This Week in Milwaukee: June 1-7, 2017
Summer festival season is finally here.
Thursday, June 1
Downtown Dining Week @ multiple locations
You know all those restaurants you’ve been meaning to try forever, if only you could justify spending the money? Downtown Dining Week takes that excuse off the table. For eight days more than three dozen Milwaukee restaurants will be offering special three-course meals, priced at $12.50 for lunch and $25 or $35 for dinner. All include an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. More popular (and pricier) restaurants tend to fill up fast, so you may want to start planning your reservations now.
Jazz in the Park: Extra Crispy Brass Band @ Cathedral Square Park, 6
One of Milwaukee's most popular summer concert series, Jazz in the Park returns to Cathedral Square Park for its 26th year, with a lineup heavy on Milwaukee favorites like Christopher’s Project, Streetlife and Foreign Goods. Kicking things off this year is the Extra Crispy Brass Band, a New Orleans-inspired brass group that’s won a WAMI award for best horn band. Like all of this year’s installments of Jazz in the Park, this one is preceded by a 5 p.m. happy hour with drink specials.
Savoy Brown w/ Tallan Nobel Latz @ Turner Hall, 6:30 p.m.
Fifty years after the release of British blues band Savoy Brown’s debut album, Shake Down, it’s a wonder the band is still touring. They’re still making music, too. The group’s 2014 release, Goin’ Down to the Delta, features the polished, Chicago-style electric blues the group have become experts at curating. Time has done nothing to diminish frontman Kim Simmonds’ exemplary songwriting, guitar and vocal prowess. With a vast discography to choose from, here’s hoping their set includes some oldies (1969’s “Train To Nowhere” in particular still bangs).
Friday, June 2
‘American Idiot’ @ Tenth Street Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Green Day might have been remembered as a relic of the ’90s if not for 2004’s American Idiot, the politically loaded, Grammy-winning rock opera that cemented their status as one of the most important rock acts of their time. Five years later the album became the basis for a Broadway musical, which remains a box-office draw to this day (there’s also a film adaptation in the works). Directors Don Linke and Sherry Summers share their own vision of the musical with this local production through the Milwaukee Rock Theatre, where Linke has already directed six rock musicals.
Hoops w/ Parts & Deeper @ Cactus Club, 9 p.m.
Indiana psych-pop outfit Hoops are on track for what looks like a banner year. Their debut full-length, Routines, out earlier this month via Fat Possum Records, is on its way to becoming a summer ’17 staple following praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Stereogum and Paste. The bright, atmospheric album packs synth-washed vibrancy comparable to bands like Wild Nothing and Real Estate. “Meet me in the sunlight / Meet me when the moon’s ripe,” Kevin Krauter croons in “Sun’s Out.” Sounds like a plan.
Norah Jones w/ The Candles @ Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
Ahh, Norah Jones. Does anyone else feel relaxed just thinking her name? Jones’ 2002 hits “Come Away With Me” and “Don’t Know Why” bring instant comfort. For her Day Breaks tour this spring, the nine-time Grammy winner returns to her jazz and piano roots. Day Breaks features the silky, ambient vocals fans know and love with added freshness from Jones’ congealed maturity and self-assurance.
Bay View Gallery Night & Jazz Fest @ multiple venues
Especially over the last decade, as local businesses have popped up around every crevice and offshoot of Kinnickinnic Avenue, Bay View has emerged as one of the Milwaukee’s most arts-dense neighborhoods. For the neighborhood’s latest gallery night, more than 50 businesses will display the work of hundreds of artists. As with recent installments of the event, this one will also run in conjunction with the Bay View Jazz Fest, which is sponsoring live music at nearly a dozen venues, including District 14, The Magnet Factory, Highbury, Tonic Tavern and Revel Bar. For the complete lineup, visit bvgn.org.
Saturday, June 3
Grandioso: A Multicultural
Arts Celebration @ N. 76th Street and Dean Road, 11 a.m.
Melting pots don’t get much fuller than here in Milwaukee, where cultures from around the world have left their mark on the city’s arts scene. Granville looks to celebrate that diversity with its inaugural Grandioso celebration, a day of music, dance, visual arts and spoken word. The event will feature blues music from The NuBlu Band (featuring Carlise Guy, daughter of blues legend Buddy Guy), the reggae outfit Unity The Band and the Heritage Chorale of Milwaukee.
Michael McDermott w
Sam Llanas @ Shank Hall, 8 p.m.
Rock musician Michael McDermott catapulted to notoriety at a young age in 1991 with the release of 620 W. Surf, and found a fan in author Stephen King, who notably dubbed McDermott “one of the best songwriters in the world and possibly the greatest undiscovered rock ’n’ roll talent of the last 20 years.” McDermott has had to wade through the hardships of early fame these past few decades, managing to come out on top despite bouts with drug and alcohol addiction. One listen to the title track of ’16’s Willow Springs, McDermott’s 10th studio album, and it’s clear he still has his finger on the pulse of rock music.
Sunday, June 4
Brewtown Rumble @ Pabst Milwaukee Brewery, 11 a.m.
Harley-Davidson still looms large over Milwaukee motorcycle culture, but Harley’s annual gathering is no longer the only big motorcycle gathering in town. Now in its third year, the Brewtown Rumble pairs a ride-in vintage motorcycle show with food and music from the Milwaukee acts The Grovelers and Devil Met Contention. Admission is free, and if you haven’t checked out Pabst’s newly expanded brewery yet, this is as good a chance as any.
UPAF Ride for the Arts @ Summerfest Grounds
Since 1981, riders have raised millions of dollars for the United Performing Art Fund as part of the Ride for the Arts, one of the nation’s largest recreational bike rides. All riders are welcome. Routes start at an easy five miles, and at 70 miles for more serious riders, but all of them are plenty scenic, making good use of the city’s lakefront. The day ends with a big party at the finish line featuring music, food and family entertainment. Proceeds will benefit a litany of performing arts groups.
Diana Krall @ The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m.
Seasoned jazz musician Diana Krall has enjoyed steady prominence in the world’s diverse jazz scene since she burst onto the scene in the ’90s. Her 1999 release, When I Look In Your Eyes, earned Krall a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, and was the first jazz album nominated for Album of the Year in 25 years. Krall earned many awards after that—to date, she has five Grammy and eight Juno awards, and smart money says more are on the way. She’s currently on a world tour in support of her new album, Turn Up The Quiet.
Wednesday, June 7
Future Islands w/ Milo @ Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.
Future Islands are one of those bands that you have to see live to truly understand. That’s why the Baltimore synth-pop group’s breakthrough moment came from a television appearance, when a performance of their single “Season (Waiting on You)” went viral, thanks to the impassioned performance and drunken-dad dance moves of frontman Samuel T. Herring. The singer’s passion is on full display on their latest album, The Far Field, another collection of dreamy, deeply romantic neo-new wave. Opening for the group on this tour is Milwaukee rapper Milo. He may seem like an odd choice to warm the stage for an indie-rock act, but he’s got ties to the band. Herring, rapping under his alias, Hemlock Ernest, appeared on “Lavender Chunk,” a track from Milo’s Scallops Hotel project.