Day One. My first beer did not last long enough to get a photo:
OK, Lots of initial impressions. First and most important, the Leinie Festweizen is a serviceable weiss beer, if you like weiss beers. Which I do not. Don’t get me wrong, I will not turn my nose up at a good weiss beer like I will at Budweiser swill, but it’s not my gig. Especially when teh ABV is only like 4.5.
Also, there is a full service bar, so my prior complaining to mikey about unavailability of rum is inoperative. Yet to be determined is whether Sailor Jerry is on duty, and the cost.
Contrary to Jennifer’s dire warnings, the 90 degree temps were effing lovely, and the breeze varied from SE to SW, so there was an occasional nice cooling breeze from the lake. AND, as I had predicted, there were MANY VENDORS in convenient locations with refreshing beverages on hand. IN all, a well planned kerfuffle!
I did not get there as early as I have in the past. After many other things attended to, I found a relatively affordable parking space, and halfway to the gate, realized that I had forgotten my 11-day pass FUCK FUCK FUCK. being left with crappy choices, I elected to pay for a ticket at the door, which was at least discounted to 9 bucks before 4 PM. As one of my bat-painting friends will say, ONWARD (bats show up later also. it’s kind of a theme).
Oh hey, here’s a beer. So then I texted Zorg at his day job, because taunting him is one of my only remaining joys in life. Yes, I am an asshole. I caught locals 10 Paces, Fire at the Cascio stage, and a bit of Nathanielf Rateliff. Verdict: The local boys show promise, and Rateliff was good, but maybe did not come across well in S-Fest land. Hey, look, here’s another beer.
OK, band break and time to wander a bit. yes, the Refugee stage is operational. I was worried because I could not find much in the way of web presence. BUT NEVER FEAR, there they are, acoustic guitars and hula-hooping hippie girls and everything!
The BMO stage is pretty nicely done, and I was VERY SATISFIED on a professional level to see the planners finally used a bit of topography to make sightlines work better, so when you approach, you walk p a rise and then descend again to the seating areas. We have yet to see how the actual shows work out, and might actually not do so until later this year when Elvis (not the fat dead one) plays there, because the lineup for Summerfest at this stage SUCKS DINGLEBALLS. Not even a cursory appearance by BOC, what the fuck? [ although I admit I like the curvy canopies. One of my clients is always disappointed when I design something that doesn’t have a gratuitous sexy curve].
So: then I walked on back, pestering clients for money via email and text, and continuing to harass Zorg-elmo. Saw a couple of people I knew and chatted, because that is S-Fest, you know?
And wound up back at the Emerging Artist stage for the Fruit Bats. Now, these dudes are from Chicago, but you can’t hold that against them, they’re actually pretty good. In a neo-folk-alt vein, anyway, they pulled their rockier stuff for the afternoon festival show.
After that, a Milwaukee Geek-rock band called the Fatty Acids played, and they had a crappy mix. I respected the use of a percussionist, geeky keyboards, and a trumpet, but it didn’t come across in this venue, we wound up talking with Zorg-elmo and others, (when fully counted, it was SEVEN. SEVEN! the Rule of Six doomed it from the start.) They moved on to find some fried foods, and a tremendously entertaining combo named Ready Goes played, which to me sounded like Loverboy filtered through a 90’s alt-rock filter, and yes that sounded just fucking fine, it did.
After that, we moved on down the grounds, people watching, drinking beer and talking, and eventually going through the Summerfest Swag Store where Wife Sublime passed on the cowboy hat (which I and the clerks all thought was quite fetching on her melon) and opting for a nice graphic shirt, novelty Summerfest sunglasses, and, once I demonstrated the special properties, a flexible rubber Summerfest Shot Glass. When combined with the Free Hot Lunch glow-in-the-dark shot glass, we really are prepared to drink shots in nearly any conditions.
Young Zombie was down there separately, and at last sighting, was walking away from his painfully uncool parents as fast as possible. Reports were that he planned to hang out for Lupe Fiasco; I intend to beat him severely if he spent any time whatsoever at the Steve Miller Band episode.
It appears that I missed a spot or two with sunscreen; the back of my hands are turning a lovely shade of pink. I am well and fairly drunk, and my feet hurt a bit; there is a mild ringing in my ears. I had my first Famous Dave’s Hot link and tomorrow looks to be hot and the Balconies are playing. It is Summerfest, yes it is.