Welcome to March: What's happening in Milwaukee this month
Okay Milwaukee, this is when things start to get good. After the desert of nothingness that was January and February, March actually has quite a few things going on. And, no, we’re not just talking about Danny Gokey’s CD release show. There are some honest-to-goodness highlights worth looking forward to. So, let’s dispense with the yakking and get on with the previewin'!
Finally … the most anticipated shows of the month
If we were to rank all the shows happening in March in terms of the eagerness of anticipation, we’d probably have to put Vampire Weekend at the top of the list, especially after the band’s second album Contra debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart back in January. But a serious challenger is The Avett Brothers, in part because opener The Low Anthem has helped to make its Riverside stop one of the year’s biggest Americana shows. In terms of waiting a really long time for a show to take place, no show this month is as anticipated as Tegan And Sara, which was announced way back in October.
Where’s all the hip-hop? Here’s all the hip-hop!
A long time ago—way back in early February—there was a lot of talk about Milwaukee being “afraid” of hip-hop. Well, it looks like the city took some courage pills, because this month there’s practically a worthwhile rippity-rap show every week. And, yes, we’re including the Black Eyed Peas at the Bradley Center, because Ludacris is also on the bill. But if you don’t want to torture your ears with “Boom Boom Pow,” there are plenty of other shows this month, including Kid Sister, RJD2, P.O.S. and Dessa, and two rounds of the local DJ showcase Miltown Beatdown. With this much hip-hop happening around town this month, it’s possible even Norah Jones will drop some rhymes when she visits March 19 at Riverside Theater.
With all due respect to your Dirty Grizzlies and Animal Projectors, sometimes it’s nice to reconnect with somebody who’s been great for a really long time. Fans of arch indie-pop and filthy-numbered love-song albums will have much to appreciate when The Magnetic Fields come to town, while lovers of sad country songs, cowboys, and pony-tailed potheads (which should cover everybody who’s ever lived and will ever live) are bound to be excited about Willie Nelson.
Hey laddies, some traditional tunes fer ya!
St. Patrick’s Day is a magical time not only because wanton binge drinking suddenly seems cool and fun, but also because it’s the one time of the year when Irish music isn’t totally grating for non-Irish people. Two traditional favorites will be back in Milwaukee this month to act as a soundtrack for bros shotgunning Guinness: Flogging Molly plays March 12 at The Rave, and Gaelic Storm visits March 17 at Pabst Theater. Start practicing your horrible fake Irish accents now!
The wha? show of the month
Nothing comes close to the “wha?” power of the epic Puscifer and Neil Hamburger bill scheduled for March 30 at Pabst Theater. Combining a Tool side project with Hamburger’s Borscht Belt performance art seems like a match made in angry heckler hell, but upon closer examination, it sort of makes sense, given Puscifer’s Maynard James Keenan’s love of alternative comedy. (Mr. Show fans should look for his cameo in the series’ first episode.) But even if Keenan appreciates Hamburger, will Tool fans get the joke? We can’t wait to find out.
For more shows happening this month, check out our handy calendar.