St. Patrick’s Day is an annual excuse to get out and celebrate in the waning days of winter. It’s a holiday build on the foundation of Irish pride, fun, and revelry. On the other hand, it also kind of sucks. Between the swarms of publicly intoxicated people decked out in half-assed leprechaun outfits, green beer, and grating seasonal songs, the day that makes Irish eyes smile makes many others frown.
Since this St. Paddy’s Day falls on a Friday and during March Madness, a perennially-rowdy festivity is bound to get even crazier. If you’d like an escape from a stereotypical St. Patrick’s Day, we have you covered. Between comedy shows, concerts, art gallery soirees, and sporting events, there’s plenty to do in Milwaukee on March 17.
1. Andrew Koenig Band + Bill Camplin Band @ Anodyne’s Walker’s Point Roastery
Thriftones member Andrew Koenig brings a blend of folk, blues, and roots to Anodyne’s spacious and beautiful Walker’s Point roastery. Bill Camplin Band opens.
2. Caste Of Killers’ SHOWcase @ The Underground Collaborative
Take refuge from the wackiness of a downtown that’s hosting NCAA tourney games and in the St. Paddy’s spirit in the basement of the Grand Avenue Mall. The Underground Collaborative will host comedians Jeff Arcuri, Ton Johnson, Marisa Lange, Joan La Rosa, Rich D’Amore during Caste Of Killers’ long-running SHOWcase event.
3. Dany Laj And The Looks + Indonesian Junk, Trolley, and The Hullmen @ Club Garibaldi
Canadian crooner Dany Laj will be supported by a compelling cast of local that include Indonesian Junk, Trolley, and The Hullman.
4. Dead Fortune + Neocaveman @ Landmark Lanes
Catch a show, have some drinks, and bowl a few frames.
5. Here Come The Mummies + The Exotics @ Turner Hall
It’s like Halloween on St. Patrick’s Day with a group of mummified men you’ll want to wish a happy Father’s Day to.
6. Los Tuscanes De Tijuana @ The Rave
This is one of three shows The Rave is hosting on March 17. If The Orwells or Vince Staples aren’t your cup of tea, maybe this will be a worthwhile escape from shamrock neckties and “Kiss Me I’m Irish” pins.
7. MAM After Dark @ Milwaukee Art Museum
Okay, so maybe Milwaukee Art Museum is leaning into the whole St. Patrick’s thing with a loose holiday theme and Irish Dance, but this latest iteration of the semi-swanky soiree won’t differ drastically from previous After Dark installments. Enjoy good food, drink, music, and take a look at MAM’s impressive collection of art, both cat-related and (if you’re into that sort of thing) not cat-releated.
8. Marquette’s March Madness Game
March Madness will be in full swing on Friday night and, relevant to Milwaukee, Marquette will be involved in the tourney. The 10-seed Golden Eagles will look to upset the seventh-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks. The game stats around 8:50 p.m.
9. Moon Lodge Dance Party @ Cactus Club
No Riverdancing allowed.
10. The Orwells + The Walters @ The Rave
Chicago-area rockers The Orwells come to town mere weeks removed from the release of third full-length, Terrible Human Beings. The Walters open.
11. Piles (album release) + Red Mass, and Blue Unit @ Riverwest Public House
After a couple decent releases, Piles truly hit its mark in 2014 with the excellent Planet Skin, a dour collection of hazy and hastened post-punk compositions that hinted at better days to come. Come March 17, that day will arrive with Piles’ release show for Expeller, a somehow-even-better effort from one of the city’s most distinct and all-around best bands.
12. Precognition: Chants + Please @ Quarters Rock ‘N’ Roll Palace
If nothing else, you’re always in for an interesting night at Quarters.
13. Retro Dance Party @ Mad Planet
Avoid bagpipes, mandolins, and that goddamn Dropkick Murphy’s song about Boston with a night that’s chock full of danceable hits from the ’80s and ’90s at Mad Planet’s Retro Dance Party.
14. Static Eyes + Head On Electric, Jason Paul, and Detenzione @ High Dive
Static Eyes spent much of 2016 breaking in a new bassist, writing new material, and playing a pretty steady stream of shows. Along the way, the garage rock vets drove up to Crutch Of Memory Studios (Tenement’s Amos Pitsch’s home studio) in Appleton to lay down songs for a forthcoming seven-inch. The Thaw clocks in around 10 minutes, but if you ask us, the brief release boasts three of the finest Static Eyes songs to date. You can be the judge of that when the band releases it at High Dive.
15. They GuanUs + DJ Nemi Zelekta @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
What’s less Irish than a Mexican/American reggae fusion band? That was a trick question. There’s nothing that’s less Irish than a Mexican/American reggae fusion band.
16. Tyrone Davis @ Milwaukee’s Comedy Cafe
Of all the comedians performing in Milwaukee this Friday, Tyrone Davis is definitely one of them.
17. Vince Staples + Kilo Kish @ The Rave
Vince Staples cut his teeth as an Odd Future associate and one third of Cutthroat Boyz, but the long Beach rapper truly made a name for himself in 2015 with his debut double-LP, Summertime ’06. With a proven body of solo work (bolstered by last year’s Prima Donna), Staples comes to town on the cusp of releasing Big Fish Theory as a stop on his “Life Aquatic” tour. Kilo Kash opens.