Though you’ve likely spent much of the summer to this point screaming at strangers while navigating through road construction, it’s still comforting to know that of the 94 days in the season, 52 remain. But what to do with those 52 days? In the interest of making sure the rest of your summer is bursting with live music, block parties, rib-tickling comedy, more live music, and exactly one Beck concert, we’ve assembled this handy, mega-sized Tracklist. Plan accordingly, Milwaukee, and enjoy it while it lasts.
Monday, July 31
Milwaukee Record presents The Roast Of Milwaukee @ Club Garibaldi
To help informally kick off the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, we’ve asked local comedians, improvisers, and media personalities to gently (or, in some cases, straight-up viciously) rib the city they love in our Roast Of Milwaukee. The laughs won’t just be at the expense of Milwaukee—patrons can get in for free with a non-perishable food donation. Otherwise, it’s just $2. Static Eyes will perform before and after the Roast. If it’s anything like the first two times we did this, it’s going to be great.
Tuesday, August 1
PUP + Meat Wave @ Turner Hall Ballroom
The Canadian pop-punkers in PUP turned a lot of heads and bent ton of ears with their outstanding 2016 sophomore record, The Dream Is Over. With big things almost certainly ahead, take a chance on the up-and-coming outfit at Turner on a Tuesday night. Meat Wave—a Chicago trio whose The Incessant is one of the best records of this abbreviated year—opens.
Wednesday, August 2
Foxygen @ Turner Hall
Thursday, August 3
Milwaukee Comedy Festival @ The Underground Collaborative
Originating long before the city had anything even resembling a sustainable comedy community, Milwaukee Comedy Festival has grown and evolved in kind with Milwaukee’s humor scene. From August 1-6, the Matt Kemple-curated undertaking will offer an eclectic blend of stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy will come back bigger, better, and with a more renowned headliner than ever in the fest’s 12th year. Following unofficial pre-fest events at 88Nine’s studio and Lakefront Brewery, the fest truly begins August 3 in the UC, where most shows will occur.
Friday, August 4
Worriers + Typesetter, The Gnar Wave Rangers @ Cactus Club
Saturday, August 5
Center Street Daze @ Center Street
In 2014, stung by a few years of lousy late-summer/early-fall weather, the organizers of Center Street Daze decided to move their fest up to early August. The new date paid off, and what was once a bittersweet end-of-the-season blowout became a dog-days-of-summer celebration. The musical lineup for the 20th annual fest has yet to be announced, though, like Locust Street fest, you can count on it being especially Riverwest-y.
Sunday, August 6
Michael Ian Black @ Turner Hall
Following five nights of Comedy Festival performances, the laugh fest will culminate with an August 6 Turner Hall show headlined by actor, author, and comedian Michael Ian Black, who is making his Milwaukee return after more than three years.
Monday, August 7
Wisconsin State Fair @ Wisconsin State Fair Park
Tuesday, August 8
Max & The Invaders, The Revomatics, HI/Jack @ Humboldt Park
Wednesday, August 9
Rancid + Dropkick Murphys, The Bouncing Souls, Jake Burns @ BMO Harris Pavilion
Thursday, August 10
Ron Funches @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Rejoice, fans of comedy who reside in or around Milwaukee! It’s finally happened. After years of waiting and countless unsolicited requests to venues from certain co-editors of upstart web-only entertainment publications, Ron Funches is coming to town. The immensely lovable and Chicago-born actor and comedian is best known for recurring roles on NBC sitcoms, Undateable and Powerless, but he’s also won the collective heart of comedy fans through unforgettable appearances on @midnight (which he’s won approximately 5,000 times), Kroll Show, and Drunk History, as well as his wholly incomparable on-stage antics.
Friday, August 11
Waukesha BluesFest @ Naga-Waukee Park
Saturday, August 12
Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival @ between Martin Luther King Drive and 7th Street
Milwaukee’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood was once the epicenter of black Milwaukee culture. Nightclubs like the Metropole Club and the Moon Glow boasted performances from Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and more. These days, a renewed interest in that rich history has the area enjoying new signs of life. The Bronzeville Cultural and Arts Festival—featuring plenty of vendors, food, and entertainment—is part of the larger Bronzeville Week, August 5 – 12.
