Cutting their teeth throughout the Milwaukee music scene and beyond the past few years, the Banuelos sisters, Victoria and Hannah Gabriela, otherwise known as Vic and Gab made an indelible impression with 2013’s infectious pop-rock effort Love of Mine. The two were a common sight on Milwaukee bills, and while playing out frequently can exhaust local audiences, Vic and Gab seemed to grow as live musicians with all the bar practice. As a testament to their tireless work ethic, the shows got much better as the band aged. The performances reached a peak where Vic and Gab could fit well into the smallest room, an expansive Summerfest stage and everything in between.
But the sisters reshaped their rock sound while recording a follow-up album, incorporating more pop elements like synthesizers and dance-floor ready beats to its oeuvre. Believing the stylistic change deserved its own name, they decided to ditch their old moniker and played a send-off show at The Pabst Theater in October.
In January, Vic and Gab re-emerged as Reyna and released their first track, “Spill Your Colors,” an ‘80s pop-influenced dance single which has already received an overwhelming response, accumulating more than 35,000 Soundcloud plays.
A couple weeks ago they revealed another new piece with the shimmery party song “Ink on My Skin,” which confirmed that the transition from rock to pop music would feel seamless. Vic and Gab always looked poised for a bigger stage and that seems even more suitable for Reyna. This weightless, radio-friendly sound will certainly earn countless plays on local stations, but could even garner a nationwide spotlight.
Reyna plays its first show at Cactus Club on Saturday, March 26 with openers No No Yeah Okay. Doors open at 9 p.m. You can buy tickets here.
Let’s See Action
While the originally scheduled performance was delayed due to Roger Daltry coming down with viral meningitis, The Who rescheduled the Milwaukee date of their 50th anniversary tour to this Monday. If that gives you any indication of their future, this probably marks your last chance to see who’s perhaps the third-greatest rock band of all-time, The Who, in a live setting, as Daltry and fellow founding member Pete Townsend have recently entered their 70s.
This month local radio station WMSE 91.7 FM has been celebrating its 35th anniversary of airing diverse, left-of-the-dial programming. This week the party kicks into high gear with a handful of shows. The weekly Tuesday night program Local Live gives listeners a chance to watch the show in person at Club Garbaldi. Performances include Sat. Nite Duets, Myles Coyne and the Tontine Ensemble and True SKOOL. Then Friday is blues night with The Siegel-Schwall Band and R&B Cadets at Turner Hall Ballroom.
And the station remembers the city’s punk past on Saturday night at Turner Hall Ballroom with performances from The Benjamins (who will play 2001’s The Art of Disappointment) , The Crosses (who will perform Die Kreuzen’s debut album), Skiptracer, Feck, The Mighty Deerlick and Moloko Shivers.
Stream of the Week
Local boutique label Gloss Records re-releases the entire Surgeons in Heat discography on cassette this week, making this an appropriate time to revisit one of the best albums of last year, Disaster. The band celebrates the occasion with a release party at Company Brewing on Saturday, March 26. The show starts at 10 p.m. You can pre-order the cassette (which also features the band’s first two EPs) from Gloss Records here.
This Week in Live Music
Monday, March 21: The Who with Tal Wilkenfeld at BMO Harris Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m. ($36.50-$136.50) – (1001 N. 4th St., BradleyCenter.com)
Also: Argopelter at Boone & Crockett, 9:30 p.m. (FREE) – (2151 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., BooneMilwaukee.com)
Tuesday, March 22: Juiceboxxx with Midnight Reruns, Zed Kenzo and Athletic Supply at Riverwest Public House, 8 p.m. ($7) – (815 E. Locust St., RiverwestPublicHouse.WordPress.com)
Also: WMSE’s 35th Anniversary Local/Live at Club Garibaldi with performances by Sat. Nite Duets, Myles Coyne and the Tontine Ensemble and True SKOOL, 6 p.m. (FREE) – (2501 S. Superior St., ClubGaribaldis.com)
And: Adam Lambert with Alex Newell at The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m. ($49.50) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)
And: Judah & The Lion with The Saint Johns at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($11.50 advance; $13.50 door) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Wednesday, March 23: RONiiA at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($7) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
Also: The Subdudes at Turner Hall Ballroom, 8 p.m. ($29.50) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
And: The Midwest Beat and The Belle Weather at Tonic Tavern, 8 p.m. ($5) – (2335 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., TonicTavern.com)
Thursday, March 24: Ezra Furman with Sleepy Kitty and The Living Statues at Company Brewing, 10 p.m. ($8) – (735 E. Center St., CompanyBrewing.com)
Also: Platinum Boys with Fire Retarded and The Chive at Riverwest Public House, 9 p.m. ($5) – (815 E. Locust St., RiverwestPublicHouse.WordPress.com)
Friday, March 25: The Siegel-Schwall Band with R&B Cadets at Turner Hall Ballroom, 7:30 p.m. ($27.50-$50) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Also: Gogol Bordello at The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m. ($25) – (144 E. Wells St., PabstTheater.org)
And: Puscifer at The Riverside Theater, 8 p.m. ($39.50-$49.50) – (116 W. Wisconsin Ave., PabstTheater.org)
Saturday, March 26: WMSE 35th Anniversary featuring The Benjamins, The Crosses, Skiptracer, Feck, The Mighty Deerlick and Moloko Shivers at Turner Hall Ballroom, 6 p.m. ($15) – (1032 N. 4th St., PabstTheater.org)
Also: Reyna with No No Yeah Okay at Cactus Club, 9 p.m. ($10 advance, $12 door) – (2496 S. Wentworth Ave., CactusClubMilwaukee.com)
And: Surgeons in Heat with Laverne and Mortgage Freeman at Company Brewing, 10 p.m. ($5) – (735 E. Center St., CompanyBrewing.com)
And: Killswitch Engage with Memphis May Fire, 36 Crazyfists and Toothgrinder at the Rave, 7 p.m. ($27.50-$32.50) – (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., TheRave.com)
Sunday, March 27: Jonathan Richman at Shank Hall, 8 p.m. ($15) – (1434 N. Farwell Ave., ShankHall.com)