REVIEW: Walk The Moon at Summerfest

by Cassandra Polzin

Summer finally decided to make an appearance in Milwaukee for the kickoff of Summerfest on Wednesday night. Warm weather and a light breeze made Wednesday perfect for dancing on bleachers and enjoying a (corn syrup filled) Miller Lite.

You’re setting the bar high when you decide to walk on to the 10 pm set of the first night of Summerfest to The Circle of Life. Longtime Summerfest alums, WALK THE MOON, managed to keep the large audience gathered at the new Uline stage dancing for their entire hour-plus set.

Starting with their lesser known Next in Line from their self-titled second album, the Ohio band moved into crowd favorites, Portugal and Tightrope, before moving into the more mainstream, Different Colors, continuing with a high-energy set. 

Frontman, Nicholas Petricca, captivated the audience as he moved from vocals, to keyboards, to the synthesizer, while dancing to songs from all four of their studio albums. Throughout their set, they remained humble and appreciative of the crowd, promising to return to Summerfest as long as we continued to want them.

Experiencing a WALK THE MOON show is a different energy from your typical indie show. From their dance jams to the slower ballads, even to a Talking Heads’ cover, the crowd’s energy never once waivered.

The one thing the face-paint clad band largely left out was discussing the songs themselves, their origins, and what they represented. This left the audience with space to derive their own meanings. WALK THE MOON is nothing if not consistent and as long as they continue to return, I’ll continue dancing on bleachers with them.

The northern-most stage, Uline Warehouse, is new this year. In addition to incorporating more natural materials that coincide with the stage’s lakeside location, the improved sound and lighting capabilities combined with the expanded seating area provided an all-around better show experience.

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