Starting Friday evening, throngs of local riders and motorcycle enthusiasts who have been cooped up since fall and whose choppers have been in storage for months will enjoy a brief escape from the cold, dark, dull bikelessness of winter. Mama Tried is three-day motorcycle show that features an indoor race on a track covered in Dr. Pepper fountain syrup on Friday, an indoor invitational that showcases an amazing array of more than 100 custom-built bikes on Saturday, and an ice race on Milwaukee’s lakefront on Sunday.
Beyond the cycle-centric stuff, a wealth of Milwaukee bands, shops, restaurants, and venues are getting in on the Mama Tried fun, with pre-Tried performances and after parties (of both the official and unofficial varieties). If you’re looking to add more entertainment to your Mama Tried experience this weekend, here’s what’s going on.
Thursday, February 16
Mama Tried Bike Night @ Motor Bar & Restaurant (Harley-Davidson Museum)
Before Mama Tried festivities start, get in the spirit at Motor Bar & Restaurant in the Harley-Davidson Museum. The sweet Americana sounds of Zach Pietrini will serve as an aural pairing to the camaraderie, food, and $2 beers (with Motor Bike Night koozie). The free event starts at 5 p.m.
Friday, February 17
Mama Tried Pre-Party @ Harley-Davidson Museum
Harley-Davidson Museum’s before-show festivities continue into Friday with a Mama Tried Pre-Party. Red Light Saints and He-Nis-Ra will bring some heavy metal to the museum’s Garage space. The show begins at 9 p.m and costs $10.
Flat Out Friday @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
Mama Tried officially kicks off with Flat Out Friday. Before the indoor race on Dr. Pepper soda syrup—which went well enough at Panther Arena last year to warrant a move to the Bradley Center this time around—starts, there’s going to be music. LIFES start things off at 5, followed by Population Control, and Ratbatspider. After the race is done, stick around for Bad Grades. How many chances will have to see some of the city’s best punk, hardcore, and thrash bands play in an arena? Our money is on zero. Tickets for the race and performances start as low as $10.
Saturday, February 18
Not Your Mama’s After Party @ House Of Harley-Davidson
Big Al Wentzel Band will play an overtly unofficial after party at the House of Harley-Davidson on Layton Ave. in Greenfield. As Wetzel and co. do their thing on stage, 2008 Playboy Playmate Valerie Mason will sign autographs, pose for photos, and will guest bartend. If you’re the kind of person who wants your decade-old nudie magazine signed, get out to Greenfield. The fun starts at 4 p.m.
Official Mama Tried After Party @ Cactus Club
Not to be confused with those UNOFFICIAL Mama Tried after parties, Cactus Club will host the genuine article on Saturday night. Platinum Boys will headline what’s sure to be a rowdy affair, which also features Moon Rats and DJ Nu Wave Oven. The show begins at 9 p.m. and costs just $5.
Mama Tried After Party @ Company Brewing
If you’d prefer to park your two wheels in Riverwest after Mama Tried, there’s another after party in town. Black Sabbath tribute act Hand Of Doom with top a bill that also includes classic punkers Scratch 45 and St. Louis-based Rover. The show starts at 10 p.m. and there’s a $10 cover.