Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Violent Femmes Are Back, And They're Opening Summerfest

Relations are no longer "Frosty" between Ritchie and Gano

By Evan Rytlewski
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It ended with an argument over Wendy's. Milwaukee's Violent Femmes had been playing together for nearly 30 years, but that shared history wasn't enough to keep them together in the wake one of the fast-food giant's ad campaigns, which used the Femmes' iconic "Blister in the Sun" with the permission of guitarist Gordon Gano but not bassist Brian Ritchie. Incensed by that commercial, Ritchie sued Gano seeking half ownership of the Femmes' songbook, the two exchanged harsh words, and the band crumbled.

Early this year, though, Ritchie and Gano announced that they had buried the hatchet, and that the Femmes were reuniting for a pair of Coachella dates. That reunion now looks like it may be permanent one, since the band has listed a couple of additional dates on the tour page of their website, including one at the Marcus Amphitheater on Wednesday, June 26—the opening night of Summerfest.

Summerfest has not yet confirmed the show or announced ticket prices, but an opening-night gig at the biggest stage of Milwaukee's biggest festival would be fittingly symbolic way to mark the return of the city's best-known band. Here's hoping things don't get too awkward outside of that Wendy's stand built into the amphitheater, though.
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