Summerfest was exceptionally good this year. So good, in fact, that I went 6 times. I only paid $36 for tickets so I think that's a win. Here, in calendar order, are my reviews:
June 27: Steve Miller Band. I only paid attention for 3 or 4 songs (woo hoo fireworks!) but was pleasantly reminded that they sing Dance Dance Dance, a song that I always loved growing up. Here you go:
I'll admit, I'm not the world's greatest SMB fan, but it feels good to say that I've seen them.
June 28: After a moment of brief fear over who would accompany me, I went to see the first show in 12 years from Ben Folds Five. It. Was. AWESOME. They jammed, they goofed around, they covered surfer rock songs, and just looked like they were having fun. Ben Folds Live was great a few years ago because I really like Rockin the Suburbs, but it was good to hear the old stuff performed by the whole group. Cuts off their new album sounded good too, so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on that. On a side note, Summerfest needs to do a lot better next year in communicating how the BMO stage works. When/where to get tickets, traffic flow with the hand stamp folks, etc. It was frustrating at best. Hopefully they'll figure it out next year!
After 2 days of Milwaukee heat, I hopped a plane to Pittsburgh with my bestie to see Roger Waters perform The Wall. Hands down, this is the best show I've ever seen. Growing up, I always knew that there are social undertones to this album. Seeing it in person was actually very interesting and moving because it brought the feelings of the 70s to life in 2012. I have always wondered what the world was like during those pivotal years - the Vietnam War, the Watergate break-in and all of the other things going on causing distrust in government. The show was visually stunning and acoustically perfect. It was really more like seeing a play at a theatre than seeing a rock show in an arena. If they ever tour again, I'll be there.
A quick note on Pittsburgh: it's a great city. I'd love to take a long weekend there and catch a Brewers-Pirates series. The Carnegie Museum is one of the greatest museums I've seen in a long time. There is a great permanent exhibit on minerals and gemstones, and there was an absolutely gorgeous Impressionist exhibit that was curated amazingly well. The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh was awesome. It looks like Harry Potter (I can't lie). Very cool that something like this exists stateside.
Ok, back to Milwaukee.
July 5: The Avett Brothers. I made some new friends at this show, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again this Friday. Oh, and the show was great too. The band rocked out. I've been listening to them nonstop ever since.
July 6: OAR (attempted). Stopped in by AWOLNATION to see Dave. He's invented a new dance. Look for it at the next wedding you go to, right in between The Sprinkler and The Shopping Cart. Was going to swing by Paul Oakenfold but I ran into some coworkers.... I gave Matty a tattoo with a Sharpie and Kiran and I decided to go and get pierced. Made it over to OAR for the last 2 songs. Almost got kidnapped to the south side of Milwaukee.... but walked home instead (probably a good idea).
July 7: Cake. I've always wanted to see these guys. I thought the crowd would be mostly my age since I listened to them a lot in college but there were a lot of people in their 30s and even 40s there, which was cool. They were very good, but did not play Italian Leather Sofa like I was hoping. It was also a much more mellow show than I was expecting. They played a few songs of their new self-released album that just sounded great. I'll be picking that one up too.
July 8: Neil Diamond. 'Nuff said. Work treated us again this year, and many of my older colleagues were surprised to find out that yes, I know who Neil Diamond is, and that I know most of the lyrics to his songs. And not just because of Saving Silverman.
Overall, it was a good few days. Next year I'm getting the Summerfest Power Pass so I can relive it all over again (hopefully 2013 has another quality lineup!).
Other than that, I've been coming down off of a 3-week bender. I've been trying to eat healthier, which is sort of working, but not as well as I would have hoped. This next week should be more calm so hopefully I can get started. Again.
I've been emotionally drained lately. There has been a lot going on with my family and my friends and I've been going a bit out of my mind trying to be supportive of everybody. I love y'all a lot.... but I'm gonna take a few days for myself, so nobody do anything crazy, ok? thanks.