Festivals

Arts Beats & Eats Closes Out The Summer Season Right

Ford Arts Beats & Eats celebrated its 21st year by bringing end of summer fun to the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak.

The bustling festival spanned four total days, extending through the holiday weekend and wrapping up on Labor Day Monday.

Several artists lined the streets with tent shops, showcasing everything from handcrafted treasures to lovely art prints. There was a little something for every art seeker such as jewelry, ceramic pottery, photographs, clothing, and anything in between.

The food was just as exciting with vendors serving up local cuisine, BBQ, as well as tastes from across the map.
Several stands served beverages as well, making a perfect addition to the hot days.

Music was a staple of the festival each day. A great deal of local talent was in the spotlight on many of the festival’s smaller stages, with artists from several genres spanning all the way from bluegrass to electronic.
At the Michigan Lottery National Stage, several superstars made a stop such as AWOLNATION, Eddie Money, Matt Nathanson, Rival Sons, Ben Folds, and Everclear (to name a few).

Carnival rides and fun games were at different ends of the festival, filled with smiling families and little kids who were so happy to have won a prize.

Overall, this edition of Arts Beats & Eats was a resounding success, and always is the perfect way to wrap up the summer before children are heading back to school. As expected, the festival provided great family fun for all ages, great music, and unique art for the interested eye.

Festival review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell

AWOLNATION Make Welcome Stop At Arts Beats & Eats

AWOLNATION made a great tour stop on Sunday September 2nd at Royal Oak Michigan’s Arts Beats & Eats festival.

A gentleman from Detroit’s radio station, Alt 106.7 introduced the band. He had even personally suggested AWOLNATION to play at the festival.
Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” greeted the band to the stage. The roaring crowd was ready as lead vocalist Aaron Bruno paced up, scanning the audience. AWOL started off their night with the lead track from their latest album entitled “Here Come The Runts”. Before venturing into “Hollow Moon” Aaron stated, “I’m looking for the best dancer here tonight!” His quest continued throughout the evening.
“I’m still looking for the best dancer here tonight. You could be anywhere! Who are you? What’s your name? What’s your best move?”
Their track “Passion” included a seamless transition into short but epic track, “Sound Witness System”.
Before the wonderful “Kill Your Heroes”, Aaron told the crowd, “We met some of you back in 2011 on our first record, ‘Megalithic Symphony’. We’ve been gaining new family members all along the way… and what a twisted family we’ve become, wouldn’t you say?”
The band continued into a slowed down track of the hit.
“We love you more than you’ll ever know, ladies and gentleman… but I’m still looking for the best dancer here tonight! Where are you?” He encouraged the crowd to let loose and act a fool as they jammed into “Not Your Fault”.

Before beautiful song, “Table For One”, Aaron picked up some flowers and shared, “Love is in the air tonight, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls! People of all ages.” He tossed the flowers to excited fans, and talked about not having many opportunities to go to dances and slow dance growing up, so he wrote a song where “we could all slow dance together, you see. So everybody put your arm around the person next to you, and let’s try to unite and swing side to side”.

Before “Miracle Man” ended with one last breakdown, Aaron encouraged the crowd to jump! “We can all jump so high, we can touch the stars that you can’t even see yet. If you try your hardest. 1-2 1-2-3- GO!” The audience responded with jumps and arms a-waving.

The band’s passion was on full display, and their musical talents shined throughout the entire set. AWOLNATION included tracks from each of their three full length albums.

After 2015’s “Run”, AWOLNATION exited the festival stage.
The crowd started clapping, cheering and chanting. “EN-CORE, EN-CORE!” until their musical heroes reemerged for three more tracks.
To start off their encore, they ventured into “I’m On Fire”, their spectacular cover of Bruce Springsteen’s jam for the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” Soundtrack.
Next up, they got the crowd moving again with high tempto jam “Burn It Down”.
AWOL ended their set with mega hit, “Sail”. To close out the night, Aaron introduced each member of the band.
“It’s been absolute pleasure entertaining you tonight, and please understand you entertain us just as much with your sweat, your high energy, and your passion for music. I hope you made some new friends and new family memebrs tonight. I hope your ears ring ’cause we’ll be thinking about you for the next week. Would you like us to come back?”
The crowd collectively cheered.
Aaron asked, “Do you want to party with me one more time tonight? JUMP!” As “Sail”‘s last musical breakdown kicked in, everyone in the crowd danced, jumped and raged.
AWOLNATION left the stage one more time, leaving the crowd cheering and shouting in satisfaction.
They were most certainly a welcome addition to the Arts Beats & Eats festivities this year.

