Kendrick Lamar bringing ‘The Big Steppers Tour’ to Milwaukee this summer

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On the day Kendrick Lamar released his fifth studio album, “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” the rapper announced a nationwide tour that includes a stop in Milwaukee.

“The Big Steppers Tour” comes to Fiserv Forum on Thursday, Aug. 18, part of a huge 65-date worldwide swing. Grammy-winning rapper Baby Keem — Lamar’s cousin — and Tanna Leone will be the opening acts. Both are featured on the new album.

Album artwork for “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” out now.

Lamar last played Milwaukee in 2015 to a large Summerfest amphitheater crowd. “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers” is the first studio album for the Compton, Calif.-based rapper since he released “Damn” in 2017.

Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20 at 12 p.m. on Ticketmaster.

Kendrick Lamar 2022 Tour Dates:
07/19 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Paycom Center
07/21 – Austin, TX @ Moody Center
07/22 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
07/23 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
07/24 – Miami, FL @ Rolling Loud
07/27 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
07/29 – New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
07/30 – Atlanta, GA @ State Farm Arena
07/31 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
08/02 – Charlotte, NC @ Spectrum Center
08/04 – Washington, DC @ Capital One Arena
08/05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
08/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
08/07 – Long Island, NY @ UBS Arena
08/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
08/10 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
08/12 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
08/13 – Toronto, ON @ Scotiabank Arena
08/14 – Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
08/16 – Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
08/18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum
08/19 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
08/20 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
08/21 – Kansas City, MO @ T-Mobile Center
08/23 – Denver, CO @ Ball Arena
08/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena
08/26 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center
08/27 – Seattle, WA @ Climate Pledge Arena
08/28 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
08/30 – Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center
08/31 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Arena
09/01 – Oakland, CA @ Oakland Arena
09/06 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena at San Diego State University
09/07 – Anaheim, CA @ Honda Center
09/09 – Las Vegas, NV @ T-Mobile Arena
09/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Footprint Center
09/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Arena
09/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Arena
10/07 – Amsterdam, NL @ Ziggo Dome
10/10 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
10/11 – Berlin, DE @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
10/13 – Hamburg, DE @ Barclays Arena
10/15 – Copenhagen, DK @ Royal Arena
10/17 – Stockholm, SE @ Avicii Arena
10/19 – Oslo, NO @ Telenor Arena
10/21 – Paris, FR @ Accor Arena
10/24 – Stuttgart, DE @ Scheleyerhalle
10/25 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
10/26 – Laussane, CH @ Vaudoise Aréna
10/28 – Antwerp, BE @ Sportpaleis
10/30 – Cologne, DE @ Lanxess Arena
10/31 – Frankfurt, DE @ Festhalle
11/02– Glasgow, UK @ OVO Hydro
11/03 – Leeds, UK @ First Direct Arena
11/04 – Newcastle, UK @ Utilita Arena
11/05 – Birmingham, UK @ Utilita Arena
11/07 – London, UK @ The O2
11/08 – London, UK @ The O2
11/13 – Dublin, IE @ 3Arena
11/16 – Manchester, UK @ AO Arena
12/01 – Perth, AUS @ RAC Arena
12/04 – Melbourne, AUS @ Rod Laver Arena
12/08 – Sydney, AUS @ Qudos Bank Arena
12/12 – Brisbane, AUS @ Entertainment Center
12/16 – Auckland, NZ @ Spark Arena

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Thundercat announces Milwaukee show on massive North American tour

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Thundercat announced an extensive North American tour Wednesday, which will include a stop in Milwaukee this summer.

The Grammy-winning artist will play The Rave Eagles Club August 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 6, at 10 a.m. The supporting act has not yet been announced.

Thundercat. Photo credit: Jesse Lirola

According to the press release:

His 2020 album “It Is What It Is” has won a Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album. Highly respected and much in-demand with his peers, Thundercat has previously worked with the likes of Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Michael McDonald, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino, Suicidal Tendencies, Anderson.Paak, Erykah Badu, Wiz Khalifa and many more, in addition to his longtime writing partner Flying Lotus.

