March is a period of transition. The month straddles two seasons…a part-time resident in the ass-end of winter and a temporary tenant within the burst and bloom brought on by spring. As the season changes and we gain an hour of daylight, the glorious onslaught of local festivals is so close, yet still aggravatingly out of reach. However, there’s still a wealth of places to go, people to see, and things to do this month while awaiting the warmth and activity of summer.

Between respected touring musicians and comedians, some very compelling local concerts, our screening of Anchorman, and stops by superstars like Olivia Rodrigo, this March isn’t shaping up to be half bad! Here are 15 standout events happening in and around Milwaukee in March.

Friday, March 1
Diet Lite + Motel Breakfast, Ladybird @ Vivarium
Mere days after officially opening, Pabst Theater Group’s latest venue, Vivarium, will host three excellent Milwaukee acts on its brand new stage. Check out the new digs and catch Diet Lite, Motel Breakfast, and Ladybird in the process.

Saturday, March 2
Buffalo Nichols + Social Caterpillar @ Vivarium
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 rescheduled release show at the brand new Vivarium Be there!

Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert @ Pabst Theater
As if Cat Power isn’t already great enough, Milwaukee will get a chance to see Cat Power perform “a song for song recreation of one of the most fabled and transformative live sets of all time” when the project honors Bob Dylan and treats Pabst Theater to a special engagement called “Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert” on Saturday, March 2.

Monday, March 4
Aimee Mann + Jonathan Coulton @ Turner Hall
You know her. You love her. She’s Aimee Mann and she’s coming back to Milwaukee (the city that inspired her and Ted Leo to start The Both). It’s going to be great.

Thursday, March 7
The Dollyrots + Gymshorts, Future Plans, Walt Hamburger @ X-Ray Arcade
During the band’s 20-plus-year run, The Dollyrots have released more than a dozen albums and EPs, played all over the world, performed with countless punk and rock and roll mainstays, and had their music featured on television shows and in films. Just shy of a year after playing at X-Ray Arcade, the veteran pop-punkers will come back to Cudahy for a stop on their “Spring Fling 2024 Tour” with special guests Gymshorts, Milwaukee’s own Future Plans, and Appleton-based Walt Hamburger.

Friday, March 8
Milwaukee Record Re-Porter Beer Release @ Company Brewing
We have our own beer! It’s delicious and it’s coming back for another year. Come to Company Brewing to stock up on Milwaukee Record Re-Porter and enjoy live music from a female-focused lineup (Gold Steps, Shell Bells, and Poster Girl) that Company Brewing put together to celebrate International Women’s Day. Oh yeah, a portion of all Re-Porter sales will be donated to Milwaukee Women’s Center.

Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 10
Anime Milwaukee @ Hilton Milwaukee City Center Hotel
What started as a college anime club meeting has blossomed into a massive three-day convention that annually brings hundreds of folks to the Hilton in Downtown Milwaukee to celebrate “anime, manga, Asian culture, music and gaming.”Anime Milwaukee will make its in-person return March 8-10.

Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16
Myq Kaplan @ The Laughing Tap
Over the course of his lengthy comedic career, Myq Kaplan has performed on pretty much every late night show there is, released two stand-up specials, and put out a bunch of well-received comedy albums. The incomparable comedian, who you might recall was one of the 2021 headliners of the Milwaukee Comedy Festival, will return to The Laughing Tap for three performances spread between two nights.

Saturday, March 16
Olivia Rodrigo + Chappell Roan @ Fiserv Forum
What’s there to say about Olivia Rodrigo that hasn’t already been said about thousands upon thousands of entertainment outlets and millions upon millions of fans around the planet? On the off chance this is the first you’re hearing about this show, allow us to let you know the worldwide music/cultural sensation is coming to Fiserv Forum on March 16 as part of her GUTS tour. Make sure to show up on time because opener Chappell Roan is pretty great, too.

Tuesday, March 26
Diorama-Rama @ Amorphic Beer
Here’s a fun fact: Milwaukee is home to the world’s first habitat diorama! Another fun fact: Milwaukee is home to Diorama-Rama, a cozy celebration of the crafty and adorable art form! Founded by Danelle “D” Kirschling in 2016, this year’s theme will be “What Year Is It? A Celebration Of The ’90s.” Whatever! Diorama-Rama 2024 will take place on Tuesday, March 26 at Amorphic Beer from 7 to 10 p.m. Want to get in on the action? Drop a line to [email protected].

Wednesday, March 27
Milwaukee Record presents ‘Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy’
Bark twice if you’re in Milwaukee. In celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary (oh god, we’re old!), we’re screening the infinitely quotable 2004 comedy classic Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy on Wednesday, March 27. Will Ferrell stars as the eponymous 1970s newscaster and leads an all-star ensemble that also features Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and so many more. Whammy, that’s one hell of a cast! We’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, Anchorman is great every time.

Thursday, March 28
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 and Hot Tub Time Machine, the answer is…well, you get the idea. Anyway, after postponing last December’s show, Cusack is coming to the Riverside Theater on Thursday, March 28 for a screening of the aforementioned Say Anything… and a live conversation.

Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30
Sam Jay @ Milwaukee Improv
Sam Jay, is an accomplished comics who you might also know from her work as a Saturday Night Live staff writer and an actor on TV shows like Bust Down and films like You People. A few months removed from the release of her HBO special, Sam Jay: Salute Me Or Shoot Me, Jay will drop by Milwaukee Improv in nearby Brookfield for four shows spread over a two-night span.

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, release albums 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 March 29-30. Keep ‘Er Movin’ and buy those tickets now.

Sunday, March 31
Barely Civil (album release) + Magazine Beach, Overhand, Known Moons @ Cactus Club
Milwaukee emo outfit Barely Civil will celebrate the release of its outstanding new album, I’d Say I’m Not Fine, by headlining a loaded lineup that features DC/Philly-based Magazine Beach, local support from Overhand, and the debut live show by Known Moons (who just put out a wonderful release as well).