AWOL will be continuing their tour into California this month, and ending out at New Orleans’ Voodoo Fest this October.

Setlist:
1. Here Come the Runts
2. Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)
3. Seven Sticks of Dynamite
4. Passion / Sound Witness System
5. Not Your Fault
6. Kill Your Heroes
7. Table for One
8. Miracle Man
9. The Buffoon
10. Handyman
11. Run (with Thunderstruck intro)
Encore:
12. I’m On Fire
13. Burn It Down
14. Sail

 

 

Photos and review by: Tiffany Cuthrell

Maha Festival Announces Its 10th Anniversary Lineup

Omaha‘s jewel festival, Maha, has announced its exceptional 2018 roster.

The two-day event will take place this year on Friday August 17th and Satruday August 18th in Stinson Park in the lovely Omaha, Nebraska.
The festival will feature 16 bands, and be headlined by the likes of Weezer, indie greats TV On The Radio, Father John Misty, and The Kills.
Maha is celebrating its 10th year in 2018, and is also welcoming volunteers to help run the festival. Maha will exchange admittance to the festival for a helping shift. If you live in the Nebraska region, this seems like a great opportunity to lend a helping hand, and hear some great music!

Two-day general admission early bird passes are available now at $90, with a handsome two-day VIP package (with many perks!) at $290.

For more details and to purchase tickets, you can visit the festival’s official website at MahaMusicFestival.com
You can also visit Maha’s Facebook at Facebook.com/MahaMusicFestival

 

 

 

Spotlight by Tiffany Cuthrell, lineup photos courtesy of Maha Music Festival

Ludacris – A Welcome Highlight Of Summerfest

Ludacris put on a dynamic show for Summerfest’s 50th year on Sunday July 2nd.

Just after the 10 o’clock hour, DJ Infamous took to and set the stage and addressed, “I’m Ludacris’ DJ, you know what that means!”
He encouraged everyone to wave their hands and make some noise to welcome Ludacris out.
To a rally of cheers, the man of the 10 o’clock hour appeared in front of the wall to wall crowd. The hip hop hero from Atlanta started out the night with some mash-ups snippets of songs from over the years of his career, deciding to test the crowd right off the band to see if they were true fans. He joked that he wasn’t sure if Milwaukee was full of fans of his music, of “Fast and the Furious”. Based on the resounding applause, it seemed the answer was both.
Luda made sure to give a shout to the local area codes, and jumped right into track from early albums. The packed crowd sang along intently.

The hip hop great included tracks from across his discography, and left no doubt of his shining presence that radiated throughout the evening.

 

 

 

Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell

Summerfest Shines In Its 50th Year

Summerfest delighted fans from far and wide in its golden year over an eleven day span.

Buzzing with excited anticipation that had been building up for months on end, Milwaukee’s highlight kicked off its festivities on Wednesday June 28th.

Despite some rain and severe storms, the festival partied on, not dampening acts like popstars Misterwives, or Red Hot Chili Peppers in the slightest.

With extremely reasonably priced tickets, giveaways, and promotions, the festival grounds were virtually packed each and every single day. Starting off admissions was a can drive – “stomp out hunger”, trading non-perishables for those in need for tickets… Next up, throwback Thursday the 29th turned back the clock with half off drink prices, and classic bands from decades abound like Foghat, The Church, Fishbone, and many more. The festival also celebrated evening two with beautiful fireworks, set back a day due to the relentless storms. Other spotlight days celebrated seniors, veterans, families, purchases at Goodwill, and even Mountain Dew.

America’s birthday found fans across the festival grounds decked out in red, white and blue ensembles of all kinds.

American Family Insurance Amphitheater, the festival’s main stage, presented a wide variety from acts like legendary Paul Simon, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, country giant Luke Bryan, and powerful gal P!nk (to name a few). Ground stages presented up and coming artists, and well established acts from the festival’s hometown of Milwaukee, as well as abroad.

Areas were set up to celebrate and commemorate the festival’s 50th year, as well as a beautiful book on stands with photographs from over the years – 50 Years Of Smiles.

The festival had a little bit of fun for everybody, and folks of all ages. Special areas were set up for kids to play, get their faces painted, and even create unique tie dye. A sportszone highlighted everything from wrestling to BMX, while the Kohl’s captivation station kept imaginations and explorations no further than fingertips away. Food of all varieties was plentiful at both stands and little shops, providing delicious tastes for just about any pallet – ice cream, BBQ, noodles, pretzels, and even a Wendy’s.

