The Squeaky Curd is prepping for Summerfest 2017 by previewing a few hand-selected musical acts our readers should not miss. For the day by day recommendation breakdowns, make sure to check back here each Monday of June leading up until the festival on the 28th. And follow along with our curated Youtube Playlist, found right here.
Summerfest is Milwaukee’s summer. The World’s Largest Music Festival lasts only 11 days, but its effects on our city are felt throughout the year: still trying to get the buzz out of your ears in the fall, longing for its warm return in the winter, and anticipating (and then debating) the lineup reveal in the spring. Here we are, less than a month away from its glorious June 28th return for the 2017 summer, and I can’t wipe this big red smile off my face.
While The Squeaky Curd staff will only be attending 4 of the 11 nights this year (unlike our glorious all-11-day music expedition some years back), we’re going to be previewing each night of the festival with acts, both big and small, that we personally recommend to our readers.
Day 1: Wednesday, June 28
Obviously there’s going to be big crowds for Red Hot Chili Peppers and for the Spin Doctors probable 2-song (Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong / Two Princes) encore, but don’t miss these:
MisterWives (10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Infectious indie-pop grooves and impressive vocals will kick off the first night of Summerfest with a giant dance party at MisterWives.
Eagle Trace (6:30 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage)
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (10:00 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
This funk/rock/R&B/blues mash-up band has been at it for a decade or more, but just recently got back to their hard groove roots.
Day 2: Thursday, June 29
Easy picks: Guster, Soul Asylum, and Luke Bryan/Brothers Osbourne. Less obvious:
Hanson (10:00 PM @ U.S. Cellular Connection)
I’ll forgive you for thinking these brothers were a one-hit 90s wonder, but the Hanson crooners have matured a long way from Mmmbop. I will be here, make no mistake. Encore better be “Man From Milwaukee“.
GGOOLLDD (8:00 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
Milwaukee’s own GGOOLLDD were local indie darlings years ago, and their shine has not diminished as they continue to release sexy synth tracks with a boogie back beat.
Pokey LaFarge (8:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse)
This St Louis native is churning out classic Americana, making this old timey genre sound hip and refreshing with each new banjo-infused track.
Hippo Campus (10:00 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
Honorable mention for the name alone, but Hippo Campus also makes catchy college rock for today’s generation.
Day 3: Friday, June 30
Paul Simon will draw an eclectic crowd, and Dispatch will undoubtedly put on a great show. Here’s what you didn’t know:
Johnnyswim (8:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse)
This is by far the concert I am looking most forward to. The husband/wife duo Johnnyswim pour passion, romance, and emotion into every folk rock song they sing. Get ready to meet your favorite new band.
Devil Met Contention (4:15 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
You’re going to want to leave work early to catch the absurdly-slotted local boys of Devil Met Contention. Their song “Fire” recently won the 2017 WAMI Award for song of the year, and their Bob Dylan-inspired whiskey-soaked crooning makes me feel all the emotions.
Joss Stone (10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Is this powerful blues singer from Europe still flying under the radar here across the pond? Can’t be. Expect to see the Big Backyard stage crumbling under the power of her vocals and groove line.
Of course, don’t miss David Seebach’s Wonderful World of Magic while you’re there these days as well. We’ll be back next week with a preview for Days 4-6.