Summerfest: Saturday’s Performance Highlights

Most people opted not to return to Summerfest on Saturday, given it was July 4th- and the smaller sized audiences were quite noticeable. The weatheron Saturday was just as refreshing as the day before, and the fact that the festival wasn’t at full-capacity made it a lot easier to move around to each show. Despite not having a large crowd, the performers on Saturday put on very memorable shows.

The Avett Brothers headlined Summerfest’s Saturday lineup. The band played at the 23,000-seat Amphitheater, and unfortunately, the venue had a lot of empty seats. To be fair, Summerfest’s Saturday turnout wasn’t as big as the day before, but it’s a bit surprising more people didn’t come and see the band perform. Avett Brothers played songs such as “You and I,” “The Carpenter,” “Talk on Indolence,” and “True Sadness.” They even honored America with a rock rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Those people who did not attend The Avett Brothers’ set, missed out on a great show, which also featured a performance by Brandi Carlile.

Foghat‘s gig was one of the best performances on Saturday. The band played to a sold-out crowd of 5,000 people at BMO Harris Pavilion, and the energy from the building woke up the entire festival. The iconic band opened with a performance of “Fool For the City,” and they also rocked out to “Eight Days on the Road,” “Night Shift,” “Third Time Lucky,” and “Drivin’ Wheel.” Staying true to the statement to “save the best for last,” Foghat closed the show with a performance of their biggest hit “Slow Ride.” The moment the first note of “Slow Ride” blasted through the loud speakers, it sent the audience into a frenzy. “Any time I get a chance to see Foghat play in the states, I’m going to be there. I’ve been a fan of them since the 1970s- I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to see them at Summerfest,” audience member Lynn Anderson (of Chicago) stated to MusicSnake.

Big Data (or Alan Wilkis) emerged on the US Cellular Connection Stage with a five-piece band, which surprised the festival audience. Wilkis was joined by singer Lizy Ryan, who brought her big voice and energy to the stage. The DJ/producer performed his hit “Dangerous,” as well as “Sick for Me,” “The Business of Emotion,” and “Private Eyes.” While it can be tough for electronic performers to shine at festivals that are more catered to Rock and R&B fans, Big Data proved good music can captivate any audience.

Matt Nathanson took the stage at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard on Saturday night, which was one of the few shows that closed the festival that night. Using his humor throughout the show, Nathanson has a way of connecting with his audience- no matter how young (or old) the people in the stands may be. At one point, the rocker asked the age of three audience members, and the young girls replied they were 8, 9, and 12 years old. Out of respect, Nathanson tried his best not to use foul language in front of his young fans, and he actually used the term “the f-word” instead of saying “f**k.” His set was opened with “Kinks Shirt,” and he also performed “Modern Love,” “Headphones,” and “All We Are.”