We Paired Summer Concert Headliners With Local Artists You’ll Love

Milwaukee pulls in major concerts every summer, but here are five local artists you can be a fan of year-round.


This story is part of our Summer Guide from the June Issue of Milwaukee Magazine. To read our full guide to summer fun, order your copy today!


*Some songs included in this story include explicit language


 
 
1.

IF YOU LIKE ORVILLE PECK’S MELANCHOLIC COUNTRY SOUND, LISTEN TO …

Rat Bath

While Orville Peck is a torchbearer for the LGBTQ community in mainstream country music, Rat Bath is doing the same for the genre here at home in Milwaukee. Rat Bath shares the sentimentality that Peck puts into his songwriting – most evidently seen on Rat Bath’s track “At Least You’re Lonely Too.” But the band turns the genre upside down by effortlessly shifting its melancholic country sound into aggressive punk-rock or good ol’ fashioned rock-and-roll at a moment’s notice. Check out the band’s debut full-length Rat From Hell, which released earlier this year.

Concert: Orville Peck performed at The Pabst Theater on June 3



 
 
2.

IF YOU LIKE LIL WAYNE’S DIVERSE HIP-HOP PORTFOLIO, LISTEN TO …

NileXNile

NileXNile made a splash at a young age, much like Lil Wayne did with his critically-acclaimed Tha Carter album. NileXNile hit Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene initially under just the name Nile, but the rapper has since reinvented his artistry and rebranded under the new name. His style now flows between traditional hip-hop, r&b and dancey house music. His latest release, Free Lunch, shows off his versatility, with each track showing a different side of NileXNile’s talents.

Concert: Lil Wayne is performing at Summerfest on July 7



 
 
3.

IF YOU ENJOY NEW FOUND GLORY’S THROWBACK POP-PUNK SOUND, LISTEN TO …

Gold Steps

Gold Steps is keeping that early 2000s pop-punk sound alive, but it’s not just throwback music. The band’s massive choruses and bouncy breakdowns breathe new life into the pop-punk genre. And for anyone who wants to challenge the band’s pop-punk credentials – the music video for their latest single “Stay the Same” was filmed at Milwaukee’s Four Seasons Skatepark. It doesn’t get much more pop-punk than that.

Concert: New Found Glory is performing at The Rave/Eagles Club on July 23



 
 
4.

IF YOU ENJOY BRANDI CARLILE’S MANY HATS AS A SINGER-SONGWRITER, LISTEN TO …

Caley Conway

Like Brandi Carlile, Caley Conway is a singer-songwriter who crosses genres. She uses hints of post-rock and folk to make music that has a big, full sound to it – something not typically associated with solo acts. Conway’s latest release, the three-track EP Bliss or Bust, is a feel-good album chock-full of Conway’s experimentation overlaid with the singer’s infectious vocals.

Concert: Brandi Carlile is performing at Fiserv Forum on Aug. 5



 
 
5.

IF YOU ENJOY TENACIOUS D’S HILARIOUS ROCK-AND-ROLL ANTICS, LISTEN TO…

Nasty Boys

Much like Jack Black’s duo Tenacious D, the Nasty Boys put on a performance that makes you laugh, is full of raunchy moments and is surprisingly musically complex. On the surface, Nasty Boys is a musical bachelorette party – the duo sweat it out on stage while wearing as little clothing as possible. But the music that drives the party – created using just a bass guitar and drums – is stuffed with experimental-punk goodness.

Concert: Tenacious D is playing at the BMO Harris Pavillion on Sept. 18


Song of the Summer

 Pair Harry Styles’ “As It Was” with Immortal Girlfriend’s “Beams (I Know You Love Me)”

“As It Was” – Harry Styles’ inescapable hit – is a head-bopping jam thanks to a catchy keyboard part and simple, upbeat percussion. Immortal Girlfriend, Milwaukee’s premier electro-synth sibling duo, has released its first song in over a year. The track’s futuristic sound is complemented by the retro soundscapes of ’80s synthesizers and the group’s ambient style of singing. It’s a track that will pair perfectly with your car windows rolled down as you drive through downtown Milwaukee at night, taking in the well-deserved warm weather.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s June Summer Guide issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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