Concert Recap: Summerfest 2013, Part 1

I'm to the right of the mic stand.
I’m to the right of the mic stand.

These Summerfest posts are going to be a little late, but I figured I would still communicate my experiences from the last two weekends. Maybe my good times will encourage you to listen to the artists I saw or even join me in attending a future concert. Anyway, I was able to get to Milwaukee for four of the days of Summerfest, and each day brought great music and even some learning experiences. Here’s the details from the first day I was there, Thursday, June 27th.

This was definitely the best night I had this year at Summerfest. I arrived on the grounds at six, right before one of my favorite Wisconsin acts took the stage. Based in Milwaukee, Irish punk band Whiskey of the Damned has grown on me since I first saw them at Summerfest 2011. They’re always solid performers and that night was no exception. The best part of their show was that I was able to get up to the front row, and I held one of three empty kegs the drummer played a solo on during a break in their set. The more you can interact with a band during their show, the better.

After Whiskey, Canadian band The Stanfields played a rocking set for their first concert in the U.S.A. Nothing they played was amazing, but it was a good leadup to the headlining act, Dropkick Murphys. This was the third time I have seen the Boston band, and each time I have a great new experience. The first time I saw them, vocalist/bassist Ken Casey came out to the middle of the crowd and I got to sing “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced” into his mic. When I saw them at Riot Fest in Chicago, it was all just a crazy, full-crowd-moshing blur. A riot if you will. This time, I had the ultimate view of the band by being in the front row, I got to scream “Going Out in Style” into lead vocalist Al Barr’s mic, and they played my favorite song of theirs, “The Warrior’s Code”. I never thought they’d play it because of how old it was, so that was the highlight of the concert for me. Guys are so good every time I see them, I’d be willing to go again just to have the chance of making it on stage for their encore.

Above is “The Warrior’s Code”. I HIGHLY recommend listening to it. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to see Capital Cities playing at a different stage before Dropkick, but front row was obviously worth it. Thanks for reading (something I don’t say that enough) and stay tuned for more Summerfest impressions!

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