Welcome to February: What’s happening in Milwaukee this month
February is a cold and brutal month, made tolerable only by its blessed brevity and the fact that it’s not January. And while the loaded spring concert schedule is still approximately 8,000 years away, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of things to do this month. So bundle up, bundle up again, and brave the snot-freezing temperatures for these musical (and sometimes zombie-related) mid-to-late-February highlights.
Club shows of note
If you’re like us, you’re still reeling from the lack of Packers football at the Cactus Club. (Some other teams are playing this weekend, right?). Happily, there are plenty of musical reasons to stop by the Bay View club this month. The snotty throwback punks of Broncho headline a February 8 show, and will be joined by Milwaukee’s Midnight Reruns. The following night, local “horror/cult film instrumental band” Savini Effect plays its final show ever. Retribution Gospel Choir—featuring Alan Sparhawk and Steve Garrington of Low—brings its drone-y goodness to Cactus February 16, while Milwaukee’s own Hot Coffin celebrates the release of a new record February 23.
Across the street at Club Garibaldi, power-pop luminary Paul Collins joins Milwaukee’s Trolley and Sugar Stems for a February 8 show, with local folk outfit Hello Death setting up shop the next night. Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Hugh Bob And The Hustle return from a short break to play Club Garibaldi February 16.
Over in Riverwest, Linneman’s will once again feature a bevy of local acts spanning multiple generations. Former BoDeans frontman Sam Llanas plays February 9, The Delta Routine kicks off a winter and spring tour February 15, and Nashville-by-way-of-Wisconsin Foreign Fields stop by February 22. And because it wouldn’t be a month without The Fatty Acids and Sat. Nite Duets playing a show together, the two tireless groups co-headline a Linneman’s show February 23.
If Bay View and Riverwest are too exotic for your tastes, there are always a few worthwhile shows on the East Side. Longtime surf-and-spy-rock group The Exotics play a “winter dance party” at Hotel Foster February 7, while JC Brooks And The Uptown Sound stop by the club February 16.
Big-ticket theater gigs
The Pabst/Riverside/Turner Hall group won’t be hitting its concert stride until this spring, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out Milwaukee’s own Field Report and Old Earth February 14 for a $10 Valentine’s Day show at Turner. A few days later, on February 16, the cast and creators of The Walking Dead will stop by the Riverside for two unique-to-Milwaukee panel discussions and fan Q&As. Not to be outdone, legendary experimental band The Residents stop by Turner Hall February 17 as part of a 40th anniversary tour.
A winter block party?
Bay View tavern Burnhearts aims to take the winter back on February 9 by staging its inaugural “Mitten Fest,” an outdoor block party stocked with local music, local crafts, local food, and plenty of beer. Two of the city’s best bands, Jaill and Call Me Lightning, headline the fest, and Hunger Task Force will be on hand collecting non-perishable food items and winter clothes. Burnhearts will also be debuting a special house-made, bourbon-barrel-aged Korbel Wisconsin Old Fashioned for the festivities. Who needs Summerfest when you can drink outdoors in February? (Pro tip: Dress warm.)