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. If you’d rather let your ears do the choosing, follow along with our curated Youtube Playlist, found right here.
Another week closer to Summerfest 2017, and we’re excited to add another 3 days to our ongoing preview of which lesser-known free stage acts you definitely should put on your own itinerary. Below, days 4-6:
Day 4: Saturday, July 1
The Isley Brothers are going to get everyone at the BMO shouting, but these acts should be drawing just as big of crowds.
JC Brooks (8:00 PM @ Uline Warehouse Stage)
JC Brooks’ above video, starring the infallible Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson, may be a couple years old, but it gives you an idea just how funky-rock fusion this concert is going to be.
The Listening Party (12:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Milwaukee-based The Listening Party is the next generation of bluegrass/folk music that seems to be growing out of the ever-popular New Americana genre. They’re slated for noon, so make it a whole-day Summerfest affair.
The Last Bandoleros (4:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse)
If delicious Tex-Mex food could be turned into a sound, The Last Bandoleros would be making the music. 4PM on a Saturday? This is where the dancing crowd will be.
Day 5: Sunday, July 2
Hometown favorite Danny Gokey will undoubtedly get big numbers; so should these guys:
Andy Grammer (10:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Andy Grammer’s no longer flying under the radar: with massive, infectious hits like Honey I’m Good and Good to Be Alive, Grammer’s star has been placed in the sky. But he got his start as a simple street performer in LA, and his shows are equal parts authentic guy with a guitar and flashy pop superstar. This is a can’t-miss.
Jonny P (8:00 PM @ Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Goodness. With grooves smoother than silk and a voice sweet like chocolate, Jonny P is going to get fingers snapping and hands clapping to the beat.
Car Seat Headrest (10:00 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
Car Seat Headrest’s off-kilter vocals, killer guitar riffs, and all-around differentness was initially off-putting. But the more songs I listen to from their new album Teens of Denial, the more I find myself bobbing along. There’s something about their sound that reminds me of 70s/80s trippy rock gods.
Day 6: Tuesday, July 4
Celebrate America’s Independence Day with Bill Pulman’s classic speech and some Red, White, and Bluegrass music. Just be careful of any and all fans going to The Chainsmokers.
Miike Snow (10:00 PM @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse)
Like the European electro-pop version of The Postal Service, Miike Snow is really three accomplished global musicians coming together to release earworms galore. Expect lights, bumping bass, and plenty of dancing.
Alessia Cara (10:00 PM @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage)
Though you may not know Alessia Cara by name (yet), you’ve undoubtedly heard her powerful voice before. Whether it’s one of her many recent string of pop hits, or her feature in Disney’s Moana, the makings are there for a soon-to-be household name. See her before then.
New Sound Underground (6:45 PM @ Johnson Control’s World Stage)
Summerfest is all about the music, and you don’t need a voice to make great jams. New Sound Underground is proof positive: these original instrumental compositions are for jamming, no lyrics needed.
Don’t forget to come back next week with a preview for Days 7-9.