Milwaukee Summerfest: Photos + Recap - Day One

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Milwaukee Summerfest: Photos + Recap - Day One

Downtown Milwaukee was buzzing as the first night of Summerfest began Wednesday night. Headliners included Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Avett Brothers, Gavin Degraw and the Violent Femmes, and each band certainly delivered.

Edward Sharpe came on and immediately drew a crowd. As they had gotten the crowd in the palm of their hand the lead singer Alex Ebert jumped into the crowd dancing and high-fiving everyone around him, and even took a swig of a fans Miller Lite. They ended their set with “Home” and the crowd went wild.

Next, The Avett Brothers took the stage. The passion they have for their music reflected in their performance as they barreled through their catalog, not even allowing The Big Bang firework show to distract too much from the good times. They did, however, wait for the fireworks finale to cease before moving forward with their own explosive finale, when the crowd erupted and the band had the place la-la-la-ing to their appease.

When Gavin Degraw took the stage, fans looked on as he sang one of his most popular songs, “Chariot.” DeGraw played up his chemistry with the crowd, singing from both sides of the stage as well as from behind his piano.

Ending out the night was Milwaukee’s own Viloent Femmes. The crowd was roared with satisfaction when the band kicked things off with “Blister in the Sun.” Time certainly hasn’t slowed these guys down, and their set seemed like one hit after another. When it was time to say goodnight to their hometown, band member Brian Ritchie dedicated the encore performance to his son, who had recently undergone a lung transplant. They ended the set as it began, with a reprisal of “Blister in the Sun.”

If this was just Summerfest’s first night, it’s hard to imagine what the rest of the week has in store.