A busy summer of concerts

Gayle and AJR were both entertaining shows


Sierra Brunner / Clarion

Gayle’s performance at Summerfest was one of the highlights of the concerts in the area this summer.

Sierra Brunner, Staff Writer

It was a busy summer with all the concerts. I had the chance to go to Summerfest multiple times and even traveled to Iowa and Minnesota for shows. Here are my thoughts on some of the shows I got to see.

AJR was a blast. Adam, Ryan and Jack were hype on stage, and they brought the heat to the American Family Amphitheater on the Summerfest Grounds. Jack came out with a big head during one of the songs. AJR performed “100 Bad Days,” “Karma,” “Way Less Sad” and much more. BoyWithUke was a decent opener, but he used index cards when he spoke.
Show Rating: 9.6/10
Venue Rating: 5/10

New Kids On The Block
I drove to Iowa to see NKOTB on their Mixtape Tour 2022 with Salt-N-Pepa, En Vogue and Rick Astley. NKOTB interacted with the crowd a bunch of times.
I got to meet Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg before they went to the B Stage. The show was worth the drive.
Show: 8.5/10
Venue: 4/10

Gayle was awesome. She put on an incredible show. She played her hit song, “abcdfu,” with Royal and the Serpent. She also played “Orange Peel,” “Kiddie Pool” and “To My Face.” I got two guitar picks and two set lists from her. She is super kind, and she rocked that Generac Stage at Summerfest on June 30.
Show: 10/10
Venue: 5/10

Here Come the Mummies dressed the part at Summerfest.
Here Come the Mummies dressed the part at Summerfest. (Sierra Brunner / Clarion)

Here Come the Mummies
This band was also awesome to photograph. They made the crowd hyped, and they put on an awesome show. Here Come the Mummies emphasize instrumentals, mostly playing drums, saxophone and keyboards, with only some of the songs featuring lyrics.
Show: 10/10
Venue: 5/10

Halsey was OK. She performed “You Should Be Sad,” “Graveyard,” “Bad at Love” and more. Halsey talked about how she had an abortion that saved her life and her views on Roe v. Wade being overturned. Halsey’s show was awesome and energetic. I don’t think this tour was her greatest. I honestly still think the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour was the best. She looked super happy while performing because she was doing what she loved.
Show: 8.5/10
Venue: 5/10

Jojo performs in the American Family Insurance house on the Summerfest grounds, providing a short but more intimate set.
Jojo performs in the American Family Insurance house on the Summerfest grounds, providing a short but more intimate set. (Sierra Brunner / Clarion)

Although I’m a Jojo fan, I enjoyed her Mad Love Tour a lot more than her show at Summerfest. Her American Family Insurance small stage house performance was better, although pretty short. I met Jojo at the house performance, and she was kind. I also got to meet her fiancé, Dexter Darden. It was fun watching him watch his queen during the show. He was really nice to meet.
Show: 4/10
Venue: 8/10

Summerfest was three weekends this year. I went four times because not that many people I like performed, but I had no problems during the festival. My aunt went to see Cheap Trick, and her experience was horrible. They refused ADA seating for her because her medical issue wasn’t “severe enough” even though she was in pain. She was told “ADA seating is only for people who are in wheelchairs and people more severe.” She could barely walk because of her back. So if you need ADA seating, just know you won’t have a good experience.
Venue: 2/10

Big Time Rush
I went to Minnesota to see Big Time Rush on their Forever Tour at the Armory. They performed “Worldwide,” “Boyfriend,” “City is Ours” and more. I drove six hours for the show and had to pay $40 for parking, which is the most expensive parking I’ve ever paid. That’s saying something for someone who’s gone to 58 concerts at 43 different venues. If you’re short, you can’t see anything in the standing room only area and they don’t have screens on the side for people in the back. The security allowed smoking inside despite it being a non-smoking venue. I hope Big Time Rush never performs here again.
Show: 5/10
Venue: 1/10