Summerfest 2019: T.I., Dashboard Confessional, more of the best and worst from the side stages on Day 9

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Rapper T.I. ruled a large crowd like a king, and Dashboard Confessional brought a Milwaukee musician home for an energetic show on Summerfest stages Friday.


T.I. performs at Summerfest's U.S. Cellular Connection Stage on July 5, 2019.

Actor, businessman and rapper, T.I. hit the U.S. Cellular Connection Friday stage to a considerably large audience. So large that it was at times hard to hear the Atlanta native as every word from every song was yelled by almost every patron about. 

Songs like “Top Back,” ”24’s” and “Bring Em Out” reminded us all why T.I. is still hip-hop's undisputed “King of the South.” The crowd was “turnt” from first song to the last.  He even went deep into the crates and performed some of his remixes and features, the most noteworthy being Young Dro’s “We in da City”.  

T.I. had total control of the audience like a king should with little help from backing tracks or his hypemen. Besides that, T.I. has the energy and breath control of a 16-year-old.  It was exhausting to watch. 

Fun fact: T.I.’s name was T.I.P. but he changed it out of respect for label-mate Q-Tip. 

Damon Joy


Daya performs at the Uline Warehouse on July 5, 2019.

It’s hard to believe that such a powerful voice comes out of someone so young. Daya (20) wowed the mostly full Uline Warehouse stage. 

Daya, backed by her all-female band, cut through tracks off of her critically acclaimed album “Sit Still, Look Pretty.” While her dynamic voice carried much of the appeal, her stage presence was lacking. Could it be that the music that ever-so slowly ramps up in every song or that fun downtempo feel?  Everyone did perk up for her hit single “Hide Away” but seemed to relax after that.

Damon Joy

The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart performs at Summerfest's Miller Lite Oasis on July 5, 2019.

Seattle indie folk band The Head and the Heart gave a passionate performance to an overflowing, yet mellow, all-ages crowd Friday night at the Miller Lite Oasis.

Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell on vocals and guitar, Charity Rose Thielen on violin and vocals, Chris Zasche on bass, Kenny Hensley on piano and Tyler Williams on drums brought plenty of pleasant harmonies and well-crafted melodies to the stage.

The band's mixed set alternated between quiet, rootsy songs like 2013's "Let's Be Still" and the introspective "Lost In My Mind" to the angrier, betrayal-tinged "I Found Out," both singles from The Head's 2019 album "Living Mirage." Thielen and Johnson shared vocal duties on a lovely rendition of the 2019 soulful single "Honeybee."

About halfway into The Head's set, the audience got livelier, getting into the band's grooves by swaying and nodding their heads to the music.

Catherine Jozwik

Dashboard Confessional

Dashboard Confessional, featuring Milwaukee's Scott Schoenbeck on bass, performs at the BMO Harris Pavilion on July 5, 2019.

Since forming 20 years ago in Boca Raton, Fla., indie rock band Dashboard Confessional has made a name in the music world by releasing seven albums, including 2017's "Crooked Shadows." 

The group – lead vocalist Chris Carrabba, Milwaukee bass player Scott Schoenbeck, lead guitarist Armon Jay, drummer Chris Kamrada and a second guitar player – served up an enthusiastic emo/pop rock performance Friday night at Summerfest's BMO Harris Pavilion.

Dressed in a sleeveless black T-shirt with "Milwaukee" printed in white letters, skinny black jeans, and a white cowboy hat, a bearded Carrabba conveyed just the right amount of anguish and tenderness in his strong vocals. The band began its set with 2006's "Don't Wait," followed by other songs, including the intensely romantic "Belong," and a well-executed cover of '90s band Weezer's "Say It Ain't So."

Carrabba was magnanimous to his largely 20- and 30-something audience (who were having a blast batting around balloons that lit up), taking time to interact with fans from the stage.

"Thank you for coming out to Summerfest – this is one of our favorite places to play," said Carrabba, before introducing friend and bandmate Schoenbeck to the fairly sizable crowd. "It's summertime and we're gonna be loose."

They may have been relaxed onstage, but Dashboard Confessional proved they are serious musicians with a seemingly well-rehearsed, enjoyable performance.

Catherine Jozwik

Cole Swindell

Cole Swindell performs at Summerfest's Harley-Davidson Roadhouse on July 5, 2019.

When Cole Swindell took the Harley-Davidson stage on Friday night, he was greeted by a wall of fans.

The stadium went dark and people climbed onto each other’s shoulders to catch a glimpse.

Swindell appeared under a blue-green light show and immediately dived into “Love You Too Late.” Videos of empty highways running through scenic desert vistas played on the background screens as the audience called out the refrain “wide open.”

During “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” Swindell had the crowd sing a couple verses.

“I think y’all got it,” he said after the audience’s first effort. “Give it another try.”

Before diving into “Middle of a Memory,” Swindell asked the crowd how many of them had been at his previous Summerfest performance. While he was playing at the Uline stage it started to pour but instead of killing the mood, the rain made the crowd go wild. Swindell cherished this moment as one of his favorite on-stage memories.

“Thank y’all so much for letting me and the guys be a part of your memory tonight,” he said to the crowd.

William Langhorne,


Max performs at Summerfest's Uline Warehouse on July 5, 2019.

When MAX took the Uline stage Friday night, the crowd was already standing on their seats.

The New York-based pop artist came out wearing a bright yellow shirt, matching shoes and black and white checkered pants.

“Milwaukee, you all ready to party or what?” he asked.

The crowd responded with a deafening roar.

Stoking this energy, MAX started his show with “Savage.” He danced across the stage belting out the high-powered lyrics and stuck his tongue out during the beat drops.

MAX shifted the mood with his next song, ”Holla.” He had the crowd raise their hands and asked them to let go of any negativity they were holding onto.

During “One More Weekend,” he worked the audience moving from one end of the stage to the other. At one point he raised the microphone stand high above his head and pointed it toward the crowd encouraging them to sing along.

“I know we know how to party in New York, but does Milwaukee Wisconsin know how to party?” MAX asked his fans.

The Wisconsinites responded with another roar.

William Langhorne,

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