It’s sad, but it’s true: another summer is over. Though we’ve now officially entered autumn, it’s not all bad news. For example, Milwaukee and its surrounding cities will still host a ton of festivals this fall (more on that HERE!). While those events are already sure to make the season an enjoyable one, there are also a ton of musicians, comedians, and other entertainers coming to traditional venues this fall. And that’s not even counting recurring Milwaukee Record events like our Halftime Shows and the Midweek Music concert series. There are a bunch of great shows coming to the greater Milwaukee area in the next three months. Here are 31 standouts from the bunch.
Wednesday, September 27
Nick Cave @ Riverside Theater
What’s there to say? Nick Cave is a legend!
Thursday, September 28 through Sunday, October 1
Jon Lovitz @ Milwaukee Improv
Actor, comedian, Saturday Night Live cast member, former Subway pitchman, and Jay Motherfucking Sherman himself Jon Lovitz is coming to Milwaukee Improv in Brookfield for a total of four performances spread across as many nights. Jon Lovitz is coming to metro Milwaukee…and we’re reaping all the benefits.
Saturday, September 30
Ringo Starr And His All Starr Band @ Miller High Life Theatre
What’s there to say? Ringo Starr is a legend! His All Starr Band isn’t too shabby either.
Monday, October 2
The Roast Of Milwaukee @ The Cooperage
Milwaukee Record’s long-running Roast Of Milwaukee event is back! Like previous years, the event—which is done in association with the Milwaukee Comedy Festival—will feature a stacked cast of local comedians gently (or, in some cases, viciously) making fun of our fair city. Joining the homegrown humorists is host Ted Perry of FOX6 fame, as well as a handful of surprise guests. And the laughs won’t just be at the expense of Milwaukee. A portion of the show’s proceeds will be donated to Milwaukee Women’s Center.
Thursday, October 5
The Eric Andre Explosion @ The Rave / Eagles Club
With his unmatched energy and penchant for taking his comedy to unpredictable, uncomfortable, and occasionally even dangerous places, Eric Andre has fashioned a career through forcing audiences to expect the unexpected. This is best (and most famously) displayed on The Eric Andre Show and 2021’s Bad Trip. Beyond his work in TV and film, Andre also occasionally hits the road for live show experiences. One such live show will take place at The Rave / Eagles Club when “The Eric Andre Explosion” comes to Milwaukee for what’s sure to be a crazy night.
Saturday, October 7
Kyle Kinane @ Pabst Theater
Beloved comedian, actor, and Illinois native Kyle Kinane will return to the Midwest to take the stage at Pabst Theater on Saturday, October 7 as part of the Milwaukee Comedy festival. Tickets to this show—Kinane’s first Milwaukee appearance since late 2019—are running low, so act fast!
Sunday, October 8
Jonathan Richman @ Marcus Performing Arts Center
Bless you, Jonathan Richman. The legendary singer-songwriter has been a force of good and wide-eyed whimsy since the early 1970s, back when he was with The Modern Lovers. These days, his acoustic shows (usually with drummer Tommy Larkins) are welcome escapes from a world of noise and chaos. He was in There’s Something About Mary. We once interviewed him via fax. He and Larkins are set to play the Marcus Performing Arts Center on Sunday, October 8.
The Beaches @ The Cooperage
Less than a month removed from releasing its latest album, the excellent Blame My Ex, Canadian rock outfit The Beaches will swing through Milwaukee to play a show at The Cooperage.
Janelle James @ Pabst Theater
From Thursday October 5 through Thursday, October 12, Milwaukee Film’s 2023 Cultures & Communities Festival will take over the Oriental Theatre—and much of the city itself. The “eight-day convergence of groundbreaking films, distinguished speakers, and public forums designed to amplify diverse cultural expressions and celebrate community” will include a host of city-wide parties, panel discussions, a “sneaker and streetwear summit,” and even a stand-up set from Abbott Elementary star and accomplished comedian Janelle James, who will take the stage at Pabst Theater on Sunday, October 8.
Bill Burr @ Fiserv Forum
Veteran comedian, actor, writer, podcaster, hockey fan, helicopter pilot, amateur drummer, and consummate Milwaukee fan Bill Burr will perform at Fiserv Forum on Sunday, October 8. “This event will be a phone-free experience,” reads a press release. “The use of phones, smart watches and accessories will not be permitted in the performance space.” So check those phones before Burr checks in on us.
Tuesday, October 10
Bonnie Raitt @ Riverside Theater
What’s there to say? Bonnie Raitt is a legend!
Wednesday, October 11 and Thursday, October 12
Bob Dylan @ Riverside Theater
Bob Dylan! Two nights at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater! The last time we saw Dylan live (way back in 2015) he was pretty great! And hopefully he’ll be pretty great again when he plays these shows, which are part of his “Rough And Rowdy Ways” tour. (The album of the same name was released in 2020; it’s the one with the 17-minute song about JFK.)
Thursday, October 12
Lucinda Williams And Her Band @ Pabst Theater
With 17 outstanding albums, three Grammys, immeasurable artistic influence, and an ever-evolving sound she’s graciously shared with audiences all over the world throughout her 45-year career, it’s safe to say Lucinda Williams is nothing short of legendary. Don’t miss your opportunity to see the incomparable singer-songwriter when she comes to the Pabst Theater on Thursday, October 12.
Thursday, October 19
Mudhoney + Hooveriii @ X-Ray Arcade
Friday, October 20 through Sunday, October 22
Widespread Panic @ Riverside Theater
you can always depend on a few things: death, taxes, and legendary Athens jam band Widespread Panic selling out Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater over multiple dates. If you can manage to score tickets, you can catch the group at one of three shows from October 21-23.
Sunday, October 22
Carmen Christopher + Raegan Niemela @ Cactus Club
Actor, writer, and comedian Carmen Christopher will come to Cactus Club on Sunday, October 22 for what’s sure to be a hilarious evening of off kilter comedy as part of his ongoing “The Waverunner Stand Up Comedy Tour.” If Christopher’s name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, you probably recognize him from his appearances on shows like The Bear, I Think You Should Leave, Killing It, Shrill, and Joe Pera Talks With You. Speaking of Pera, some of you probably remember Christopher as the opener for Joe Pera’s pair of shows at The Back Room @ Colectivo in April 2022. Milwaukee’s own Raegan Niemela will open things up.
Tuesday, October 31
Shania Twain @ Fiserv Forum
Where do you start with Shania Twain? We could mention her five Grammy Awards or the millions upon millions of albums sold. We could acknowledge her crossover country appeal long before that was commonplace in mainstream music. We could simply talk about how she’s incredibly talented and her abundance of hits have endured for decades at this point. Whatever your preferred hook is, you’re probably happy to know she’ll be coming to Milwaukee to treat Fiserv Forum material from her incomparable career on Tuesday, October 31 as part of her “Queen Of Me” tour.
Thursday, November 2
Sexyy Red @ The Rave / Eagles Club
If by some miracle you’re not yet aware of Sexyy Red, you’re about to be. The soon-to-be household name in hip-hop sold out every date on her 20-city tour almost instantly, resulting in the addition of more shows in more cities. A November 2 show at The Rave / Eagles Club was one of the new markets added to her “Hood Hottest Princess Tour.” Grab some tickets while you still can.
Daniel Van Kirk @ The Laughing Tap
Dan Van Kirk is the pride of Rochelle, Illinois. The (now-L.A.-based) stand-up comedian, improvisor, impressionist, and podcaster—who’s probably best-known in the medium for his work alongside the Sklaar Brothers on Dumb People Town—returns to his beloved Midwest for a show at The Laughing Tap on Thursday, November 2.
Saturday, November 4
Nicole Byer @ Pabst Theater
Though you probably know her best as the co-host of Nailed It! and Wipeout, Nicole Byer got her start in the world of improv and stand-up. Thankfully, her ascent to TV notoriety hasn’t taken her off that comedic path. She’ll treat Pabst Theater to what we believe will be her first Milwaukee performance on Saturday, November 4. Also: Don’t yell “Nailed it!” during her show because it’s annoying and it’s no secret that she hates when people do that.
Friday, November 10
Buffalo Nichols @ Turner Hall
Buffalo Nichols—a.k.a. Milwaukee-born blues purveyor Carl Nichols—will headline a belated celebration of his acclaimed sophomore album, the Fatalist, with a hometown release show at Turner Hall. Be there!
Saturday, November 11
Benefit For Lee Olson @ Cactus Club
On Saturday, November 11, Cactus Club will celebrate and show some support for former Static Eyes singer Lee Olson—who was diagnosed with ALS (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”)—with benefit show that has a downright incredible lineup. Greg Cartwright of Reigning Sound and The Compulsive Gamblers fame will fly in to headline the event. Cartwright will be joined by The Championship and Gallery Night, two Milwaukee bands of yesteryear who are reuniting specifically for the cause. As if that’s not already awesome enough, Christreater and Jon Heebz will DJ between bands. If you’re unable to attend but want to support Lee, we suggest you free up a ticket for someone else to purchase—because this show will sell out—by donating to his GoFundMe page and/or Amazon Wishlist instead.
