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 September 20-26, 2021.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Mark Waldoch & The Hallelujah Ward @ The Cooperage
After a season away, the Milwaukee Record Halftime Show series has returned! This season, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 17 performers that will provide FREE all-ages entertainment during halftime of Green Bay football games. Though every other performance will take place at Cactus Club, Mark Waldoch & The Hallelujah Ward will treat The Cooperage to an “away game” installment of the halftime series at the midway point of the Green Bay-Detroit Monday night match-up.

Holy Wave + Peel Dream Magazine @ Cactus Club

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Judas Priest + Sabaton @ Miller High Life Theatre
Priest is the best, man! Priest is the best, I’m telling you! Hey, lemme tell you. Rob Halford is the baddest motherfucking singer aroooouuuund! And K.K. Downing, man? That motherfucker can play some guitar! Priest is bad, man! Priest is number one in heavy metal, man!

Milwaukee Record Presents: ‘The Fifth Element’ @ Avalon Atmospheric Theater
Waaaaaay back in February 2020, we announced we’d be showing the 1997 sci-fi classic The Fifth Element at Avalon Theater. The screening sold out in a matter of days. As we all know, just weeks after we announced that extra special film event, the COVID-19 crisis abruptly halted pretty much all in-person events in Milwaukee and virtually everywhere else. Now, more than 18 months later, we’re pleased to inform you our Fifth Element screening is finally happening. IF—AND ONLY IF—YOU BOUGHT TICKETS TO LAST YEAR’S SCREENING, you’re cordially invited to watch it with us at Avalon Theater on Wednesday, September 22. Click HERE for more info.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

The Recombobulation Area Turns 2 @ Boone & Crockett
If you’re looking for some of the most incisive, deep-diving, and opinionated writing on Milwaukee and Wisconsin politics, look no further than Dan Shafer’s Recombobulation Area. For the publication’s second anniversary, Shafer will host a friendly get-together on the patio of Boone & Crockett featuring a Q&A with As Goes Wisconsin’s Kristin Brey, as well as a rewatch of Game 6 of the NBA Finals! GO BUCKS.

The Living Statues + The Keystones, Gold Steps @ The Cooperage

Interlay + Fox Face, Cream Vellum @ Cactus Club

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference @ various locations (through September 26)
After an online-only 2020, the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is back! The weekend celebration of the strange and unusual is set to take place September 24-26 at various locations in and around Milwaukee. (The bulk of the con will take place at Alverno College.) The theme for this year’s con is “Wisconsin, Good Land of Paranormal.” Expect plenty of panels on Milwaukee-based poltergeists, the “Lake Michigan Triangle,” and, yes, the fabled Haunchyville. Will there be a Haunchyville coloring sheet to go along with the “Voyage to Haunchyville” panel? YES.

Harvest Fair @ Wisconsin State Fair Park (through September 26)
Miss the Wisconsin State Fair? Well, you can get a fall-focused fairgrounds fix with the Harvest Fair. From September 24-26, the State Fair Park will host live music from the likes of The 5 Card Studs and Rhythm Kings, lumberjack competitions, rides, pumpkin bowling, and “harvest fare” including two types of specialty seasonal Cream Puffs.

Milwaukee Oktoberfest @ War Memorial Center (through September 26)
The 11th annual Milwaukee Oktoberfest will bring live music, German food and beer from Kegel’s Inn, a Miss Oktoberfest Pageant, a Wiener Dog Beauty Pageant, a brat eating contest, and much more to the lakefront beside the War Memorial Center. They had us at “Wiener Dog Beauty Pageant” and again at “brat eating contest.”

Dogleg + Retirement Party, Gully Boys @ Cactus Club
In early 2020, Dogleg released Melee. Now the Michigan-based emo greats finally get to play shows in belated support of that outstanding album. As if Dogleg playing an all-ages show in our neck of the woods isn’t already great enough, they’ll be joined by Retirement Party and Gully Boys. Wow!

Ian Abramson @ The Laughing Tap
Actor and absurdist comedian Ian Abramson will return to The Laughing Tap September 24-25 for a pair of performances. Will be climb on top of the sound booth again? Only time will tell!

Half Gringa + Lady Cannon, Fauvely @ Cactus Club

The Stick Arounds + Indonesian Junk, Floor Model @ Bremen Cafe

Dan+Shay + The Band Camino, Ingrid Address @ Fiserv Forum

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Equinox Music Festival @ The Brewery District (various locations)
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean Milwaukee will be short on festivals going into the fall. For proof, look no further than Equinox music fest, set for Saturday, September 25 in the city’s Brewery District. The mostly outdoor fest will take place in and around Best Place, Bottle House 42, and Nō Studios. The stacked local lineup includes Vincent Van Great, Abby Jeanne, WebsterX, Zed Kenzo, Klassik, Johanna Rose, Valerie Lightheart, Immortal Girlfriend, Paper Holland, and many more!

Maker Faire Milwaukee @ MSOE Kern Center (through September 26)
One of the 8,000,000 things we missed in 2020 was Maker Faire Milwaukee, a gloriously geeky celebration of funky engineering, crazy crafts, those Dalek folks, and a teenager we spotted one year making a Bob Uecker portrait with colored chalk. (See below.) And hey! The Faire is coming back in 2021! And it has a new location, too!

Fromm Petfest @ Henry Maier Festival Park
Following a one-year FURlough (sorry!) in 2020, Fromm Petfest returns to the Summerfest grounds for a day of fun for the whole family…including four-legged family members. The annual animal-focused event will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it’s free to attend.

Third Space Five Year Anniversary Party @ Third Space Brewing
Over its five-year run, Third Space Brewing has quickly fashioned a reputation as one of the city’s best and most inventive breweries. Along the way, they’ve gained statewide distribution and have helped bring new life to the Menomonee Valley by way of its wonderful taproom. That brewery/taproom will host Third Space’s Five Year Anniversary Party on Saturday, September 25, which will feature live music, food trucks, sustainability education provided by local nonprofits, special beer releases, and archived beer tappings.

Man Random + The Raging Nathans, The Smart Shoppers, Brat Sounds @ X-Ray Arcade

Fellow Kinsman + Sleepy Gaucho, Greyhound @ The Back Room @ Colectivo

Ian Abramson @ The Laughing Tap

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

Milwaukee Record Halftime Show: Toadskin @ Cactus Club
After a season away, the Milwaukee Record Halftime Shows series has returned! This season, we’ve assembled a stacked roster of 17 performers that will provide FREE all-ages entertainment during halftime of Green Bay football games. Like previous seasons, our friends at Miller High Life will sponsor our football-focused festivities, meaning fans can enjoy “The Champagne Of Beers” and Miller Lite for $2.50 a bottle or $10 for a bucket of five beers all game long. This Sunday night game features up-and-coming Milwaukee rockers Toadskin.

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