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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tonight @ the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

As vicious as it may seem to throw a baby-faced band to the tar pits, The Redwalls have likely missed their shot at stardom. Snatched up by Capitol Records early in their career, in 2005 the Illinois group released De Nova, a banal tribute to the ’60s British Invasion that was heavily promoted but indifferently...
Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cracker, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Steel Pulse

With its crunchy alt-rock guitars and its “leave me alone and let me get stoned” mentality, Cracker’s best-known hit, “Low,” is pure ’90s, but the rest of the band’s catalogue doesn’t date so easily. Like frontman David Lowery’s other band, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker continues to record spry rock albums spiked...
Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tonight @ the M&I Classic Rock Stage

“I Want You to Want Me” was pretty obviously a love song, but it’s hard not to also read the song as something of a mission statement for Cheap Trick, the endearing (and enduring) rock ’n’ roll band. After over three decades together, they’re still one of the coolest uncool bands ever. The Illinois lads...
Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tonight @ the Marcus Amphitheater

Tom Petty’s career has been remarkably consistent, as the man has yet to put out a bad album. From Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (1976) to Highway Companion (Petty’s 2006 solo album), all of Petty’s albums have featured at least one everlasting song, a song that simply never gets old. Making Petty...
Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3 @ the Cascio Groove Garage

Summerfest has long been the domain of bright, cheery music, not aphotic hardcore and grinding metal, so it was a bit of a spectacle Thursday when the Cascio Groove Garage hosted a line-up of loud area bands, booked by the local punk scene’s busiest impresario, Kelsey Kaufmann of Cougar Den. Milwaukee’s hardcore scene has long hosted some of the city’s most visionary bands, so it was a welcome change to see some of its young warriors finally get their due at Milwaukee’s biggest music festival. Flanked by a supportive, receptive crowd of peers that crowded the front of the stage, most groups fit in at the Big Gig better than might be expected. Novel, for instance, proved they weren’t nearly as menacing as their demonic . . .
Friday, July 4, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stateside, raves seem harder and harder to come by these days. Still, the rain-slicked aluminum bleachers of Summerfest seemed an oddly perilous dance venue for the return performance of the low-profile big beat pioneers, The Crystal Method. Taking the helm from DJ Dieselboy in mid-beat, Scott Kirkland and Ken Jordan arrived with a blasé casualness that seemed to pervade the whole evening, underscoring the intensely omnipresent volume. Kirkland, as the Pesci to Jordan’s De Niro, played the group’s flamboyantly mischievous half, tagging out of duty frequently to stalk the stage and giving himself devil horns while the more stoic Jordan manned the decks.
Friday, July 4, 2008

Tonight @ the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Seether may have formed in South Africa, but their hearts are in Seattle, from where they channel the grimier, hard-rockier side of grunge artists like Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Perpetually disgruntled singer Shaun Morgan filled his band’s latest album, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, with piss and profanity...

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