Frankie and the Witch Fingers’ wiped the sweat out of their eyes. It was a hot summer night as they ducked into Milwaukee’s Cactus Club for sound check. Later that night, they would be an endless source of power between the anthem and the poetic. This headline show put on by Hear Here Presents gave the hot July night something to scream about.
They elevated their energy by starting with a bliss-ridden vibe mirroring King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Their guitars supported a singer who together achieved psychedelic perfection in their song, “Realization.” Their guitar is the main star. Its momentum is clearly felt by their drummer, Nick Aguilar, “When I see people moving, it’s my love language.” He told me, in between the background elation of his fans’ post-mosh revelry.
But just beyond the curtain, two more bands tapped their feet. They all waited for their chance to take the stage.
At the end of their show, they thanked Hot Garbage, who opened for them. Hot Garbage, based out of Toronto, was dope dope dope. The bass and the drums existed almost independently from the guitar and keyboard, playing with extreme contrast. They incorporated an enticing tone that reminded me of Meatbodies. Alex Carlevaris, the lead on Hot Garbage, said he wrote “for no one and for nothing.”
Fellow Kinsman is a Milwaukee band I have been meaning to see for years. Their music had clear influences of Miles Davis. Nate Kinsman, the lead singer, and guitarist told me they will release a new album in the Fall of 2022, which was “a long process but a good one.”