Adam Sandler @ Fiserv Forum
You know what’s great? Adam Sandler. You know what else is great? Seeing Adam Sandler when he brings his “I Missed You Tour” to Milwaukee’s Fiserv Form on Saturday, November 11. Oh, and he’ll be joined by a “surprise guest”! (Please don’t be Rob Schneider.) Sandler’s 25-city North American tour begins October 12 in Vancouver, and wraps up December 12 in Denver. If seeing Adam Sandler is cool, consider us Miles Davis. LET’S GO.
Worldwide pop sensation Kesha returns to her familiar stomping grounds of The Rave, which she claims to be “absolutely obsessed with,” for what’s sure to be another outstanding show. This stop comes a few months after the release of Kesha’s latest album, Gag Order, but she’s likely to play material that spans her undeniable and hit-laden catalog.
Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18
Adam Cayton-Holland @ The Laughing Tap
Author, actor, Those Who Can’t star/co-creator, and veteran stand-up comedian Adam Cayton-Holland returns to Milwaukee for a two-night, four-show headlining run at The Laughing Tap that runs November 17-18.
Friday, November 24
Ryan Necci And The Buffalo Gospel + Christopher Porterfield, MATTHÚ @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Even though Ryan Necci—the founding member, bandleader, and namesake of Ryan Necci And The Buffalo Gospel—now calls Tennessee home, we’ve continued keeping tabs on him since he left Milwaukee to start a career as a professional songwriter. Thankfully, he and his (primarily Milwaukee-based bandmates) have also kept working on new Buffalo Gospel material. Necci will return to town the night after Thanksgiving to join his band on stage at The Back Room @ Colectivo. Christopher Porterfield and MATTHÚ will play in support.
Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26
Soul Low ‘UNEASY’ 10-Year Anniversary Reunion @ Cactus Club
That’s right! The band is temporarily getting back together to give its first and arguably finest album the belated release show it deserves. Soul Low’s reunions will take place at Cactus Club on Saturday, November 25 (which has already sold out) and Sunday, November 26 (which still has some tickets left at the time this was written). Bassist Sam Gehrke tells Milwaukee Record the band will play UNEASY “from front to back, plus some favorite tracks from the discography.” Yes!
Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26
Pete Lee @ Milwaukee Improv
After growing up in Janesville, Wisconsin, Pete Lee has gone on to perform on Letterman, guest on The Tonight Show (FIVE TIMES and counting!), and rack up a wide variety of credits that include notable TV shows like Last Comic Standing, As The World Turns, Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, and much more. He’s released comedy albums, put out a Comedy Central half-hour special, and has performed more than 500 shows at colleges around the country. Lee will return to the region November 24-26 for a total of five Thanksgiving weekend shows at Milwaukee Improv.
Friday, December 1
Brian Posehn @ X-Ray Arcade
A perennial “THAT guy,” Brian Posehn has one of those resumes that boggles the mind. Yes, he’s primarily known for his comedy and his appearances on shows like Just Shoot Me! and The Sarah Silverman Program, but he’s also done voice work for numerous cartoons and video games, and pops up in movies like The Devil’s Rejects. In 2020, Posehn released an album of comedy-metal tunes, Grandpa Metal. Back to the comedy thing: The veteran alt-comic will come to Cudahy for a December 1 performance.
Friday, December 15 through Sunday, December 17
Jay Pharoah @ Milwaukee Improv
Don’t miss your chance to see actor, comedian, Saturday Night Live alum, and legendary impressionist Jay Pharoah when he comes to Brookfield for a total of five performances December 15-17.
Saturday, December 16
John Cusack Hosting A Screening Of ‘Say Anything’ @ Riverside Theater
Is there anyone better than John Cusack? If you were weaned on ’80s movies like Sixteen Candles, Better Off Dead, and Say Anything…, the answer is “no.” If you were weaned on ’90s movies like Grosse Pointe Blank, Con Air, and Being John Malkovich, the answer is “no.” And if you were weaned on slightly more recent movies like High Fidelity, The Ice Harvest, and Hot Tub Time Machine, the answer is…well, you get the idea. Anyway, Cusack is coming to the Riverside Theater Saturday, December 16 for a screening of the aforementioned Say Anything… and a live conversation. Yes, fans will be able to experience Cusack in all his Lloyd Dobler, Cameron Crowe-directed splendor, as well as in a moderated discussion where the actor will discuss the making of the film, his entire career, and hopefully why he’s so down on Better Off Dead.