5 concerts in Milwaukee to discover for New Years Eve: Krewalla, Albert Lee


New Years Eve meant big concerts all over Milwaukee – until the last New Years Eve, when there were no concerts at all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now that the vaccine is readily available, theaters are booking shows again for the last day of the year – not as many as before the pandemic, but enough to give music fans a few options.

Here are five to choose from.

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Created in 2002 at the Rave, Stellar Spark has grown into one of the Midwest’s biggest New Years EDM events, with headliners like Skrillex, The Crystal Method, and Excision. It’s back after taking off in 2020 with Krewalla headlining, as well as several other DJs who will occupy three rooms.

Time, place, price: 8 p.m., The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave. $ 38 to $ 68 at the box office and therave.com.

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Wisconsin progressive bluegrass band Horseshoes & Hand Grenades perform at the Pabst Theater on New Years Eve.

A Pabst Theater performance with the Stevens Point-born progressive bluegrass band was starting to become an annual New Years tradition in Milwaukee, until COVID got in its way. The self-proclaimed “hootenanny” will be back, with the band performing behind a quarantined new album “Miles in Blue”, and excellent American actor from Tennessee-via-Milwaukee Ryan Necci and the opening of Buffalo Gospel.

Time, place, price, protocols:8 p.m., Pabst Theater, 144 E. Wells St. $ 29.50 to $ 35 at the box office and pabsttheater.org.Proof of COVID-19 vaccination (with the last dose given at least 14 days before) or negative COVID-19 test results (taken no earlier than 72 hours) required for entry for guests 12 years of age and older. Masks encouraged, compulsory for children under 12.

DJ Tommie Sunshine will headline Milwaukee's first show of 2022, which kicks off at 3 a.m. on January 1 at the Miramar Theater (and runs until 10 a.m.).

Not only will the Miramar Theater host one of the last concerts of 2021, it will host the very first concert of 2022. Of The Trees will headlining the first of two EDM bashes on December 31, which ends at 3 a.m. in the morning. The party show kicks off until 10 a.m., with DJ Tommie Sunshine headlining.

Time, place, price: 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Jan. 1, Miramar Theater, 2844 N. Oakland Ave. $ 60 for the 9 p.m. show, $ 20 for the 3-hour show at the box office and themiramartheatre.com.

Renowned guitarist Albert Lee will play Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company on New Years Eve. A champagne toast is included with admission.

Lee might not have a familiar name, but he is incredibly respected by great, well-known guitarists, winning accolades and working with master musicians like Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and the Everly Brothers. The show includes a champagne toast.

Time, place, price, protocols: 8 p.m., Anodyne Coffee Roasting Company, 224 W. Bruce St. $ 30 in advance at anodynecoffee.com. $ 35 day of the show. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination (with the last dose given at least 14 days before) or negative COVID-19 test results (taken no earlier than 72 hours) required for entry. Masks encouraged.

Local guitar ace Greg Koch performs on New Years Eve at Shank Hall with his band the Koch Marshall Trio.

Koch Marshall Trio

Shank Hall tends to stay dark on New Years Eve, but there were just too many shows to reschedule due to the pandemic. And so, local guitarist Greg Koch (included in the Sentinel Journal’s list of Wisconsin’s most influential musicians of the past 100 years) will fill the New Year’s Eve niche with his band the Koch Marshall Trio.

Time, place, price: 10 p.m., Shank Hall, 1434 N. Farwell Ave. $ 20 in advance at shankhall.com. $ 25 day of the show.

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Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook on facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.

Piet also talks about concerts, local music and more on “TAP’d In” with Evan Rytlewski. Listen to it at 8 p.m. Thursdays on WYMS-FM (88.9) or wherever you get your podcasts.


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