Seeing your favorite artists live is an experience that many music fans never forget. There's nothing quite like singing along to your favorite songs surrounded by thousands of people who feel the exact same way. We asked members of the Summerfest Staff to share with us their favorite Summerfest show over the years!
"My first time at Summerfest was a great experience with Depeche Mode in 1990! I had 11th row tickets for the show. The show started on time and Depeche Mode played for two and a half hours with a double encore. This was their World Violation Tour which was for their huge mainstream breakthrough album, Violator, here in the states. Footage from that night was used in multiple videos that year, not to mention their concert movie ‘101.’ Not sure if every seat was sold, but from what I could see the venue was packed."
Brad Bertz - UI Architect
"It’s difficult to choose a favorite as I’ve been coming to Summerfest since I was a kid, but seeing Pearl Jam for the first time in 1995 was definitely one of the most memorable. My friends and I skipped school to stand in line the day tickets went on sale. One of us was lucky enough to draw a number in the lottery which allowed us to buy tickets. There was a moment of panic when we learned that Pearl Jam had canceled their tour, but a huge sense of relief when the Summerfest dates were added back. Hearing Eddie Vedder live at the Marcus Amphitheater was magical and started a tradition of seeing Pearl Jam any chance I got for years to come."
Sara McGuire - Marketing & Advertising Coordinator
"Paul Simon in 1987 - My family loves him and this was a very historic tour with the musicians he recruited from South Africa. Another favorite was Violent Femmes, New Order, Public Image Limited and Sugarcubes in 1989. It was a very interesting time in music where 'alternative/underground' bands were becoming mainstream to have this show in the Marcus Amp. It was also the first time I heard this girl named Bjork sing."
Scott Ziel - Associate Booking Director
"I’d have to say that my favorite concert at the Marcus Amphitheater was definitely the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers show in 2013. Not only was it my first time seeing Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers live, but it started to pour just prior to the show; however, that didn’t stop my group of devoted friends and fans... we stayed and got soaked! But it was all worth it for a chance to sing my favorite songs played that evening and make memories at Summerfest I'll never forget!"
Cory Congemi - Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
"I had a great time seeing The Charlatans at Summerfest in 1992. It was a rare chance to see some of Manchester, England in Milwaukee!"
Jen Paluso - Event/Sales Coodinator
"I have so many but the one that stands out the most is Chicago with Earth, Wind and Fire in 2009. I've been a life-long fan of Chicago courtesy of my Dad. It happened to be my Dad’s birthday that very night AND our whole family went to the show. Both bands were spectacular! It was a very memorable night for all of us!"
Chris Congemi - Accounting Assistant
"My favorite show was seeing Prince at Summerfest. He's an incredible entertainer and puts on a fantastic show! I became a huge fan when I first saw him perform in 1985. I danced until I dropped!"
Gayelin Littell - Director of New Business Development
"My most memorable show was the first time I saw The Eagles in the Marcus Amp. I had tried to get advanced tickets but I was told it was sold out. My wife, best friend and I ended up coming to Summerfest that day anyway. When I got up to the window and asked if there were tickets available, she told me some obstructed view had just been released. When we found our seats, we found that we were dead center behind the sound board with no obstruction. The show was something like 2 1/2 hours long. They sang all their hits and we sang with them. The weather was awesome and the beer was cold. Life wasn’t necessarily in the fast lane, but it was excellent and we were takin’ it easy."
Clint Baer - Director of Advertising & Promotion
"Buddy Guy in 2011. First off, he's a blues legend but this show was exceptional. I have always heard how great of a musican he was. Sadly, I was late getting to the stage that day but was able to sneak into the front row with a few friends and Buddy and crew didn't disappoint!"
Matt Cisz - Graphic Designer