In September, we officially said goodbye to Milwaukee’s brief-but-bursting summer festival season. A few days after the Bay View Bash, fall officially started and, in doing so, also signaled a mass entertainment migration from outdoor stages, patios, parks, and block parties to every vacant crevice of metro Milwaukee bar, theater, and club stage space. Since the threat of winter hasn’t yet reared its ugly head, people still have the festival spirit, even if they have to bring it with them beneath a roof.
This year, though, the inaugural Beet Street will grant Milwaukee one more chance to party outside before year’s end. Not even counting that block party, the city isn’t hard up for things to do. Between loaded local shows, respected touring bands and comedians (and Steve-O), a night with The Princess Bride star Cary Elwes, Halloween weekend fun, and whatever that “Conversation With Bryan Cranston” thing is, maybe autumn won’t be so bad after all. We’ve cooked up a baker’s dozen October show picks for you.
Thursday, October 6
The Record Company + Trapper Schoepp @ Turner Hall
The Record Company is a case of a local boy done good. Former Invade Rome singer Chris Vos made the move to Los Angeles, where his new project took off. They’ve appeared on Conan and are six months removed from a sold-out show at Turner Hall. Figuring things went so well the last time, The Record Company will return to its secondary city, with Trapper Schoepp opening up.
Friday, October 7
Tenement + Midwives, and Platinum Boys @ UWM Panther Arena
Sure, you’ve seen the likes of Tenement, Midwives, and Platinum Boys before, but it’s safe to say you’ve never seen this holy trinity of Milwaukee rippers play a free all-ages show at the UWM Panther Arena. You should probably change that.
Saturday, October 8
The Princess Bride: An Evening With Cary Elwes @ Riverside Theater
The Princess Bride is one of those movies that isn’t just beloved by countless fans, it’s internalized. The quotes and the plethora of left field 1987-era cameos have all become a shared pop-culture touchstone and shorthand for an entire generation. Plus, Andre the Giant is in it. Now, more than one year after a Princess Bride screening with star Cary Elwes was canceled due to Elwes’ filming obligations (rats!), a Princess Bride screening with star Cary Elwes is back on. “The Princess Bride: An Evening With Cary Elwes” will come to Riverside Theater, complete with a screening of the film, a post-film “behind-the-scenes” talk from Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts himself, and a moderated Q&A session.
Saturday, October 15
Beet Street Harvest Festival @ Wentworth and Potter avenues (Bay View)
Thanks to a trio of Bay View businesses, a new block party will keep the celebration roaring into autumn. Saturday, October 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., a two-block, L-shaped parcel of Potter and Wentworth avenues will play host to live music, a pumpkin patch, food vendors, a farmer’s market, craft beers and cocktails, and a pie competition during the inaugural Beet Street Harvest Festival.
The first-year event is a collaboration between Goodkind, Palomino, and Cactus Club. Outside, there will be kegged cocktails, a Bloody Mary bar, hot toddy, Vander Mill cider drinks, and beer from Central Waters and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Palomino will also host a pie-eating contest and “The Great Midwestern Pie Championship.” The celebration will also extend to Palomino’s patio. It wouldn’t be a Milwaukee festival without live music. Cactus Club has music covered, both on Wentworth and inside the bar itself. Here’s everything you need to know.
Tuesday, October 18
Steve-O @ Turner Hall
This is either going to be incredible or an absolute disaster. Wouldn’t you want to be there either way?
Thursday, October 20
Tegan And Sara + Torres @ Pabst Theater
Tegan And Sara isn’t a stranger to Milwaukee. Whether during Summerfest or in a traditional theater setting, the Canadian sibling synth-pop duo can be counted upon for an almost-annual visit to our fair city. This time around, the sisters drop by Pabst Theater in support of Love You To Death, which they released in June. Torres opens.
