Do you like fall? Of course you do. Everyone likes fall. Do you like shows and events? Yep. Everyone likes shows and events. Here are 27 shows and events to see this fall.
Wednesday, September 25
Milwaukee Record presents Friday @ Avalon Theater
Help us celebrate the day before the weekend a little early at our screening of the Ice Cube, DJ Pooh, and F. Gary Gray comedy masterpiece Friday. Tickets are on sale now! Craig Jones is a 22-year-old resident of South Central Los Angeles who lives with his parents and sister. The movie follows him through an entire Friday, exactly one day after he was fired from his job for allegedly stealing boxes (spoiler: he didn’t do it). Craig spends his unfortunate day off considering his professional options and interacting with his neighbors, especially his buddy, Smokey, who smokes much more than he sells. An angry girlfriend, an angry dope dealer, and a once-in-a-generation character named Deebo make this particular Friday a tough one for everyone involved. How will it play out? Is it a distant prequel to Friday The 13th? Show up and see for yourself!
Thursday, September 26 — Sunday, November 3
Fear District @ Fiserv Forum
By now you’ve probably heard that the public plaza surrounding Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum, the so-called “Deer District,” will transform into the so-called “Fear District” this fall. Oh, you haven’t heard? Well, from Thursday, September 26 through Sunday, November 3, the (mostly) family-friendly Fear District will be home to three 3,600-square-foot haunted houses (Vampire Village, Dead Man’s Wharf, Scare Acres), oodles of Halloween-themed activities, oodles of Halloween-themed food and drink specials, games, and free horror movie screenings (Halloween, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, A Nightmare On Elm Street, etc.) YES.
Friday, September 27
Ice Cube + DJ Bizzon @ The Rave
Did we schedule our screening of Friday (see above) to coincide with this Ice Cube show? Yes. Yes we did. See the legendary Cube with local legend DJ Bizzon at this sure-to-be-sweltering (again) Rave show.
Saturday, September 28 — Sunday, September 29
Doors Open Milwaukee @ various locations
For nearly a decade, Historic Milwaukee’s incredibly popular Doors Open event has given the public behind-the-scenes access to hundreds of Milwaukee-area buildings. Theaters, churches, office buildings, museums, hotels, Milwaukee City Hall, and indoor rock climbing facilities have all been on past Doors Open itineraries.
Saturday, September 28
An Evening With Bruce Campbell @ Pabst Theater
A live Q&A with the one and only Bruce Campbell and a screening of Evil Dead 2? What’s the word we’re looking for? Oh, of course: GROOVY.
Friday, October 4
The Black Keys + Modest Mouse @ Fiserv Forum
Is it okay to like The Black Keys again? (Don’t answer that.) Is it okay to still like Modest Mouse? (Don’t answer that either.) Anyway, the last time we saw The Black Keys was at the Bradley Center back in 2012. They were good! Now that that arena is a memory and the new Fiserv Forum is a gleaming arena of the future, it’s as good a time as any to revisit the group and enjoy some cuts from the new Let’s Rock.
Thursday, October 10
Nick Kroll @ Pabst Theater
Though you probably know him from The League, the criminally underrated Kroll Show, as one half of the Broadway hit The Oh, Hello Show, or as the voice of countless characters on Big Mouth, Nick Kroll is a comedian at heart. The multi-talented humorist will make (what appears to be) his Milwaukee debut when he takes the Pabst Theater stage as part of his Middle-Aged Boy Tour.
Saturday, October 12
Beet Street Harvest Festival @ Wentworth and Potter avenues
Following three years of family-friendly and fall-focused fun, Cactus Club has decided to bring the Beet Street Harvest Festival back for another installment. On Saturday, October 12, the Bay View bar (with some support from Goodkind and Palomino) will host a day of food, drinks, live music, baking competitions, youth-centered activities, and festival fun for all ages. Between noon and 6 p.m., a chunk of Wentworth Avenue between Goodkind and Cactus Club will be blocked off for the fourth annual event. On top of the food, drinks, and pie-related competitions, the event will also feature a local music video showcase and music by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, True Skool, Retoro, Congo Gospel Music, and DJ Dave Arnevik.
Flannel Fest @ Boone & Crockett
Also on October 12, Boone & Crockett’s parking lot will host a celebration of music, food, and seasonal attire called Flannel Fest. Though it’s not the first Flannel Fest (the first and, to this point, only other installment happened seven years ago at The Hotel Foster), it’s certainly going to be the biggest. The lot will host an eclectic and incredibly impressive lineup of locally lauded and nationally regarded acts that includes Minneapolis’ own Polica and Har Mar Superstar, Milwaukee favorites Klassik and REYNA, a rare Mark Waldoch full-band performance, and a small band version of Dead Soldiers, among others. While you watch bands, you can enjoy fare from the likes of Hacienda Beer Co., Foxfire, Taco Moto, Bad English, Maya Ophelia’s, and Snack Boys. Get out and stock up on some flannel now!
