Every so often, the stars align just right and Milwaukeeans are faced with the troubling dilemma of what to do. No, this isn’t echoing the moronic assertion that “there’s nothing to do here.” Rather, every few months, an onslaught of incredible entertainment options will coalesce on Milwaukee’s collective events calendar and force residents to rack their brain while evaluating which of the cavalcade of concerts and comedy shows are most worthy of their time and money. Saturday, June 20 is one of those days. Beyond the Summer Soulstice Music Festival and its stacked local lineup, My Morning Jacket will play the first show of its two-show Riverside Theater residency. Meanwhile, Old Earth will play a Club Garibaldi homecoming show in support of Futurebirds and Twin Brother as Surgeons In Heat plays at Linneman’s and Dynamo Kickstand takes improv to some uncomfortable places over at ComedySportz.
As appealing as all those events (and more) are, perhaps the most enticing thing happening in the area will actually take place in nearby Cudahy. The inaugural Dummerfest will find 12 punk and hardcore bands (with a couple outliers) from cities spread throughout the central time zone taking the stage at The Metal Grill as part of an all-ages festival that will run from noon until midnight. We’re totally going, and you should consider it as well. With the likelihood that you haven’t heard about this yet, here’s Milwaukee Record‘s handy dandy Dummerfest guide for dummies.
Dummerfest is the brainchild of Direct Hit! frontman Nick Woods with the intent of bringing punk and hardcore bands—many of whom skip over metro Milwaukee on tours—to a local independent venue. “I wanted an excuse to get some of my favorite bands from the middle of the country to all come and hang out in my town on the same day,” Woods says. Those acts include:
88 Fingers Louie (10:15 p.m. start)
A Chicago-based punk band that was once on the Fat Wreck Chords roster. The band, which reunited in 2009 after a 10-year break, featured/features members that were/are in Rise Against and Alkaline Trio.
Masked Intruder (9:30 p.m.)
A Madison-based pop-punk band currently on the Fat Wreck Chords roster. All members perform while wearing ski masks as a disapproving cop character watches from the side of the stage. The Journal-Sentinel tabbed them to be a “Band To Watch” earlier this year.
Juiceboxxx (8:45 p.m.)
Love him or hate him (there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground for some reason), there’s nobody quite like the Milwaukee-sired emcee. Fresh off the release of his latest album AND a book a scholar wrote about him, the Juicer: Rapper And Producer returns to Wisconsin to perform a set, complete with live band accompaniment.
Tenement (8 p.m.)
The Appleton-Milwaukee pop-punk, rock and roll amalgam is currently the most heralded band in the state on the wings of their two-week-old Predatory Headlights, a long-incubated double LP the New York Times called “an extended formal study, music about music.” The record has drawn apt comparisons to Husker Du and even the Rolling Stones. Holy shit.
In Defence (7:15 p.m.)
A Minneapolis-based hardcore band. No frills, no gimmicks, no fucking around.
Get Rad (6:30 p.m.)
The kings of Milwaukee hardcore have been uncharacteristically quiet since 2010’s wonderful I Can Always Live, save for a couple local shows and a split 45 with Sweet Cobra. One member of the sparsely-active band is flying in from Louisiana to play this show, which will double as Get Rad’s 10th anniversary show. More on that Thursday.
PEARS (5:45 p.m.)
Speaking of great hardcore bands and Louisiana, New Orleans’ own PEARS will return to The Metal Grill for the first time since supporting The Flatliners there last spring. Since then, the band inked a deal with Fat Wreck Chords as well.
Big Zit (5 p.m.)
This abrasive Chicago punk band should make for some sloppy dinner-hour entertainment.
Lipstick Homicide (4:15 p.m.)
Lipstick Homicide is a pop-punk band from rural Iowa that subsists on ultra-catchy hooks and an altogether upbeat, fun sound.
Midnight Reruns (3:30 p.m.)
The alt-rock act’s self-titled 2013 record is arguably the best Milwaukee album of 2013. Fresh off opening from The Replacements and whetting fans’ appetite with a four-song EP (complete with a Mistreaters cover), the Reruns play its second of many local fests where they’ll preview songs from their forthcoming follow-up Dusty Medical will release this fall.
Meat Wave (2:45 p.m.)
We don’t know much about this band from Chicago, but they should kickstart the afternoon in grand fashion with its punchy, short-form brand of pop-punk.
Direct Hit! (2 p.m.)
If Midnight Reruns didn’t put out the best Milwaukee album of 2013, Direct Hit! probably did. Milwaukee’s premier pop-punk project garnered ample national praise and some lofty opening spots on the wings of Brainless God, an infectious and undeniably ambitious concept album about the apocalypse, religion and, in general, how we’re all pretty much fucked. With an energetic and usually-hilarious live show to boot, you’re going to want to show up on time.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance for $20 or bought at the door for $25 (while they last) on Saturday. Again, this show is all-ages. Doors open at noon.