That sweet brat music: Tone Madison’s guide to Brat Fest bands

Prepare for the acts that aren’t George Clinton, and remain kings forever. 

Prepare for the acts that aren’t George Clinton, and remain kings forever. 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

First of all, let’s give credit to World’s Largest Brat Fest for booking a quality headliner this year — George Clinton is an immeasurable upgrade from Bret Michaels. Beyond the man behind Parliament and Funkadelic, the Memorial Day Weekend pork-down, running May 26 through 29 at the Alliant Energy Center, also landed notable acts such as ‘90s rockers Everclear and um… ‘90s rockers Everclear.

But with four days of music across four stages, it’s hard to keep track of all the bands playing. To help curate your face-stuffing experience, here are some of the top picks* that will keep you (Christian) rocking until Memorial Day.

*Note: I didn’t actually listen to music by any of these bands and am making all my selections based off band pics and promo bios on the Brat Fest website.


Friday, May 26 | Alternative Rock/Blues/Rock | Capital Wealth Advisory Group Café Stage

From Untamed’s bio:

“Platteville, Wisconsin might be thought of as a quaint Wisconsin college town, but young and hungry hard rock trio, UNTAMED, did their best to bust up that reputation when they first got their start.”


“In 2014, they moved to Monroe,WI and added bassist Dan Thorp in 2016 to become a power four piece.”

Oh, okay. That mystery has been solved. Nice to see that the bassist gets second billing to a move to Monroe, WI.

Also, is Platteville to Monroe an upward move?

4th Point
Friday, May 26 | Alternative Rock/Christian | Lifest EZ Office Products Stage

3rd dude: “Alright, we are all going to look right at the camera.”
2nd dude: “NO!”
4th dude: “What’s a camera?”


Friday, May 26 | Christian | Lifest EZ Office Products Stage

From their bio:

“There’s something about Lybecker that makes you not want to stop listening.”

Can I offer a bit of copyediting?

“Lyebecker makes you want to keep listening.”

Denim n Leather

Friday, May 26 | Rock | Capital Wealth Advisory Group Café Stage

Hey, guy on the left! Try harder. Everyone else brought it. Good attitude, great eyeshadow, wonderful body confidence. Guy on the left, you look like a Halloween Express costume come to life. That shrug isn’t rock n’ roll, it looks like you are trying out to be the next Rocky Rococo.

Guy on the left, you are dragging your whole team down.

Black River Rebels
Saturday, May 27 | Rock | Baker Tilly Main Stage

From their bio:

“In just a little over a year, the band has recorded a full-length album, shot 3 full length music videos, toured the Southeast and played sold out shows with national touring acts like Jackyl, Saving Abel and Burn Halo. The band has gained endorsement deals with some of the best companies in the business including Ddrum, Saluda Cymbals, Silverfox Drumsticks and HardLuck King Guitars.”

They got an endorsement deal with THE Saluda Cymbals. They get the crowd fired up with the guitarist’s earnest pitch for HardLuck but you’ve gotta make it down for their closer: a 10-minute testimonial from the drummer about the pure drumstick power behind every Silverfox Drumstick.

Go Play God
Sunday, May 28 | Rock | Baker Tilly Main Stage

From their bio:

Made up of 5 musicians from very diverse backgrounds…

What does the word diverse mean to you guys?

Humbled Kings
Sunday, May 28 | Christian/Rap | Lifest EZ Office Products Stage

From their bio:

“Humbled Kings Forever explain that their names… (express their) desire to ‘remain Humble and because we are children of God we consider ourselves kings forever.’”

7eventh Time Down
Monday, May 29 | Christian | Lifest EZ Office Products Stage

Wait, how do you say your band’s name? 7eventh Time Down? Wouldn’t that make the pronunciation Seveneventh Time Down?

The Illusionist Tom Coverly
Monday, May 29 | Christian/Illusionist | Lifest EZ Office Products Stage

From his bio:

“Tom Coverly is a professional comedian, illusionist and motivational speaker. He has quickly become the most requested motivational entertainer in the nation. He has performed for millions headlining several tours, entertained numerous celebrities (most recently the cast of the Batman Vs Superman movie).”

Okay, so this guy isn’t in a band but he somehow managed to make Batman V. Superman just a little bit worse in my mind. That’s one damn impressive magic trick.

Friday, May 26 | Metal | Ho-Chunk Grand Stage

From their bio:

“These four horsemen have chosen to join forces and bring the midwest the most authentic sounding Metallica Tribute to date.”

These dudes nailed it. That’s how you write a goddamn bio.

Bonus round! Bands that describe themselves as an incomprehensible fusion of other bands:

It’s as if Jack White, Weezer, and Spoon melded together,”

Their music sounds like Third Eye Blind hit Switchfoot with a guitar and went to jail where they were cell mates with Shane and Shane and played basketball with David Crowder band.

Imagine if Amy Winehouse, Ann Wilson and Gotye’s Kimbra got together (in another dimension) for an hour of laughs and heartfelt tunes.

planting their flag at the intersection of where Shinedown meets Styx and Journey meets Daughtry

If Danzig and WolfMother had a kid who played in KISS, but were actually Black Sabbath playing covers of The Dropkick Murphys songs written by The Melvins.

Help us publish more weird, questing, brilliant, feisty, “only on Tone Madison” stories

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top