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Monday, June 30, 2008

Summerfest 10 p.m. Headliners

Paramore, Gin Blossoms, Candlebox, Matisyahu

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Separating themselves from legions of other Warped Tour/Alternative Press-approved pop-punkers, Paramore is fronted by spunky starlet Hayley Williams, a 19-year-old who is, refreshingly, like a real 19-year-old. The group’s charmingly overproduced 2007 album, Riot!, is an emo-rific depiction of high-school hallways as sexually charged battlefields, where relationships are fleeting and romantic rivals are plentiful. Paramore does a 10 p.m. show at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage.

Oh snap! It’s a 1990s nostalgia throw down tonight at the Summerfest grounds! In one corner, we have Gin Blossoms, who play the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse at 10 p.m. and represented the brighter, chimier side of early ’90s guitar-pop. In the other, we have Candlebox, the wailing Seattle grunge rockers who do a 10 p.m. show at the Zippo Rock Stage. So which song would you rather hear, ’90s fans? “Hey Jealousy” or “Far Behind?” Pick your poison.

In a success story that reads like a script for a bad Adam Sandler comedy, an Orthodox Jew named Matthew Paul Miller reinvented himself as Matisyahu, a reggae superstar. That this white boy with ties to the feel-good jam circuit gravitated toward rough-edged dancehall reggae over more generically feel-good roots-rock reggae is interesting in itself, but much more ink has been spilled over the incongruity between between Miller’s religion (which forbids marijuana use) and reggae tradition (which encourages it). Without apologizing for his beliefs—or exploiting them for the novelty value—Miller has carved out his own unique niche in the genre. He headlines a 10 p.m. show at the Miller Lite Oasis.