Summerfest happened again this year. It never really changes. There’s so much history and tradition. It’s always a financial success. There’s a lot to love. There’s also a lot to criticize, especially regarding all the wasted fucking potential in repeatedly featuring so many lame, mainstream acts in such an ideal, beer-soaked location.
Dear Summerfest: Hi. Long time attendee, first time caller. We wonder if you’ve ever checked out Lollapalooza or Pitchfork down in Chicago? Ever even heard of Bonnaroo or Coachella? Summer Camp, Electronic Forest, or North Coast would be way too much for you so please stay away for your own health (maybe just read their websites?). There’s also this thing way out in Nevada where they get naked and burn a bunch of shit, but we won’t even mention that by name – you should just know it happens. You’re the biggest, and that’s great, you get full credit for that. But how about some edge? How about some creativity? How about having one day, ONE DAY, where all the acts have underground and/or indie cred – JUST ONE FUCKING DAY! Or expand the grounds, even if only for the Fest, to include “Landfill State Park“. You can put up another stage or two and isolate all the indie freaks out there if you want. Maybe art installations? Insane I know, but we have the technology. This would also nearly double the size of the grounds. These ideas are not revolutionary. Anyway, fuck you Summerfest. We hate you. But we love you. And we hate that we love you. Love, Defend-Wisconsin. PS – We beat you because we care so much.
Incidentally, Lollapalooza has only been in Chicago since 2005. In the olden days it used to be a traveling festival. In 1992 while at Alpine Valley the crowd got rowdy and tore up all the grass and had a big muddy grass fight causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Not bad. In 2003 it was in Milwaukee with a rather sick (do people still say that?) lineup. This writer was there and saw Incubus, Audioslave, Jane’s Addiction, and Queens of the Stone Age. We like those bands and don’t care who knows it.
Back to Summerfest. We caught the free Flaming Lips show and had to ask ourselves, how are they not headlining at Marcus? Seriously, we want answers. It was an amazing free show, but they seemed distracted (possibly tech glitches?) and took a long time between songs. Their show is so theatrical it seems a shame to have on a side stage.
After closing the Fest we made our way up to the Lower East Side. There’s a pull there, a certain center of gravity that leads directly to Wolski’s. Could someone please explain this? It’s the sticker, isn’t it? Everyone wants the sticker.