That is what it felt like yesterday evening at Summerfest. A number of bands played Night Ranger songs. It was like I was watching them all over again.
Let it be known that even in my 30s, I can still do a full day at Summerfest. I may be a little burnt after all those hours in the sun, but I am not only alive but waiting to do it again tonight.
For all of those taking notes at home, the first beer was consumed at 9:15 yesterday morning. Followed up by a Bloody Mary. As I felt the vodka take over my blood stream, I was beginning to wonder what the hell I was doing. Vodka is not a way to start a day. Then again, if you are going to name a good morning liquor, it would be vodka. But I had a whole day to drink and vodka didn't seem the right way to start. So I only had one Bloody Mary. And 3 beers before heading to the lake front.
We met up with some others and headed over to get a wrist band to see the Bodeans. Yeah, like I was going to watch the frickin Bodeans. Yawn! I got a wrist band figuring I would run into someone else who may want to see them. Or at the least I saved a soul from seeing them. That person could see Whitesnake instead.
It was pretty damn hot down there. Good thing there is a lot of beer to cool oneself off. The first beer went down quickly. So did the second. The lady at the beer tent was used to seeing us come back again and again. And that was just the first hour. Johnny 3 Note was on stage playing away. They have made great strides since last year's show. Heck, it may be the best show I have seen them play. Slowly the area filled in with a good amount of people. Lots of people asking who they were too which is a good sign. I had fun watching the people who came and put there to blankets on the bench to reserve their spots for Whitesnake. One kid just sat there, staring straight ahead showing no emotion to reaction to the music being played on stage. Cracked me up.
After a couple hours in the sun, it was time to get some food. Handfuls of cashews for breakfast doesn't work well as a meal. Had a tasty calzone for lunch. I decided at this point to hold off the beer for a bit. Small break while I ate. Me and CP walked around running into people here and there. We found his brother and the band by the Miller Oasis. Got a beer there and was back on the wagon. Not much of a crowd on the Summerfest grounds again. This area should be crowded but was rather bare compared to past years.
After chatting for a bit (it is about 5:30 now), I wanted to catch the Sonic Circus back at the classic rock stage. Had heard good things about them and needed to find out if they were any good. I liked what I saw and heard. They weren't the same run of the mill cover band. They played songs you didn't expect to hear. Who plays Slade's Run Run Away nowadays? They do. Who plays Fly Me courageous by Drivin and Cryin? They did. Plus they were tossing small stuffed animals out to the crowd, while they bounced around on stage, having fun. Good shit! They even tossed in a Night Ranger tune (Don't Tell Me You Love Me) which had me smiling. I even had a though that they only thing they need to do is play a little Motley Crue. No sooner thought than heard. They broke into Wild Side. I was buzzed up and in a piece of music heaven.
At this time, Mark and Kim wandered up. Mark was the one who recommended Sonic Circus. Good rec. Only great friends walk up and hand you a beer knowing they don't need to ask. Soon Kurt and Barry showed up as well. They were down to see Whitesnake. But first, Rhythm Method had to take the stage. They are simply the best cover act in Milwaukee hands down! My slice of heaven continued when they opened with Night Ranger. I noticed the keyboards pumping out the notes from the middle of Don't Tell Me You Love Me. Then the guitar kicked in. Sweet. Add in some Rush, Zeppelin, and Styx and the place was rockin. They even tossed in two more Night Ranger songs. I now feel like I am seeing NR two days in a row! Drunk and listening to great music. Life is good.
The beer is flowing pretty well here. Mark and Kim take off to see Cowboy Mouth while Kurt, Barry and I wait for Whitesnake. The crowd was pretty big at this point. It was a fight to save seats. We knew some others may show up but weren't sure if they would. Strange thing happens now. They ran out of beer. Well, at least Lite. My fault, I had a lot. So now we were drinking GD as Whitesnake hits the stage. They had a good show going. Sounded fantastic, kept the crowd into it. Coverdale looks older but still belts it out. Tommy Aldridge is still doing the same drum solo. As I said, they were rocking up there. And then it was over. Did Here I Go Again and said good night. WTF? They came out and played Still of the Night for the encore and were done. One hour and 5 minutes was how long they played. Kurt and I looked at each other shocked they played such a short set. And they played music off of 3 albums. We were quite disappointed.
Now I had to go find my other friends. As I got to the Big Backyard, I found CP once again. I also ran into other people I used to work with. Some country guy was playing, Phil Vasser. But as I got there, he was playing John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. Interesting. Then he started into Cheap Trick. Interesting. He was playing bits of rock songs. I guess I showed up at the right time. I got a round of beer for everyone and hopped up on a picnic table to dance a bit. Soon he was done too and the fateful words were coming over the PA system.
The Summerfest grounds are closed. Thank you for attending Day 9 of Summerfest.
It had been done. Open to close. I was pretty drunk. Good thing we only needed to get on a bus. Now to get some sleep, see how badly I am sunburned and do it again.