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Summerfest Daily Highlights: Saturday, July 7

Aerosmith w/ Cheap Trick, Cake and Anthony Hamilton

Jun. 20, 2012
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Aerosmith w/ Cheap Trick
Marcus Amphitheater, 8 p.m.

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler is a judge on “American Idol,” guitarist Joe Perry's instrumental compositions have been featured on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and bassist Tom Hamilton recently lashed out at “60 Minutes” for a “brutal” piece on the band—all of which has kept the 42-year-old rock institution in the public eye long after the hits stopped coming.

As one of the last long-running American rock bands with all of its original members intact, Aerosmith is expected to unleash a slew of classics along with a handful of new songs on its current “Global Warming Tour.” The band's 15th studio album (and first featuring new material since 2001) is slated for release this summer. Reportedly recorded in four months, the album is being produced by Jack Douglas, who oversaw 1975's Toys in the Attic and 2004's collection of blues covers, Honkin' on Bobo.

Cheap Trick also boasts all of its original members, though drummer Bun E. Carlos has sat out recent tours, handing over the sticks to guitarist Rick Nielsen's son, Daxx. In 2009 the group released its most recent album, appropriately titled The Latest. —Michael Popke


Miller Lite Oasis, 10 p.m.

Sacramento-based Cake let seven years elapse between its last two albums, 2004's Pressure Chief and 2011's Showroom of Compassion. But the time away from recording worked in the band's favor. Showroom was recorded in Cake's own studio—solar-powered, of course, in keeping with the band's concern for the environment—and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The group's songs are best heard live, though—onstage, Cake is a blast. The band has a deep, eclectic, genre-mashing catalog to draw from and the musicianship to pull off its unique fusion of alt-rock, country, funk, hip-hop, mariachi and Iranian folk music—with a trumpet player, no less. Even the most casual fan will know “The Distance,” “Frank Sinatra,” “Daria” and its deadpan cover of Gloria Gaynor's “I Will Survive” (which she doesn't like, allegedly, because Cake's version includes profanity) from 1996's platinum-selling Fashion Nugget. —Lisa Kaiser

Anthony Hamilton

BMO Harris Pavilion with Miller Lite, 9:45 p.m.

Anthony Hamilton was not an overnight sensation. The soul singer toiled throughout the '90s, recording two albums only to see one tank and the other shelved by his label, while collaborating with any hip-hop act in need of a hook, in order to keep his name out there. That persistence paid off. A pair of singles from his breakthrough 2003 album, Comin' From Where I'm From, including the gorgeous, slow-drip ballad “Charlene,” established Hamilton as one of the biggest neo-soul acts of the mid-2000s. Several fine albums followed, but his latest may be his best. This winter's Back to Love expands on Hamilton's love of '70s soul to reveal him as a lover of all eras of soul music. A grab bag in the best way possible, it bundles funk, gospel and contemporary R&B into a joyous package, and features some of the soul man's feistiest, most gripping songwriting yet. It's difficult to imagine him performing most of these new songs live without breaking into a magnificent sweat. —Evan Rytlewski


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