April is typically a period of rebirth. Baseball season is back, the first full month of spring is upon us, and rampant festival announcements combine with extended daylight and occasional days of unseasonable warmth to signal the city’s best days are soon to come. While we’re still two months removed from PrideFest (typically the unofficial start of festival season), April brings about other reasons to celebrate.
This particular April will shower the city with tremendous entertainment options, including a local holiday, the return of WMSE’s Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser, world class musicians, and accomplished comedians. Plus the Milwaukee Film Festival, Midwest Gaming Classic, and our Midweek Music series are all back, too! There’s so much to do this month, but these 15 events stand out to us.
Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2
Margaret Cho @ Milwaukee Improv
Influential comedian, actor, and anti-racism activist Margaret Cho has amassed an astounding career that’s spanned 30 years. Along the way, her unique perspective and inimitable voice have made the leap from comedy club stages to the realms of film, television, and animation. Cho will make her way to nearby Brookfield, where she’ll take the stage at Milwaukee Improv for a total of four stand up shows April 1-2.
Friday, April 8
Soccer Mommy @ Turner Hall
Since bursting onto the scene less than five years ago, Soccer Mommy—the musical moniker of Nashville singer-songwriter Sophie Allison—has toured avidly and released two well-received albums that showcase the 24-year-old band leader’s unique and altogether mature perspective. A couple months before the release of her forthcoming album Sometimes, Forever (out June 24!), Allison will swing by Turner Hall to headline a show you won’t want to miss.
Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9
Charlie Berens @ Riverside Theater
Affable actor, writer, comedian, and Emmy-winning host Charlie Berens has made a name for himself throughout Wisconsin (and far beyond) with his “Manitowoc Minute” segments and other hilarious videos that are rooted in Midwest-themed humor. In addition to making content that has garnered millions of views, hosting his great CripesCast podcast, writing a Midwestern guide book, and joining forces with Adam Greuel of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades to release an album full of Wisconsin-centric songs, Berens has also adapted his web-based material into a sidesplitting long-form theater show. The multi-faceted performer will treat Riverside Theater to a total of four shows in his Midwest Survival Guide Tour. Keep ‘Er Movin’ and buy those tickets now.
Sunday, April 10
WMSE’s 20th Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser
Hey! WMSE’s beloved Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser is set to return to MSOE’s Kern Center on Sunday, April 10. It’ll be the event’s 20th installment, following a 2021 event that was takeout only. “Attendees will once again determine which place has the best: Meat, Heat, Veggie, and Unique chili, and who has the hottest display,” says a press release. “This is the event that kicks off springtime in Milwaukee!” Advance cost $15. Day-of tickets are $20. Wanna get eight tickets for $100? You can totally do that. All tickets come with four chili sample tickets. Get them HERE.
Thursday, April 14
Milwaukee Day Showcase with Fox Face + Shle Berry, Devils Teeth @ Company Brewing
Join us at Company Brewing on Thursday, April 14 to celebrate Milwaukee Day with a loaded lineup of local entertainers. We’ve done our part by assembling an all-star cast of Milwaukee bands. Performers include Fox Face, Shle Berry, and Devils Teeth. Company’s Milwaukee Style Lager will be available. We’ll also have some new T-shirts and Fungible Tokens (not pogs!) available for purchase. The 21+ show—sponsored by Gruber Law Offices—starts at 8:30 p.m. sharp (doors at 8 p.m.). Tickets are $10 in advance ($14 doors). There are so many great ways to celebrate Milwaukee on April 14, but we’re pretty excited about this one. We hope to see you there!
Bad Cop / Bad Cop + Drakulas, Fea @ X-Ray Arcade
It may be Milwaukee Day and all, but there’s also a great show with absolutely no local ties happening in Cudahy on April 14. Fat Wreck Chords’ own Bad Cop / Bad Cop will return to X-Ray Arcade to head up an outstanding bill that also features Drakulas (an Austin-based band featuring members of Rise Against, Hagfish, and Riverboat Gamblers) and Fea out of San Antonio.
