WSUM's Anticipated Summer Concerts

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Mon Jun 02 2014


Summer is finally here in Madison (and I hope elsewhere). Summer's arrival not only means great weather, but also great shows. If you are having trouble figuring out what shows are worth your time, WSUM's DJs have your back.

Wiigy Wiigy's Audio Dreamsicle, The Artscast, WSRP Presents…


Sharon Van Etten @ Memorial Union Terrace, Madison, 7/17

Definitely no bigger show than this one is coming to Madison this summer. Have you heard her new release ‘Are We There'? Devastating. You want to spend an evening getting emotionally drained. Don't even fool yourself.

tUnE-yArDs @ Live on King Street, King Street, Madison,7/18

One of the coolest shows you can see live, word is bond. Merrill Garbus' voice is crazy powerful live, so get ready to paint your face and shake, shimmy, and shout the entire duration of the concert.

Caroline Smith @ Memorial Union Terrace, Saturday August 9.

If you missed her at the High Noon Saloon last fall, here's your chance to see her while you drink a pitcher of something cold in the Indian Summer swell. Don't mess this up.

Boy & Bear @ The High Noon Saloon, Wednesday 7/16.

This Australian band is starting to make some noise here in the states, and I'm really looking forward to see how they sound live. Their latest album, Harlequin Dream, should be great to hear in person and the High Noon Saloon atmosphere should fit right in their wheelhouse.

Steely Dan @ The Overture Center, Sat 8/16.

Having seen them perform their Aja record in full already at the Northrop in Minneapolis, I'm excited for another chance. Yeah, I get it, beatnik dad rock, but for gosh darn sake, they still know how to put on a good show!

Andrew SchneiderVerb the Noun, Live@WSUM


Deafheaven, Pallbearer, Wreck and Reference @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 6/22

Having seen Deafheaven open for Between the Buried and Me, I already know what kind of power these guys are capable of putting out. Now let's see if they can do it while headlining.

Agalloch, Obsidian Tongue, Bereft @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 6/19

There is black metal before Marrow of the Spirit, and there is black metal after Marrow of the Spirit. That should explain how important Agalloch is.

The Fall of Troy @ Mojoes, Chicago, 6/15

The Fall of Troy reuniting is the best thing that has happened to post-hardcore in a long time. The fact, then, that they are coming so close to Madison is a blessing.

Boris, SubRosa, The Atlas Moth @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/11

Boris doesn't tour the States much, and the fact that SubRosa is supporting means that this will be a riff-soaked night. Let the weight begin.

Tegan and Sara @ Summerfest, 6/27

It's Tegan and Sara. Need I say more?

Erik Kramer – Go to Bed After This Show, The Painting Box


Swans @ The Metro, Chicago, 6/22

Swans have a ridiculously menacing and engaging stage presence and it will be cool to see them in a space like the Metro.

Oneohtrix Point Never @ Loops & Variation Music Series, Millenium Park, Chicago, 6/26

Dan Lopatin released my favorite album of last year and it really comes to life live with Nate Boyce's disorienting visuals AND it's at Pritzker Pavilion, which is a state-of-the-art GORGEOUS band shell. Perhaps my favorite place in the whole world to see music.

Painted Palms, Saint Pepsi @ The Empty Bottle, Chicago, 6/27

I don't really know Painted Palms but getting to see Saint Pepsi will be a real thrill. I've been following that guy on the Internet for over a year now and it'll be wonderful to see his unique take on electronic dance music at a place like the Empty Bottle. Also, on Fridays at the Empty Bottle around 5pm there's free country music from a band called the Hoyle Brothers, and they sell Texas beers like Lone Star and Shiner for cheap. It's fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steely Dan @ Overture Center, Madison, 8/16

If I find $80 on the ground I will probably go to this. It's a pricy one, but in return you'll be treated to an evening of world-class musicianship and songwriting. And seeing anything from Aja live is on my bucket list for sure.

More than anything I'm excited for all the house shows, open mic gatherings, and DIY happenings that pop out of nowhere in summers in Madison and you should be too! Go out and engage with your local music scene!