Busdriver + Metasota @ Mad Planet
Yeah, yeah, we’re well aware Busdriver calls Los Angeles home. Yet with the frequency he visits, his regular collaboration with Milo, and the delightful music videos he makes while he’s here, it’s safe to call Milwaukee the veteran rapper’s home away from home. Not long after he and local director Wes Tank came together for the excellent “Motion Lines” video, Bus stopped in Milwaukee again to shoot the even better “MUCH” music video. He’ll return yet again to head up a Mad Planet bill that also features Metasota.
Garrett Klahn + Rx Drugs @ Cactus Club
For much of the ’90s and during sporadic reunions this young century (this year included), Garrett Klahn fronted seminal emo act Texas Is The Reason. Back in June, Klahn released his debut self-titled record, a full-band effort that glances back at his TITR work, while pushing his work to new personal territory. Rx Drugs—fresh off the release of the heart-wrenching Future Friction—will provide local support in a rare live outing. Oh yeah, the first “Milwaukee Record Beer Club” installment will take place at Cactus before the show. More on that soon.
Saturday, October 22
A Conversation With Bryan Cranston @ Pabst Theater
Following a long, steady, workmanlike career as character actor who had occasional appearances in sitcoms like Seinfeld and The King Of Queens, and a regular supporting role in Malcolm In The Middle, Bryan Cranston played the part of a lifetime. For five seasons, the veteran thespian portrayed Walter White, a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher-turned meth kingpin, in Breaking Bad. Cranston’s unforgettable starring performance in the basic cable drama helped Breaking Bad earn critical acclaim, take home a mess of awards, and garner astounding ratings by the time the series’ 2013 finale came around. Now a household name, Cranston evidently found time to write a book. As part of his tour for his book, A Life In Parts, the four-time Emmy winner will drop by Pabst Theater on Saturday, October 22 to read excerpts and engage in an audience Q&A session.
Sunday, October 23
Joe Mande @ The Underground Collaborative
Comedian Joe Mande might not be a household name, but you’re aware of his work. He’s written for Parks & Recreation, Kroll Show, Delocated, and Master Of None, along with sparing on-camera roles on those first two shows, as well as a recent turn on Modern Family. Mande has twice performed as Aziz Ansari’s opener at Riverside Theater. This time around, he’ll be headlining across the street during a can’t-miss set at The Underground Collaborative.
Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29
Gloss Records Halloween Spooktacular @ Cactus Club (Friday) and Riverwest Public House (Saturday)
Months after its wildly successful Gloss Weekend jumped around to a handful of area venues, Milwaukee cassette label Gloss Records is back with a scary good assemblage of local bands that will get in the holiday spirit for a two-bar, two-night celebration dubbed the “Halloween Spooktacular.” Besides a nightly costume contest and silent auction, the event will bring Soul Low, Rio Turbo, Surgeons In Heat, and Sex Scenes to Cactus Club on Friday. The fun will continue at Riverwest Public House on Saturday with NO/NO, Soup Moat, Piles, and Moon Rats.
Saturday, October 29
Nightmare On Center Street @ Company Brewing, High Dive, Jazz Gallery, and Club Timbuktu
Following a strong first year in the heart of Riverwest, Nightmare On Center Street will get a sequel. This time around, 15 acts from various segments of the local music scene will play at four Center Street business. The full lineup isn’t officially announced yet, but trust us, it’s a doozy.
Monday, October 31
Riverwest FemFest Halloween Ball @ Company Brewing
In its first two years, Riverwest FemFest has done an incredible job highlighting the wonderful work of our city’s many talented female musicians, all while raising thousands upon thousands of dollars to benefit the Milwaukee Women’s Center and Date Rape Awareness Milwaukee in the process. Seeking to bring their event (taking place the third week of January, by the way) to the next level and bring in more national acts to join in on the festivities, FemFest organizers are holding a Halloween Ball at Company Brewing. This show is a little bit different, as the aim is to recognize some of the men who have been especially supportive of the grassroots undertaking. Hodari, Gauss, Holy Shit! and DJ phenom Yung Zucchini will provide the night’s entertainment, along with New Boyz Club, whose frontwoman/FemFest co-organizer Johanna Rose will be departing for Europe soon after.