- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Finally, for the first time since 2019, Milwaukee will have a full summer of concerts.
And what a summer it'll be. Major concerts delayed for two years are finally happening. There are loads of outdoor shows at Maier Festival Park, not even including the 800-some acts at Summerfest. Clubs, theaters and arenas that tend to be quieter during the warm-weather months have plenty of action — and some stand-out bookings. One national artist is even curating their very first festival in Milwaukee.
Here are 20 top concerts to check out this June through August, listed in chronological order.
TicketSmarter: Purchase event tickets here
The 82-year-old legend hasn't played Milwaukee at all this past decade. A setlist stuffed with his Motown classics, supported by a polished stage show, should compensate for the absence.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. June 2, Miller High Life Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave. $36.50 to $147 at the box office and ticketmaster.com.
The indie rocker was the rare artist who became more popular during the pandemic, her poignant lyrics (and some visceral screams) providing catharsis during the frightening early days of COVID-19 on her critically adored sophomore album "Punisher."
When, where, prices, protocols: 7 p.m. June 3, BMO Harris Pavilion, Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive. $24.50 to $190 at the box office and Ticketmaster. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for entry.
Harking back to the storytelling traditions of Johnny Cash and other old-school country singers, Peck (who's never been seen publicly without his fringed mask, and whose real identity remains a mystery) is also a bit of a pioneer, becoming a leading voice for a growing wave of LGBTQ+ country artists (along with collaborator and Wisconsin native Trixie Mattel).
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. June 3, Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St. $30 at the box office and pabsttheater.org.
T-Pain's Wiscansin Fest
Who would have thought T-Pain's quirky pronunciation of "Wisconsin" for his hit song "Can't Believe It" in 2008 would be a springboard for a festival 14 years later? But sure enough, the singer and rapper is wrapping up his tour with the one-of-a-kind "Wiscansin Fest," personally curating an 18-act lineup that boasts Lil Jon, Yung Bleu, Milwaukee native K Camp, and a hip-hop set from comedian Hannibal Buress under the stage name Eshu Tune. Carve out some time to scope out the new "Wiscansin" merch items.
When, where, prices: 3 p.m. June 11, the Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. $60 to $90 at the box office and therave.com.
It's wonderful to see a small music-scene gem like Cactus Club — arguably the most vulnerable of local venues when the pandemic hit right after changing ownership — not only survive but thrive, with a stacked and mighty calendar. That includes this intimate set for this acclaimed, up-and-coming Texas country troubador who sold out Shank Hall this year and is destined for larger venues.
When, where, prices, protocols: 9 p.m. June 24, Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave. $26 in advance at cactusclubmilwaukee.com. $30 day of show. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for entry.
We'll have a Summerfest picks guide in June — there's enough great stuff there to fill this list and then some. But if I had to pick the single, top show at the Big Gig in 2022, it would have to be this. The American Family Insurance Amphitheater has some noteworthy gets, including the first Milwaukee tour stops in 10 years from Justin Bieber and Rod Stewart. But Summerfest is the only place you'll see two undisputed hip-hop legends (and well-established veteran Khalifa) on the same stage on the same night.
When, where, prices: 7:30 p.m. June 25, Summerfest, American Family Insurance Amphitheater, Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Drive. $66.25 to $110.53 at the box office and through Ticketmaster. Tickets include Summerfest general admission June 25.
Originally poised to play Wisconsin the same weekend as the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee (we know how that turned out), Zach De La Rocha, Tom Morello and company still have plenty to rage about. And due to delays from the pandemic, the first place they'll perform in 11 years will be in Wisconsin, with politically charged hip-hop duo Run the Jewels still on the bill.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. July 9, Alpine Valley Music Theatre, 2699 County Road D, East Troy. $69 to $659 at the gate and Ticketmaster.
Summerfest's last day is July 9, but Maier Festival Park won't go into hibernation. In fact, the American Family Insurance Amphitheater will have its largest concert slate in 18 years this summer following its $51.3 million renovation, with these two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers co-headlining the amphitheater less than 24 hours after Summerfest officially wraps.
When, where, prices: TBD on the date. Scheduled for July 10, the show was postponed July 8 along with several others, so Carlos Santana could have time to recuperate from passing out at a Detroit show July 5 from heat exhaustion and dehydration. The show will take place at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. Tickets are $55.06 to $422.48.
Like Cactus Club, Shank Hall has one of its busiest summers ever, with club-level acts making up for the 16 months the live music industry was on ice. Belew is definitely a highlight, an astounding guitarist with a jaw-dropping CV — King Crimson, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Paul Simon and so on — playing an intimate venue where fans can best savor his craft.
When, where, price: 8 p.m. July 14, Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. $40 at the box office and shankhall.com.
Everyone expected the Crüe's "farewell" tour that wrapped in 2015 wouldn't be the end. But no one expected the reunion tour would be happening two years later than planned. But it is finally happening, and they've got an impressive lineup of likeminded rock bands — including co-headliners Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts — to ensure the wait will be worth it for fans to fill the Brewers ballpark.
