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Five things to do this weekend in Milwaukee

Tim McGuire

Food trucks, local breweries and live music is what good weather in Wisconsin is made for. Luckily, we'll have a lot of that this weekend in Milwaukee.


David Hillyard Rocksteady 7

If you’ve ever seen me, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “That guy probably likes reggae.” And you’d be right, because I do. Not just reggae, but every iteration of Jamaica’s biggest sonic export—from roots to rocksteady, dub to dancehall and all the patois a man can handle.

That said, even if you only like a little of the island sound you should definitely make the move up to Riverwest Thursday evening for some dope tunes from one of the best bands riding the rocksteady rhythms of Jamdown, David Hilliard and His Rockstedy Seven. I was lucky enough to sit down with the band this week and you should expect a Sound Travels feature very soon, but before that, see them live at Mad Planet.

The band is like a who’s who of musician’s-musicians. The ever erudite horn section is led by Mr. Hilliard, Dave Wake of De La Buena on the ivories and legendary percussionist Larry McDonald speaking through his drums. The band is one of the few I’d trust to deliver old-school rocksteady reggae the right way. And considering the venerable Larry McDonald is there and in fine form, the link to reggae’s true lineage will live on in Milwaukee Thursday night!
Thursday at 9pm @ Mad Planet



What is Wookiefoot? I can tell you it’s not something that happens because you watched too much Star Wars… Wookiefoot is a band, a non-profit, a circus, a philosophy and a community of globe trekking bliss junkies and believers that are the fuel to keep this Tribadelic Spaceship going!

Their charity organization (with the support of their community) has donated over $500,000 to relief efforts in developing countries. The fast-paced circus-like set has been called "Short Attention Span Musical Theater." Live, Wookiefoot mixes reggae, world beat, hip-hop, Irish, funk, folk, rock and more with a large band featuring everything from a vintage Hammond organ to bag pipes! Apparently, their live sets also wrinkle-in lights, costumes, fire, dancers, aerialists, magic, clown and puppets, so you never really know what to expect other than the inevitability of being surprised and likely, entertained.

Milwaukee’s own Ifdakar opens, so get there on time and show some love.
Friday at 8 p.m. @ Shank Hall ($25)


Rock the Burbs

I’m not sure I’ve ever partied in Brookfield, but Saturday’s Rock The Burbs looks like the sort of feel-good outdoor festival that I can get on board with. Food trucks, local breweries and live music is what good weather in Wisconsin is made for. Not only is it family-friendly, but the proceeds benefit the MACC Fund to make the cause worthy.

In addition to a talent competition, the music lineup also looks solid with Plain White T's headlining and Wisconsin-based bluegrass/Americana band Listening Party opening. Go rock them burbs!
Saturday from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. @ The Corners of Brookfield



Bay View Gallery Night + Bay View Jazz Fest

Bay View Gallery Night, now in its seventh year, is likely Milwaukee’s largest annual celebration of art, local business, music, and community. Over 50 local businesses collaborate with over 200 local artists this Friday at an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and retailers for an event that, in the sum of its parts is like the root structure to a far bigger organism; plus it’s a Bay View tradition. It’s also totally free, pretty fun and local in the way I like it.

Oh and Bay View Jazz Fest returns to set the scene with some sweet sounds…


Flat Teeth + Versio Curs + Live Tetherball Tonight

This Saturday night, hitherto unknown Milwaukee outfit Flat Teeth will finally stop toying with us and start playing their music for all to hear. Their debut album "Winter Heart," is getting the love from all the right places. Radio Milwaukee, 91.7 and Milwaukee Record are all supporting a show that feels more like a culmination of a project that started in 2016 and bears musical fruit this weekend.

If you really want the goods on what Flat Teeth is all about, Milwaukee Record has committed all the words you need to know in advance of the show. So go! You can be the doofus that “heard ‘em at their first show!” Jokes aside, the buzz feels palpable and bragging rights are still rights if you’re the right kind of cool. Don’t sleep on Versio Curs or  Live Tetherball Tonight either, they’re all worth the price of admission.
Saturday at 8 p.m. @ Cactus Club

Production Manager | Radio Milwaukee