Top Five Performers at Summerfest’s Friday Gigs

Summerfest 2015 is in the final three days of its 11-day festival. On Friday, the festival welcomed the likes of The Isley Brothers, Ed Sheeran, AWOLNATION, and Lupe Fiasco. While it was enjoyable not having to battle with the heat of the scorching sun, it was pretty weird to have to wear a sweater during the month of July. Consequently, most of the festival attendees were wearing jackets, jeans, and sweaters- but the 67 degree weather made for the perfect festival weather.

Number Five: The Glorious Sons. The band’s set was soulful and rock infused, and frontman Brett Emmons was amazing. Opening with a performance of “Mama,” Emmons’ vocals were commanding and dominant. Reminiscent of a young Jim Morrison, the rocker is well on his way to becoming one of the biggest forces in rock music. Besides a stellar performance of “Mama,” Glorious Sons also rocked out to “White Noise,” “Love Under Fire,” “Heavy,” and “Lightning.”

Number Four: Kellie Pickler. The singer had the tough task of performing while Lupe Fiasco, The Isley Brothers, AWOLNATION, and The Doobie Brothers performed on other stages at Summerfest. In true southern girl fashion, Pickler simply “kicked butt” on the Uline Warehouse stage. She performed songs such as “Where’s Tammy Wynette,” “Things That Never Cross A Mind’s Mind,” “Ring For Sale,” and “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again.” The country singer’s set was full of energy, and her powerful voice was undeniable on Friday night.

Number Three: The Isley Brothers shut it down at Summerfest. The R&B icons’ show didn’t begin until 9:45pm (Central standard time), but the overly anxious audience at the BMO Harris Pavilion stage started piling in a couple hours before Isley Brothers performed. With soulful classics like “Between the Sheets,” “Shout,” “For the Love of You,” and “Twist & Shout,” Ron Isley proved he’s still “got it.” The audience danced in the aisles, and they couldn’t help but sing along to all of the Isley Brothers’ hit songs. Lead singer Ron Isley commanded the stage, and he romanced the women in the audience with his soulful, smooth, and sultry vocals.

Number Two: Lupe Fiasco. Performing on the Miller Lite Oasis stage at 10:15pm (Central standard time), the rapper single-handedly commanded the attention of just about every attendee at Summerfest. With more than 20,000 people watching him perform, Fiasco opened his set with a performance of “Mural,” a song from his latest album Tetsuo Youth. The rapper fed off of the energy from the Summerfest crowd, and it appeared as if he having the time of his life. Even though he performed quite a bit of songs from his latest album, Fiasco didn’t forget the songs that made him a household name. The young crowd went ecstatic when he performed “Kick, Push,” and “Superstar.”

Number One: Ed Sheeran. The singer showed why may have stamped his “Rock Royalty” card last night with his performance at Summerfest in the Marcus Amphitheater. Sheeran sold out the 23,000 seat theater, which is an accomplishment Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, and Stevie Wonder didn’t do when they headlined the festival on the Amphitheater stage. Throughout the day, attendees were constantly talking about going to Sheeran’s show, which began at 7:30 (Central standard time). The singer’s set was very simple, yet it was brilliant. He didn’t bother with a big stage production, Sheeran’s music was the focal point, and he put on an extraordinary set. Sheeran played songs such as “I See Fire,” “Lego House,” “You Don’t Need Me, I Don’t Need You,” and his smash single “Thinking Out Loud.” The rocker even paid respect to Stevie Wonder with a cover of the legend’s “I Was Made to Love Her.”