John PowersThe Long Division


Elvis Costello @ the Riverside, Milwaukee, 6/10

By far the most exciting is Elvis Costello on June 10 – it's a solo show, and his last solo tour (in Fall 2013) was filled with surprises, playing hundreds of songs from across his career.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, 6/20

Gillian Welch @ the Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton, 7/3

Pixies @ Orpheum Theatre, Madison, 10/14

Chali Pittman – The Not-Quite-Folk Folk HourLive@WSUM


2ndAnnual Make Music Madison, 6/21

Despite being a city-run event, there are few restraints on participating in Make Music Madison. Rule #1: it must be musical. Rule #2: it must be outdoors. Rule #3: it must be free. While MMM could do a better job of making sure aspiring musicians are fairly compensated, it's still a hell of a lot of fun. Sign up to learn more and volunteer on this summer solstice celebration at

Chants w/ DJ Hitmayng, Soft Targets, Con Solo, The Visis @ The Frequency, Madison,7/6

Chants and DJ Hitmayng are two of my favorite electronic/experimental artists, period. Not only are their mixes interesting and thought-provoking, but they have a tendency to gain fans across genre boundaries. An intimate set with them and others on the Madison music scene at the Frequency will be simultaneously high-energy and extremely relaxing.

Ariada, Honey & the 45s @ Memorial Union Terrace, Madison,8/1

This isn't the first time Chicago masters of funk and soul Honey and the 45s have been to town; in fact, they graced our studios my first week of coordinating Live@WSUM in January. This time, they're coming back to town to play The Terrace with fellow Chicago rock/soul outfit Ariada. Listen to them live the same day on Live@WSUM from 3-5PM and you'll be persuaded to see them live that night, I promise.

2nd Annual Solskinn presented by Jonk Music @ Elvehjem Park, Madison, 8/16

At present, the lineup for this free event is TBA. This is no obstacle for an event that last year featured the musical talents of Julian Lynch, The Luyas, Little Legend, Icarus Himself, Dietrich Gosser, and Double Ewes, providing good summer vibes for all.

Rock County Folk Symposium V, Janesville,8/23

Why music, when you can camp AND music? RCFS takes place in Janesville along the Rock River, with excellent local talent surrounded by meadows, woods, and campfires. Never actually having been to RCFS, I'm excited to make 2014 my first, upon recommendation from my significant other.

The Cleveland Kid Rust Belt Soundtrack


Dave Matthews Band @ Marcus Ampitheater, Summerfest, Milwaukee, 7/2

I know it's not the most “alternative” band out there but I've been to six DMB shows and never regretted one of them. I'm seriously excited that they're going to a two-set show this year…it brings them back to how they started off in the early 90s playing in Virginia. The guest list never fails to impress so I'm looking forward to maybe a Brandi Carlile-type playing with the band on tour.

Bob Weir & RatDog, Madison @ Orpheum Theater, Madison, 6/12

Nothing says summer to me like good jam band music. Lately I've gotten into Slightly Stoopid and dove more into the Grateful Dead, but I really haven't given RatDog a good listen yet. I'm more excited to see Bob Weir live and hoping that I become a fan of RatDog. Any chance you get a chance to see a member of the Grateful Dead in concert, you take it.

The Eels @ Majestic Theater, Madison, 6/4

I hadn't heard of The Eels up until recently when they brought the legendary Steve Perry on stage to sing a few songs with them in St. Paul. Since then, I've really been digging their music and have heard great things about them in concert.

Little Legend – No summer dates scheduled

I first saw these guys at The Frequency opening for Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin. I'm not usually blown away by the openers but LL reminded me a lot of Modest Mouse and Title Tracks. Since coming to Madison, artists like Little Legend have been making me think MadCity could rival cities like Austin as a music hub.

PHOX @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 8/7, 8/8 – Both SOLD OUT

Yay local music! I'm really getting into PHOX this year and it was awesome to hear them on the All Songs Considered SXSW playlist this year.

Anna BatzWhiMN


First Annual Madison Womyn's Festival @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 6/1

Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN, 6/12-6/15

2ndAnnual Make Music Madison, 6/21

tUnE-yArDs @ Live on King Street, King Street, Madison, 7/18

Midwest hip hop gods @ Miller Lite Oasis stage, Summerfest, Milwaukee, 6/27

Brother Ali, Get Cryphy, deM atlaS, PROF, Grieves, DJ Abilities, and Atmosphere perform.

Petey WehrleThe Study Lounge


Cracker @ Live on King Street, King Street, Madison, 7/25

A descendant of David Lowry's previous band, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker is best known for their College Radio hits “Euro-Trash Girl” and “Low”. If you like jaded grunge-pop you'll want to check out Cracker when they come to Madison.

