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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

John Mayer with Ben Folds at Summerfest 2007

By Robyn Mayer
The Week

Summerfest welcomed headliner John Mayer with opening act Ben Folds Tuesday night, July 3. It was an evening of rock and roll piano with Ben Folds and smooth, almost jazzy guitar with John Mayer. The two acts different styles complemented each other and made for an evening of music that was easy and fun to listen to.

Ben Folds gave a high-energy performance that rollicked through the house. He plays piano in an old-fashioned rock and roll style that is reminiscent of Jerry Lee Lewis. His overflowing high-octane energy made even a rebellious tune like "Army" roll along with quite a bit of bounce.

As thunderstorms threatened, John Mayer brought his smooth grooves to the crowded Marcus Amphitheater. While lightning provided a spectacular addition to Summerfest's fireworks show, John Mayer presented a set packed with hits and favorites, opening with "Belief" from 2006's Continuum.

Mayer and his guitar solos ambled across the stage, giving the listener the feeling of sitting back in a favorite recliner with the headphones on... his guitar playing is that smooth and he makes it sound easy. One look at his fingers flying over the fret board, however, and you realize that maybe it isn't as easy as Mayer makes it sound. His fluid guitar style was never more evident than during his extended solo on "Good Love Is On the Way."

Mayer's smooth vocals and earnest lyrics complemented his bluesy, jazzy guitar performance. He is not an over the top performer and he enjoys an easy back and forth with the audience and his band. His music persona changes from blues to jazz and back again, making an enjoyable evening of music and a perfect accompaniment for a rainy summer night.

Panic! At the Disco at Summerfest 2007

Terry Mayer
The Week

The Academy Is was one of the four opening acts for the main stage act Panic! At the Disco at Milwaukee's Summerfest Saturday, July 7. The band, from Hoffman Estates, Ill., did a fair job warming up the stage.

Neither good nor bad, they did their thing. Taking a page from the how to dance like Mick Jagger, frontman William Beckett did his best imitation of the Jagger strut across the stage to "The Phrase that Pays." Other songs included "Checkmarks" and "Slow Down," as well as "We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands" and "Neighbors."

Gym Class Heroes took over the stage with "New Friend Request" and "Shoot Down the Stars."

This was not a delight. The indie hip-hop rappers should have taken a summer vacation from class. They were more class clowns than rapper. The band's rendition of the classic Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" was anything but. The band's big hit "Cupid's Chokehold" was a crowd favorite as they ended with "Clothes Off." Final grade for Gym Class Heroes C-.

Panic! At The Disc was the main act for the evening, graduating to the main stage this year after previously playing the ground stage. "Time to Dance" and "Camisado" were OK. Songs like "Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks" and "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" had the amphitheater cheering. With a pretty good set list to work from they just didn't have the wow factor. The band needs to mature a bit and gain experience. Disco is not dead, just waiting for their time.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Black Crows at Summerfest 2007

By Phil Bonyata
July 4, 2007

The Black Crowes are finally going back to the depth of their roots. They are realizing that home lies firmly in the walls of their tight and fiery spurts of boogie-rock.Black Crowes The Black Crowes still do the Stones better than the Stones do today.

Singer Chris Robinson voice was raspy and raunchy as ever while wailing each word with Southern baptist conviction. Brother Rich's slicing blues soaked guitar riffs were married beautifully to Chris' soulful lyrics. Chris has apparently shopped at the local hippie commune's thrift store - sporting an army jacket, long hair and full beard and enough beads to make any Mardi Gras reveler envious.

Having two gospel singers on Chris' side only enhanced the southern gravy delights of "She Talks to Angels" and the barn burning fire of "Jealous Again." Chris Robinson naturally swayed and gyrated harder as the melodies became more crisp and the chorus' more intense.

The Black Crowes also were careful not to let the noodling get out of hand and relied more on tempo then pacing. With muscles flexing and chests pumping The Black Crowes once again proved that they are still the kings of Southern-fried, boogie-blues hard rock. Just don't tell the Stones that.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Silversun Pickups at Summerfest 2007

By Matt Schwenke

Falling somewhere between the infectious grunge hooks of the Pixies and the effects washes of Sonic Youth, the Los Angeles-based Silversun Pickups brandish some compelling indie rock effrontery.

Full review

My favorite Summerfest show

Add your comments here about your favorite Summerfest shows from 2007. We'll post our staff favorites and compile the best in the Thursday, July 12 edition of The Week.

Send your Summerfest photos here, and we'll post them online as well.

~Kelly Guzman, entertainment editor

Roger Waters and Heart at Summerfest 2007

Review and photos by Terry Mayer
The Week

Feeling a sense of weightlessness? Disoriented and surreal? Can't tell if your up or down?

No, it's not the first time Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Its Roger Waters and a legion of fans Monday evening at Summerfest in Milwaukee.

"Brain Damage" "Us and them" and a perfection of percussion on "Time" thrilled the solid out crowed.

From the greatest hits of Pink Floyd were "Mother," "Shine on you Crazy Diamond," and "Sheep."

The encore was no surprise as the crowd sang along with "Another Brick in the Wall." A fun evening that re-lived times forgotten and a time to look forward to.


Also Monday, no heart was left broken as Ann and Nancy Wilson took the stage at Summerfest.

The sound was almost perfect between Ann's guitar licks and Nancy's amazing vocals.

"Magic Man," "Little Queen," and "Straight On" were flawless classics from the '70s.

"These Dreams" and "Alone" brought back great hits from the '80s and fan favorites "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You" brought the house down. Rounding out the night performance was "Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain."

It was a solid set from a solid band that showed why Heart is the legends they are.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Welcome to music of the Week

Welcome to the music of the Week blog.

We'll be posting staff reviews and hosting comments of shows in the Walworth County, Wis., area.

We'll kick off in a few weeks with reviews from Summerfest. Keep an eye hear for reviews and photos, then add your own comments.

~Kelly Guzman, entertainment editor, The Week

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