5 all-ages Milwaukee shows worth leaving your dorm room for this fall
The first few weeks of college can be a confusing time, filled with new faces, new responsibilities, and new ways of getting completely shitfaced. It’s also a time when universities roll out approximately 8,000 “Welcome back!” events in the hopes of convincing students that life on campus is a thrill-a-minute joy ride that never gets old. (It isn’t, and it does.) So what happens when the free concerts, free movie screenings, and free inflatable sumo matches come to an end? Is there anything to do—gulp—off campus? Of course there is, which is why The A.V. Club rounded up five can’t-miss (and all-ages) shows happening in Milwaukee later this fall.
1. Dirty Projectors at Pabst Theater (Sept. 30)
Dirty Projectors have fulfilled nearly every obligation expected of an art-rock outfit from Brooklyn: a collaboration with David Byrne, a charity EP with Björk, and an album of Black Flag songs played from memory. Now, the Dave Longstreth-fronted band is on the road in support of its new full-length album, Swing Lo Magellan, surely one of the best records of the year. If there’s one show guaranteed to make you leave the cozy confines of campus, it’s this one.
2. A$AP Rocky at The Rave (Oct. 12)
Undoubtedly still riding high from his cool $3 million contract signing with RCA, 23-year-old rapper A$AP Rocky is on the road in support of his upcoming debut, LongLiveA$AP, due Sept. 11. Fellow hip-hop wunderkind Danny Brown and Schoolboy Q will be along for the tour, which makes its Milwaukee stop at the cavernous, all-ages, not-as-bad-as-it-used-to-be Rave.
3. The Mountain Goats at Pabst Theater (Oct. 23)
When he’s not busy tweeting or doing the “acoustic guy rocking political jams” thing for embattled Wisconsin unions, The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle happily spends some time doing the “prepping a new album” thing. A new Mountain Goats full-length, Transcendental Youth, is due Oct. 2 on Merge Records. According to an appropriately wonky press release penned by John Hodgman, Youth will be “full of songs about people who madly, stupidly, blessedly won’t stop surviving, no matter who gives up on them.” Hodgman also reports that it is a “very good album,” and that it features “many more instruments,” including a full horn section.
4. Matt & Kim at The Rave (Nov. 8)
Brooklyn dance-pop duo Matt & Kim may trade in gooey beats and sing-a-long choruses, but they have loftier goals in mind when it comes to touring. Soon after the Oct. 2 release of their new album Lightning, Matt & Kim will stop by The Rave. As with all their tour stops, the duo will host the city’s local No Kill Animal Shelter in the venue’s lobby, giving fans an opportunity to support their community’s humane animal shelters, as well as the chance to warmly gaze upon pictures of saucer-eyed doggies and kitties before the show.
5. Alverno Presents: Jon Mueller/Death Blues (No Time Like The Present) at Pitman Theatre (Nov. 16-17)
Plenty of local arts organizations pay lip service to bringing diverse, cutting-edge entertainment to Milwaukee, but none of them put their money where their mouth is quite like Alverno Presents. Jon Mueller is one of the city’s most compelling talents, and his Death Blues show will be something of a “Milwaukee’s greatest hits” installation/performance. Along with Mueller himself, the show will feature choreography from Molly Shanahan; design work from Dylan Schleicher; music from members of Altos, Field Report, Testa Rosa, and Juniper Tar; and food from pop-up restaurant And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Crumbs. On top of it all, only 100 people will be allowed at each performance, making this an intimate, “buy-your-ticket-now-or-regret-it-later” kind of deal.
Other shows of note: Ani DiFranco at Pabst Theater Sept. 22; Aesop Rock at Turner Hall Oct. 1; Louis C.K. at Riverside Theater Oct. 10-11; Beach House at Pabst Theater Oct. 10; Jealously Mountain Duo at Borg Ward Oct. 13; Regina Spektor at Riverside Theater Oct. 20; The xx at Pabst Theater Oct. 21; Sleigh Bells at Turner Hall Oct. 24; Passion Pit at Riverside Theater Nov. 1.