Tag Archives: live

Duds and gems found on Phish’s ‘Big Boat’

Bookended with a couple of duds, obfuscating some real gems in between, Phish’s 13th official studio effort is an uneven affair.

Big Boat may leave longtime fans of the Vermont-based jam band scratching their heads at some of the choices made while doing little to persuade anyone new to the scene to pay attention to Phish’s studio output.

To be sure, there are songs worth remembering. “Waking Up Dead,” by bass player Mike Gordon, is a standout as are songs the band worked out live before recording, most notably “No Men in No Man’s Land.”

Keyboardist Page McConnell appears to channel outsider musician Daniel Johnston in the refreshingly ragged ditty “Things People Do.”

But “Friends,” the track that kicks off Big Boat, is an overproduced disaster that sounds more like a Pink Floyd outtake. “I Always Wanted It This Way” also sounds like a Floyd cast-off, and not in a good way.

Then there’s “Petrichor,” the orchestrated closer named for the pleasant smell that comes after a rainfall following dry weather. At 13 minutes, it goes on about 10 minutes too long.

“In a world gone mad, world gone mad,” Trey Anastasio sings on “More,” a jaunty rocker that should really spring to life onstage. “There must be something more than this.”


Before Broadway, ‘Miss Saigon’ to appear on movie screens

American audiences will get the rare chance to catch a sneak peek of the new Miss Saigon before it opens on Broadway next spring. They just have to go to a movie theater.

A filmed version of the musical’s live 25th-anniversary celebration in London will make its world premiere on some 175 U.S. movie theaters on Sept. 22, some six months before the same production with the same leading actors lands on Broadway.

The show captured the performance at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End in September 2014 and was augmented by close-ups recorded a few months after the show closed there earlier this year.

The same stars — Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer and Eva Noblezada as Kim — are slated to appear when the show opens at the Broadway Theatre in March, but mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh isn’t worried the broadcast will cannibalize fans.

“It encourages business,” he said. “This is the greatest cinematic trailer for a theatrical production that’s ever been produced. I could be wrong, but I defy anybody who loves the show and isn’t bowled over by the film not to want to go.”

Miss Saigon, a tragic Vietnam War love story inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, has songs by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, who also wrote Les Miserables.

Mackintosh said he didn’t initially plan for a broadcast version of Miss Saigon, but was persuaded to capture the 25th anniversary of its West End arrival with a dozen cameras. A special finale was added that featured the original stars Jonathan Pryce, Lea Salonga and Simon Bowman — as well as Mackintosh making a surprise appearance.

He considered it one of the top three performances of Miss Saigon in its history. “Beyond just it being a wonderful performance, there was a sense of magic in the air,” he said. (As for Mackintosh himself, “I bounce around like an irrepressible ball.”)

He and his team decided to add documentary footage and fold in close-ups shot later. They reminded viewers it was a live event by not digitally removing the performers’ microphones and layering in shots of the audience going into the theater and their reactions at some scenes.

“What producer in his lifetime gets the chance to do a great show twice with two brilliant companies in two different productions? Not many people have ever had that opportunity,” said Mackintosh.

The final result is presented by Fathom Events, Universal Pictures and Picturehouse Entertainment. American audiences will see the same production from London directed by Laurence Connor and with its two stars. “They’re seeing what they’re going to get,” Mackintosh said.

When the revival finally arrives on Broadway, it will join other Mackintosh-produced works like The Phantom of the Opera and Cats, which returned this summer. (It will have missed his latest revival of Les Miserables, which closes next month after 21/2 years.)

“Thirty years on, to have my four great musicals of that era still firing on all cylinders is amazing,” he said. “I’m as enthusiastic about these great shows now as I was when I helped create them all those decades ago because, to me, they smell as if they’re absolutely freshly minted.”


On the Web


With cameras running, Savannah owls are a hit again

Cue the tears from the empty-nesters. The second season of The Landings owls show has come to a close.

The younger of two adorable owlets raised under live-streaming cameras fledged over the weekend. It had made a few previous forays out of this converted eagle nest seven stories above a golf course green and returned home, but this exit seemed to be for good.

