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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tonight's Summerfest 11 p.m. Shows

Gnarls Barkley, They Might Be Giants, Cowboy Mouth, Drowning Poo

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Gnarls Barkley @ the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard
Summerfest schedules tend to repeat themselves, with the same bands invited back year after year, regardless of how far they descend down the C-list (case in point, Plain White T’s are returning this year, well after their 15 minutes have expired). That makes fresh meat at Summerfest all the more exciting, though, and Gnarls Barkley is this year’s prime rib: a relevant, widely popular band that normally plays much bigger gigs than the Big Gig. The group’s second collection of manic, churchy soul-pop,The Odd Couple might not harbor any singles on the magnitude of their 2006 tsunami “Crazy,” but from start to finish it’s every bit as strong as its hit predecessor. Gnarles Barkley plays the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard at 11 p.m.

They Might Be Giants @ the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage
An unapologetically nerdy alternative-rock band before nerdy alternative rock was cool, and also one of the few adult bands to make children’s music with appeal beyond just children, They Might Be Giants headlines the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage tonight at 11 p.m. Expect to hear a mix of goofy old favorites and new tracks from the band’s latest CD, The Else, which was produced in part by The Dust Brothers.

Cowboy Mouth @ the Potawtomi Bingo Casino Stage and Pavilion
No strangers to these parts, New Orleans’ Cowboy Mouth, a rootsy alternative rock group that flirted with success in the mid-’90s but ultimately got stood up, returns to Milwaukee tonight for an 11 p.m. Summerfest show. The band is used to playing the Potwatomi Bingo Casino, so it’s only fitting that for their Summerfest appearance, they’re playing the Potawtomi Bingo Casino Stage and Pavilion.

Drowning Pool @ the Zippo Rock Stage
Drowning Pool, whose testosterone-driven, alt-metal hit “Bodies” is inextricably linked to Iraq war brutality thanks to Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, pounds out a set at 11 p.m. at the Zippo Rock Stage.