Saturday was the much anticipated Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Celebration in honor of the “Main Street of Milwaukee” finally having a working bridge again. Since it has officially been open a couple weeks, Art Milwaukee & Newaukee got permission to close it down one last time to throw a bash in its honor. This all day event was filled with art, music, yoga, a flotilla (boat parade), beer, food & more. Unfortunately the first day of fall was in full force with low temperatures, strong winds and even some rain. But that didn’t stop the thousands of people who showed up or the hundreds of dancing fans in front of the stages late into the night. After all, this is Wisconsin, right?
This Saturday, October 22nd is the Wisconsin Bridge Celebration and Art-Walk event in downtown Milwaukee. The celebration is hosted by Art Milwaukee and NEWaukee with help from many local business sponsors. Over the past couple years, the bridges along the Milwaukee River downtown have been under construction leading to many detours and alternate routes. Luckily, construction is over, making time for a party! The Wisconsin Avenue bridge will again be shut down to traffic, but this time its to make room for lots of people, food, drinks, art and live music.
For local live music, there are two stages featuring music booked mainly by Made in Milwaukee. The main stage is sponsored by Heineken and will showcase local performances by Ethan Keller, Undercover Organism, I’m Not a Pilot, Kane Place Record Club and De La Buena. On a smaller second stage, sponsored by 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, will feature performances by Roxie Beane, Mike Brumm, Bryon Cherry and many others.
There will also be various activities going on along the river. Both east and west sides of the riverwalk will feature live artists and painters. Also, a Flotilla Boat Parade will be taking place at 1:00pm, judged by Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Bauman, Cecelia Gilbert and Hanna Swanson.
This event will be wrap up around 10:00pm but the party doesn’t stop there! Local Playlist is hosting the official after party at John Hawk’s Pub. The after party is also free and will feature performances by Ivy Spokes and a DJ set by Matt Future. Everyone is invited, see you there Milwaukee!
For more information about the bridge event and full list of activities follow the link below to the website.
This month Milwaukee kicked off summer festival season with Bay View Gallery Night. The event, presented by Made in Milwaukee and The Alchemist Theatre, brought on a day of exploring and celebration in the Bay View community. Over 25 venues featured more than 50 local artists and 20 local bands, giving much promise to the summer’s upcoming event series and concerts.
The night stretched across the neighborhood’s sky, its air carrying the warmth of June, the buzz and glow of neon signs from windows, and the sound of people and music from open doorways. At Club Garibaldi, more than 200 people attended to see the headlining acts of Bay View Gallery Night.
The audience quickly filled the bar and concert space of Club Garibaldi, eager to witness the music of D’Amato, Rusty Ps and MC Oneself, Sat. Night Duets, and The Fatty Acids. In addition to this great lineup, live paintings from local artists Dwellephant and Field Lehmann were featured.
D’Amato took the stage, wearing a black suit with a red tie and suspenders that match the red sequined dress of his backup singer. Planning and good taste are the first parts of his act that catch your attention. With a beat machine and himself on mic and guitar, D’Amato’s sound meets your ear with a blend of hip-hop beats, bluesy rock guitar solos, and quick-witted lyrical rhymes.
D’Amato’s appeal goes beyond the content of his songs and into the realm of performance. He blends his rapping with singing, holding out notes at the end of bars with vibrato. His soulful delivery is in his energy as he moves from rapping to singing to vocal scat solos. Matching this expressive method are his guitar solos. He gets down to his knees, with sweat beading on his brow and his hands laboring over the frets. He glides through blues scales and holds onto high notes with bends.
Being a skilled musician is enough to get a crowd’s attention and have you work heard. But being both a skilled musician and a committed performer hooks an audience so that you work is felt. And D’Amato’s expression shares an experience with us rather than just sounds. Which is why it is shocking that this guy’s name isn’t seen on more concert fliers and has yet to have an album out. D’Amato’s facebook is the best way to get updates about his shows and even treats us to his sound. Look for his next show and discover an artist that will shock you with his talent and inspire you to share his music with others.
On a side stage were local artists Dwellephant and Field Lehmann, bringing their inspirations to life on canvas with paint. Throughout the evening they created meticulously, concentrated on their art as it took form before the crowd.
Live paintings from the artist Dwellephant
“Seeing Sunshine,” by Field Lehmann
The next rare delight was the live performance of The Rusty Ps and MC Oneself. The hip-hop group featured three emcees and a live band. MC Oneself started off alone on stage and sparked the performance that fully exploded with two other emcees of The Rusty Ps, Phantom Channel and Count Classic, accompanied by a live band.
The Rusty Ps are no strangers to the stages of Milwaukee and hip-hop fans in the country. Coming to rise in the late 90s, the group developed relationships with the famed Rhymesayers label in Minneapolis and recorded with Slug, the phenomenon behind Atmosphere. Earning the title of Wisconsin’s best hip-hop band several times over at the WAMI awards, as well as many other titles, the group has provided Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene with a style that is now signature to Midwestern hip-hop.
The beats they use are well in place, providing a simple foundation that’s built upon with other instrumentation, including guitar, bass, and piano, as well as record scratching and sampling. These elements are graced with introspective lyrics of the group’s emcees who deliver their songs with fluent exchanges of verse among one another.
To the first-time listener, they are awe inspiring. Their complexity of lyrics, paired with their beats, showcases the heart of their talent. Their lyrics move fast, running through autobiographic narratives that center around an emcee’s struggle to evolve their sound beyond that of their predecessors and contemporaries. With a clever philosophical rhyme, they weave details of daily life with technical terms to explore the discourse of science and self, all the while carrying a song and narrative that is accessible to the audience. The Rusty Ps are still on an evolutional path, as they take on new sounds of live elements to their set. Their performance featured one song with trumpet tracks, played by Kurt Raether of Fatty Acids.
With charged stage presence, well produced tracks, and lyrics that differentiate them as artists offering genuine works, The Rusty Ps successfully proved themselves as an opulence of not only Milwaukee’s music scene but the Midwestern region in general.
Sat. Night Duets kicked off their summer tour with The Fatty Acids. Their sound sported guitar riffs and piano chords that are signature to the American Rock genre, as well as lyrics that were more than often expressively spoken than sung, and open guitar chords and un-distilled sounds that characterize the noise rock genre.
Pulling from various familiar styles makes the crowd easily grasp their musical intentions and purpose. It wasn’t too soon after they began their set that the audience joined in on the fun, getting up on their feet and clapping along to the music.
Capping off the evening were The Fatty Acids. The band’s choice to do another tour with Sat. Night Duets this summer was well made. The Fatty Acids kept the upbeat energy that Sat. Night Duets injected the crowd with and channeled it into their performance that moved the majority of the crowd to singing and dancing.
With a lineup that was stacked with talent, Gallery Night was a great success for celebrating some of the best in Milwaukee’s scene. Be sure to check out the other awesome events in store for this summer. You won’t be disappointed.