Friday June 27 was a great day for rock and metal music at Summerfest, and it was also a big day for country music. For the third day in a row temperatures were cool as Summerfest opened and thick fog plagued the grounds. In the early afternoon the sun started to shine and things turned around as the sun and heat cleared up most of the fog. Friday always draws a great crowd at Summerfest as Milwaukee gets ready to start the weekend, and last night was no exception. The grounds were comfortably full with bands such as Tegan and Sara, Atmosphere and Five Finger Death Punch performing.
Noon performers Conniption got things cranked up at the Harley Stage and set the tone for the day. Conniption recently won the WAMI for Best Hard Rock/Metal Band and also recently released a video for "Let The Wolf Out." The Pretty Reckless ripped through a blistering one hour set that was highlighted by their recent hit "Heaven Knows," and a run through of their first single, "Make Me Wanna Die." Singer Taylor Momsen asked for the crowd to sing along on both songs and they obliged.
Country music was also a big draw for the day as Brad Paisley with special guest Darius Rucker played the Marcus Amphitheater. Paisley really packed them in at the Amphitheater. It's great to see a crowd that large and enthusiastic because the excitement can be felt in the air. Milwaukee's own Nora Collins was once again drawing in a great crowd at the Tiki Hut. Collins is a success story that the Milwaukee music scene should be proud of. Her hard work and talent should take her far.
Stars In Stereo also played the Harley Stage. They sounded great and were brimming with energy. ZZ Ward played her second Summerfest Friday night and, unlike last year when she played an afternoon set, Ward headlined the Uline Warehouse Stage. She was a bit bluesy, full of soul and had an edgy rock sound when she needed it.
Tonight Luke Bryan will headline the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest. At the Briggs Stage singer Dennis DeYoung of Styx will perform some of the classic songs we all know and love. Walk Off The Earth will headline the Harley Stage and of course Nora Collins will play at the Tiki Hut at 6p.m. and 9p.m. so if you're in the area stop by and check out the WAMI winner for Singer/Songwriter of 2014.