Wednesday, October 16
Milwaukee Record presents: Little Shop Of Horrors @ Avalon Theater
On the 16th day in the month of October, in a late year of a decade that can just go ahead and end already, Milwaukee filmgoers will encounter a deadly threat to their very existence. And this terrifying enemy will surface, as such enemies often do, in the most seemingly innocent, and unlikely, of places… Yep, we’re screening the 1986, Frank Oz-directed version of Little Shop Of Horrors! Even better, it’ll be the director’s cut of the film, which features an ending that’s just a wee bit darker and amazing than the theatrical ending. If you haven’t seen it, it’s incredible. If you have seen it, see it on the big screen! Tickets are $5 and are on sale NOW.
Sleater-Kinney + Shamir @ Pabst Theater
Good news: this show is not sold out (yet)! Weird news: how is this show not sold out (yet)?!
Thursday, October 17 — Thursday, October 31
2019 Milwaukee Film Festival @ various locations
Oh, how we love the Milwaukee Film Festival. The 2019 installment—the fest’s 11th—is set for October 17-31 at the Oriental Theatre, Avalon Theater, Times Cinema, the Jann Serr pop-up cinema at Kenilworth Square East, the Rivoli Theatre in Cedarburg, and the Broadway Theatre Center in the Historic Third Ward. (The Rivoli and the Broadway are new additions for 2019.) Hundreds of films will be screened and oodles of events and conversations will be held. The Milwaukee Record-sponsored Cinema Hooligante program is absolutely incredible. (Six words: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me!) Plus, the fest falls over Halloween, and we may or may not have something spooky in the works…
Friday, October 18
Mini Meltdowns (EP release) + Graham Hunt, Telethon @ X-Ray Arcade
Last year, we introduced you to Mini Meltdowns—a super group featuring current and former members of Limbeck, Dashboard Confessional, The Promise Ring, The Benjamins, Rx Drugs, and the backing bands of Tommy Stinson and Paul Collins—and debuted a great new music video for “Number On Me,” the lead single from the Nashville-Milwaukee outfit’s excellent self-titled EP. Following an accomplished-yet-personally arduous 2018 that was wrought in loss, hardship, and inner turmoil for bandleader Jon Phillip, Mini Meltdowns will release a new EP. According to Phillip, the four-song Destined For Disaster is largely about losing his father, ending friendships, battling anxiety, and fighting the urge to give up. The record will officially see the light of day during a fully loaded release show at X-Ray that also features Graham Hunt and Telethon playing in support. The outing also doubles as Mini Meltdowns’ first show.
Saturday, October 19
Elton John @ Fiserv Forum
If it feels like Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour has been going on forever, it’s because it has. (It was announced in January 2018.) If it feels like Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour has been coming to Milwaukee forever, it’s because it has. (It was originally scheduled for February 2019.) But this is Elton John we’re talking about, so we’re happy to have him around for as long as possible.
Sunday, October 20
The Dollop @ Turner Hall
In case you’re not one of the show’s millions of listeners: The Dollop is a popular podcast wherein comedian Dave Anthony reads a story from American history to his friend, Gareth Reynolds, who doesn’t know what the topic is about. Only time will tell what locally focused topic they discuss during their Turner Hall return in October, but it’s sure to be informative, entertaining, and likely to draw parallels between how bad things were throughout history and how terrible the world continues to be today. The show is also a homecoming of sorts for Reynolds, a devout Packer Backer who originally hails from Brown Deer.
Saturday, October 26
Bob Dylan @ The Rave
It’s telling that when it comes to Bob Dylan—arguably the greatest singer-songwriter of all time—one needs to practically apologize for wanting to see him play live. Dylan, ever the confounding contrarian, does not put on casual fan-friendly shows, often reworking beloved classics to the point of absurdity and croaking his way through sets of obscure material. He has long shirked the “voice of a generation” tag and simply considers himself as a song-and-dance man. His so-called “Never Ending Tour” has been ongoing for 30-plus years. He’s 78. He probably won’t play your favorite song, and even if he does, you probably won’t recognize it. But you know what? Whatever. The last time we saw Dylan live (back in 2015) he was pretty great! And hopefully he’ll be pretty great again this time around.
