chances of a good crowd. Ok, I found something to do on Thursday. Get a Milwaukee Admirals ticket. They actually play Houston on Thursday.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Binky Tunny at Points East Pub November 17th

Usually I comment on national bands coming through Milwaukee. This time, I have to mention that Binky Tunny is finally playing a venue that doesn't involve strippers. In fact, I think Heartbreakers stopped booking bands for good. Binky Tunny, Crumpler, and a few other bands hit the Points East Pub stage starting at 10pm on November 17th. Support local music and come on down. I'm bringing a friend from Germany to see the show. She's dying to get out and leave the 2 year old with a sitter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Rave review

A comment on my blog (who reads my blog??) prompted me to quote someone who describes a show at The Rave (in Milwaukee) to a T. Pure torture
This is a quote of Citysearch
09/23/2006 Posted by whatmeworry2
Eagles ballroom has the worst sound of any venue [I have] been in. It's a big oval room with all hard surfaces, so it's like being in a big echo chamber. You have to stand near the back wall to have tolerable sound. The Rave has OK sound, but the night I was there, it was easily 90 degrees inside, no ventilation, no AC. Granted, this the day after a heat wave, but the low the night before was in the 60's. Open a window already! Both venues offer little seating, pack you in like cattle, and charge $6 for a beer. For some shows to get people in they give out passes: buy two drinks up front and get in "free". They charge $20 for the two drinks. I pity the person that buys two tickets to a show here, pays the ticketmaster extortion fees, parking, and two drinks. For two people, you're looking at $100 to see a c-list band.

I think this guy has it on the money. My guitar player used his "free" two drink minimum tickets to see a "d" list band and spent $80 on the drinks in total. Are you feeling me? Good luck to Turner Hall!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Turner Hall opens tonight.

Dear God, please help make Turner Hall a success. I don't normally ask you to do harm to any person, place or thing, but Milwaukee needs Turner Hall. We need more venues to take that size crowd. Think of it as a Rave venue downtown, with the backing of Pabst and Riverside theater style management? I also heard that a few local bands had shows there. If you can't fill that place up, it would feel pretty silly to stand there amongst 17 fans in a very large, cool looking hall. Back to Turner Hall's line up. To open the new venue, Josh Rouse, his band & Maria Taylor from Azure Ray will start the ball rolling. All tickets just $15 bucks.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Dierks Bentley plays to how many?

Dierks Bently's stage set up for The Bradley Center was "half house" to begin with. That shaves the venue to about 9,000. Word on the street is that Dierks sold less than one third of that half house. Perhaps a Milwaukee Theater sized venue would have been the better ticket. Was it wishful thinking that Dierks could fill half of the Bradley Center, or did the BC management offer Dierks some super sweet deal? The world may never know.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Shows for Children in Milwaukee

We're being inundated with children's shows here in Milwaukee. Kidz bop live, The Wiggles, Sesame Street Live, when Elmo Grows up. Yikes. But the biggest show for Milwaukee kids will be High School Musical on Ice. On Ice? What? I guess that some people will pony up the funds for High School Musical on Ice tickets at the Bradley Center. There are shows for every type of fan, young or old. I don't have kids, so it's foreign to me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Debbie Harry of Blondie solo show at Turner Hall

November 20th, Debbie Harry comes to Turner Hall. This is no oldies show. Debbie came out with a solo album that she spent 1.5 years working on in between her Blondie commitments.

Turner Hall had burned up a few times in the 1930's and 1940's. It's been idle since then. You can't keep a 7000 square foot hall under wraps forever. I'm glad that Turner Hall is once again alive.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another local venue, Turner Hall

Milwaukee Turner Hall is now booking shows. The same guy who runs the Riverside theater is running Turner Hall. I suspect he's trying to compete with the Rave market. Turner Hall is not huge. At least this venue is in a good location. Don't get me wrong, The Rave is a cool place visually, but it's an echo chamber and (in my opinion) a fire trap. Here's to you Turner Hall. I hope some great bands take advantage of the new venue.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sacred Order, Milwaukee punk from the 1980's

Way back when, there was this great Wisconsin punk band named Sacred Order. I say way back when because the original line-up featuring Jay Tiller, Mike Podolak, Chip, and Beezer were the top-end Sacred Order. Chip moved on to The Crusties, Jay Tiller started Couch Flambeau, leaving Beezer and Mike to rotate other mates into the mix. Damien Strigenz, and Don Nelson moved into Sacred Order in the later years. Those are the guys you will hear on the 2004 Last Rites DVD/CD from WMSE and Push Button Gadget. I don't know what line-up will be on the stage at The Miramar Theater on November 10th, but I am certain that it will crush.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Where did all the Ozzy fans go?

