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Dave Matthews Band draws crowd at Summerfest

Dave Matthews Band performs live at the 2014 Summerfest Music Festival in Milwaukee
Dave Matthews Band performs live at the 2014 Summerfest Music Festival in Milwaukee
© Daniel DeSlover -

2014 Summerfest music festival in Milwaukee with Dave Matthews Band, Ludacris, Joan Jett, Bonnie Raitt, DJ Pauly D


Light drizzle didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the thousands of fans who poured into Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee on July 2 to experience the Summerfest music festival. The major draw for Wednesday was the Dave Matthews Band, who mostly filled the spacious Marcus Amphitheater.

Dave Matthews Band performs a double set at 2014 Summerfest in Milwaukee
© Daniel DeSlover /

Dave Matthews Band performed a pair of sets, sans opener, including a low-key acoustic session to get the evening started. After a small break, they returned to play their standard "electric" show culminating in nearly three hours of music. The country equivalent, Zac Brown Band, will perform in the Marcus Amphitheater on Thursday.

Rapper Ludacris demonstrated that he's still got game in the music business. Despite an active role in acting, he fully represented the Dirty South with a set that drew a rambunctious crowd to the Miller Lite Oasis. "Southern Hospitality," "Money Maker," "Stand Up," and "Number One Spot" were just a few of the hits that had the crowd singing and "throwin' 'bows" throughout the night.

BMO Harris Pavilion drew a more subdued crowd to watch Bonnie Raitt perform. The veteran singer-songwriter seemed genuinely moved by the crowd. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The Airborne Toxic Event, Wailers and Jake Miller were amongst the other headline options on Wednesday. Though many were mocking the presence of DJ Pauly D on the Harley Davidson stage, he pulled a thick crowd that seemed to grow with revelers who were originally making their way to the exits but paused to groove for a bit.

Thursday begins the Independence Day weekend, with performances by New Order, Blackberry Smoke, Ziggy Marley, Rise Against, Cowboy Mouth, The Fray and The Hold Steady.