After the action-packed blockbuster concert season Milwaukee had this summer, you (and your bank account) might be ready for a break.
Sure, the Milwaukee area might not have any more shows this year with 20,000-plus in attendance like we saw for Foo Fighters, Pink, George Strait, Zach Bryan, Post Malone and more from June through August. But along with some Bucks arena blowouts, theaters and clubs across town have full calendars with exciting up-and-comers and living legends alike.
Here are 20 top shows from September through November, listed in order of occurrence. As of deadline, there were tickets available for all of them. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for some other big fall shows, including the Violent Femmes with the Milwaukee Symphony, so get tickets when you can or you might miss out.
Not everyone is qualified to close out an event as prestigious as the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. And there’s no one with the kind of pioneering career that Ross has had, with the Supremes and as a solo artist (along with her acting career), even among living legends. And that jubilee performance showed that Ross and her big band still bring the goods.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 10, Miller High Life Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave. $65.50 to $300 at the door, the Pabst Theater box office (144 E. Wells St.) and pabsttheater.org.
Isbell’s return behind “Weathervanes,” another superb collection of smart, heartfelt, practically peerless Americana songwriting, is justification enough to get a ticket. But what makes this show truly must-see is the addition of alt-rockers Wednesday, whose latest album, “Rat Saw God,” is among the best-reviewed releases of 2023.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 12, Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave. $45.50 to $275 at the door and through the Pabst.
Just a few weeks removed from a momentous show with massively popular Mexican band Los Bukis, the city’s getting another one. By incorporating hip-hop elements into the brassy romanticism of regional Mexican music, Peso Pluma has become one of the year’s biggest breakout superstars and is chiefly responsible for making regional Mexican music the second fastest-growing genre in America.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 14, Fiserv Forum, 1111 N. Phillips Ave. $91.50 to $525 at the box office and fiservforum.com.
Who’d have expected the season’s premiere hip-hop showcase in the Milwaukee area would be a taco festival in Franklin? But similar to prior events in Kansas City and Fort Worth, Texas, the area’s inaugural Tacos and Tequila Festival boasts a loaded lineup of late ’90s/early aughts hip-hop hitmakers, led by Nelly with artists like Fat Joe, Chingy, Ying Yang Twins and Twista rounding out the lineup.
When, where, prices: 3 p.m. Sept. 16, Franklin Field, 7035 S. Ballpark Drive, Franklin. $20 to $350 at the gate and tacosandtequilamke.com.
It’s been a roller coaster for X-Ray Arcade — opened in 2019, shut down and in peril with the pandemic in 2020. But the venue survived, and, evident by its strongest season of shows yet, is thriving. Alongside fall highlights like Claud and Speedy Ortiz, the venue boasts a Bully show behind Alicia Bognanno’s most accessible and introspective post-grunge album yet, this year’s “Lucky for You.”
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 16, X-Ray Arcade, 5036 S. Packard Ave., Cudahy. $20 in advance at xrayarcade.com. $25 day of show.
The Milwaukee area was skipped over by Phish and for Dead & Company’s farewell tour this summer, but jam band fans can always count on Widespread Panic’s October Riverside residency (pandemic aside). But we’re more intrigued by another fast-rising jam band outfit, Goose, whose honoring the scene’s foundation while bringing new sounds to the mix.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Miller High Life Theatre. $39.50 to $205.
After co-composing the score for Ryan Murphy’s Jeffrey Dahmer miniseries “Monster,” Cave is coming to Milwaukee for only his third concert in the city across a 35-year career. He’ll be sans the Bad Seeds (but joined by Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood); considering the infrequency of his visits, and the consistent praise for his compelling albums, the show should not be skipped.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 27, Riverside Theater. $34.75 to $94.75.
Fresh off collaborating again with Paul McCartney — plus Dolly Parton, Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood — for a new cover of “Let It Be,” Starr will swing through Milwaukee with some other noteworthy friends. Among the musicians in his 15th iteration of the All Starr Band: Steve Lukather and Warren Ham from Toto, Colin Hay, and Edgar Winter.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Sept. 30, Miller High Life Theatre. $65.50 to $250.
The Milwaukee “I/O” tour stop will happen before ,Gabriel releases “I/O” the album later this year, his first full-length album of all original material since 2002. He’s released nine new songs previously however, so you can study up for the set, but expect to hear greatest hits too.
When, where, prices:8 p.m. Oct. 2, Fiserv Forum. $60 to $725.
Inspired by the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds,” the D’Addario brothers’ “Everything Harmony” is the 10th best-reviewed album of the first half of 2023, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
When, where, prices:8:30 p.m. Oct. 6, Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave. $30 in advance at cactusclubmilwaukee.com. $40 day of show.
Raitt seemed more surprised than anyone to win song of the year at the Grammys in February for “Just Like That,” a song inspired by her friend and late songwriting master John Prine. But considering Raitt’s remarkable career — including 12 other Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award — nabbing one of the Grammys’ biggest trophies has long been a matter of when rather than if.
When, where, prices:8 p.m. Oct. 10, Riverside Theater. $55 to $95.
Evidently, his time in Milwaukee last year made an impression. After playing his first post-pandemic show at the Riverside Theater in 2021 (and rehearsing there for the tour), Dylan will be back at the Riverside for two shows, making Milwaukee one of just four cities getting multiple concerts in October.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Oct. 11 and 12, Riverside Theater. $59 to $573.44.
Williams suffered a frightening health setback in 2020 when she had a stroke. But she fully recovered and returned to the road and the recording studio for new album “Stories From a Rock N Roll Heart,” and to finish her acclaimed memoir, “Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You” — good reasons as any to see her live, to say nothing of classics like “Passionate Kisses” that should make it to the setlist.
When, where and prices: 8 p.m. Oct. 12, Pabst Theater. $39.50 to $210.
Peter Jest has stuffed Shank Hall with several strong shows this fall — experimental folk artist Califone on Sept. 18 is a definite highlight — but the veteran local concert promoter is bringing some bigger shows to venues across the state. Most notable among them is the return of the Zombies, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers who will supplement gems from their ravishing 1968 classic album “Odessey and Oracle” with tunes from their first album in eight years, “Different Game.”
When, where, prices:8 p.m. Oct. 14, South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center, 901 15th Ave., South Milwaukee. $54 to $75 at the box office and southmilwaukeepac.org.
The British singer and songwriter — who’s written tunes for Beyoncé, Rihanna and others — showed plenty of promise with her own R&B and pop material like “Bed,” but she struggled to have the breakout she deserved. So she split from her label and took her career into her own hands, resulting in the biggest hit of her career with the inescapable TikTok banger “Escapism” — and her biggest stateside tour to date.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Oct. 24, the Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. $30.50 to $200 at the box office and therave.com.
How long has it been since Shania Twain’s played Milwaukee? At her last show in town at the since-demolished Bradley Center, she wore a Brett Favre jersey. Maybe the country pop queen will sport a Giannis one when she comes to Fiserv Forum for her first Milwaukee show in 20 years, behind her new album “Queen of Me.”
When, where, prices:7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Fiserv Forum. $125.95 to $670.95.
Tool took their time following 2006’s “10,000 Days” with 2019 album “Fear Inoculum,” so don’t expect to hear any new songs from the hard-rock heroes when they return to Fiserv Forum following a 2019 show at the Bucks arena. But that’s not deterring fans who have already secured nearly all of the available seats in the arena.
When, where, prices:7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, Fiserv Forum. $315 to $600.
Forced to cut her Summerfest 2021 set short (seemingly so there wouldn’t be any sound bleed over Dave Chappelle’s adjacent amphitheater set), only to cancel a planned tour that would have kicked off in Milwaukee in 2022, Kesha will finally make it to town for a full show behind “Gag Order,” her latest, frequently experimental pop album largely produced by Rick Rubin.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Nov. 11, Eagles Ballroom, the Rave. $48 to $225.
Even if you’ve seen the Jonas Brothers’ two Milwaukee shows since reuniting in 2019, fans won’t want to miss this one. Aside from the fact that the latest tour follows the release of their best album by far — the infectious, ’70s pop-rock-inspired “The Album” — the brothers have promised to revisit their full discography on this tour. For the kickoff in August, that amounted to a three-hour show.
When, where, prices: 7 p.m. Nov. 20, Fiserv Forum. $94.95 to $694.95.
The acclaimed singer-songwriter went full traditional country with her gorgeous sixth full-length album “Big Time” late last year. The result: placement on scores of year-end best-albums lists, and ranking 12th among the best reviewed albums of 2022 according to Metacritic.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Nov. 30, Turner Hall Ballroom, 1040 N. Phillips Ave. $35 to $40 at the door and through the Pabst.