5 things to do this weekend | July 14th-17th
Les Bleus may have come up short in the Euro Cup Finals but the Francophonic spirit lives on… the streets of downtown that is, as Bastille Days begins today in Cathedral Square and continues throughout the weekend. For me, Bastille Days is a great counterpoint festival to the mad crowds that Summerfest brings; where Summerfest brings ‘em form far and wide, exercising it’s will on the town whereas Bastille Days feels more for Milwaukeeans.
Oh it can get crowded for real, but in a far less confining sort of way and the festival has a lot going for it. In addition to several stages of live music (lineup here), the food feels a bit better than many fests and there’ll be something different to do every day. Tonight, there’s the Storm the Bastille 5k run/2 mile walk at 9pm while tomorrow is Mardi Gras Friday. The wine flows every day, but Saturday is also the 7th annual wine tasting to tempt fest-goers. Perhaps the best part is that it’s free.
Thursday-Sunday @ Cathedral Square, Downtown
It’s been a hot stretch of summer and Friday evening is looking good for chillin out as one of the leading lights of the neo-soul sound is coming to town. Grammy and BET award winner Anthony Hamilton hits up the Milwaukee Theatre for an evening of romantic and gospel-tinged r&b/soul. Also on the bill, R&B hitmakers Avant and AverySunshine and other special guests.
Friday at 8pm @ Milwaukee Theater, Downtown
For those that like to let the good times roll, Friday night’s JD McPherson show at Shank Hall has the right angle for retro rhythm and blues. American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, JD parlays retro rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly music of the 1950’s into a sound that’s remarkably fresh despite its leanings. No stranger to our airwaves, you can get acquainted with the full flavor this weekend and he also has Dylan Pratt opening.
Friday at 8pm @ Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. East Side
Steely Dan + Steve Winwood
Now that the Big Gig is done the grounds’ll be the backdrop for some sweet shows and that starts this Saturday when Steely Dan and Steve Winwood team up to take on Milwaukee. Apparently, they’ve got a 23-date joint U.S. summer tour that will will visit 23 cities in what looks like one of the better dad-rock experiences of the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steely Dan and have a respect for Stevie too, also, I am a dad so there’s that. But exploring either of their catalogs always makes me wonder why I don’t more often; lots of good stuff. Steve Winwood’ll start with a set of favorites spanning his 50-year career — featuring songs from the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith along with solo hits, including “Higher Love” and many more.
Saturday at 8pm @ B-MO Harris Pavillion on the Summerfest Grounds
Car Seat Headrest
Another 88Nine favorite is coming to town this weekend when Car Seat Headrest rolls up to Turner Hall this Sunday. Bursting to much buzz and critical acclaim with their debut album Teens of Style and the 2016 follow up Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest’s conceptual ambition and stunning songwriting has been apparent since its early days of laptop recording and writing songs in his car. Frontman Will Toledo’s sound has been called slo-fi, but a deeper listen should confirm the presence for more talent than the terminology. They’ll Milwaukee debut for a special PBR $10 Buck Show.
Sunday at 8pm @ Turner Hall, Downtown