Milwaukee is chock full of things to do, but only a handful of Milwaukee events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations—brought to you by Lilliput Records—for February 19-25, 2024.


Large Brush Collection + Hanna Simone, Shell Bells @ Cactus Club
Austin-based Large Brush Collection may describe itself as “afternoon napcore,” but…well, okay, that’s a pretty good description. And that’s a good thing! The band’s brand of hushed and ornately rendered folk is on full display on the new, lovely Off Center.


Vivarium First Look: Wave Chapelle + ADORNER @ Vivarium
The East Side has a new all-ages music venue! The 450-seat Vivarium (1818 N. Farwell) is the latest venue from the Pabst Theater Group, and essentially replaces the recently shuttered Back Room @ Colectivo. But look for the bigger-and-better Vivarium to forge its own identity in the years to come; that begins tonight with a free show from Milwaukee powerhouses Wave Chapelle and ADORNER.

Rock Paper Scissors League @ Company Brewing
And yep, Milwaukee has its own competitive Rock Paper Scissors league! Looking to throw down and match wits with your fellow Milwaukeeans? Looking to get goofy and compete for prizes and leaderboard bragging rights? Looking to try your hand at an “Avalanche” (throwing three Rocks in a row), a “Toolbox” (three Scissors), or a “Crescendo” (Paper, Scissors, Rock)? Then get yourself to Company Brewing!

Letterkenny Presents: A Night Of Stand Up @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Letterkenny Presents: A Night of Stand Up! is a show featuring three comedians from the popular series Letterkenny.”


Melissa Villaseñor @ Milwaukee Improv (through February 24)
“Melissa Villaseñor broke barriers by becoming the first-ever Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live. A comedic impressions expert, she got her start as a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent. Melissa has voiced characters on Cartoon Network’s OK K.O.! and Adventure Time, Comedy Central’s TripTank, Fox’s American Dad, Family Guy, and most recently, Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 4. She has received a Golden Globe nomination for her work on the animated feature Ralph Breaks The Internet. She can be seen on camera in HBO’s Crashing and Barry, Fullscreen’s Alone Together, and of course, Saturday Night Live. Most recently, Melissa hosted the 2021 Spirit Awards on April 22.”

Midweek Music: HOSTS (solo) @ Crafty Cow (Bay View)
Back in November, we wrapped up another autumn installment of our Midweek Music concert series at Crafty Cow’s Wauwatosa location. For winter, the concerts will take place at Crafty Cow’s location in Bay View on select Wednesday and Thursday nights. Once again, there will be NO COVER for these all-ages shows, which will run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If a free weeknight show isn’t already great enough on its own, Crafty Cow will offer $4 pints from Third Space Brewing during all Midweek Music concerts. They’ll also have a “Cheap Date” special, which includes two entrees, a starter, and a dessert for just $37. This week: a solo set from HOSTS’ singer-guitarist Miles Patzer.

Margaret Cho: Live And Livid @ The Pabst Theater
“Comedian. Actor. Musician. Advocate. Entrepreneur. Five-time Grammy and Emmy nominee. Margaret Cho’s strong voice has been lighting the path for other women, other members of underrepresented groups, other performers, to follow.”

Molly Grace + The Wonderlands @ Vivarium

Kangaroo Court + The Nile Club, Fellow Kinsman @ X-Ray Arcade

Whiskey And The Devil + Alley Eyes, Well & Good, Trash Pandas @ Cactus Club

The Claudettes + Elephonic @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery


Inside A Dream: A Music Tribute To David Lynch @ Turner Hall Ballroom
“Dive into the mysterious dream world of iconic film director, David Lynch at ‘Inside a Dream.’ This unique event features a talented local 9-piece band bringing to life the haunting melodies from a selection of Lynch’s works such as Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead and more. Experience an otherworldly blend of surrealistic visuals and an original short film inspired by the mind of Lynch. The night also showcases an eclectic blend of local artists, vendors and an opportunity to step into a recreation of the infamous ‘red room’ from Twin Peaks.”