Thundercat released his most recent album, “It Is What It Is,” in the spring of 2020. The record won Best Progressive R&B Album at the 63rd Grammy Awards and features musical contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Childish Gambino, Lil B, Kamasi Washington, Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, BADBADNOTGOOD, Louis Cole, Pedro Martins and Zack Fox. Thundercat produced the record with his longtime partner Flying Lotus, who was GRAMMY-nominated in the “Producer of the Year” category for his work on the album

Thundercat 2022 tour dates:
July 23 – Denver, CO – Empower Field at Mile High*
July 25 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl
July 27 – San Diego, CA – Petco Park*
July 29 – Santa Clara, CA – Levi’s Stadium*
July 30 – St. Helena, CA – Blue Note Jazz Festival Napa
July 31 – Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium*
August 3 – Seattle, WA – T-Mobile Park*
August 4 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre
August 6 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Union
August 8 – Kansas City, MO – Grinders KC
August 10 – Atlanta, GA – Truist Park*
August 12 – Nashville, TN – Nissan Stadium*
August 14 – Detroit, MI – Comerica Park*
August 16 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
August 17 – E. Rutherford, NJ – Metlife Stadium*
August 19 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field*
August 21 – Toronto, ON – Rogers Centre*
August 23 – Milwaukee, WI – The Eagles Ballroom
August 24 – Columbus, OH – KEMBA Live!
August 26 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
August 27 – Asheville, NC – Rabbit Rabbit
August 28 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall
August 30 – Miami, FL – Hard Rock Stadium*
September 1 – Charlotte, NC – Bank of America Stadium*
September 3 – Philadelphia, PA – Citizens Bank Park*
September 4 – Richmond, VA – The National
September 6 – Newport, KY – PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation
September 8 – Washington, DC – Nationals Park*
September 10 – Boston, MA – Fenway Park*
September 12 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
September 15 – Orlando, FL – Camping World Stadium*
September 16 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City
September 18 – Arlington, TX – Globe Life Field*
September 20 – New Orleans, LA – Orpheum Theater
September 22 – Houston, TX – House of Blues Houston
September 24 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater^
September 25 – Bentonville, AR – FORMAT Festival

supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers*
supporting Khruangbin^

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Hippo Campus to play the Riverside Theater in October

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Indie rock band Hippo Campus is returning to Milwaukee for a concert at the Riverside Theater this fall.

The show is Thursday, October 6 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Hippo Campus. Photo Credit: Libby Webster

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, April 29 at 10 a.m.

88Nine’s Justin Barney spoke with the band earlier this year on “From the Music Desk.”

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Kendrick Lamar announces new album, ‘Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers,’ set for May release

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After rumors of his retirement circulated online, Kendrick Lamar is definitively saying he’ll release a new album in May.

The Grammy award and Pulitzer Prize winning rapper shared a dedicated website for the new project, using a new moniker — “oklama” — and said the new album will be called “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.” It will arrive May 13, according to a press release.

“All factual information for this release will come directly from this source only,” reads the website.

Kendrick Lamar on the “DAMN” tour. Photo credit: Kenny Sun

The website has two folder icons on the home page, one containing the press release and another with personal letter from what appears to be Lamar writing as oklama, dated August 20, 2021, which reads as follows:

“I spend most of my days with fleeting thoughts. Writing. Listening. And collecting old Beach cruisers. The morning rides keep me on a hill of silence.

I go months without a phone.

Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family.

While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.

As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling.

There’s beauty in completion. And always faith in the unknown.

Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I’ve prayed for you all.

See you soon enough.


“Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” is the follow-up to 2017’s DAMN and is the artist’s fifth album to date.

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Pitbull and Iggy Azalea announce Milwaukee amphitheater concert

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Pitbull is coming to Milwaukee this summer to headline the American Family Insurance Amphitheater August 26.

