Milwaukee 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 May 29 – June 4, 2023.


Pedro The Lion + Erik Walters @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“Pedro the Lion is the band name Dave Bazan has used off and on since 1995 to release six albums and two eps of his hooky, insightful, and mournful songs. This year, his critically acclaimed and fan favorite, first and third LPs, 1998’s It’s Hard to Find a Friend and 2002’s Control, turn 25 and 21 years old, respectively. To celebrate, Dave, along with guitar player Erik Walters and drummer Terence Ankeny, will play every song from each album on tour.”


Buffalo Daughter + babybaby_explores, The Nile Club @ X-Ray Arcade
“Buffalo Daughter is a three member group consisting of SuGar Yoshinaga, Yumiko Ohno and MoOoG Yamamoto, often augmented by a drummer and other guests. Their sound is heavily influenced by German progressive rock and techno pop, but also includes bits of dub, club, shoegaze and post-rock influences. Given their mix and match style, and that they emerged in the mid-90s, they are often considered as part of the Shibuya-kei movement. Buffalo Daughter’s latest album We Are The Times, their first new album in seven years, came out September 17th, 2021.”

A Deer A Horse + Hands Up Who Wants To Die, Delicious Monsters @ Promises


PrideFest Milwaukee @ Henry Maier Festival Park (through June 3)
Milwaukee’s lakefront summer festival season (and Pride Month, natch) kicks off with the glorious return of PrideFest. Between opening night on Thursday and closing night on Saturday, the 35th edition of Pride will feature performances by Peaches, Betty Who, Cazwell, Big Dipper, Murry The Magician, Bright Light Bright Light, and Milwaukee’s own DJ Shawna. “Booking entertainment continues to come with all new sets of challenges, but that didn’t stop us from putting together a fun, energetic, and dynamic line up,” says Wes Shaver, Milwaukee Pride President & CEO.

Jazz In The Park: The Group + Kavon Cortez Jones, The Next Paperback Hero @ Cathedral Square Park
Also kicking off this Thursday: the long-running and wildly popular Jazz In The Park. Like years past (minus those pesky pandemic years), Jazz In The Park will set up shop in downtown’s Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St., every Thursday through August 31—minus two weekends in July, due to Bastille Days. Happy hour runs from 5-6 p.m., and the music runs from 6-9 p.m. The series is free, though a VIP Experience—complete with “two bottles of wine, a charcuterie board, a reserved table that seats eight, and one parking pass”—is also available.

Frankie Rose + SRSQ, Choke Chain @ Cactus Club

Chastity Washington @ Anodyne Walker’s Point Roastery

State Of Sound: Keyba @ Radio Milwaukee

Big Beat MKE 2023 @ Jackalope Lounj


Bay View Gallery Night + Bay View Jazz Fest @ various locations
Since 2011, Bay View Gallery Night has organized “Milwaukee’s largest annual celebration of art, local business, music, and community.” The massive neighborhood-wide event brings together talented area artists and musicians, along with an eclectic mix of Milwaukee bars, restaurants and retailers for a large-scale happening that has quickly become a part of the Bay View tradition. It’s free. It’s fun. It’s locally focused. It comes complete with the free, multi-venue Bay View Jazz Fest. What more could you want?

Dan Deacon + Jeremy Hyman @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“How do you make something solid, beautiful, and built to last in a time of cultural chaos and personal doubt? With Mystic Familiar, Dan Deacon gives us the stunning result of years of obsessive work, play, and self-discovery. It’s at once his most emotionally open record and his most transcendent, 11 kaleidoscopic tracks of majestic synth-pop that exponentially expand his sound with unfettered imagination and newfound vulnerability.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band + King Solomon Hicks @ The Pabst Theater

The Midnight Purchase + Ben Mulwana, Isabella Snow, Larry Anthony @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Grady Spencer + Brian Smith (God’s Outlaw) @ Shank Hall


Crusherfest @ 1101 Milwaukee Ave., South Milwaukee (through June 4)
Crusherfest—the not-quite-annual celebration of wrestling legend Reggie “Da Crusher” Lisowski—returns to the wrestler’s native South Milwaukee for two days of fun. On Saturday and Sunday, the Milwaukee suburb’s downtown will be abuzz with “live wrestling, cold beer, polka music, friendly vendors, and much more.” Wrestling legends Marty Jannetty, Greg Valentine, Al Snow, Bob Orton, Ted DiBiase, and special guest Mike Curkov will be on hand for autographs. (DiBiase will also be involved in a “Polka Mass” with Father Kitzke at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.) Meanwhile, Great Lakes Championship Wrestling and Midwest Independent Association Of Wrestling will combine forces for two Bolo Bash shows. The Saturday event begins at 6 p.m., with the Sunday bell-ringing taking place at 2 p.m. There’ll be something for everyone…except turkeynecks.