When, where, prices: 4:30 p.m. July 17, American Family Field, One Brewers Way. $84.50 to $174.50 at the box office and brewers.com.
When Morissette finally returned to the road last year for the belated 25th anniversary celebration of breakout album "Jagged Little Pill," Milwaukee was notably absent from the routing. But that slight's been rectified for the second leg in 2022, which in addition to featuring Milwaukee-based Cedric LeMoyne on bass, includes Madison-born alt-rock group Garbage as the opening act.
When, where, prices: 7 p.m. July 23, American Family Insurance Amphitheater. $22.50 to $307.50.
The riot grrrl pioneers played their first shows in 22 years in 2019, and were gearing up for a 2020 tour before the pandemic derailed plans. Since then, however, there's been a growing reverence for female-fronted punk (take a look at Olivia Rodrigo and Willow), which makes the timing just right for original band members Kathleen Hanna, Kathi Wilcox and Tobi Vail to get the postponed reunion tour underway.
When, where, prices: TBD on the date. Originally scheduled for July 24 at the Riverside Theater, the show was indefinitely postponed due to illness. Tickets are $39.50 at the door and through the Pabst.
The Pink Floyd songwriter's Milwaukee show will be one of the last major Milwaukee concerts originally planned for 2020 to finally take place. Social strife has only become more potent since then, which should make Waters' self-proclaimed "indictment of the corporate dystopia" more timely. And for the first time with this tour, Waters' cinematic staging will be presented in the round.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. July 28, Fiserv Forum, 1111 N. Phillips Ave. $49 to $453 at the box office and through Ticketmaster.
The Australian emo-informed rapper carries the torch for his late friend Juice WRLD, scoring his own Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Justin Bieber-featuring "Stay" and Miley Cyrus-assisted "Without You." This show was supposed to happen in February before Laroi delayed the tour because of omicron. But the delay means more new material, including another single that's ranking high on the Hot 100 right now, "Thousand Miles."
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Aug. 4, Eagles Ballroom, the Rave. $150 to $450 for VIP tickets. Secondhand tickets start at $57 through reseller sites.
With one of the boldest voices and some of the biggest hits of the early '80s — "Love Is a Battlefield" and "We Belong" among them — Benatar finally will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside her husband Giraldo (her guitarist on all her albums) in November. Their much-deserved victory lap swings through Milwaukee.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Aug. 5, Riverside Theater. $45 to $95.
Blessed with one of the largest voices of any touring artist today, Carlile's instrument will be able to fill Milwaukee's largest room as she headlines an arena in the city for the first time. The stop comes a few months after she had not one but two tracks up for song of the year at the Grammys — the Alicia Keys-collaboration "A Beautiful Noise" and "Right On Time" from her latest album "In These Silent Days."
When, where, prices: 7 p.m. Aug. 5, Fiserv Forum. $61 to $259.
About a week after Carlile plays Milwaukee, Morris, her fellow bandmate in the supergroup the Highwomen, comes to town for her own show behind her best-reviewed album to date, the ambitious "Humble Quest." Her show is one of several Milwaukee summer appearances from Nashville A-listers like Keith Urban and Luke Bryan — but this is the one that will be hardest to miss.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Aug. 13, BMO Harris Pavilion. $25.75 to $299.
Considering his massive résumé — solo work, the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and so on — it's no surprise that White kept himself incredibly busy during the pandemic. So the Detroit rocker is touring behind not one but two brand-new albums — April release "Fear of the Dawn" and "Entering Heaven Alive," out this July — a tour that includes his first arena-headlining appearance in Milwaukee. (Just note, per usual for White, this will be a phone-free show.)
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Aug. 16, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Ave. $52 to $302 at the box office and Ticketmaster.
Earning the first Pulitzer Prize for music ever for a nonclassical or jazz artist made Lamar's follow-up to "Damn." one of the most anticipated albums of the past few years. And that follow-up, May's "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers," exceeds those expectations and Lamar's own lofty ambitions, resulting in a messy, even uncomfortable, and consistently stunning saga about the lingering effects of trauma. He'll play Milwaukee for the first time in seven years behind the album, with "Morale" featured players Baby Keem (Lamar's Grammy-winning cousin) and Tanna Leone on the bill.
When, where, prices: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Fiserv Forum, 1111 N. Phillips Ave. $54 to $484.50.
Speaking of Lamar, one of the key contributors to his 2015 magnum opus "To Pimp a Butterfly" was songwriter, bassist and producer (and "Book of Boba Fett" actor) Thundercat, who in turn has brought a similar outside-the-box vision to his own dazzling discography, including 2020's "It Is What It Is," the Grammy winner for best progressive R&B album. And like Lamar, a Thundercat concert in Milwaukee is a rare thing; this will be his first headlining appearance in town, following a brief but memorable opening slot for Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2012.
When, where, prices: 8 p.m. Aug. 23, the Rave. $35 to $45.
Our subscribers make this reporting possible. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to the Journal Sentinel at jsonline.com/deal.
DOWNLOAD THE APP: Get the latest news, sports and more
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 20 top concerts in Milwaukee in summer 2022, including Kendrick Lamar