You would think that the Ozzy show would be sold out. It's not. You can still get good tickets to the Ozzy/Rob Zombie show at the Bradley Center. Mind you, they aren't in the first 30 rows, but side stage seats are good. That's going to be an echo chamber show. The Bradley Center is was built for Hockey, not rock shows.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Waiting for Rilo Kiley

If they came to The Riverside Theater I would surely go. I'm talking about Rilo Kiley. The new disk, Under The Black light has 6 strong tunes. After song six, the disk drops in quality. It even sounds like the production and mixing drops in quality by song seven. It's as if they just stopped tweaking the songs after number 6. With that, they are worthy. I see by their tour dates that they are passing Milwaukee by. That's no surprise. We're "fly over" country now. Right from Minneapolis to Chicago, or vice versa. Since Rilo Kiley has a strong front woman singer, my guess is that some people would think that the band is named after her, but it's not. Jenny Lewis is her name. It's kind of like the Jethro Tull deal. No, Ian is his name, not Jethro. Get it?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Trans Siberian Orchestra Milwaukee

Trans Siberian Orchestra, or TSO as the devoted fans call it, are coming to Milwaukee's Bradley Center on December 16th. They now have multiple bands called TSO that tour the country at the same time. This band seems to attract all sorts of fans. Young, old, rockers, non-rockers all dig this stuff. I think I will wait one more year before I check them out. Some time I will pick up a TSO ticket, but not this time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Best shows of far

Of the shows I have seen this year which one rates as the best? It's not really a tough call. I was thinking about how close I came to missing this show. At the last minute, my singer, my old guitar player's wife and my wife all said that they wanted to go. I already had tickets to the Riverside theater for this show, it was just a case of pulling the trigger. The mix was perfect at this show. I didn't have to wear earplugs, the seats were good, the crowd loved this band. And the best show for 2007 as of now is......Morrissey

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ozzy Osbourne Bradley Center December 13th

It's not Ozzfest, it's OZZY!! I have this friend (yea, a friend not me) who loves Ozzy, lives for Ozzy etc. He goes to every Ozzfest Wisconsin show. This time, he's even more fired up. He called to tell me that he's ready for Ozzy tickets to go on sale at The Bradley Center. It's months away, but my friend has lined up already. At least in his mind, he is in line for Ozzy tickets.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rumors, tours, and folklore

Grapevine Milwaukee: Rumors of possible tours featuring Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, and Van Halen all float by. If Bruce Springsteen came to Milwaukee, it would have to be a Bradley Center show. Same rule applies for Metallica and Van Halen. Where else but the Bradley Center for those headliners? Alas, these are just rumors. None of the bands listed here have committed to anything. Heck, Metallica isn't even on tour. We shall see.

Friday, September 7, 2007

John Mellencamp in Madison

John Mellencamp plays the Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center in Madison Wisconsin on Tue, Nov 6, 2007. Jack and Dianne, Our Country, Scarecrow, all radio friendly stuff. John Mellencamp used to smoke four packs a day. I think he had a heart attack, and that scared him down a bit. He says that he's got no problem selling his songs to car companies and such. At least he's honest.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Rush at Marcus Amphitheater....any takers?

Sales have slowed for Rush tickets at The Marcus Amphitheater on 9/6/07. After checking, I found center section seats still available. A band that was so huge in the 80's is now more worthy of a Milwaukee Theater venue compared to The Marcus Amp.

According to Rush Is A band, some of the new album reviews didn't even get a rating. Is it over for Rush?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rock and Roll in pictures from Pat Graham

Check this entry out from the Line Out blog. Silent Pictures is going to be released soon. Great pictures of indie bands are what you will find.

According to Line Out - " [PatGraham] is responsible for many of the iconic early nineties shots of Dischord bands Fugazi and the Nation of Ulysses / Make Up, as well as documenting Modest Mouse tours from the nineties through today." Yes, the west coast is far, far away from Wisconsin, but Rock and Roll is universal. I like Ron Schneider's work from Wisconsin. He captured some great shots of the local Wisconsin scene. (picture above)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sarah Evans at The Resch Center