DJ M. WhiteBlack Box Radio


Under The Influence of Music Tour @ Alpine Valley Music Theater, Elkhorn, WI, 8/9

Wiz Khalifa & Taylor Gang, Jeezy, Tyga, DJ Drama, Rich Homie Quan, Mack Wilds, Iamsu, and Ty Dolla $ign perform

This will be my second time attending this music tour, first in Chicago, IL a few years ago, now here in Wisconsin. Wiz Khalifa puts on an amazing performance, complete with memorable moments on stage. Additionally, who could pass up the heavy line up from various urban artists like Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan, not me, not Black Box Radio, we plan to be there.

Big K.R.I.T. – No summer dates scheduled.

Eagerly anticipating BIG KRIT's return to Wisconsin, whenever that will be! He's definitely my favorite emerging artist. His last two shows in Madison at The Majestic and The Barrymore Theater have been full of energy, emotion and extreme fandom. As a loyal KRIT fan, I plan to see him whenever he returns to Wisco, no matter the cost!

Lil Boosie @ Touch Down To Cause Hell Tour, US Cellular Arena, Milwaukee, 8/1

This will be my second time seeing Boosie perform live. Recently released from an extended prison stay, Lil Boosie, considered by urban audiences as the “Mayor of Milwaukee”, is sure to “cause hell”, as his tour suggests. It's sure to be a fun time complete with performances of the classics and new material. I'm eager to see Lil Boosie and witness the return of one of Hip-Hop's most respected and celebrated artists.

Alex GedyeNumbers Station


Boris @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/11

They rarely come to America and I missed seeing them last summer in Chicago because of a final :(. With the release of their new album “Noise” this June, the show will probably be totally killer and eardrum-annihilating.

Nicco JeanQuiet Hours, All Songs Reconsidered


Spanish Gold @ The Frequency & Blitzen Trapper @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 6/12

Two amazing bands are playing in the same city on the same night. Spanish Gold at the Frequency and Blitzen Trapper at High Noon Saloon. I don't know which one to pick. I want it all.

The Majestic's 80s vs 90s parties @ Majestic Theater, Madison, Various Dates

Any summer night is a good night to get down to some good jams.

Newport Folk Festival @ Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI, 7/25-7/27

All I want is to be part of a Pete Seeger sing along session.

PHOX @ High Noon Saloon, Madison, 8/7, 8/8 – Both SOLD OUT

PHOX @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/6

Local Madison band with a clarinet and a banjo and an amazing lead singer—need I say more? Both Madison dates are SOLD OUT, but don't worry; they also play in Milwaukee at Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, August 6th.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/29

No better way to end the summer than with an epic band at my favorite venue in my favorite city.

The AntipopA-Side/B-Side


Jurassic 5 @ The Rave, Milwaukee, 7/24

Another show where I'm making up for past mistakes here. I had an opportunity to catch J5 just before their breakup and I kicked myself for a long time over it. I pretended that I didn't care, because Cut Chemist (who I wound up seeing as a solo act) had already left, but I really did want to see this group. Now I get to see them in their full glory. Huzzah!

Boris, SubRosa @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/11

While the headliner, Boris, is legendary among doom/sludge fans, I am most excited to see SubRosa. An ethereal doom band with a haunting female lead singer, their album More Constant than the Gods has me convinced this band might outshine Boris.

Bad Religion, The Offspring @ The Eagles Ballroom, The Rave/Eagles Club, Milwaukee, 9/9

I am very excited to go to this show. Bad Religion is one of the all-time great punk bands and one of my personal favorites. The Offspring, while far from their previous glory, will be playing Smash (one of 1994's many classic albums) in it's entirety. I expect to be exhausted after this one.

Future Islands @ Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, 8/10

I missed their show here in Madison earlier this year, so I am making up for past mistakes here. Really looking forward to some sweet synthpop with manic dancing and death growls.

Arctic Monkeys @ Miller Lite Oasis Stage, Summerfest, Milwaukee, 6/25

Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys have a well-known friend/mentor-mentee relationship. Earlier this year, I got to see the mentor's band and now I will get to see the other half. Both bands released classic albums last year and after this show, I will have heard selections from both live. Sometimes things just work out so well.