SummerFest 2005

Repent!!!!The sign to the left was the first thing you saw walking into Summerfest going in, and almost the last thing you saw going out, if you don’t count the people giving away grilled Spam sandwiches outside the gates. The idea that someone would spend their whole day standing in front of a festival holding a sign like this has always puzzled me — and at the same time it really amuses me. People are so tied and will do so much for their beliefs, no matter how goofy they are. But what the hell. I’ll give them some free press, just because they made the effort.

Yesterdays trip was pretty uneventful, except that we did see two fairly decent bands there. The first was Think Floyd, a Pink Floyd tribute band. They did a really great job of playing this stuff live and I would definitely go see them again. Just to give you an idea of how decent they were, I’ve uploaded a picture of the crowd they drew as they were playing.

They were a really decent band, and did a great job on every song they played. The only one I didn’t like was “Wish You Were Here”, as the band tried to get the audience to sing the song rather than the band. What wound up happening was a very good instrumental version of the song. They should have just sang it.

Before the Think Floyd, however, Jonna and I went to the Rock Stage and saw that there was a band called Beatallica playing at 6:30. Both being fans of Metallica we made a mental note that we definitely wanted to hit this show. There’s nothing better than a Metallica tribute band on a hot day — unless you are actually seeing Metallica live.

Now, around 6:00 pm the crowd started filing in. There were obviously a LOT of Metallica fans at Summerfest. By 6:15 the band started to play. They opened with a cover of “Back in the U.S.S.R [mp3 link]“, Metallica style. It was AWESOME. They sounded really good, but I kept thinking to myself — “This sounds really good. When did Metallica cover this song?”

Then the second song [mp3 link] came on. It started like “Enter Sandman”, but as the singer started singing, he was singing the lyrics to “Taxman” – another Beatles song. Then it hit me. They are a “Beatles in the style of Metallica” tribute band. This cracked me up.

We stayed for a few songs, watching some of the people who thought they were coming to see a Metallica cover band start to walk out. Jonna is not a huge Beatles fan, so we left after a few songs (though to give her credit, she did insist that we could stay – I was really enjoying it).

This band put together the most unique interpretation of Beatles songs that I have ever seen. I thought the whole concept was brilliant. As I watched, I started to notice the “little things”, like while the lead singer had a Hetfield style guitar (and had those Lennon style circle sunglasses), the bassist was playing a Rickenbacker – the bass that Paul McCartney played in the Beatles.

The part of the show I saw was a crack up and — I think — totally worth the price of admission to a show. It’s an extremely original idea. Go see these guys if you find them playing somewhere in Milwaukee.

For more information on Beatallica, including tour dates and quicktime samples of their live work, check out their web site. As I was writing this I found that they also have download-able sets of their albums on their music page, including the hit albums “A Garage Dayz Nite” and “Beatallica”. It seems that they do not sell CD’s. They state their position on selling music on their web site as well. They want their music to remain free – as in free.

I’ve also put together a photo set of the pictures I took during the soundcheck and start of the show for your enjoyment.

These are definitely two albums that are going on the iPod — as a matter of fact, this would make a damn good podcast wouldn’t it?

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