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ConcertGoers

Concertgoers blog!

Posts from March 2012


Summerfest Headliners
Our recent warm weather is an early signal of the impending summer. But for those of us in the Midwest, it is also a signal that Summerfest is just around the corner! Billed as the "World's Largest Music Festival", Summerfest takes place over 11 days in June and July on the shore of Lake Michigan. 11 stages, over 700 bands, fireworks, food, and comedians make up only a portion of the things to see and do. With so many options, it can be hard to pick out the things you need to see. Don't worry, we're here to help. Here's a few of the bands we know are headlining who we think you should see!
  • Steve Miller Band: For 25 years, the Steve Miller Band has been performing hits like "The Joker" and "Fly Like and Eagle". A classic rock staple. What more do you need to know?
  • The Avett Brothers: Centered around brothers Scott and Seth Avett, folk/indie rock band The Avett Brothers have rocketed to stardom after the release of their recent album I and Love and You. Think Mumford and Sons with an edge.
  • Cake: The unique sound and humor of Cake have kept them relevant through the nineties and oughts. Hits such as "Never There" and "The Distance" are key additions to any music lovers collection.
  • The Head and the Heart: The Head and the Heart is a indie pop-folk band hailing from Seattle, Washington. The music relies heavily on vocal harmonies, piano and violin melodies, and prominent drums and percussion.
  • Gavin DeGraw: Pop rock singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw is best known for his song "Don't Want To Be" which reached #1 on the US Pop chart. His most recent single "Not Over You" reached #1 on the US Adult charts.
  • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: Folk artist Grace Potter fronts the folk rock back Grace Potter and the Nocturnals who employ slide guitar, harmonica, upright bass, and mandolin to create a unique folk/blues sound.
  • Fitz and the Tantrums: In three years and with only one studio album to their name, Fitz and the Tantrums have taken their soul inspired indie rock sound to new heights, reaching #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. They are best known for their catchy and easily recognizable single "MoneyGrabber".
Stay updated with Summerfest lineup news and announcements by checking out our festival guide.
For other info, check out the Summerfest page here.
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GWAR Leaves Path of Destruction Through Madison
As I approached the Majestic Theatre last night, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was my first GWAR show, and I was ready for anything. With plastic sheets lining the walls and balcony, it seemed the Majestic was ready for anything as well. Legacy of disorder started things off with the seriously heavy metal, followed by Ghoul in their bloody masks. If that wasn't enough, Municipal Waste took the stage, sending the crowd into a whirling, thrashing mess despite signs prohibiting it. Lead singer Tony Foresta led the band in classics like "Wolves of Chernobyl" and "Headbanger Face Rip" while encouraging multiple most pits. All this in order to prepare for the main event.

GWAR finally took the stage around 10:30. GWAR has gained a following due to their heavy music, extravagant costumes and props, and tongue-in-cheek stage show. Tonight would be no different. From the start I knew my bright white t-shirt wouldn't stay that way for long. During the first song, their latest single "Zombies, March!", fake blood began spraying into the audience and would rarely stop for the next two hours. GWAR continued to play hits such as "Bring Back the Bomb", "Metal, Metal Land", and "Sick of You" while the crowd screamed, pushed, and fought for front row spot. At first I stayed to the side, letting the veterans do what they do best, but eventually I was moshing with the best of them, soaked in red and green colored water. At times the show took a somber turn, as somber as GWAR can be, as they memorialized recently deceased guitarist Cory Smoot. Smoot died in November of a heart disease and this second half of their tour is dedicated to him.

In the end, it was a great show. I was hot, soaked, and deaf and wouldn't expect anything less. A big thanks to the Majestic, especially their cleaning crew, who I'm sure worked long into the night.
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Justin Vernon Makes Cameo At Megafaun Show

Vernon image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One half gushing over Field Report, one half gushing over Justin Vernon's surprise appearance...

On Saturday night, I went to the Megafaun show at High Noon. I actually went just for the sole opener, Field Report. Formerly known as Conrad Plymouth, Field Report is a Milwaukee-based band fronted by the incredibly talented Chris Porterfield. After being introduced to Chris during a solo performance opening for Cedarwell last August, I've been singing his praises. Porterfield, who used to be in a band called DeYarmond Edison with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, is one of the most engaging live singers I've seen. This group is on the verge; they recently changed their name to Field Report while recording their debut album up north at Vernon's studio in Fall Creek (near Eau Claire, of course). Unfortunately, the album won't be out until June, but you can scoop up their EP, the now-no-longer-self-titled Conrad Plymouth, on iTunes.

