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Two shows to help you get in touch with your emotions

 Side-by-side photos of two men performing music on stage in a large venue and three people sitting on an inflatable couch while smiling at the camera.
Counting Crows / Meet Me @ The Altar / Facebook
Counting Crows (left) and Meet Me @ The Altar both play Milwaukee concerts next week.

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.

For this feature, we typically go into detail about one upcoming concert in the area. But when I compiled the list for the week ahead, the ’90s boy inside me took over and demanded I tack on a “plus one” at the end.

Before we jump into the wayback machine, let’s start with our first emotionally driven pick: Meet Me @ The Altarthis coming Monday, June 19, at X-Ray Arcade. The trio out of Orlando is the latest in record label Fueled by Ramen’s long history of pop-punk/emo boosterism. Bands like Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and Paramore aren’t just predecessors for Meet Me @ The Altar; they’re also inspirations.

Guitarist-bassist Téa Campbell told NPR’s Cyrena Touros, "We all grew up being influenced by almost every single band that has been on Fueled by Ramen," with drummer Ada Juarez adding that signing to the label was akin to finding a musical family.

It’s instantly recognizable in the band’s music, the volume level of which is as unapologetic as its lyrical content. Thrashing drums, power chords, guitar solos, and lead singer Edith Victoria’s bright and rangy vocals get a pop sheen without sacrificing any of the passion — a combo that should add up to a memorable show.

Venturing down a very different branch of the “tapping into your emotions” musical family, we have next Wednesday’s show at the Miller High Life Theatre:Counting CrowsandDashboard Confessional.

I can’t speak much to the latter, although I did have their sophomore album (The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most) that was part of the welcome package at every dorm room in the country. No, I’m here to stump for Counting Crows.

And don’t come at me with this “Oh, the ‘Mr. Jones’ guys?’ nonsense. This band was a machine in the mid-’90s and into the 2000s. Four straight top 10 albums that went platinum a combined 10 times during that era only tell part of the story. My sad little heart from those years tells the rest of it.

Lead singer Adam Duritz’s stories of failed relationships and self-doubt connected with me in a big way back then. Sure, his relationships involved Courteney Cox and Mary-Louise Parker. But we’re all just people, aren’t we? We all feel the same feelings. He just poured his into songs that soundtracked most of my college career.

There weren’t just “woe is me” songs, either. “Rain King,” “A Murder of One,” “Angels of the Silences,” “Have You Seen Me Lately?” — bona fide bangers that Counting Crows rarely get credit for. Next Wednesday is your chance to bounce around to them once again.

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