Flat Out Friday @ Fiserv Forum and Mama Tried @ The Rave / Eagles Ballroom (through February 25)
If you’re somehow unfamiliar, Flat Out Friday features motorcycle racers riding on top of a track slathered in Dr. Pepper syrup. It’s awesome! This event is just one part of the Mama Tried festivities that are slated to happen at various local spots this weekend. The Mama Tried Motorcycle Show itself will take place at The Rave February 24-25.

The Salford Lads Club + Substance 101 @ Mad Planet (also February 24)

Flat Out Friday Official Afterparty: Poison Hand @ Boone & Crockett

Cherryburn + Harlow, Breakup Tour @ Company Brewing

Brigitte Calls Me Baby + The Keystones @ Cactus Club

Adult Spelling Bee @ The Cooperage


Blake Shelton + Dustin Lynch, Emily Ann Roberts @ Fiserv Forum
“This year on his headlining arena tour, country music superstar Blake Shelton brought out the bar stools and the big hits…and the party is just getting started! Shelton announced today that the second leg of his Back To The Honky Tonk Tour presented by Kubota will stop at Fiserv Forum on Saturday, Feb. 24. Joining him are multi-platinum, eight-time chart-topping country star Dustin Lynch and rising country artist Emily Ann Roberts, who fans may recognize from her successful run on NBC’s The Voice.”

Burn Bright MKE @ X-Ray Arcade (also February 25, both sold-out)
Adding to the region’s ever-improving winter festival landscape is a brand new two-day affair called Burn Bright MKE. The first-year fest was created by DIY booking wunderkind JJ Kaiser, who aims to “showcase some of the best up and coming bands in the emo/alternative space.” Stop by X-Ray Arcade for two days of performances from the likes of Ben Quad, Carly Cosgrove, Charmer, Heart To Gold, Saturdays At Your Place, Equipment, TRSH, Arcadia Grey, and more. YES!

Luke Callen (record release) + Long Mama, Valley Fox @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
“At the intersection of Harry Smith’s Old Weird America—the songs of heartworn highways—and the tumult of today you can find the music of Luke Callen. The songs—equal parts tragic comedy and hopeless reverie—paint a picture of the places and people that make up his earthly home. A poet—a player—a folk singer—Luke has traversed his country unraveling tall tales—short tunes and all that’s hidden underneath.”

The Dead Bolts + OK Cool, Chapped Lips, Grain Elevator @ Cactus Club

Victoria Victoria and Charlie Hunter + Carter Mclean @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

The Sheckies + Scissorkicks, The DUI’s, The Malones @ Last Rites


Bruce McCulloch: Tales Of Bravery And Stupidity @ Shank Hall
Accomplished actor, director, and beloved cast member of The Kids In The Hall Bruce McCulloch will treat Shank Hall to his “Tales Of Bravery And Stupidity” one-man show that’s sure to bring information, emotion, and loads of laughs to the East Side club. When a KITH cast member comes to an intimate Milwaukee venue, you go! That’s the rule.

Milwaukee’s Best Bloody 2024 @ Italian Community Center
The 12th annual Milwaukee’s Best Bloody contest will find bartenders showcasing their signature bloody marys while vying to have their cocktail concoction crowned, well, Milwaukee’s Best Bloody. As if the opportunity to try a bunch of bloodies and cast your vote on your favorite one isn’t enticing enough on its own, proceeds from the event “support Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation in their mission to educate, support and advocate for the Wisconsin bleeding disorders community.”

Wückfinter @ Ray’s Wine & Spirits
Prepare to wage war on the winter doldrums outside of Ray’s Wine & Spirits! From noon to 5 p.m., the event—which is an exclusively outdoor affair—will allow patrons the chance to indulge in tons of 3 Floyds beer (including some rarities TBA) and a one-day-only 3 Floyds boozie slushie. Beyond the beer offerings, Ray’s parking lot and parts of 89th and 90th streets will host an impressive cast of food vendors and a DJ-curated playlist. It’s going to be a Wücking awesome day in the Rayborhood.

Bacon Fest MKE @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
The Hog and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino are hosting another installment of Bacon Fest MKE! The 12th annual celebration of pork products will feature an abundance of vendors serving up their finest swine to a hungry horde of bacon aficionados. Come to Potawatomi and pig out.

Ira Wolf + Next Paperback Hero, Allison Mahal @ Cactus Club

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