November. Summer is now far in the rear view mirror. Most of Milwaukee’s festivals are now over. By now, your Halloween costume has been washed, de-vomited, and stored away for later use. On paper, November doesn’t offer much beyond Thanksgiving. It’s the continuation of one season and the precursor to another. Still, between lauded comedians and bands coming to town and can’t-miss Milwaukee Record happenings like The Great Milwaukee Can Koozie Swap & Bar Chip Bonanza, there’s plenty to keep Milwaukee occupied as we await the impending wintry doom. Here are 13 of our top picks.
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
The Great Milwaukee Can Koozie Swap & Bar Chip Bonanza @ Promises
Join us at Promises this Saturday for “The Great Milwaukee Can Koozie Swap & Bar Chip Bonanza” from 1-5 p.m. Like last time, people who are 21 and older are invited to bring their koozie collections to Promises to try to make some deals. The first 100 people through the doors will also get a free can koozie that features the logos of Busch Light and Milwaukee Record on it that gets you $1 off cans of Busch Light at Promises for the rest of 2023. And there’s more! Give us a drink chip—from ANY bar, restaurant, or brewery…even places that are no longer open—and we’ll let you spin our newly acquired prize wheel for a chance to win prizes like Busch Light swag, free drinks, Milwaukee Record merch, your choice of treasures from “The Prize Pile,” and more. Don’t have any bar chips to trade? Spins can also be purchased for $2 apiece.
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.
Thursday, November 9
Mustard Plug + Something To Do, Meskales @ X-Ray Arcade
Skank your way down to Cudahy to see 30-year-ska staples Mustard Plug headline a Thursday night soiree that also features local support from Wisconsin ska-punk stalwarts Something To Do and Meskales. DJ Kyle Skanson will spin records between sets.
Saturday, November 11
Greg Carwright And The Goodnight + Sugar Stems @ Cactus Club
Greg Cartwright is coming to town to play a benefit concert for our dear friend Lee Olson (donate to his GoFundMe page and/or Amazon Wishlist here). Since that show quickly sold out, he’s added a late show with Milwaukee’s own Sugar Stems!
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.
Kesha + Jake Wesley Rogers @ The Rave / Eagles Club
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.
Wednesday, November 29
Milwaukee Record presents ‘Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar’ @ Avalon Theater
Iron your best pair of culottes and reschedule your Talking Club session because Milwaukee Record is screening Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar! This ultra rare big screen showing of the 2021 comedy—we think it might be the first time it’s ever been played in a Milwaukee theater—is coming to Avalon Atmospheric Theater on Wednesday, November 29. Tickets to the 8 p.m. showing are on sale now. Don’t miss your first (and possibly only?) opportunity to see Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar in theaters.