Later this week, 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 a long weekend of motorcycle-related fun that features an indoor race on a track covered on Friday, an indoor invitational that showcases an amazing array of custom-built bikes, a “Motorcycle Film Festival,” and an ice race on Milwaukee’s lakefront on Sunday as well.
Beyond the cycle-centric stuff, a wealth of Milwaukee bands, bars, restaurants, and venues are getting in on the Mama Tried fun, with pre-show 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 literally everything we know about what’s going on this weekend.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Mama Tried Bike Night @ Harley-Davidson Museum
The weekend starts early at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant in the Harley-Davidson Museum. There, Wild The Coyote & Badd Wolf and Mikey Fast Life will play a pre-show mixer. There will be Flat Out Friday racers on hand, as well as beer and rum specials, chainsaw-cut ice sculptures, gunpowder art, and vintage mini bikes.
Official Mama Tried Pre-Party @ Fuel Cafe On 5th Street
Down the road, the festivities officially kicks off at the spanking new Fuel Cafe on 5th Street. There will be specials on Solemn Oath beer, Jim Beam, and Rizoma. There will also be a Q&A session with Mama Tried Motorcycle Show builders and a DJ on site.
Mama Tried After Party @ Cactus Club
Capping off the Thursday action, Cactus Club has lined up three consecutive nights of Mama Tried after parties. The first show features Then Lizzy (a Thin Lizzy cover band), Tuff Pupps, Ratt Trap, and DJ Mike Gamm.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Flat Out Friday Pre-Race Concert with Holy Shit!, Beggar, and Twelves @ BMO Harris Bradley Center Lobby
As you file into the Bradley Center to watch motorcyclists race on a surface covered in Dr. Pepper syrup (more on that later), hang in the lobby for a while to take in the sweet sounds of Holy Shit!, Beggar, and Twelves. We had you at Holy Shit!, didn’t we?
Flat Out Friday @ BMO Harris Bradley Center
Okay, so we said “more on that later” earlier. That was a lie. Motorcycle racers ride on top of Dr. Pepper syrup and it’s fucking awesome. Need we say more?
Mama Tried Pre-Party @Nick’s Anvil Inn
A bar in South Milwaukee is having a gathering that’s tangentially (but not officially) related to Mama Tried. Now you know!
Mama Tried Pre-Party with The Atomic Punks, Oozing Wound, and DJ Dripsweat @ Turner Hall
Like early Van Halen? Then Los Angeles-based The Atomic Punks might be the tribute act for you! Don’t like early Van Halen? Oozing Wound isn’t a tribute band and they’re pretty goddamn amazing.
Mama Tried After Party with Low Roma, Miguel Corazon, Big Brother, Mikey Fast Life, and Kenny B. Wagin @ Cactus Club
The second Cactus show is aptly called “Da Shit Show” on account of tunes supplied by Low Roma, Miguel Corazon, Big Brother, Mikey Fast Life, and Kenny B. Wagin.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show @ The Rave/Eagles Club
Behold a sprawling indoor invitational that showcases an amazing array of more than 100 custom-built bikes on Saturday. It’s the first year at The Rave, so expect big things from the event’s largest venue to date.
MTMS Motorcycle Film Festival @ Eagles Club
This year, Mama Tried is branching out to a film festival. Admission for the official motorcycle show also includes entry to the one-day celebration of chopper-focused cinema. Take a break from the main event to watch Supermoto, Out Of Nothing, Hogslayer, and Sugar & Spade. The closing film also includes a Q&A with the movie’s main characters.
Mama Tried After Party with Weedeater + One, Bleed, Happyneverclear, Sex Scenes, and Mom’s New Boyfriend @ The Rave
As both the first day’s official show and the film fest are wrapping up, The Rave will transition into a traditional venue once more. Weedeater headlines a show that also includes One (a Metallica tribute band), a reunion by Milwaukee’s own Bleed, Happyneverclear, grimy rock from Sex Scenes, and Mom’s New Boyfriend. Yes, your Mama Tried ticket gets you in for free.
Mama Tried After Party with Moon Rats + Brother O’Brother, and Static Eyes @ Company Brewing
If you seeking more fun after the sanctioned celebrations on Saturday, head to Company Brewing for a stacked assemblage of local and touring bands. Fresh off their new single, Moon Rats top an impressive bill that also features Indianapolis-sired rock outfit Brother O’Brother and the always wonderful likes of Static Eyes.
Mama Tried After Party with Banditos + Dusk, and Easy Habits @ Cactus Club
In other late Saturday news, Cactus Club has saved its best for its last Mama Tried after party. Birmingham, Alabama’s own Banditos bring their Bloodshot Records-approved catalog to the Bay View bar to head up a bill that also features Dusk, and Easy Habits.
Screws, Brews, Dews, and Tattoos @ Fuel Cafe On 5th Street
After a long and fruitful first day of official Mama Tried action, return to Fuel on 5th to talk about the bikes you saw over some brews and Tullamore Dew. If you haven’t had too much of either type of libation, you can also get some ink on site from Walker’s Point Tattoo Company. DJ WhyB will provide the soundtrack to your flesh augmentation.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show @ The Rave/Eagles Club
Day two, baby!
Slippery Sunday Ice Ride @ McKinley Marina
In addition to the final day of the Mama Tried show at The Rave, organizers have saved their best for last. Bundle up and head to McKinley Marina to see racers take to the ice for the Slippery Sunday ride.