Wednesday, April 20
Milwaukee Record Presents: ‘Dazed And Confused’ @ Avalon Theater
Join us at Avalon Theater on April 20 for an extra special screening of Richard Linklater’s Dazed And Confused. The 1993 coming-of-age comedy features a stacked ensemble of future stars including Jason London, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Matthew McConaughey, Nicky Katt, Joey Lauren Adams, Renée Zellweger, and Rory Cochrane. Tickets are available now!
Friday, April 22
Cat Power @ Turner Hall
Over the course of the project’s lengthy run, Cat Power—the captivating musical endeavor helmed by prolific singer-songwriter Chan Marshall—has released 11 studio albums. A few months after putting out her latest album, the just-released Covers, Marshall and company will treat Turner Hall to songs from that record and material from various other points in Cat Power’s impressive and accomplished career.
Saturday, April 23
Spoon + Margaret Glaspy @ The Rave/Eagles Club
Fresh off the release of the band’s 10th studio album, the excellent Lucifer On The Sofa, Spoon will play songs from that well-received record and various other celebrated songs from its extensive catalog at The Rave on April 23. Joining the veteran indie rock outfit on the Milwaukee tour stop is opener Margaret Glaspy.
Joe Pera + Carmen Christopher @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Hello. Joe Pera is coming to Milwaukee on Saturday, April 23 to perform comedy at The Back Room @ Colectivo. The show will be the second stop on the incomparable comic’s “Spring In The Midwest And Rustbelt Tour.” Actor/comedian Carmen Christopher will also perform. If you’re new to this website and somehow unfamiliar with Joe Pera, the comedian/actor is the star and namesake of Joe Pera Talks With You, a heartwarming and hilarious Adult Swim series that’s filmed primarily in Milwaukee by a largely local crew. We’re big fans of his work. While we wait for Season 4 (please let there be a fourth season!), this live show will be a nice way to pass the time. Unfortunately, tickets to both of Pera’s upcoming Back Room shows sold out almost instantly.
Tuesday, April 26
Big Thief @ Pabst Theater
We’re not even halfway into 2022 and some people have already declared Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You—the latest and greatest from Big Thief—to be the album of the year. The Brooklyn-based indie folk quartet will treat Pabst Theater to live renditions of that celebrated record, and cuts from other albums when they come to the Milwaukee venue April 26.
Thursday, April 28 to Saturday, April 30
Bobcat Goldthwait @ The Laughing Tap
Bobcat Goldthwait is coming to The Laughing Tap! Yes, the legendary comedian, actor, director, and documentarian will perform a total of five shows at the cozy Walker’s Point comedy club April 28-30. Tickets to all five shows are on sale now. All shows are 18+ and proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test are required to attend. If you want to see Bobcat perform in an intimate Milwaukee venue, we highly recommend you act soon because tickets are going to move fast.
Friday, April 29
Letterkenny Live @ Riverside Theater
Since being brought to Hulu in 2018, Letterkenny—a Canadian television program about the “hicks, skids, and hockey players” in the eponymous 5,000-resident town—has caught on with American audiences in a big way. Now that the endlessly quotable, uproariously hilarious, and surprisingly progressive show has reached “cult comedy” status stateside, its cast and creators are ready to bring the show on the road. Letterkenny Live! will offer fans an opportunity to enjoy an evening with the likes of Wayne, Daryl, Miss Katy, and other characters. And yes, Puppers Golden Lager is a presenting sponsor.
Good Land Records “11-Year Anniversary Party” @ The Cooperage
Instead of celebrating a decade as a label last spring, Good Land Records decided to hold off until this year to properly commemorate the milestone. Label founder Jon Phillip and Good Land Records co-owner Christopher Johnson have assembled a stacked lineup of label for a pair of “11-Year Anniversary Party” shows, which will take place in two cities over the course of two nights in late April. The first show will take place in Milwaukee, with The Figgs, Limbeck, Joseph Huber, and Rx Drugs taking the stage at The Cooperage on Friday, April 29.
CONVERT (record release) + Rexxx, Guerrilla Ghost @ X-Ray Arcade
This jam-packed X-Ray Arcade bill doubles as an album release show from CONVERT, who will release its debut album SAVES that same day. The Milwaukee supergroup will be joined by lauded locals in Rexxx and Guerrilla Ghost (who will be just two weeks removed from its own album release).