Forty-two bands mostly from all over the Midwest will perform over the entire weekend. Info/tix.
Bluelight V is bringing a ton of experimental and under-the-radar bands together near the village of Highland, held on picturesque Wisconsin farmland down in a valley. Organized by Spencer Bible (Communication co-founder and Tippy member), the fifth anniversary of the shindig boasts 42 bands culled mostly from Madison and the Midwest. Over two full days, the musicians will take the stage in the barn or on the porch of the house, and the massive line-up is backed up with free parking and on-site camping.
“It’s a ton of people out in the middle of nowhere, and everyone really just cuts loose for a few days,” says Bible. “I think people play some of their best sets of the year at Bluelight, because you're playing for an audience that's really engaged and open to new things.”
Film and performance projects will also be set up alongside the music, as Bible notes that Bluelight has morphed into a full-scale multimedia art festival. There’s a definite focus on hardcore punk bands, but a wide-array of genres are represented. Toupee (Chicago) is a post-punk band who trade-off between bright, catchy guitar hooks and abrasive noise, with the playfully aggressive, throaty vocals of Wendy Allen. The Imaginatron (Detroit) is a rock band that sounds like a more neurotic and glitchy version of LCD Soundsystem’s pristine electronic dance music. According to Bible, people cry whenever electro-acoustic saxophone wizard and musician Curt Oren (Iowa City) plays a set. Bring Kleenex worthy of gazing upon wizards who wail on woodwinds. —Reid Kurkerewicz