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Milwaukee Concert Picks: We’re thankful for this trio of shows

(From left) Atmosphere at The Rave, Soul Low at Cactus Club and Urban Heat at X-Ray Arcade lead a strong holiday concert weekend in Milwaukee.
ImaGene Loop (@imashoots)
Atmosphere / Soul Low / Urban Heat / Facebook
(From left) Atmosphere at The Rave, Soul Low at Cactus Club and Urban Heat at X-Ray Arcade lead a strong holiday concert weekend in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee’s concert scene has a lot going on, so we look at the shows coming up to find the ones you’ll look back on and be glad you went. Then we add them to our weekly Milwaukee Concert Picks.

Wednesday: Atmosphere @ The Rave

Milwaukee, brace yourselves — because legendary rap duo Atmosphere will hit the stage at The Rave just a few hours after I write this. No doubt, they're set to deliver an explosive performance that'll shake the venue to its core.

Recognized for their precise lyrics, contagious beats and captivating stage presence, Atmosphere — consisting of rapper Slug (Sean Daley) and DJ/producer Ant (Anthony Davis) — bring unmatched raw energy to create an undeniable connection with the crowd.

Currently on tour with their latest project, So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously, the pair also just dropped a couple fresh new singles: “Rotary Telephone,” which we’re spinning on 88Nine, and “Talk Talk.” Join their “Tour De Friends” at The Rave and don't miss this opportunity to experience Atmosphere's musical brilliance and unrestrained energy.

— Kenny Perez

Saturday, Sunday: Soul Low @ Cactus Club

Any Milwaukee music lover who’s had a steady diet of shows within the past 10 years surely has heard of indie rockers Soul Low, who made awesomely crunchy, jangly and explosively melodic music from 2009 to 2018.

When their debut full-length UNEASY came out in 2013, it already sounded like the band had been around for years. They shared a sound that dabbled in elements of Animal Collective, Built to Spill and Born Ruffians while paying homage sonically and spiritually to local legends like John the Savage, The Fatty Acids and Sat. Nite Duets. It was a pretty perfect record as far as debuts go and cemented Soul Low as one of those bands you’ve got to see play live at least a few times.

After calling it quits a few years ago when members of the band moved to Brooklyn and Minneapolis, the quartet is finally reuniting in their hometown of Milwaukee to give that debut album a proper release show. They’ll take two days this weekend to celebrate in style at Cactus Club, playing UNEASY from first track to last and sharing the stage with special guests Motel Breakfast (Saturday) and Caley Conway (Sunday). Both shows are sold out, but we’d be remiss not to make a highlight of this one.

— Erin Wolf

Sunday: Urban Heat @ X-Ray Arcade

The gentlemen rockers from Austin are back. Urban Heat, who opened for the Vision Video Tour at X-Ray Arcade back in March, now take the headline spot at the storied Cudahy venue, promising an even grander and longer set that's bound to ignite the crowd. Joining them for this electric night are Brooklyn's Rare DM and Milwaukee's own Faketwin, all set to light up the stage together.

If you were at Urban Heat’s Studio Milwaukee Session during their last visit to Brew City, you know what they’re capable of. Consider that an appetizer for their meatier return with a night of undeniable energy and music that'll leave a lasting impression.

— Kenny Perez

More shows worth a go

88Nine Asst. Program Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee
88Nine Music Director / On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee