Check out all of our Summerfest coverage here.
In Wisconsin, Summerfest is almost treated as a holiday. The world’s biggest music festival lights up Milwaukee and brings in people from all across the United States. The record-breaking festival hosts 800+ acts every year, filling Henry W. Maier Festival Park with nothing but music and good vibes for 11 days.
On the first day of Summerfest, crowds flocked to see bigger headliners like Lil Uzi Vert, Alesso, The All American Rejects, and Grizzly Bear. Many fans waited all day to catch Uzi’s set, which was highly anticipated by many Summerfest goers. The “XO TOUR LIif3” singer provided the crowd with plenty of energy during his 50-minute set, which many have already declared as their favorite show of Summerfest 2018. During this set, Grizzly Bear played for a much more tranquil crowd, finishing with a beautiful performance of “Sun in Your Eyes”. However, bands earlier in the day also graced the stages with many genres of music, drawing in crowds of all kinds. A personal favorite, Waker, managed to keep their crowd interested, which is sometimes rare for bands earlier in the day. Their energy (filled with soul and rock) was refreshing, and they managed to put on one of the best shows we’d seen so far this week.
On day two, Summerfest hosted “Throwback Day”, which was a celebration of bands from the past, with the exception of Tory Lanez and EDM artist Marshmello, who drew in a surprisingly dedicated fanbase. Small bands like Dusk, a native Wisconsin band, also graced the festival with their fresh sounds, leaving us wondering why we hadn’t been fans long before.
Day three met many festival goers with temperatures in the high nineties, leaving many of us to stress about staying hydrated and managing to cool off as often as possible. However, both the crowds and artists made sure to not let the heat get in the way of their fun. Artists like Knox Fortune remained very upbeat and kept his set alive and exciting. Shortly after, Xavier Omar had people of all ages dancing on the bleachers. His music provided unique and soulful grooves. By the time that The Plain White T’s graced the stage, the weather had cooled down a bit and the crowds became larger. The Plain White T’s welcomed their crowd by singing a few new songs off of their upcoming album, Parallel Universe, leaving us all wondering why we’d ever left them behind in 2008.
On day four, the heat was still rising, but festival-goers were more prepared and anxious to see bands like Kaleo, another personal favorite performance from this week. Kaleo had a very welcoming crowd, which they deserved. Their vocals were stunning, and two festival goers had relayed to me that their performance of “All The Pretty Girls” left them breathless, and “most definitely emotional”. Earlier in the day, artists like Trapper Schoepp had an unbeatable energy and stage presence that seemed almost impossible to top.
Day five was one of the most anticipated days this week. Headliners that night included bands like Spoon, Greta Van Fleet, and The Neighbourhood. While fans waited at some stages all day to get a decent view of their favorite artists, bands like Lovelytheband and Capital Cities kept them all entertained. A fan in the crowd for Capital Cities stated that they were one of the best shows he’d seen, which is understandable. Despite being 20 minutes late to their set, they made up for the delay with an undeniable energy and excellent vocals. Making sure to keep their fans engaged, Capital Cities had them all toss any white clothing fans had on around in the air. On the opposite end of the park, Lovelytheband had many fans dancing and screaming for them. The Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford was even spotted enjoying and dancing to their performance of “these are my friends” as well. Later that night, Greta Van Fleet proved to us all that rock and roll never died, and if it did, they were the ones to bring it back to life. Back at The Neighbourhood’s set, fans enjoyed a much more chill show that was received with many mixed (but mostly positive) emotions.
Although today is a day of rest for any dedicated Summerfest goers, many are looking forward to the festival starting again tomorrow. Anticipated acts include Bishop Briggs, Foster the People, Pixies, Machine Gun Kelly, The Flaming Lips, and Phantogram.