On October 20th, at the fabulous Resch Center, Sarah Evans will be performing her hits. Sarah started out singing traditional country music, but then tweaked her product to sound more like the pop/country drivel you hear on FM106. It sounds like a case of product testing, and then hitting the big time. Evans released her CD, Feels Like Home through Cracker Barrel stores. According to Wikipedia "In 1991, Cracker Barrel instituted a policy requiring employees to display "normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society." During the 1990s Cracker Barrel reportedly fired at least 11 gay workers. The company refused to change their policy in the face of protest demonstrations by gay rights groups." It would seem that Sarah really doesn't care how she gets her hits into the country crap-stream. It's a smart move for her to play in the very conservative Green Bay Wisconsin. This is the top half of Sarah's head.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blue Man Group coming to Milwaukee's Bradley Center

These guys are great musicians. Don't think for a minute that this is just art. I saw them in Boston about 10 years ago, and I was very impressed. I still have the shirt with the paint splatter on it. It's funny, it's percussion, it's music, and it's coming to the Bradley Center on October 14th, 2007.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hey Van Halen, you are making me nervous!

WTF! Will Van Halen please come to Milwaukee! I see open dates when they get close to Wisconsin, so my fingers are crossed. I guess that they would play the Bradley Center if they wised up and actually booked a Milwaukee show. I will even look past the fact that Wolfgang will be on bass, just book the Milwaukee Van Halen show please. Are you listening Van Halen? Even an old punk rock drummer like me has to give the props to Van Halen

Monday, August 13, 2007

Switching Venues at the last minute

I think that venue switching can really screw up people's seating arrangements. According to the twin cities tickets blog, Lyle Lovitt switched venues at the last minute, and 30 of the first row fans would have to be moved to another row. How is that fair? Sometimes, you see that happen at The Rave, where a band is moved from The Eagle's Club room to The Rave. That is easy since there are no seats in The Rave. But when you lose an assigned seat, what are you going to do?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Favorite Venue in Milwaukee for shows

For those of you who have been to most of the larger venues in Milwaukee and S.E. Wisconsin, I present to you my list of venues and opinions.

Riverside Theater: I have sat all over that place and my favorite spots are center section, past the first six rows, and the first four rows in the balcony. Side sections ruin the show for me because you can see into the wings.

Milwaukee Theater: The first three sections in the center are great. The whole place is great!

Marcus Amphitheater: Trust me, move back beyond row N in the center and you will hear a better show. Side sections can be awful. Beyond the lawn, at the top can be cool too. Beer stands are up there.

Bradley Center: Skip that place unless you MUST see your all-time favorite band when they come to town. Can you say echo chamber?

Alpine Valley: Huge, it's huge, it's huge! But, if the weather is nice, the lawn can be just that. Sleep off the beers while everyone escapes the parking lot, and the show is much more fun.

The Rave: I haven't been there since 1998. I hope I never have to go there again. I used to play in that venue quite a bit, but as a paying customer, forget it. It's a trash bin.

Pabst Theater: Classy, old, but nice. I'd go there anytime for any show.

Wisconsin Music Man out.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Weird Al Yankovic at The Riverside

09/27/07 Weird Al Yankovic plays all the "hits" at The Riverside Theater. Weird Al is all good in my mind. I have never seen his band, but I have heard that they are tight. I do have a cassette from the 80's with a few funny songs. Some of the stuff he's covered is not all that great, but he seems to come back around and crush it once in a while. White and Nerdy is a song I love. He hit it out of the park on that one.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Dolly Parton knows the score

According to Dolly Parton is blowing off the big labels.

Their post reads: "Sorry, guys: Dolly Parton's walked now. She's setting up her own label as she doesn't need major support any more. Well, not record label wise:
Her manager Danny Nozell told Billboard: "She's a free agent right now so we decided to go around to the majors to at least see what kind of distribution deals they were bringing in, and didn't see anything I was interested in."He added: "To be honest, we have the finances the major labels have, and I put together a marketing plan that was way more extensive than any major has brought me."They don't support their new acts; they don't support their established acts. What the hell are the labels doing with all their money?"

She owns Dollywood, she listenes to nobody. Good for you Dolly!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Don't forget the Wisconsin State Fair!

In the past ten years, The Wisconsin State Fair has received mixed reviews when it comes to the musical acts it provides to the nearly one million visitors that walk through the gates. Personally, I have bought Wisconsin State fair tickets for acts as tame as Harry Belafonte, as "out there" as The Village People, and as "old school" as Billy Idol. This year, The Doobie Brothers, Corbin Bleu, Kool and The Gang (with Rubin Studdard), The BoDeans, Switchfoot, and others will appear over the ten day run.

The Kids From Wisconsin are always there, the fake putumayo/world music players can be seen at a side stage, but my favorite band for a side stage is SHAG at the Double K ranch (food tent). They rock and rule.