Both a ferris wheel and skyglider provided high-flying views of the grounds.

Despite the first day of storms, overall, the weather was pristine with only one exceedingly hot day. An ever-flowing fountain provided cool relief, as did multiple beverage stops all around.

The festival wrapped up its final day on July 9th with bands like The Shins, The Spinners, and Walk Off The Earth.

Milwaukee’s shining star certainly did not disappoint and brought a party for the record books in celebration of its 50th year. With an ever-growing array of variety and fun for fans, the sky’s the limit for Summerfest’s future. Here’s looking forward to Summerfest 2018!

 

 

 

 

Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell

AWOLNATION Sail Into Summerfest With Stellar Set

Powerhouse rock band, AWOLNATION came full force with an incredible showing to this year’s edition of Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. The band started their set off strong at 10 PM on Thursday July 6th.

Lead singer, Aaron Bruno commented on the vast array of audience members that had turned up to fill the seats around the Uline Warehouse Stage. He remarked what a wonderful event Summerfest is, bringing together fans from all over to unite over the love of music.
The band made sure to engage and acknowledge the excited crowd throughout their set.
AWOL included hits such as “Kill Your Heroes” and “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”, and closed out the night with their massive smash, “Sail”.

AWOL debuted their sophomore album, “Run” in 2015 and have been back in the studio working on a third LP.
Tremendous singles, “Woman Woman”, “Not Your Fault” and “Sail” have still been burning up the airwaves throughout 2017.

AWOLNATION has got upcoming dates in both Iowa and Minneapolis.
Here’s hoping more tour dates and new music are soon to follow.

 

Setlist:
1.Run (Beautiful Things)
2.Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)
3.People
4.Not Your Fault
5.Thiskidsnotalright
6.Kill Your Heroes
7.Soul Wars
8.Woman Woman
9.Burn It Down
10.I’m On Fire
11.Sail

 

 

 

 

Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell

Peter Frampton – Summerfest Loves Your Way!

Music legend Peter Frampton made a memorable stop at Summerfest’s 50th installment in Milwaukee on Sunday July 2nd.

The incredible musician took to the stage at 9:30 PM to a deafening cheer from the crowd, who rose to their feet in delight.

The celebrated and famed guitarist was inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame in 2014, and is touring behind his latest album, “Acoustic Classics”. The album includes eleven unplugged versions from Frampton’s massive catalog.

Accompanied on stage by four other musicians to round out his sound, Frampton presented a collection of nine songs for the night. Starting off the evening was 1976’s “Something’s Happening”. The track was originally released on Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive” album, which remains one of the best selling live album’s in the United States.
Second on the setlist was 1986’s “Lying”, followed by “Lines On My Face”.

The crowd truly came to life, getting to their feet and pulling their recording devices out to capture a precious moment of Peter Frampton’s smash hit, “Show Me The Way”.

The rocker kept variety alive by including a fitting tribute to Soundgarden late great, Chris Cornell with a magnificent cover of “Black Hole Sun” around mid set.

Frampton closed out the night with one of his most recognizable “talking guitar” tracks, infamous talk box great, “Do You Feel Like We Do”.

Peter Frampton will be touring throughout the US with Steve Miller Band through July and into August, ending in Murphys, CA.

 

Setlist:
1. Something’s Happening
2. Lying
3. Lines on My Face
4. Show Me the Way
5. I Wanna Go to the Sun
6. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
7. (I’ll Give You) Money
8. Baby I Love Your Way
9. Do You Feel Like We Do

 

 

 

Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell

Festival Local GGOOLLDD Dazzles At Summerfest

Milwaukee electropop heroes GGOOLLDD put in another impressive showing at this year’s Summerfest in their hometown.

Exuberant fans turned out in droves to support the band for their Thursday June 29th set at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage.

GGOOLLDD played both old and new tracks as lead singer, Margaret Butler was dressed beautifully head to toe in the band’s namesake color. Even her hair was a golden hue, changing from her brown locks of 2016’s set.

Further on in their performance, Butler helped on stage a young boy and girl. The young gentleman displayed an impressive drum solo, with the crowd cheering heartily. The young lady sang along to every word of the in motion song, taking the microphone, and accepting a few hugs from her vocalist hero.

GGOOLLDD got the crowd dancing, and turned in a remarkably animated set displaying all of the band members’ talents.

The Milwaukee band will be touring extensively throughout the US and into Canada throughout 2017, and into January of next year.

 

 

 

Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell