Tigera: Your Local Handsome Band (and beer) have two releases on tap
Milwaukee’s Tigera are a rock band through and through. Yet it’s the pop elements that are the true bling, emitting that absolutely infectious early to mid-2000s vibe that bands like The Killers and Two Door Cinema Club perfected.
Tigera’s high-energy, guitar-centric music is impossible not to dance to, and they admit to being described as “Iron Maiden for your girlfriend.” Thus, they’ve generally stolen the hearts (and dancing feet) of most local festival-goers whenever they’ve been booked.
After a busy summer, Tigera is now getting ready to release their new EP, Be My Light, which takes a more serious turn but still keeps that classic Tigera feel.
“Be My Light is the artistic culmination of a year of nonstop performing, writing and rehearsing over the backdrop of a complicated period for [us]," the band shared in notes accompanying the album. "The autobiographical content of the lyrics read almost like journal entries of someone lost in a living void. Feelings of anxiety, melancholy and self-doubt are felt throughout the EP, particularly in the ‘cry for help’ of the title track.”
Tigera member Alex Radish expanded on those thoughts: “We hadn't realized it until we finished our recording that these songs (when listened to back to front) kind of tell a story. Not explicitly, but there is definitely an overarching theme of uncertainty. Not always in a sense of caution; at some points on the EP it's more of a celebration of the uncertainty, and other times its more somber. Needless to say, we packed a lot of feelings in a four-song release.”
Tigera truly seems like a band that can use those rough spots and musical catharsis to their advantage. Be My Light sees them making their way through to the other side — and with new projects to keep them moving forward.
In addition to the EP, the band cracked open a new, collaborative beer with Milwaukee’s New Barons Brewing Cooperative to coincide with the release of their EP.
“The collaboration is really based on friendship and community," Radish said. "We love Heidi [Dalibor] and John [Degroote] [owners of New Barons Brewing], and we're also big fans of that brewery. They have become good friends of ours over the past few years, and it’s honestly our circle of friends’ brewery. It’s kinda like Cheers being filmed in Bay View in 2023 — any night of the week you will run into a friend!”
As for the beer itself, Radish says the name “Your Local Handsome Beer” was born in a truly Wisconsin way.
“We've kind of adopted "Your Local Handsome Boys" as a moniker of sorts,” Radish said. “Ben [Koshik] came up with it while filming an Instagram reel for an upcoming show. It's kind of a riff on a very specific situation he remembers from childhood."
“It reminds me of watching a Midwestern aunt talk about their nephews at the family reunion. 'Wouldja look at dohs Handsome Boys!?' " Koshik added. "It's way less cute or endearing when you’re talking about five adult men, but it's also way goofier and kind of makes it work for me."
Radio Milwaukee beer correspondent Dan Reiner scored an invite to preview the new ale and had this to say:
Picture the smoothest, easiest-to-drink beer in your rotation. Maybe it's one of those "light" or "lite" beers, or maybe (hopefully) something a little more rich in flavor. Your Local Handsome Beer goes punch-for-punch with the top dogs. (Side note: did Tigera miss an opportunity to name it "Be My Light Beer"?) But what really sets this beer apart is the local aspect. I got to watch brewmaster John work his magic in real time, pouring locally grown hops into a scalding cauldron — with a boost from Alex and Ben from Tigera. This was a beer brainstormed and brewed right in the Harbor District, and at 4.5% ABV, it's certainly a beer any concertgoer can enjoy.
Radish said the band chose that particular style of beer because “We love light domestic beer that you can drink all day and rock out with. Oftentimes, you can’t rock out as hard when you are drinking a hoppy IPA. Although good, that’s just not for everyone. So we gave John this information or something adjacent, and John bounced back with an Italian Pilsner. Anyone who has ever had a Peroni knows how refreshing they are, so we got on board right away.”
Getting ready to celebrate a new EP and a new beer is kinda a big deal, especially when presented with a killer show lineup. Radish says that keeping things local for Thursday’s show at Cactus Club was only part of the fun.
“We'll go on record in saying that the Milwaukee music scene is really special to be a part of,” he said. “I mean, when you've got local artists selling out Turner Hall, you know you're a part of something really magical, and we've been fortunate enough to have shared the stage with all of those bands.
"When I set up a bill, I always want to expand our reach to a new audience and if I can, invite a group from out of town. I have seen Clementine and Secret Menu before, great groups with good energy, and they’re ambitious. Horace Greene is a rockin’ group. [We] actually went tubing down the Wolf River with them a few weeks ago and asked them to join the bill while we were cruisin’ down. Always fun to play with new friends.”
Radish added that the Milwaukee scene truly helped build the momentum they’re riding now.
“You've got bands like the Keystones, Alley Eyes and Cozy Danger who have become really good friends of ours. I think that’s one of the best parts about the music scene: It brings different circles of people together, leading to new friendships, collaboration and growth of the scene.”
Tigera's release show for Be My Light and Your Local Handsome Beer from New Barons is this Thursday, Sept. 7, at Cactus Club. Tickets for the 7 p.m. concert are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.