Sunday, August 13
Sweet Spirit + Abby Jeanne, Tigernite @ Club Garibaldi
Monday, August 14
Folias Music @ Lake Park
Tuesday, August 15
Piles + Dramatic Lovers @ Humboldt Park
Wednesday, August 16
Beck @ Riverside Theater
Bursting on the scene as a stream-of-consciousness slacker messiah with “Loser” (from 1994’s Mellow Gold), Beck soon moved on to hip-hop pastiche (Odelay), sexed-up funk (Midnite Vultures), acoustic soul-baring (Sea Change), and Grammy Award-winning acoustic soul-baring (Morning Phase). His latest single, “Wow” (from an as-yet-untitled album), promises to continue the musician’s unlikely evolution. One thing Beck hasn’t done, however, is play Milwaukee since 1997. Seriously, it’s been nearly 20 years. Happily, that will change Wednesday, August 16, when he comes to the Riverside Theater to play a sold out mid-week show.
Thursday, August 17
Breadfest IV: Weekend at Linneman’s @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Started by Riverwest troubadour and Breadking Collective co-founder Myles Coyne in 2013, Breadfest was the epitome of a DIY music festival. The undertaking was originally started as a way to give local bands that were snubbed by Summerfest a place to play when the Big Gig was doing its thing. After the inaugural year, it moved to late July and early August in 2014 and 2015. Breadfest took 2016 off, but is back for a three-day “Weekend At Linneman’s” from August 17-19. Here’s the full lineup.
Friday, August 18
Space Jam @ Peck Pavilion
Saturday, August 19
Wilson Center Guitar Festival @ Sharon Lynne Wilson Center
Since 2013, Sharon Lynn Wilson Center has hosted and organized a celebration of all things guitar. Wilson Center Guitar Festival features live competitions (with $32,000 in prizes) and headliner concerts with international talent performing. This year feature none other than longtime Tonight Show bandleader, Kevin Eubanks, playing a Saturday show.
Sunday, August 20
Milwaukee Irish Fest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
If the blur of whisky, corned beef, green beer, and “Blow me, I’m Irish” novelty shirts enjoyed every mid-March isn’t enough Irish heritage for you, Irish Fest strives to extend the celebration into August—without leaning on all the broad/borderline offensive generalizations of St. Paddy’s. Instead, attendees milling about the Summerfest grounds can imbibe in popular Irish fare and enjoy a heft of Irish and Celtic music from dozens upon dozens of acts (both North American and European)
Monday, August 21
Becky Spice & Chad Larget + Jack Forbes Wilson @ Lake Park
Wednesday, August 23
Mera Storm @ Denim Park
Thursday, August 24
Lost Balloons + Chinese Telephones, Fox Face @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Friday, August 25
Trailer Park Boys @ Riverside Theater
Milwaukee has a pretty special relationship with Trailer Park Boys. Turner Hall just hosted a rowdy live show with Randy and Mr. Lahey in April. A few years ago, the historic ballroom gave out cheeseburgers at a summer screening of Countdown To Liquor Day. Hell, even tertiary characters like Sam Losco (aka The Greasy Caveman) perform in town now and then. In August, Milwaukee’s love affair with Trailer Park Boys will continue when Turner Hall hosts a show that features some of the cult classic Canadian comedy’s most beloved characters. You can spend “a fucked up evening” with Ricky, Julian, Bubbles, Randy, and Mr. Lahey. Decent!
Saturday, August 26
Triple Eye Industries Fest 2 @ Club Garibaldi and Cactus Club
Sunday, August 27
Mexican Fiesta @ Henry Maier Festival Park
Mexican Fiesta has called Henry Maier Festival Park home almost as long as Summerfest has. Starting on the south side in 1973, the Mexican Fiesta (August 25-27) moved to the lakefront grounds in 1977. The longstanding event is rooted in pillars of community, education, Mexican heritage, and cultural advancement. That’s cool and all, but we’re all about the delicious food and the jalapeño-eating contest. Watching the jalapeño-eating contest, of course, not competing in it.
Monday, August 28
Rhythm Aces @ Lake Park
Tuesday, August 29
De La Buena + Sara And Kenny @ Humboldt Park
Wednesday, August 30
Lil Yachty + Reo Cragun @ The Rave
Thursday, August 31
National H.O.G. Rally @ various locations
Friday, September 1
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals @ Miller Park
Saturday, September 2
WMSE’s Backyard BBQ @ Humboldt Park
Sunday, September 3
Big Gig BBQ @ Henry Maier Festival Park
Monday, September 4
Poets Monday @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
Tuesday, September 5
The Voice Of Elvis @ McDonald’s Car Show (Layton Avenue)
Last summer we checked out an Elvis Presley impersonator playing a classic car show in a Hardee’s parking lot. This summer, join us as we check out a different Elvis Presley impersonator playing a classic car show in a McDonald’s parking lot.
