Piet Levy’s recommended bands to catch each day at the 2017 Wisconsin State Fair.
While Summerfest officials were building up and touting its massive lineup for the 50th edition, the area’s other major summer event, the Wisconsin State Fair, was quietly assembling one of its stronger rostersÂ in years.
Not that the Fair lineup is exactly cutting edge, nor has the formula changed drastically for the 166th edition, happening Aug. 3 to 13 in West Allis. The “free” stages are still dominated by local cover acts, while the main stage lineup is the typical mix of country, Christian, teen pop and nostalgia acts.
But there’s a good batch of notableÂ names among the headliners. One of them, Patti LaBelle, put on one of the most entertaining concerts in Milwaukee last year. And the a cappella act PentatonixÂ actually achieved a rare State Fair sellout for its show.
The State Fair is also highlighting Wisconsin-made original music by booking a popular Milwaukee band to headline its second largest stage.
Here are 11 State Fair concert picks, one for each day.
Aug. 3: GGOOLLDD:This State Fair headlining slot, rare for a local act, reconfirms that the dance-friendly synthpop group is Milwaukee’s most in-demand band. Â 8 p.m., Bank Mutual Amphitheater. Free with admission.
Aug. 4: John Mellencamp: Expect a heaping helping of heartland rock classics â “Jack & Diane” and “Small Town” among them â and possibly new tunes from this spring’s well-received “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies” album. Carlene Carter (the late June’s daughter) opens. 8 p.m., State Fair Main Stage. $49 to $59 at the fair ticket office (7722 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis) and wistatefair.org. Includes fair general admission Aug. 4.
Aug. 5: Here Come the Mummies: Word is Mummies is made up of disguised Nashville session…