The concert is part of his “Can’t Stop Us Now” tour and will feature supporting performances by Iggy Azalea and Sean Paul. Azalea will open for Mr. Worldwide at the Milwaukee date.

Pitbull and Iggy Azalea to play Milwaukee August 26. Photo via the artist’s Instagram.

The tour, just announced Monday, includes more than 50 shows across the country, including the stop in Milwaukee.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m. at

Fans can also register now for early access to tickets for the artist presale. Fans who register for the presale will receive the presale password via text and email 25 minutes before the presale begins.

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Relive the SXSW Public Radio Day Stage

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This year we joined nine other radio stations across the country at the Public Radio Day Stage at SXSW. We heard and saw incredible performances from Wet Leg, Yard Act, Sasami and Seratones.

Wet Leg

Wet Leg for the Public Radio day Stage at SXSW Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman/KUTX

Yard Act

Yard Act for the Public Radio day Stage at SXSW Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman/KUTX
Patricia Lim Yard Act performing at Radio Days Stage on March 18, 2022. Patricia Lim/KUTX

Justin Barney and Ayisha Jaffer reunited



Seratones for the Public Radio day Stage at SXSW Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman/KUTX

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Griz is coming to Alpine Valley Music Theatre for two shows

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DJ, songwriter, and electronic music producer Griz is known for playing the saxophone along with producing funk, electro-soul, and self-described future-funk. He has announced his first-ever ‘Triple Rainbow’ at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on September 16th and 17th.

Photo by Jason Siegel

According to the press release:

A legendary rock-oriented venue, GRiZ is one of the only electronic shows to come to Alpine Valley this year. Alpine Valley in the past has hosted acts like the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Rush, Phish, and two editions of Lollapalooza when the festival traveled to pop-up locations in the 90s. The debut festival from GRiZ, which will also include limited camping options, will see over 40,000 attendees over the course of two days.

Along with two headlining performances by GRiZ, ‘Triple Rainbow’ will host experimental bass phenomenon LSDream, fellow “Color Of Your Soul” collaborator CloZee, and rising anonymous act Tripp St., along with Minnesota, EAZYBAKED, Chee, Noah B, and Tape B.

Fans can expect GRiZ to perform a unique set each night filled with unreleased material, standout classics, and unique live takes on tracks off his most recent Rainbow Brain LP.

2021 saw GRiZ accomplish remarkable new milestones including selling out consecutive nights for bespoke events ‘Another World’ at Colorado’s 1st Bank Center, ‘Space Camp’ at Hampton Coliseum, and ‘GRiZMAS’ at The Masonic Temple. With the unparalleled demand for one of electronic’s most celebrated artists, past GRiZ events have sold-out within a few hours of public sale, so time is of the essence to secure tickets to ‘Triple Rainbow.’ 

2022 will see GRiZ across the festival circuit with upcoming performances at [list a few fests here, announced dates are on his website

Pre-sale tickets for Triple Rainbow at Alpine Valley Music Theater are available starting Wednesday, April 6th at 10 AM CT.

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Jon Batiste and Silk Sonic take home major prizes at 2022 Grammys

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Updated April 4, 2022 at 1:20 AM ET

At the 64th Grammy Awards, which took place Sunday in Las Vegas, the major prizes were spread among a number of winners, including Jon Batiste, Silk Sonic and Olivia Rodrigo.

By the numbers, the night’s biggest winner was Jon Batiste, who took home the majority of his five awards in what the Grammys call the premiere ceremony, the pre-telecast event during which the vast majority of prizes are given out annually. In a group of 10 heavy-hitting contenders, Batiste won album of the year for We Are.

Batiste also won best American roots performance, best American roots song, best score soundtrack for visual media (which tied with Carlos Rafael Rivera’s score for The Queen’s Gambit) and best music video for “Freedom.” Batiste had led the Grammys this year with 11 wide-flung nominations including best contemporary classical composition.

