5 worthwhile Summerfest gigs for July 1
1. Jaill (3 p.m. at Thecool TV Rock Stage)
Milwaukee band Jaill signing with Sub Pop was an overnight success story nearly eight years in the making: Vinnie Kircher started using the moniker in 2002, and the band has played clubs here and elsewhere for years without ever generating an overwhelming amount of hype. And yet the psych-pop group is suddenly one of Milwaukee’s most prominent and potentially successful bands, and a possible gateway to national labels discovering other worthy area finds. Jaill will release its Sub Pop debut, That's How We Burn, later this month.
2. Sleepcomesdown (6 p.m. at the Cascio Interstate Groove Stage)
While Sleepcomesdown still sounds like a young band trying to overpower its audience with atmospherics and creepy omens, the Milwaukee/Kenosha outfit gives itself some interesting space to mature in. The band’s worthy collision of post-punk, shoegaze, and ambient electronica could stand to expand its emotional range a bit, but 2008’s Vapor Kicks proves Sleepcomesdown has the sonics to handle it.
3. The Hold Steady (10 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage)
It’s time to stop calling The Hold Steady a bar band, and not just because the Brooklyn-based group is too big to play bars anymore. More pertinently, The Hold Steady’s sound has become so lush and complex that all those old Springsteen comparisons are finally starting to make sense.
4. The Roots (10 p.m. at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard)
Even if The Roots’ incendiary leanings are tempered a bit on TV, the band’s gig on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon hasn’t dampened the group’s restless activity: A new Roots record called How I Got Over came out in June, featuring contributions from members of Dirty Projectors and re-workings of songs by Joanna Newsom and Monsters Of Folk—which is also pretty cool.
5. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (10 p.m. at the Thecool TV Rock Stage)
Joan Jett still looks like she’s barely out of her 20s, but she’s been around, first with L.A. punk queens The Runaways and then as leader of the none-more-rock Blackhearts. Jett cut a commanding figure in the ’80s with a tough, gruff sound that rocked as hard as anyone’s.