Wednesday, September 6
Il Divo @ Riverside Theater
Thursday, September 7
Ex Fabula: Power, Dissent, And Youth Empowerment
Friday, September 8
Mondo Lucha @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Since 2008, Milwaukee’s Mondo Lucha has whipped the city’s wrestling nerds (and closet wrestling nerds) into the turnbuckles with over-the-top, high-flying, masked lucha libre wrestling extravaganzas. The homegrown company has consistently put on high-production, multi-media shows that dwarf anything else on the indie wrestling circuit, and has done it all with its tongue ever-so-slightly in cheek. If you’re the kind of person who pines for the days when ridiculous storylines ruled the day and the WWE was still the WWF, look no further for your masked, retro wrestling kick to the face.
Saturday, September 9
YES @ Riverside Theater
Sunday, September 10
Indian Summer Festival @ Henry Maier Festival Park
There’s no better way to wind down the summer and prepare for the impending fall than by checking out the final cultural fest on the Summerfest grounds, Indian Summer Festival. Nationally recognized musicians, traditional dancers, hands-on demonstrations, and oodles of arts and crafts highlight this fest, along with festival-mandated fireworks. 2017 marks the fest’s 31st anniversary.
Monday, September 11
P.O.S + B L A C K I E, Zed Kenzo, CRASHprez @ Cactus Club
The only thing better than a musician making a rare appearance in your city is when that rare performance takes place in an intimate club setting. Case in point: P.O.S is coming to Cactus Club in September. On a Monday in September, the pride of Minneapolis’ Doomtree collective will come to the cozy Bay View bar for the second outing on his 30-city “F/W 2017 Rap Tour” in support his latest album, Chill, Dummy. P.O.S—who is making his first non-Summerfest Milwaukee appearance since the most recent (and last?) Eastside Music Tour back in 2014—will be joined by B L A C K I E, Milwaukee’s own Zed Kenzo, and Madison’s CRASHprez.
Tuesday, September 12
Taj Mahal + Keb’ Mo’ @ Pabst Theater
Wednesday, September 13
Jay Som @ The Back Room at Colectivo
Back in March, Jay Som sold out Cactus Club while playing in support of her brand new (and just plain delightful) proper debut, Everybody Works. Six months after her awesome introduction to Milwaukee, Jay Som to win over even more locals with her lush and infectious indie rock stylings.
Thursday, September 14
X + Skating Polly @ Turner Hall
Friday, September 15
John Mulaney @ Riverside Theater
Since destroying in two Pabst Theater shows back in the spring of 2015, comedian John Mulaney released a heralded comedy special called The Comeback Kid, took Broadway by storm as co-writer/co-director/co-star of the hilarious play Oh, Hello (which was just released on Netflix on Tuesday), and wrote a number of episodes of IFC’s Documentary Now. Along the way, Mulaney found the time to write a new hour of stand-up, which he’s dubbed “Kid Gorgeous.” The writer, actor, and comedian comes to Riverside Theater on September 15 for a pair of shows.
Saturday, September 16
Bay View Bash @ Kinnickinnic Avenue
Bay View Bash is a bittersweet affair. The bitterness is brought by the stinging realization that festival season is almost over and yet another awful winter is on the way. We’re all going to die and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Ugh. The sweetness comes with the fun festival finale that’s taken root in the heart of Kinnickinnic Avenue. By this point in the summer, you’ve likely seen many of the acts taking the three stages. But have you seen them while eating an elephant ear?
Sunday, September 17
Dead Cross + Secret Chiefs 3 @ Turner Hall
Monday, September 18
The Flaming Lips + Mac DeMarco @ The Rave
Tuesday, September 19
Thee Oh Sees + The Hussy @ Turner Hall
Wednesday, September 20
Trout Steak Revival @ The Back Room at Colectivo
Thursday, September 21
Milwaukee Record presents Dirty Work @ Avalon Theater
After all these years, this picture still makes us horny. We mean wistful! It…it makes us wistful! (More screening details coming soon.)