Madison presents several potentially wild, multi-band, genre-specific, local musical lineups this weekend. At the Majestic Theater, it’s bluegrass on Friday and punk on Saturday. Bos Meadery showcases heavy metal on Saturday evening and the High Noon Saloon will be more funk-oriented Saturday night and then offer female-rooted folk on Sunday night.
Once again, Madison’s store of musicianship proves to be as deep and diverse as ever.
But before we get into all that, there’s a family event with a political bent.
Gubernatorial Inauguration Madison Kids Gala, Madison Children’s Museum
Saturday, Jan. 5, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Coinciding with similar events in In Milwaukee and Appleton, the Madison Children’s Museum will host a Madison Kids Gala organized by the 2019 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Inauguration. The event will include activities, music, snacks and brief addresses by Gov.-elect Tony Evers and Lt. Gov.-elect Mandela Barnes. Buy tickets in advance, as space is limited. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Bluegrass Fest, Majestic Theatre
Friday, Jan. 4, 8 p.m.
Wisconsin Punk Fest, Majestic Theatre
Saturday, Jan. 5, 8 p.m.
New-fangled and traditional bluegrass music will fill the Majestic Theatre on Friday for the Wisconsin Bluegrass Fest, the first night of a four-genre regional showcase series. In fact, bluegrass gets not one, but two dedicated nights a couple weeks apart. This Friday, Adam Gruel of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and Sarah Vos of Dead Horses co-host (and team up in Rucksack Revolution) and share the stage with Madison’s Armchair Boogie and Oak Street Ramblers as well as two other regional bands. See that show and you’ll want to return to the Majestic for Round 2 of the Wisconsin Bluegrass Fest on Saturday, Jan. 19.
If you’re up for a more raucous night, be at the Majestic this Saturday night for the Wisconsin Punk Fest. Madison bands The Hussy, Gender Confetti and Coasting are joined by Direct Hit! Out of Milwaukee.
Mead and Metal Fest, Bos Meadery
Saturday, Jan. 5, 6 p.m.
Bos Meadery’s sixth-annual Mead and Metal Fest is a Viking-themed winter festival combining the venue’s signature fermented honey beverages, hard rock and metal music and “traditional brutal poetry readings between sets.” The opening act, Preomnor, says it’s “the world’s only progressive hardcore zydeco band.” They will be followed by power trios The Gran Fury and subatomic. By 9 p.m., Madison metal band Bon Scropion hits the stage.
Lackin’ Some Direction, The Brink Lounge
Saturday, Jan. 5, 9 p.m.
For “Post Holidaze Chill Down II,” Lackin’ Some Direction, a five-piece Madison-based Grateful Dead tribute band, brings its interpretive (rather than imitative) approach to The Brink Lounge on Saturday night.
Winterfire, High Noon Saloon
Saturday, Jan. 5, 9 p.m.
Midwest-based musicians make up WIJAM’s fourth annual Winterfire lineup, including Appleton rock band Ifdakar, gypsy-jazz players Marbin, Milwaukee jamtronica group Undercover Organism and Twin Cities funksters Dead Larry. Emcee and jam-poet FlowPoetry will make you think between sets.
Trio Céleste, Farley’s House of Pianos
Sunday, Jan. 6, 4 p.m.
The well-regarded California chamber ensemble Trio Céleste offers an intimate concert of works for piano, violin and cello by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Astor Piazzolla. The trio is also presenting a free masterclass at Farley’s on Saturday, with both events beginning at 4 p.m.
Mackenzie Moore, Beth Kille and Karen Wheelock, High Noon Saloon
Sunday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m.
Female singer-songwriters Mackenzie Moore of Roxbury, the ubiquitous Madison musician Beth Kille and 2018 Madison Alternative Performer of the Year Karen Wheelock play a benefit show for Planned Parenthood on Sunday night at the High Noon Saloon.
Joel Patenaude is associate editor of Madison Magazine.