Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for August 8-14, 2022.

MONDAY, AUGUST 8

Wisconsin State Fair @ Wisconsin State Fair Park (through August 14)
And the 2022 Wisconsin State Fair continues! One doesn’t hit up this annual shindig to eat organic small plate cuisine and witness evocative performance art. People go to the fair to eat cream puffs and weird stuff on a stick, watch pig races and dog diving demos, compete in livestock competitions, and catch performances from acts like Nelly, The Oak Ridge Boys, Tesla, and Charlie Berens. It’s weird, it’s wonderful, and it’s back on! Through Sunday!

Motel Breakfast + Bug Moment @ Cactus Club

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9

Chill On The Hill: Blind Fiction + Loud Library @ Humboldt Park
Chill On The Hill’s 17th season—which kicked off June 7—features a total of 13 weeks worth of free, family-friendly entertainment. Like last year, Chill has expanded its footprint by designating the space between the band chalet and the Vine Beer Garden for show-goers. The ever-popular concert series continues its 2022 season with performances by jam-leaning Milwaukee bands Blind Fiction and Loud Library. Go find your lawn chairs, break out your comfiest blanket, and put some beverages in the cooler.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10

Washington Park Wednesdays: Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations + Dead Man’s Carnival @ Washington Park Bandshell
Back with its first full in-person lineup since 2019, Washington Park Wednesdays remains one of the city’s best weekly concert-in-the-park series. And if you’re looking for the best week to attend WPW, look no further than this week. The incomparable Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations will headline a “Carnival At The Bandshell” show that will also feature appearances from members of long-running psycho-circus act Dead Man’s Carnival.

Milwaukee Black Theater Festival @ various locations (through August 14)
The Milwaukee Black Theater Festival is set to take over multiple Milwaukee venues from Wednesday through Sunday. When it does, it’ll come complete with two theatrical world premieres, an R&B and Gospel fundraiser concert, and much more. The theme for the third annual fest? “The Black Family: Generations Speak!”

Tosa Tonight: Andrew Leahy & The Homestead + Nick Anderson & The Skinny Lovers @ Hart Park
Since 2000, the Tosa Tonight summer concert series has brought free and family-friendly live music to Rotary Performance Pavilion in Wauwatosa’s Hart Park. Following a pandemic-prompted hiatus in 2020, the series returned with eight concerts in the summer of 2021. Thankfully, Tosa Tonight is back again in full force this summer. The series continues tonight with performances from Nashville’s Andrew Leahy & The Homestead, and Eau Claire favorites Nick Anderson & The Skinny Lovers.

Five For Fighting + The Verve Pipe @ The Pabst Theater

Spaceface + Cabin Essence @ Cactus Club

Danni Nicholls + Derek Pritzl @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

THURSDAY, AUGUST 11

Dirty Heads + SOJA, Tribal Seeds, The Elovaters @ BMO Harris Pavilion
Ahead of the late-August release of their new album, Midnight Control, the reggae rockers in Dirty Heads will headline a mid-August show in Milwaukee’s scenic BMO Harris Pavilion. They won’t be alone: SOJA, Tribal Seeds, and The Elovaters will also play on this stop of Dirty Heads’ 2022 “Let’s Get It Kraken” tour.

Argopelter + Caley Conway @ Boone & Crockett patio
Argopelter is an improvised experimental trio composed of Barry Paul Clark (bass), Devin Drobka (drums), and Christopher Porterfield (guitar). The group’s frequent residencies at Boone & Crockett are always appointment viewing/listening, especially when coupled with incomparable singer-songwriter Caley Conway. For August, Argopelter and Conway are back for two dates: August 11 and August 25.

Third Space Presents: Duckling + Brat Sounds, Heet Deth @ Third Space Brewing
Every Thursday through September 15, “Third Space Presents” brings a different musical act to the Menomonee Valley brewery’s new and improved outdoor patio. In addition to the concert (which runs from 6-8 p.m., including an intermission) and plenty of award-winning local beer on site, Triciclo Peru is always on hand to serve empanadas and other Peruvian goodies out of its food truck. This week’s can’t-miss installment features Milwaukee indie groups Duckling and Brat Sounds, joined by noisy Chicago duo Heet Deth.

