7 great before-sunset shows at Summerfest
Slurp up these festival stories packed with vitamins, minerals and everything you need to spike your summer fun. The Summer Festivals Guide is brought to you by Punch Bowl Social. Come on in – it's time we all win at adulting.
Late-night Summerfest isn't just for the kids, but if – regardless of your age – the thought of huge crowds or wandering back to the bus, or your car, after midnight are not alluring to you, don't fret, because the Big Gig has plenty of great music on offer before the sun even considers setting.
Here are some shows that start early enough for you to get out and home before the headliners even hit the Summerfest stages.
Wednesday, June 26
Summerfest declares on day one that the early headliners aren't all old-guy bands, as Philly hip-hop/EDM artist Bok Nero at the Dim Mak Takeover of the Miller Lite Oasis Stage, 5:45 p.m., followed by dance music producer and performer Max Styler at 6:30 p.m. U.K. producer Tisoki hits the stage at 7:30, and there's Quix, too, but he's at 8:30 so I can't tell you about that!
Thursday, June 27
The R&B Cadets were THE band in Milwaukee for the first half of the 1980s, packing clubs, drawing crowds to festivals of every stripe and earning devoted followings in Madison, Minneapolis and beyond, before splitting into Semi-Twang and Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans in 1986. Catch this reunion at 6 p.m. at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard and you'll understand what the fuss was all about.
Sunday, June 30
Dayton, Ohio's beloved lo-fi indie pioneers Guided by Voices are known for playing marathon gigs, but at Summerfest the outfit will surely have a time limit on its 4 p.m. show at the Miller Lite Oasis. Founder Robert Pollard will front a revived lineup that also includes Bobby Bare Jr. on guitar.
Tuesday, July 2
Milwaukee duo Reyna has earned an impressive 7 p.m. slot at the Miller Lite Oasis. The group, sisters Vic and Gabby Banuelos who formerly performed as Vic & Gab, were recently announced as one of the acts in the current group of Radio Milwaukee Backline artists, so don't miss these up and comers.
Wednesday, July 3
Speaking of Radio Milwaukee, 88Nine's Kenny Perez spins at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse at 6 p.m. You won't want to miss that one!
Friday, July 5
Although Henry Fambrough is the only surviving original member, R&B's beloved vocal group The Spinners perform at 4 p.m. at the BMO Harris Pavilion, where they will surely play the hits, from "It's A Shame" and "I'll Be Around," to "Rubberband Man" and "Working My Way Back to You."
Sunday, July 7
The Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard will host Spoof Fest – a longstanding local music scene tradition – at 2:30 p.m. with an array of cover bands paying tribute and poking fun at beloved acts like the Rolling Stones, Def Leppard, INXS, Fleetwood Mac and Linkin Park.
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