See you around the cattle barn!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Alice Cooper at The Riverside Theater

Poor Alice Cooper. I really liked his theatrical shows. I admired his ability to get off the drugs and alcohol. While surfing for news about Alice Cooper, I came upon this blog interview from a few years back. Sad to say, his interview with Chrenkoff shows that Alice is peering through the looking glass when it comes to the Iraq war. " INTERVIEWER: It doesn't worry you, the false connection that was made between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein, all that stuff that's been shown? ALICE COOPER: No. It doesn't bother me because I honestly think it's all connected." Poor Alice is blind. No, not blind drunk, but as politically blind as a newborn puppy. None the less, he's coming to Milwaukee, and playing the Riverside theater on August 21st.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cover Bands, what do you think?

What do you think of cover bands? As a musician, do you respect their work? Do you feel that they deserve to be put in the same group as a musical artist? Cover musicians certainly study their instrument. Sometimes they play very complex songs. Sometimes they play a better version than the original artist does. These questions can fuel aggressive debate, threats, anger, disgust, etc. Here is a thought: If Ted Nugent walked out on stage and played Styx, Journey, Doobie Brothers, Van Halen, Motorhead, then took a bow and left what would you think? Would you feel ripped off? Would you think, "dude should play HIS songs, what's up with the covers?"
Another example: If you went to Milwaukee's lakefront festival of the arts, and as you walked by each booth, you found artists that painted copies of Rembrandt, Monet, Mondrian, Hopper, and Dali, would you feel like the festival is completely perverted? Add a twist: If these artists got paid five times more for their copies over original works of art, would you think that's just fine?
If then, these musicians and artists talked smack about how great they were, how talented they are, how much they rock when they play all the hits from the 70's, 80's and beyond, or when they paint another copy of some well known artist, would you accept that?
Finally, I'm not talking about tribute bands, those musicians that try their level best to perform the music of a single band, or star. I'm talking about the three-set-per-night-playing-at-some bar-in-Muskego type of group.
If anything is worth mentioning it's this: Cover bands are NOT composers, writers, or creators. Cover bands are imitators. These people learn how to play an instrument, and in some cases they bastardize the live music market by mimicking someone else's proven, popular, or time tested hit song. Let me put out another thought: How many cover bands record a cd of all covers, and then try to get national distribution? Is there a cover band section in the CD aisle at Best Buy? So I tipped my hand a bit..... cover bands are as thin as paper to me. They may be ten times more talented musically than original artists (In some cases), but they are just pretending. They may feel vindicated by the money they earn. They may feel vindicated by the people who step out and dance, or sing along to the chorus. I don't insist that I have the answer. I could be wrong, but I have yet to hear a solid argument against what I have been saying over the past 20 years. Finally, I'm just throwing down the words to see if anyone replies. I look forward to what others have to say.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cheap Trick is a humble band worth seeing

According to The Sixth Station, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult played Beloit Riverfest last weekend. If you are lucky, you can catch Cheap Trick at Summerfest some years. I live a block away from the biggest Cheap Trick fan in Milwaukee. Ron from follows them religiously.

It's nice to know that there are down-to-earth bands banging out gigs for the normal people who don't have $100 per ticket.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Keith Urban at Bradley Center July 26th

Keith Urban's tour vehicles use bio-diesel fuel. That's very green. Keith Urban is GAC's artist of the month for July. Mr. Urban performed at Earth Live last Saturday. I wonder if Ted Nugent would have the stones to admit that the world is getting hotter? Keith Urban's set list from a past tour included: Once in a Lifetime Where the Blacktop Ends Faster Car/All Right Now Raining on Sunday (acoustic, solo) Shine Stupid Boy Walking in Memphis Better Half* Making Memories* You’ll Think of Me* I Told You So* Days Go By I Can’t Stop Loving You Used to the Pain Tonight I Want to Cry Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me Somebody Like You.

Keith Urban will be seen and heard at Alpine Valley on July 26th. Don't let it be said that I don't cover the country music happenings.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Who's hot at Summerfest?

We're one week into Summerfest, and I think it's time to comment on the best, worst, and in between.
Best Marcus Amphitheater show by consensus: Roger Waters. The reviews were good, the show was a mind blowing experience, and Roger didn't disappoint the fans.
For side stage headliners with more to come, my current vote is the old timers Heart.
I saw young and less young checking out Heart and loving it.
Best side stage local band: I have to give it up for Binky Tunny and the Farmland Chokehold.
This year, (their 7th I think) they stripped down to their core band and it made for a solid show.