Ryley Walker @ The Cooperage

Frail Body + Øjne, Snag • Shamewave, Bleached Cross @ Cactus Club

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12

Dead Horses @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Accomplished Milwaukee-based Americana duo Dead Horses celebrate the release of their latest album, Brady Street, with a hometown show at Turner Hall. Primarily recorded during the height of the COVID lockdown, the record—in the band’s own words—”turns inward and reflects the introspection many of us encountered over the course of the often-melancholy pandemic.”

ZOPA + Paul Jacobs @ Cactus Club
Fun fact: Michael Imperioli—the actor, writer, and director who is best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti on the beloved HBO series The Sopranos—is in a garage rock band that’s playing Milwaukee! The band, Brooklyn-based trio ZOPA, released a debut album entitled La Dolce Vita last year. Imperioli (the band’s singer and guitarist) will perform songs from that record (and more?) at the Cactus Club.

‘Lost Highway’ @ Oriental Theatre
A 4K restoration of David Lynch’s 1997 under-appreciated film Lost Highway will light up the main Oriental room on Friday, August 12 at 9 p.m.; and Sunday, August 14 at 3 p.m. See! Bill Pullman and Patricia Arquette as an ice-cold couple who receive some unwelcome VHS tapes in the mail! See! Robert Loggia as a growling gangster with a passion for safe driving! See! Balthazar Getty as the Bill Pullman character? Who knows! It’s a “psychogenic fugue,” after all.

Milwaukee Boat Line Concert Cruise: The Exotics @ Milwaukee Boat Line
Every Friday night between early June and the end of August, a variety of Wisconsin bands board the Vista King to perform on the lake vessel’s poop deck while the beer and pre-mixed margaritas flow liberally from 9-11 p.m. Milwaukee Boat Line’s Concert Cruise series continues this week with a sold-out performance from local surf-rock legends The Exotics.

The Malones (record release) + Suburban Delinquents, The Black List, Stalones @ Last Rites MKE

Matisyahu + Aidan Laprete @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom

SATURDAY, AUGUST 13

Center Street Daze Festival @ Center Street
Following two summers away, Center Street Daze Festival makes its triumphant return! From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Riverwest thoroughfare will be abuzz with activity, food and retail vendors, pushcart races, and a classic car show. Of course, there will also be live music. Lots and lots of live music. Throughout Saturday afternoon/evening, Center Street Daze will feature a wide range of (mostly) local talent on seven stages. That brimming lineup includes the likes of Puerto Wiccan, BLAX, Brat Sounds, Fellow Kinsman, Billy Dreamer, The Dave Bayles Group, and more. There will also be a bunch of DJs playing throughout the day.

‘Inland Empire’ @ Oriental Theatre
More Lynch! A 4K restoration of David Lynch’s delightfully difficult 2006 experiment Inland Empire will baffle and perplex viewers in the Oriental’s main room on Saturday, August 13 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, August 14 at 6 p.m. See! Laura Dern as a “woman in trouble”! See! Um, well, we’ve only seen this three-hour digital-video fever-dream once, and we couldn’t tell you one more thing about it. Jeremy Irons is in it, right? We hear the 4K restoration is super nice.

Lord Huron + Ada Lea @ Miller High Life Theatre

Gold Steps + Joey And The Knives, Tiqmmy, Halfway Atlantic, Outside Town @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Namen Namen + Bug Moment, Scam Likely, Duzt @ High Dive

Gigs 4 Good: Lil’ Rev Blues Trio @ The Tonic Tavern

Morning Glory Art Fair @ Deer District

Sustainable Saturdays @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

The Get Down @ Mad Planet

SUNDAY, AUGUST 14

Bobcat Goldthwait @ The Laughing Tap (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. shows)
Bobcat Goldthwait returns to The Laughing Tap! Yes, the legendary comedian, actor, director, and documentarian will once again hit up the cozy Walker’s Point comedy club on August 14 for one night of stand-up. If you want to see Bobcat perform in an intimate Milwaukee venue, we highly recommend you act soon, because tickets are moving fast.

The Whiffs + Indonesian Junk, ACES @ Cactus Club

‘Lost Highway’ + ‘Inland Empire’ @ Oriental Theatre

Morning Glory Art Fair @ Deer District

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