“I just put my head down and work on the craft everyday … It’s more than entertainment for me, it’s a spiritual practice,” Batiste said in his acceptance speech for album of the year, shouting out the other performers nominated in the category. “Be you, that’s it.” He also stressed that there are no “best” artists or albums, rather that “it’s like a song or an album is made and it almost has a radar to find a person when they need it the most.”

Before picking up the album of the year prize, Batiste also gave a jubilant, technicolored performance of his song “Freedom,” dancing and leading performers off the stage and into the audience, where he finished the song jumping atop the table where Billie Eilish was seated.

The throwback R&B act Silk Sonic — led by the duo of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars — won four awards: record of the year, song of the year, best R&B performance (in a tie with Jazmine Sullivan) and best R&B song of the year. Mars is a Grammy favorite. This was his third win for record of the year, and his last solo album, 24K Magic, swept the top categories four years ago. Silk Sonic made its television debut at last year’s Grammys with “Leave the Door Open,” which would accumulate awards throughout 2022’s awards show.

“Because of you guys, me and Andy are going to be singing this song forever!” Mars said in his speech accepting the first award of the night for song of the year. “Rest of our lives,” echoed Anderson .Paak, who later joked, when accepting another award for the same song, that it was hard for the duo to “stay humble.” Silk Sonic opened the Grammys with their performance of “777,” a fitting ode to the ceremony’s 2022 location: Las Vegas.

Singer Olivia Rodrigo took home the prizes for best new artist, best pop vocal album and best pop solo performance. She had been nominated for seven awards. Rodrigo performed her hit “drivers license” during the show, set against the backdrop of a suburban street fit with a real car. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter teared up during her acceptance speech as she accepted her best new artist award, telling the audience it was her “biggest dream come true.”

Olivia Rodrigo, who won best new artist, performs "drivers license" at the 2022 Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Olivia Rodrigo, who won best new artist, performs “drivers license” at the 2022 Grammy Awards in Las Vegas.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Jazmine Sullivan took home two Grammys, including best R&B album for her album Heaux Tales, after being nominated for Grammy Awards twelve times before winning at this year’s ceremony. “I don’t know what I heard, I almost didn’t believe it,” Sullivan said in her acceptance speech, appearing stunned after her name was called for best R&B album.

Foo Fighters won three Grammys, sweeping all the non-metal rock categories. But the band, who had previously been scheduled to perform during the telecast, retreated from public view after the sudden death of its drummer, Taylor Hawkins, at age 50 on March 25 while on tour in Colombia.

The telecast of the 64th Grammy Awards was, in general, a zippy, good-humored evening lightly peppered with awards presentations and generally filled with feel-good performances. But the evening took two serious turns, with a heartfelt In Memoriam segment that began with an extended tribute to Hawkins followed by a medley of songs written by Stephen Sondheim and a taped appearance by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In his emotional message, Zelenskyy spoke about the plight of his people and of his country’s musicians, “who have traded their tuxedos for body armor.”

President Zelenskyy’s remarks were followed by John Legend’s performance of “Free,” which also featured Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton as well as poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.

There was no singular theme running through the night’s wins and losses, and while there were a few quick nods to the intensity of last week’s Academy Awards, the Grammy’s rolled out smoothly. With only nine awards given out during the televised ceremony, the show gave a heavy focus to its wide-ranging performances.

J. Balvin performed a medley of his hits “Qué Más Pues?” with Argentine singer Maria Becerra and “In da Getto.” And boyband BTS delivered a spy-themed performance for their song “Butter,” with seamless choreography and audience participation from Rodrigo.

