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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summerfest Daily Highlights: Tuesday, July 3

Tiësto w/ Steve Aoki, Joe Walsh and Bob Mould

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Tiësto w/ Steve Aoki, Zedd, R3hab, Tommy Trash and Pierce Fulton
Marcus Amphitheater, 3 p.m.


This concert is something of a historic one for Summerfest: It marks the first time an electronic-music act has ever headlined the Marcus Amphitheater during the annual festival. The booking, of course, reflects the genre's recent rise—it's now more popular than it's been since its '90s boom, and with all strands of pop music now drawing from electronic sounds, there doesn't appear to be a bust in sight. Dutch electro-house DJ Tiësto makes a fitting ambassador for the movement. A star in dance circles for most of the 2000s, the DJ has increasingly made his pop ambitions clear. His 2009 album Kaleidoscope featured contributions from Nelly Furtado, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, Tilly and the Wall's Kianna Alarid and Sigur Rós singer Jónsi, and in recent years he has worked with Katy Perry, Coldplay and Kanye West. He'll have a lot of support on this lengthy blowout bill, which also includes kindred spirits Steve Aoki, Zedd, R3hab, Tommy Trash and Pierce Fulton. —Evan Rytlewski

Joe Walsh
Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.


Singer/guitarist Joe Walsh may be best known for having been one of The Eagles and co-author with band mate Don Henley of “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Dirty Laundry,” as well as having given that country rock group the harder edge it needed to move to the next level. But there are some little-known facts that make the Wichita, Kan., native a more interesting study.

Walsh earned his rock chops as a member of power trio The James Gang, responsible for “Funk #49” and “Rocky Mountain Way.” But he's also a lifelong ham radio operator, using the call sign WB6ACU. Walsh has been a popular session musician and guest artist on albums by Steve Winwood, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and REO Speedwagon. He also ran for president in 1980 on the platform “Free Gas for Everyone,” promising to make his sardonic song “Life's Been Good” the national anthem if he won.

Walsh had a career revival of sorts in Australia and New Zealand during the 1980s, but he also developed serious substance abuse problems. He now campaigns actively for sobriety, having been in recovery since 1995.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page's 1959 Gibson Les Paul was once owned by Walsh, and Walsh is Ringo Starr's brother-in-law. He is married to Marjorie Bach, sister of actress Barbara Bach, aka Mrs. Starr. And Walsh has a new album, Analog Man, that was released June 5. Life's been good to Walsh so far. —Michael Muckian

Bob Mould

U.S. Cellular Connection Stage with Leinenkugel's & FM 102/1, 10 p.m.


Bob Mould has led a long and divergent musical career, recording with Hüsker Dü and Sugar and as LoudBomb (an anagram of his name) and, finally, just Bob Mould. He casts a long shadow. Despite the band's limited commercial success, his seminal '80s punk band Hüsker Dü became a major influence on '90s alternative rockers. By that time, though, Mould had already moved on. Pop-rock crept into Mould's veins with his band Sugar, its tight power chords and catchy melodies broadening his appeal and even earning him some radio play of his own. Ever the Renaissance man, Mould has produced other bands and started his own label, Singles Only, signing Grant Lee Buffalo, among other indie types. That's on top of his live DJ work and last June's release of his memoirs, See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, the title of which is taken from a song written in support of same-sex marriage (Mould is openly gay). For this festival appearance, Mould will revisit one of his best albums, Sugar's 1992 debut, Copper Blue, which yielded the alternative hit “If I Can't Change Your Mind.” —Harry Cherkinian