Sweet 16: A.V. Club’s list of things to look forward to this summer
Mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss this stuff
Milwaukeeans have to suffer through nine months of crappy weather to get to summer, so you’ll excuse us if we get a little crazy in June, July, and August. As if simply standing outside in short sleeves and flip-flops wasn’t wonderful enough, summertime in Milwaukee also means weekly festivals and plenty of killer concerts. With Memorial Day coming up around the corner, Decider has been looking ahead on the entertainment calendar to find the best of what’s in store, and here are the 16 things we’re most excited about.
2: Chill On The Hill
Humboldt Park is one of Bay View’s loveliest treasures, with several blocks worth of rolling hills and looming trees. Drink it all in during the weekly Chill On The Hill concerts taking place every Tuesday through Labor Day. First up is Milwaukee R&B master Paul Cebar.
4: Jazz In The Park
Jazz In The Park has been a Thursday night ritual for Milwaukeeans for years, whether they like jazz or downing beers in Cathedral Square Park. This year shouldn’t be any different. Just be sure to get there early in order to secure a prime spot on the lawn, especially for this opening concert of the season.
The unofficial start off the festival season in Milwaukee, Riversplash! is light on big-name entertainers, but it does have a family-friendly atmosphere and it’s free.
8: Grizzly Bear
After coming on strong in 2006 with its acclaimed Yellow House, indie-rock band Grizzly Bear is poised to be one of the breakout bands of the year with its new album, Veckatimest. Here’s your chance to say you saw them before they were big.
13: Fat Tire Tour Of Milwaukee
The popular (and infamous) bike race that combines fitness with heavy drinking celebrates its 25th year this summer. It goes on for nearly 20 miles, so big fat party animals might want to climb on the Stairmaster before signing up.
19-21: Lakefront Festival Of Arts
Although Milwaukee can lay claim to dozens of galleries that showcase local art, the annual Lakefront Festival Of Arts is probably the highest-profile marketplace for independent artwork, featuring dozens of artists working in just about every medium imaginable, including glass, metal, and oils.
25-July 5: Summerfest
Do you really need us to tell you what Summerfest is? The mammoth music festival pretty much takes over Milwaukee for a week and a half every year in late June and early July. Don’t expect this year to be any different.
7-9: Brewers vs. Cardinals
Of all the homestands the Crew is playing this summer, this one looks the most enticing. This is assuming that both the Brewers and Cardinals are still battling it out for supremacy in the National League Central. If that’s not the case, maybe both teams can gang up to kill the Cubs.
9: Jonas Brothers
If you don’t think this concert is a big deal, you’re obviously not 12 years old. But if this were 1989 and the Jonas Brothers were New Kids On The Block, you’d probably be peeing your pants with excitement.
9-12: Bastille Days
Any excuse to hang out in downtown’s Cathedral Square Park is worth it, but this annual celebration of all things Parisian is the best, mimes or no mimes.
17: The National
The National's 2007 release, Boxer, is one of the indie scene’s great consensus records of recent years, with an appeal that goes beyond the band’s initial cult of listeners. The group sold out the Pabst the last time it played here two years ago; you won’t want to miss it next time.
23-26: German Fest
Milwaukee and German culture go together like … well, there’s really nothing that goes as well together. The ethnic festivals on the Summerfest grounds can be somewhat interchangeable, but this is one of the few that stand out.
1: Crosby, Stills & Nash
The cumulative age of the guys in CSN is approximately 391 years old. But the group is more relevant than ever if you’re a fan of the new wave of indie-folk groups like Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket. The trio normally plays venues larger than the Pabst, so this show should be special.
6-16: Wisconsin State Fair
The Super Bowl of state county fairs, the Wisconsin State Fair is a way for jaded city folk to get in touch with the state’s rural roots. There’s also the popular cream puffs, which people have been known to kill for.
28: American Idols Live
Milwaukee went crazy when native son Danny Gokey came close to winning American Idol this year, and this concert featuring the top 10 contestants should be a lovefest for the show’s second runner-up.