Sunday, June 20, 2010

Swimming with the Steelheads

Hartfest wasn't among the dozens of summer festivals on our radar screen but we found it anyway, just across the railroad tracks in Wauwatosa's Hart Park. Good thing!

Listening to the Steelheads crank out classic rock and blues while sipping beer on the grass with blue skies and billowy white clouds overhead ... what's better than that?

It's a prelude to Summerfest, the granddaddy of music festivals in Milwaukee where the headliners are actually bands we've heard of.  We caught Tom Petty there for the first time way back during his Full Moon Fever tour, and he's back in another week along with some guy named Clapton. Good times ahead, for sure, but that doesn't mean you want to miss a small event like Hartfest, where you can lie on comfy grass in front of the Hart Park stage, catch some rays and listen to local bands like the Steelheads, Pat McCurdy, Spoiled Rotten and the Love Monkeys.

It reminded us how important these events are in Wisconsin, where the window for outdoor concerts and fun is way too narrow. You gotta get out there while the gettin's good. (Forgot the camera; sorry about having to grab a Facebook publicity image of the Steelheads.) Thanks largely to drummer Dick Marks' great voice, which is big enough to handle Gregg Allman, and some biting lead guitar licks by Mark Steele, the band more than held its own cranking out Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughn and the best Mustang Sally cover of the summer (so far).  We were gone (so much to do!) after a lively first set by McCurdy, a local favorite who'll help open Summerfest June 24 on the Briggs & Stratton stage.

It's all downstream from here...

1 comment:

  1. Man, it must be good to be you.
    Cheers, as all the limey's 'round here say.