Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, brought Alabama’s St. Paul and the Broken Bones ensemble to the Johnson Controls World Stage on a summer night during the last week of the festival. By the time the band started, the bleachers and tables were packed with fans in anticipation of their set.
As the band took the stage, other than the traditional guitar, bass and drummer roles, the band also consisted of a keys player and three horn players. While front man Paul Janeway was initially absent as the band launched into an instrumental only piece, after a few minutes, he emerged on stage to applause from the audience. The band’s approximate hour and 20 minute set consisted of songs from their first release, Half the City, a couple of covers and new songs from their forthcoming album, Sea of Noise, available in September. Some of which were being played for the first time in the U.S. as they had only been previously played at shows overseas.
The crowd response to the new songs was more than well received. Aside from the amazing musicianship from everyone on stage, Juneway was charismatic and captivated the audience with not only his vocals but with his dance moves, footwork and all around vibe during his performance all night. A time or two he even dropped to his knees while singing as he reacted to his own songs. Their set ended with their most popular song, Call Me, which had the crowd absolutely on fire as they could be seen dancing around, before merging into their cover of Try a Little Tenderness. In true rock and roll fashion, towards the end of of the song, Juneway threw his mic stand off to the side of the stage and walked off while the band continued to play out the end of the song.
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