The Eradicator (record release) + Dollar Signs, Devon Kay & The Solutions, Mertles Acres @ Cactus Club
Originally based on a sketch from The Kids In The Hall, The Eradicator has taken on a life of its own. While still paying homage to the ski-mask-donning, racquet-clutching character for whom the project is based, the Chicago punk band is making a name for itself with incomparable live shows and a caliber of music that’s far better than you’d expect out of a well-orchestrated joke. On October 26, The Eradicator will formally unveil his second batch of squash-related compositions, Peak Eradicator, during a Cactus Club show that also features Dollar Signs (from North Carolina), the always fun Devon Kay & The Solutions, and the highly anticipated debut show from Mertles Acres. Be there or be a pusshead.
Wednesday, October 30
Eric Andre @ Riverside Theater
With his unmatched energy and penchant for taking his comedy to unpredictable, uncomfortable, and occasionally even dangerous places, Eric Andre has fashioned a career through forcing audiences to expect the unexpected. This is best (and most famously) displayed on The Eric Andre Show, a subversive late night talk show that’s currently waiting on its fifth season.
Thursday, October 31
Halloween Bash with Masked Intruder + Direct Hit!, more TBA @ X-Ray Arcade
Yesterday, once the fucking stupid/annoying radius clause-limitations of Riot Fest finally lifted, X-Ray Arcade announced a scary good Halloween show. Take a trip to Cudahy on October 31 to catch Masked Intruder heading up a so-called “Halloween Bash” that will also feature a Ramones cover set by Direct Hit! (and more bands TBA), Officer Bradford DJing, scary movies, costumes, and ghoulish giveaways.
Tool + Killing Joke @ Fiserv Forum
Tool will play Fiserv Forum on Halloween. Nothing else can adequately follow up that sentence.
Saturday, November 2
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live @ Miller High Life Theatre
Could this be the final movie sign for a franchise that’s seen multiple hosts, multiple networks, a feature film, numerous spin-offs, a reboot, and too many live permutations to count? Well, this MST3K tour is being billed as the last for creator/original host Joel Hodgson, so there’s that. Say it ain’t so, Joel! He’ll be joined by Tom Servo, Crow, Gypsy, and the riff-ready film No Retreat, No Surrender.
Thursday, November 14
Montell Jordan @ Potawatomi Hotel & Casino
You see, the hood’s been good to Montell Jordan, ever since he was a lowercase G. But now he’s a big G and he’s got a concert at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in November, y’all. If you want to hear “This Is How We Do It” and “Let’s Ride” live, here’s your chance.
Friday, November 15 — Saturday, November 16
Chicken Wire Empire @ The Back Room @ Colectivo
Even though Chicken Wire Empire—a bluegrass band featured in an hour-long film who have shared the stage with the likes of Yonder Mountain String Band and The Big Wu—have little left to prove, the group didn’t waste any time before making good on their New Year’s resolution when they released their first record in more than four years, What Moves Mountains, on January 1. At the tail end of a year that featured that long-awaited follow-up and will culminate with a tour in Germany, Chicken Wire Empire hold down The Back Room @ Colectivo for a two-night residency.
Sunday, November 17
My Brother, My Brother, And Me @ Riverside Theater
“The McElroy brothers are not experts, and their advice should never be followed.” That’s the tongue-in-cheek (?) disclaimer that precedes My Brother, My Brother, And Me, the long-running and wildly popular “advicecast” that has been gracing earbuds for nearly a decade. What’s it all about? Brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy offer their advice on questions from both listeners and Yahoo! Answers. Hilarity ensues. Ridiculous digressions, years of in-jokes, and guests ranging from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Jimmy Buffett also figure into the fun.
Friday, November 22
John K. Samson + Christine Fellows @ X-Ray Arcade
Just over two years removed from playing an ultra-rare Milwaukee show in support of Craig Finn at Cactus Club, Canadian songwriting legend John K. Samson will return to the region to headline an outing at X-Ray Arcade. Prior to Samson’s batch of stripped-down Weakerthans material and cuts from his equally incredible solo catalog, the Winnipeg musician will lend the stage to his partner and fellow Canadian songwriting master, Christine Fellows. Don’t miss this one.
Sunday, November 24
Kyle Kinane @ Turner Hall
Kyle Kinane is a comedian’s comedian. The Illinois-born comic’s gravel-voiced musings manage to appeal to all brow levels while being delivered in a way that is both inimitable and universal. Since quitting his band and leaving Chicago for Los Angeles, Kinane put out a handful of outstanding specials, became “the voice of Comedy Central,” amassed some acting credits, and toured relentlessly. About a year and a half removed from the last time he killed at Turner Hall, Kinane will return to the ballroom with his strongest hour yet (which he recorded in Madison earlier this year for a forthcoming album) for what’s sure to be an amazing post-Packer game performance.