Last night, July 5, Summerfest was officially into the home stretch weekend with Sunday, July 6 being the last day of the festival. The headliners on Saturday night in Milwaukee at the Marcus Amphitheater were Paramore and Fall Out Boy with special guest New Politics opening the show. Next door at the BMO Harris Pavilion Chasin' Mason opened up the headlining slot for Thompson Square, and that stage was the definitive country music destination last night for many Summerfest fans. The weather was simply perfect for watching an outdoor concert in Milwaukee.
On the grounds stages there were plenty of choices as you'd expect. One emerging artist at the US Cellular stage was an alternative rock band that hasn't been around too long, The Last Year, who hail from Baltimore. They were an impressive 4 piece unit that weren't afraid to spread their wings and experiment with their sound. Lead singer Niki Barr was a superb front to the band and gave the crowd a passionate display of energy.
Over at the Tiki Hut Racine based singer-songwriter Hayden Skaggs was back performing, having just released a new single titled, "A Walk With My Friends." Skaggs has dedicated the song to all those who have ever made the ultimate sacrifice in combat. Also at the Tiki Hut on Saturday was Alexis Matson, who performed at Summerfest last year.
Thompson Square filled the BMO to capacity, which was really no shock. Milwaukee loves country music. Husband and wife Keifer and Shawna Thompson comprise the duo and at the start of the show they walked onto stage together all smiles. Shawna in particular seemed blown away by all the love Milwaukee was giving the band onstage. Keifer had fun posing with the other guitarists in the band, and for a bit sang side by side with Shawna. It was difficult to walk away after only one song, but duty called to photograph Fall Out Boy.
Fall Out Boy emerged together from behind the drum kit at the start of their show. As they split up and took their spots, the pyro began to emerge from the back of the stage, which was a really cool element to the show. Bassist Pete Wentz was definitely the most animated member of the band on stage while singer and guitarist Patrick Stump stuck close to his microphone during the first three songs.
Paramore was the stand out artist of the night in my opinion. Singer Hayley Williams was an energetic and fun performer, not afraid to let it all out on stage. Williams has been known for her red and orange hair the last decade, but recently switched to blue hair, and it suits her well. Paramore is riding high off the wave that was their last single, "Ain't It Fun," which has been the highest charting single ever for the band from Franklin, Tennessee. "Ain't It Fun" reached number 5 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 Chart.
Usher will headline the last night of Summerfest at the Marcus Amphitheater. Other notable performances include Elizabeth Lyons at the Uline Warehouse Stage, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the Briggs Stage and Cheap Trick at the BMO Harris Pavilion.