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 December 12-18, 2022.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 12
WWE Monday Night RAW @ Fiserv Forum
Back in April, WWE brought SmackDown to Fiserv Forum for a show that was not well received by critics. Taking place just one week after WrestleMania, it was very much in that post-WrestleMania lull that has plagued WWE for years: an entire company stuck with a hangover from their biggest weekend of the year. The show only featured 21 minutes of in-ring action on television, along with a bonus dark match between Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair that went another five minutes. That’s not always a bad thing, but when the promo segments don’t deliver, it can make for a boring night. Happily, fans can expect a better night of wrestling action tonight, with Seth “Freakin” Rollins taking on Austin Theory, and much more.
SUNN O))) + The Crosses @ Turner Hall Ballroom
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13
Lindsey Stirling @ The Riverside Theater
The only thing possibly better than a Lindsey Stirling show is a holiday Lindsey Stirling show. That’s what fans at The Riverside Theater will likely be treated to tonight; Stirling’s latest album, Snow Waltz, finds the classically trained musician/songwriter/dancer/author taking on classic holiday tunes (“Joy To The World,” “Little Drummer Boy”) as well as crafting a few of her own (“Crazy For Christmas,” “Christmas Time With You”).
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14
Argopelter + Caley Conway @ Boone @ Crockett
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. The musicians’ winter residency continues tonight, with shows on January 18, February 8, and February 12 to follow.
Scam Likely + Scorched Waves, The Nile Club @ Cactus Club
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15
Robot Witch (EP release) + WURK, Dropbear Collective @ The Cooperage
Over the course of Robot Witch’s new self-titled EP, the band does away with its past electronic tendencies in favor of raw vocals, crunchy guitars, lively percussion, and billowing horns. “Hello Again”—an opening cut that’s over six minutes long—serves to announce the reinvented rendition of Robot Witch, as a jammy and atmospheric intro evolves into a full-fledged frenzy of intricate instrumentation. Subsequent offerings “Bad Dream” and “Bubblegum” ably veer into alternative rock and ska-punk territories before “Shade” transitions from soft and delicate to emotional and explicit to bring the EP to a satisfying close.
Dave Attell @ Milwaukee Improv (8 p.m. show)
Veteran stand-up, former Insomniac host, and comic’s comic Dave Attell will end the year on a strong note with a total of five performances at Milwaukee Improv in nearby Brookfield on December 15-17.
Mary Mack @ The Laughing Tap (7:30 p.m. show)
Though she was born in Duluth and she currently calls Minnesota home, comedian/actor Mary Mack was raised just across the Mississippi River in a small Wisconsin town called Webster. Since her comic outset, Mack has released five albums, performed on Conan and Last Call With Carson Daly, competed on Last Comic Standing, and delved into voiceover with work on Aqua Teen Hunger Force and a recurring role on the animated Hulu series Solar Opposites. Mack headlined the 2020 Milwaukee Comedy Festival, and she returns to The Laughing Tap in Walker’s Point for five total shows December 15-17.
Bruiser Queen (acoustic) + Daniel James, Ian Olvera @ Bremen Cafe
Bleached Cross + Shamewave, Overhand, HUMID @ Cactus Club
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16
Found Footage Festival: Where Are They Now? @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Milwaukee is no stranger to Joe Pickett and Nick Pruehe of Found Footage Festival fame. However, this particular FFF show at The Back Room @ Colectivo provides updates on where video subjects are now…in addition to sidesplitting commentary to truly absurd footage Pickett and Pruehe have collected throughout the years.
Nikki Lane + Jaime Wyatt @ Shank Hall
You’d be forgiven if you thought classic country revivalist Nikki Lane actually was from Milwaukee. Since 2011, the South Carolina native has played innumerable shows here. (Counting former Milwaukeean Hugh Masterson of Hugh Bob And The Hustle among her pals likely has something to do with that.) Lane is currently on tour in support of her 2022 album Denim & Diamonds.
Friday Night Freak Show: Beat Street (1984) w/ The Boogie Bang @ Times Cinema
Yambag + Cruelster, Gorilla Knifefight (tape release) @ Cactus Club
Bikini Bottom Rave: A SpongeBob Themed Party @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom
Dave Attell @ Milwaukee Improv (7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. shows)
Mary Mack @ The Laughing Tap (7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. shows)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Body Futures + Fake Twin, Regal Machines @ Promises
Body Futures’ 2018 full-length Maybe It’s Just The Weather is highlighted by the sometimes sweet, sometimes shout-y vocal interplay between singer/autoharpist Dixie Jacobs and singer/drummer DJ Hostettler. Jacobs’ voice is one of the best in town, and can only be likened to a pissed-off Neko Case. Hostettler, meanwhile, shouts along with (and sometimes against) Jacobs on tracks like the geeky “Heliopause” and the Scott Walker protest song “Right To Work.”
Samantha Fish + Jesse Dayton @ Shank Hall
Midwestern singer-songwriter and blues rock guitar virtuoso Samantha Fish drops by Shank Hall to play a show in belated support of her outstanding 2021 album Faster. Genre-blending up-and-comer Jesse Dayton opens things up.
The Beach Boys + The Holiday Vibrations Orchestra
Fingers crossed for a surprise Stamos appearance!
Milwaukee Zappafest XXIV: Ike Willis @ The Cooperage
Unturned + Honey Creek, Bug Moment, Doubter, RIOTNINE! @ Cactus Club
Haunted Holidays Tours @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom
Dave Attell @ Milwaukee Improv (6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. shows)
Mary Mack @ The Laughing Tap (7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. shows)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
Happy Holidays: The Hungry Williams @ The Tonic Tavern
It’s one week until Christmas! Celebrate at Tonic with jump blues/swing/R&B group The Hungry Williams!
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