We’re missing live music and comedy like crazy. We know you are too. Thankfully, some local musicians and venues are joining forces of offer some great live streams to help hold us over until entertainment hopefully gets back to what it was in early March. In an effort to help you stay entertained (and stay inside/safe) during these increasingly dangerous, confusing, and altogether lame times, we’ve assembled a list of local streaming shows happening between Thursday, May 14 and Sunday, May 17. Enjoy.
THURSDAY, MAY 14
Pabst Theater Group’s #ReviveLiveMKE with Japanese Breakfast
The Pabst Theater Group venues (Pabst Theater, Riverside Theater, Turner Hall Ballroom, The Back Room @ Colectivo) have teamed up with more than 1,000 other venues across the country to pressure Congress for federal assistance; in the meantime, its stages remain dark. Until now. Sort of. Enter #ReviveLiveMKE, a new livestream series that gives music fans a direct way to support both the PTG venues and individual artists. The series kicks off this Thursday, May 14, at 6 p.m., with a live-on-the-internet performance from indie rock artist Japanese Breakfast. Tickets for the virtual show are $20. All proceeds will go to The Pabst Theater Group and the touring members and crew of Japanese Breakfast.
Rock The Stream (Girls Rock Milwaukee benefit) with REYNA
The fine folks responsible for the Rock The Green music festival are doing their part to bring entertainment and charity to this dark point in time with Rock The Stream, a streaming concert series that helps to highlight Milwaukee musicians and benefit environmental nonprofits. This Thursday’s act is REYNA, who are playing to raise money for Girls Rock Milwaukee. The stream starts at 7 p.m. and viewers are encouraged to donate to Girls Rock Milwaukee here.
Ethan Keller Live In The Loft
After trying out a live stream a couple weeks ago, Milwaukee musician Ethan Keller has decided to do it again. Join him Live In The Loft for an hour-long performance. We’re pretty sure this show is free, but if you like what you hear, buy some of his music.
The Strictly Thursday Elvis Jam
Sadly, the summer tradition of seeing an Elvis impersonator perform outside the St. Francis Hardee’s probably just isn’t in the cards this year. So we’ll have to settle for the next best thing: watching the Strictly Elvis Thursday Jam online from 7-9 p.m. If you like what you see/hear, throw some money into the virtual tip jar.
FRIDAY, MAY 15
Nō Studios Unplugged with LaFond
Almost every weekend since this all went down, Nō Studios has sought to promote Milwaukee music talent with Nō Studios Unplugged, which brings area acts to Nō Studios to perform. This Friday’s session features LaFond (née Siren). The show is free, but contributions are strongly encouraged. Or you can Venmo LaFond directly at @KateLafond.
Live From The Rock Room Live Stream with Matt Pryor, Josh Berwanger, and Kailynn West
Long before the sudden wave of homespun performances, there was a series that offers viewers the opportunity to see world-class punk rock performances filmed in the confines of one Midwestern man’s basement. That man is Smoking Popes drummer Mike Felumlee, who started Live From The Rock Room in May of 2016. Since the series launched, Live From The Rock Room has released more than 300 videos from sessions with more than 100 bands that hail from all corners of the country. Over the course of the four years the series has existed, Felumlee relocated from the western Chicago suburb of Westmont, Illinois to Milwaukee. In addition to the frequent pre-recorded videos he still releases, Live From The Rock Room recently started offering a weekly stream on its YouTube page every Friday. This week’s lineup is Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Josh Berwanger (The Anniversary), and Kailynn West (Tiny Stills). The free show starts at 7 p.m.
Cooperage Week IG Live Series with Kyle Feerick + Sean Williamson
The Cooperage may be closed for the foreseeable future, but the venue’s Instagram Live concert series is going strong. This weekend’s doubleheader of Cooperage streams starts off with Kyle Feerick and Sean Williamson. The show starts at 9 p.m., and if you want to support the artists, Venmo Feerick at @kylefeerickmusic.
Mad Planet-ish Friday Night Retro Dance Party with James Freshluggage
Miss Mad Planet? Well, you’re in luck…kind of. Mad Planet mainstay DJ James Freshluggage will try to recreate the fun and energy of a Friday Night Retro Dance Party from his home. Watch on his Twitch page. You can also donate tips to help Mad Planet employees on PayPal and Venmo.
SATURDAY, MAY 16
ComedySportz Milwaukee vs. ComedySportz Seattle virtual match
Like most other forms of live entertainment, in-person improv simply isn’t an option right now. However, this Saturday, a few regular players from Milwaukee’s ComedySportz location will partake in a virtual match against ComedySportz Seattle. The show can be streamed at 9:30 p.m.
Ampersand Theater Company’s “MKE Secrets” Show
Though nobody has it easy right now, a global pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Ampersand Comedy Theater. The Milwaukee improv outfit officially opened its spacious new performance/instruction space in January following months and months of renovations. Like most, they’re trying to roll with the punches and they’re doing so in some rather creative ways. Check out a virtual Ampersand show on Zoom. This weekend’s show, MKE Secrets, starts at 7:30 p.m. Login info will be posted to the Facebook event page the day of the show.
Cooperage Week IG Live Series with Ian Olvera
The Coop’s IG Live Series rolls into Saturday with a 9 p.m. performance by Daydream Retrievers mastermind Ian Olvera. Feel free to Venmo Ian at @Ian-Olvera.
SUNDAY, MAY 17
Brett Newski All-Request Show
A global shutdown can’t stop Brett Newski. The tireless Milwaukee troubadour will play an all-request local show from his home this Sunday starting at 1 p.m. Tickets are limited to just 40 people so he can handle all the requests and questions. So act fast! May we request “On, Wisconsin!” please?
Sunday Soirée with The Whiskeybelles
Join metro Milwaukee’s favorite folk-country trio when they take the (virtual) stage (at a proper social distance from each other) and host a Sunday Soirée. Starting at 7 o’clock, The Whiskeybelles will play some of their favorite tunes. If you like what you hear, throw a tip their way via Venmo (@whiskeybelles) or PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org).