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All bands came off the stage soaking wet -- this work can equal the energy output of a nuclear power plant, except it's a lot noisier.
The final act was named -- are you ready for this, world? -- Phred Phlegm and the Spit-Tunes, a nonet of crazies led by the Meat Loaf-ish Phred Phlegm, tastefully clad in orange pants, green socks, blue shirt and green hair.
They were out there strictly for laughs, and they got them, mixing 1960s TV themes like "Peter Gunn" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" with period rock pieces like "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks and "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen. Now we know what a surfin' bird looks like -- a 6-foot guy in a chicken suit.
These four outfits, plus the four that appeared Tuesday night, were competing for a $1,000 grand prize (Phred Phlegm and the Spit-Tunes took the honors). What I got out of it, as a rock concert virgin, was a dazzling revelation -- that these fans have a sense of humor.
When you get down to it, they were laughing at themselves Wednesday night -- for paying big bucks and waiting long hours at other concerts to watch real rock stars from a couple of hundred yards back, only to glimpse tiny figures capering on a faraway stage, playing numbers that could be heard a lot better from a tape deck back home.
So the audience went along with the gag, whooping it up as at a real concert -- a weirdly funny thing to see.
Think of it: Decades from now they can tell their awed grandchildren, "Yes, I was there when Phred Phlegm and the Spit-Tunes played at Summerfest!"
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