Welcome to June: What's happening in Milwaukee this month
Here we go, Milwaukee: We have hit the heart of the year’s entertainment calendar. June is the start of the festival season, when every weekend there are multiple opportunities to drink, eat, and dance your butt off under the warm and sweaty sun. With so many options, how do you plot out your leisure time? Here’s the first step.
1. Festivals return to the City Of Festivals
Ready or not, Milwaukee will suddenly be filthy with music festivals this week. Minneapolis trio The Bad Plus kicks off the latest season of Jazz In The Park June 3, and then the first-ever Verge Music Festival launches at the Summerfest grounds June 4 and 5. After that comes the deluge: Chill On The Hill starts June 8, Locust Street Festival takes over Riverwest June 13, and Summer Soulstice comes back to the East Side on June 19. (You’ll also find the first annual Firkin Craft Beer Festival and PrideFest sandwiched in there, too.) Of course, this is all a prelude to the biggest music festival of them all, Summerfest. We’ll have a lot more to say about it once we get a little closer to The Big Gig, but rest assured: Nothing else will be happening in Milwaukee from June 24 to July 4, so you better plan on spending some time there.
2. Before Summerfest
Milwaukee’s concert calendar will be active as always in the days leading up to Summerfest’s annual invasion. The most anticipated show is probably MGMT June 20 at Riverside Theater, which has generated plenty of local excitement despite the lukewarm reception of the band’s 2010 sophomore effort Congratulations. While MGMT will be making its first-ever trip to Milwaukee, The New Pornographers will be back for what feels like the umpteenth time June 12 with an impressive bill of indie bands that includes The Dodos and The Dutchess And The Duke.
3. Notable club shows
A.V. Club Milwaukee is still kicking itself for not seeing spaced-out North Carolina Americana band Megafaun the last time it swung through town in April 2009. Last year’s Gather Form & Fly is one of the most mind-blowing albums we’ve heard in recent years, and we have high expectations for the band’s return to Milwaukee June 15 at Club Garibaldi. Even more anticipated is June 24’s Crooked Fingers concert at Club G, which we’re sure will sell out well before the doors open. Also worth checking out is the June 5 bill at Cactus Club featuring arena-ready shoegazers The Life And Times and like-minded Milwaukee band Brief Candles and the two-day Dusty Medical 5th Anniversary Party featuring Call Me Lightning, The Goodnight Loving, and The Midwest Beat June 25-26 at Club Garibaldi.
4. Just for laughs
Continuing Milwaukee’s strange but consistent practice of booking quality comedy shows on back-to-back days, June’s comedy offerings are highlighted by Denis Leary’s visit to Riverside Theater on June 17 and red-hot Parks And Recreation star Aziz Ansari performing June 18 at Pabst Theater. (And Tracy Morgan performs the same day at Riverside Theater.) There won’t be any other opportunities for laughter all month, so make sure to get ’em in here.