Lil Nas X, in a variety of glittering costumes, performed three of the biggest songs from his 2021 album MONTERO: “Dead Right Now,” “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby” with rapper Jack Harlow. Both Lil Nas X and Doja Cat, known for their viral, conversation-starting antics as artists and performers, appeared on stage during the night. Lil Nas X’s performance was ambitious but almost demure compared to the incendiary acts the star’s fans and critics may have come to expect, and Doja Cat’s acceptance speech for best pop duo/group performance, which began with her noting she almost missed her win due to being in the bathroom, ended with the rapper choking up with gratitude.

Billie Eilish, who swept the four top categories in 2020 and picked up record of the year in 2021, was nominated for seven awards but won none. Still, she delivered the night’s hardest moment of rock and roll spectacle with her song “Happier Than Ever” alongside brother and artistic collaborator FINNEAS. During her performance, Eilish wore a t-shirt featuring the late Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins.

Billie Eilish (right) performs “Happier Than Ever” with her brother and collaborator FINNEAS at the 64th annual Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. Eilish, who was nominated for seven awards but won none, wore a t-shirt with an image of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died last month.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Lady Gaga performed a perfectly retro set of the songs “Love For Sale” and “Do I Love You” from her album-length collaboration with Tony Bennett, Love For Sale, which won a Grammy for traditional pop vocal album earlier in the night. Bennett, who retired from performing last year, introduced Gaga via a pre-recorded video. With a montage of their time in the studio playing in the background of Gaga’s performance, the moment was a powerful reminder of their collaborative relationship.

H.E.R., who was nominated for eight awards and won a Grammy for best traditional R&B performance, performed two of her own songs with three different collaborators on stage — Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Travis Barker — before singing a rendition of Lenny Kravitz’ “Are You Gonna Go My Way” alongside the rock star himself.

The night also frequently emphasized the work of less visible players in the live music industry ravaged by the pandemic — and particularly women working behind the scenes. The ceremony featured touring managers and other employees for artists including Billie Eilish, H.E.R., Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton, who introduced their respective artists. It was also an opportunity for the Recording Academy to improve its optics when it comes to women working in the music industry. The organization is still trying to improve its reputation after its former chief asserted in 2018 that women needed to “step up.” Just last week, a study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative showed that a recent Recording Academy effort meant to help increase representation of women working as songwriters, engineers and producers has had no discernible impact.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit
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The National to play Riverside Theater on first tour since 2019

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The National is coming to Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater September 16. And 88Nine will have tickets to give away on the air every day March 30-April 5!

The Milwaukee date is on the band’s first North American tour since the fall of 2019, which begins July 15 at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago.

The National | Photo credit: Graham MacIndoe

The tour includes headlining appearances at a number of new festivals, including the Outlandia Music festival in Bellevue, NE, the Day In Day Out festival in Seattle and the Sound on Sound festival in Bridgeport, CT, as well as shows originally scheduled for 2020 that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening acts for the tour include Japanese Breakfast, Lucy Dacus and Bartees Strange, according to a press release.

“We are excited to finally share our full tour itinerary for summer 2022,” The National said. “The last couple years have given us ample time for reflection and rejuvenation. Summer 2022 is a time for reunion. We look forward to gathering with friends, old and new. United in music and light, suspended in time. We hope you can join us.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 1, at 10 a.m.

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Watch Milwaukee’s SistaStrings absolutely crush it on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

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Milwaukee artists SistaStrings made their late night TV debut last night, and — wow — did they deliver!

The duo performed with three-time Grammy nominee Allison Russell. Set at center stage and backing Russell with strings and vocals, SistaStrings’ Chauntee and Monique Ross accompanied a rousing performance of Russell’s song, “4th Day Prayer.”

The pair have been performing with Russell at various events recently, including a performance at the Love Rocks NYC benefit concert. At that event, they shared the stage with Hozier, Warren Haynes, Melissa Etheridge, Russell and many other artists.

You can find more behind-the-scenes content from SistaStrings on their Instagram account, including this swanky dressing room candle, plus more candids from backstage.

Congrats, SistaStrings!

Apparently, you get a candle when you perform on Jimmy Kimmel. Photo via SistaStrings Instagram.

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