Their new guitar player Jon Marsh shredded the stage, and the band looked really relaxed. Binky Tunny threw out roses, t-shirts, beef sticks, cheese, candy, blow-up guitars, and chewing gum. No wonder they keep coming back. They know how to please the crowd.

Worst of the fest: I have to save that vote because Toby Keith plays the last night. So far, I have to give the vote to that "Putumayo" tent. People stand and watch those guys play, but little do they know that most of the music is fake. It's a "lip-sync" version of Central American music.
Why don't they just play for real?
I will return with more at the end of the fest.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Summerfest 2007 starts today.

I didn't hear the fireworks that accompany the beginning of Summerfest. You can't see them because fireworks fired off at noon, on what could easily be the longest, brightest days of summer just seem to be tiny puffs of smoke. But, you can hear them loud and clear across downtown. In a few hours the cheap parkers will be walking by my office window. It's just about one mile to the Summerfest grounds from here, so the parking fees are very cheap. Little do these misers know that it is another half-mile to the Marcus Amphitheater once you reach the north gate. Add a few beers to the belly, sit in the hot sun, walk, walk, walk, eat some grease, and you are dead meat. So, if I could give any advice regarding Summerfest it would be to PAY THE EXTRA CASH AND PARK CLOSE TO SUMMERFEST! Another bit of advice would be to LEAVE YOUR COWBOY HAT AT HOME. Yes, go directly to the country stage with your fancy dress shirt and boots, but leave the faux worn cowboy hat at home. They block the view, and more importantly, they point out those of you who came in from waaaay out of town to see their favorite band. You are welcome here in Milwaukee. Heck, stay for an extra day, just keep that cowpoke cap in your pick-up. Don't get me wrong, I have to think hard about what I wear when I go to the fest. I don't want to pretend that I'm not 42 years old, and I certainly won't slide on a pair of bleached out 501's and some white New Balance tennies either. It's a fine line between goober and proper, let's all try to stay behind the line, shall we?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A little known music fest featuring Country music

Country Fest? What's that? It's a well kept secret outside of Wisconsin, but...

"Country Fest fans wouldn’t be there if they weren’t excited about the entertainment, but the buzz this year isn’t even about an act that’s there. People are already talking about who’s coming next year.The crowd was told in a stage announcement Friday night that the Saturday night headliner for Country Fest 2008 would be Kenny Chesney." -

Country Fest has gotten bigger each year. When I first heard about it, I blew it off as some BYO, stand in the hot sun, potential washout. I was dead wrong about Country Fest. It's big.

Speaking of Country, Toby Keith, not my favorite "musician", is playing The Marcus Amphitheater during the Summerfest run on July 8th. He will "perform" his mix of patriotic, pro-war, big stick music to what I would guess are like minded, pro-war fans. You have to wonder if Toby is feeling duped, just like all the other Americans who bought what Dick Cheney was selling. Sorry, this is a music blog, I'm getting way off track.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summerfest fast approaching

Big Gig anyone? This is the time when employees start mulling over their work schedule. The wheeling and dealing begins. Throughout Milwaukee, people are trading vacation days in order to make that particular show. Where else can you see fifty-thousand faces in one spot? Where else can you hear multiple bands, choose your meals from various food vendors, and see all shapes and sizes of humans for a mere $15? Are you the guy who will start partying at noon before going down to see Roger Waters? Will you trade your day off so your co-worker/rabid country music fan can take the entire day to prepare for Toby Keith? Do you have to take your 15 year old nephew to Tool? Do you simply buy a few Summerfest tickets and go down to the Big Gig when the moment strikes you? Don't forget those guys who sit on the rocks by the lake shore. What are they smoking? The cops certainly know that routine after 40 years. In the early 90's I worked three blocks from Summerfest. My goal was to get on that freeway home before the traffic turned to gridlock. In the 80's I would hop on the Freeway flyer and hit the rock stage at least three times over the ten day festival. Whatever your flavor, style, or predilection, Summerfest changes the patterns and lives of many Milwaukeeans. See you there.

Rage Against The Machine Alpine Valley Aug. 24th

Yes, it's true. Rage Against The Machine will be performing at Alpine Valley on August 24th.

My nephew is contemplating a flight from Seattle to East Troy, just to see them. My guess is that they will book a Seattle show too. Can you imagine the sounds of Know Your Enemy screaming loud, rolling across the hills of Alpine Valley? Yes, Rage is Alpine worthy. I await their arrival.