If you have the chance to see Field Report live, I'd highly recommend it, although they're currently on a national tour supporting Megafaun. Here's a snippet of Field Report from Saturday's show; it's only a minute long (sorry), but it's long enough to demonstrate the raw emotion and impressive dynamics of this band. Porterfield's growling voice building and bellowing towards the 1:02 mark gives me chills. It's a little reminiscent of Springsteen, isn't it? Totally boss.


 

Needless to say, I was a pretty satisfied concertgoer after Field Report's set. I stuck around to check out Megafaun, though, and I'm sure glad I did. Megafaun is another band with Wisconsin roots -- three of the members also used to be in the aforementioned Eau Claire band DeYarmond Edison with Justin Vernon. You know the legend of Bon Iver? How Justin Vernon was in a band from Eau Claire that moved to North Carolina? And after that band broke up, he moved back to Eau Claire and recorded the Bon Iver debut For Emma, Forever Ago? Well, that was THIS band. Rest assured, there's no lingering bad blood between the Grammy-less ex-band members. How do I know? Justin Vernon snuck on stage during Megafaun's encore to play guitar during a couple songs on Saturday night.

I snapped this quick video for proof...play "I SPY" and look for a beardless Vernon (it's been a warm few weeks in Wisconsin) sporting a plain white t-shirt.




 

 

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GWAR @ Majestic Theatre 3/26/12
Heavy metal staple and Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band are bringing their destructive show to the Majestic Theatre tonight!

GWAR has been performing their over-the-top and sometimes gruesome act for over 25 years now and show no signs of stopping. While a departure from standard Triple M musicians, their eccentric costumes and theatrical stage show make them a must see for any music lover.

Due to the recent death of guitarist Cory Smoot, GWAR postponed their Return of the World Maggot tour in November. They have now triumphantly returned as a 4-piece to finish out the tour in memory of Smoot. Their act remains as mesmerizing as ever, featuring giant latex, styrofoam, and rubber costumes, a vast array of characters, and the lampooning of celebrities and public figures. For a night you won't forget, check out GWAR tonight and prepare to have your mind blown.

Doors open at 7:00pm with the show starting at 8:00. Also performing are special guests Municipal Waste, Ghoul, and Legacy of Disorder. Tickets are $25.


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We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Majestic Theatre 3/24/12
The beautiful Majestic Theatre will play host to We Were Promised Jetpacks on Saturday, March 24.

We Were Promised Jetpacks are an indie rock band hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland. They began playing in high school in 2003, and by 2008 were touring Scotland with Frightened Rabbits. In 2009 they released their first album These Four Walls, which reached #27 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Following the release, they began their first tour in American, eventually playing sold-out shows with pop-punk legends Jimmy Eat World. Recently, they have released their second studio album In the Pit of the Stomach and have had songs featured on One Tree Hill, Shameless and Sons of Anarchy.

We Were Promised Jetpacks have a low-key indie rock sound featuring droning distorted guitars and raw vocals that rise and fall. Many of their songs slowly build to become powerful and driving, while others are a slow-burn, both wrenching and triumphant.

Come check out We Were Promised Jetpacks with special guests Bad Veins and New Cassettes at the Majestic Theatre on Saturday, March 24 at 9:00pm. Ticket are $15.

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The Joy Formidable @ The Majestic 3/20/12
The story of The Joy Formidable began in the small Welsh town of Mold. This is where childhood friends Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd grew up. This is also where in 2007, after the breakup of their previous band Tricky Nixon, they returned to begin playing together under the new moniker The Joy Formidable.

Together they experimented with various sounds, combining heavy guitars and bass with catchy pop melodies. They released their first single "Austere" in 2008 and a year later, after adding current drummer Mat Thomas, they were introduced to American audiences when they opened for Passion Pit at a pair of sold-out shows in New York. Around this time they released the EP A Balloon Called Moaning which received good reviews from critics and heavy rotation on indie rock radio stations. Finally in 2011 they released their first album The Big Roar which reached #8 on Billboards Heatseekers chart. Most recently, they had a song featured on the Twilight: Breaking Dawn soundtrack.

The Joy Formidable's sound bridges a gap between indie rock, pop, and metal. Loud, distorted guitars, thick bass lines, and double-pedal drums mixed with pop hooks and emotional vocals manages to create powerful songs that rise and fall in intensity.

On Tuesday, March 8, The Joy Formidable with be bringing their unique sounds to The Majestic Theatre in Madison. They will be accompanied by special guests A Place To Bury Strangers and EXITMUSIC. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. Doors open at 7:00, show beings at 8:00.
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Topics: Entertainment_Culture
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Locations: New York
People: Tricky Nixon


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