The Trusty Knife + Crappy Dracula, The Steph Lippert Project @ Promises
The Trusty Knife existed in that weird pre-streaming, pre-Bandcamp, pre-Soundcloud era of DIY Milwaukee music. Burnt CDs were the order of the day, sold mostly at shows and prone to eventual misplacement and deterioration. The Trusty Knife’s self-titled debut was released in this format in 2008; aside from a small run of 7-inch records for single “Natural Habitat,” that was it. Fast-forward to 2020, when Dusty Medical Records plucked the album from near-obscurity, treated it to a Justin Perkins remastering, put it on modern streaming services, and reissued it on a vinyl LP. “Timeless pop music from one of the great overlooked bands of 2000s-era American Indie Rock,” reads the Dusty Medical description, which is spot-on.

Taylor Tomlinson @ The Riverside Theater (three shows, also June 4)
“The New York Times opines, comedian Taylor Tomlinson ‘demonstrates tight joke writing, carefully honed act-outs and a ruthless appetite for laughs’ in her second hour-long special, Look At You, now streaming on Netflix. New York Magazine adds, ‘Watching Tomlinson gives you the same comfort as a Swift concert or a Broadway show that’s been on for years. This is a professional. This performance will be ultra-produced. You do not need to be anxious,’ and the Los Angeles Times observes, ‘Even when she’s navigating painful waters, she can’t help but find the humor… her wit and pinpoint delivery reveal both an incisive writer and also a talented actor.'”

George Strait + Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town @ American Family Field
“The King of Country, George Strait will return to American Family Field after a more than two-decade hiatus, last playing the stadium in its inaugural year. The country legend is teaming up with Chris Stapleton to play one of six stadium concerts at American Family Field on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Joining George Strait and Chris Stapleton is Grammy award-winning band Little Big Town.”

Mr. Bill + DJ Unibomber, Naked Discourse, The Demix, Doormouse @ X-Ray Arcade

RIOTNINE! + Social Caterpillar, Blind Equation, Flowers* @ Cactus Club

Xposed 4Heads + The Quilz @ Linneman’s Riverwest Inn

Snow Strippers + Kill.Dawn, Subsad @ Cactus Club

East Side Makers Market & Bar Hop @ various locations

Milwaukee Highland Games @ Croatian Park, Franklin


Alejandro Escovedo @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
“A celebrated singer and songwriter, Alejandro Escovedo has as eclectic a background and body of work as any rock artist of his generation. As comfortable performing with a string ensemble as he is with an amped-up power trio, and as likely to bare his soul in his lyrics as he is to display some serious rock & roll swagger, Escovedo had already played an important role in punk (with the Nuns), roots rock (the True Believers), and alt-country (Rank & File) before he launched a solo career that’s seen him work with everyone from John Cale to Bruce Springsteen.”

All Time Low + Mayday Parade, Games We Play @ The Rave/Eagles Club
“All Time Low is an American rock band that was formed in 2003 in Towson, Maryland. The band consists of four members: lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Alex Gaskarth, lead guitarist Jack Barakat, bassist and backing vocalist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson. All Time Low has released numerous albums and singles over the years and is known for their pop-punk sound, catchy melodies, and relatable lyrics. Some of their most popular songs include ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In,’ ‘Weightless,’ ‘Dirty Laundry,’ and most recently, ‘Monsters,’ and ‘Sleepwalking.’ This will be All Time Low’s 20th appearance at The Rave/Eagles Club, including the acoustic performance in The Rave Pool by Alex Gaskarth.”

Joshua Hedley + Lauren Morrow @ The Cooperage

Taking Meds + Lurk, Shamewave, Endswell @ Cactus Club

UPAF Ride For The Arts @ Henry Maier Festival Park

Milwaukee Pride Ride @ Company Brewing

MKE Dumpling Fest @ The Cooperage

Fat D.I.X. Pride Block Party @ Fat Daddy’s and D.I.X.

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About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.