As they did during last year’s inaugural season, the owls provided months of entertainment and education to viewers allowed to peek into their world. As before, the mama owl was unfailingly vigilant, the dad a good provider. Even what seemed like a mishap when the older owlet fledged on a windy day had a happy ending.

Two cameras were trained on them, both equipped with infrared lighting to provide nighttime viewing. A Minnesota researcher examined the raptors’ voiceprints and determined it was the same male and female returning to raise a second brood. Amateur and professional ornithologists have provided insight into the birds’ biology and behavior.

Savannahian Mary Lambright has chronicled much of the owls’ activity on Twitter and Facebook feeds, where the great horned owls have attracted a worldwide audience and tallied more than two million interactions.

“I feel like their publicist sometimes,” said Lambright, a retired biology teacher who taught at Johnson High for nearly three decades. She cracked up as a squirrel with an apparent death wish repeatedly scrambled past the nest of the predators. And she watched as they gobbled down less fortunate squirrels, plus swamp rats, snakes and lizards. The size of the prey these raptors hauled home for the babies was a surprise this season.

“I think the highlight this year was seeing they could bring in great egrets,” Lambright said. “I never thought about how large a prey item they could take.”

Great horned owls are among the most common owls in North America and are the “quintessential owl of storybooks,” with their “long, earlike tufts, intimidating yellow-eyed stare and deep hooting voice,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a partner in the Landings Bird Cam project.

The nonprofit Skidaway Audubon is the primary driver of the nest cam. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology provides technical assistance and birding expertise. The private California-based HDOnTap provides the live streaming and recordings.

Others who contributed money or in-kind services include Coastal Conservation Association, Skidaway Chapter; Ogeechee Audubon; Wild Birds Unlimited Savannah; the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association; The Landings Club; and The Landings Association.

Earlier this month some camera viewers panicked when the older owlet appeared to have been swept away from its perch by a stiff breeze. When volunteer Rick Cunningham was dispatched to check on junior, he spied the owlet safely ensconced in an adjacent tree rather than stuck on the ground as owl watchers feared.

“I had to make sure there was not a cat or two prowling around,” he said. “People really needed reassurance.”

Cunningham expects the owls’ loblolly pine to survive another year, so the show may go on if the owl couple returns in 2017. Hooked on the bird show, Cunningham is also eyeing other nesting sites and plotting how best to wire a camera near them.

“I think we really would like to have bald eagle,” he said.


An AP member exchange feature.

The Sets List: Andrew McMahon & New Politics, Umphrey’s McGhee, more

Andrew McMahon & New Politics 

6:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Rave, Milwaukee. $27, $32 VIP. therave.com.

Andrew McMahon (of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin fame) and New Politics don’t objectively sound that much alike. But this music veteran gone solo and group of Danish newcomers share one important trait: They’re infusing their respective pop and rock genres with a healthy dose of electronic instrumentation. That’ll make them a perfect duo for the dance-friendly Rave. Australian band The Griswolds and soulful singer-songwriter Lolo will amp up the crowd as opening acts.

Umphrey’s McGhee

8 p.m. Oct. 29, 30, 31 at the Riverside Theater, Milwaukee. $28, $30 day-of-show. pabsttheater.org.

No trick, just treat: “improg” (that’s “progressive improvisation”) rock band Umphrey’s McGee is returning to Milwaukee for its third Halloween residency since 2012. The Oct. 31 show is sold out, as are three-day passes, but there’s still time to jump on the Thursday or Friday night shows, both of which should feature the same jam energy — if not more, since the band won’t have just played a bunch of shows in a row. Think about it.

Vic & Gab Farewell Show

8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee. $10. pabsttheater.org.

OK, this isn’t as bad as it looks. Yes, sisters Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos will no longer be pop rock duo Vic & Gab once we turn the calendar page to November. But they won’t be walking away from music — just retiring their original name as they change direction musically. So consider this “Save the Last Dance for Me” show one last hurrah for the Vic & Gab you love, before the duo becomes the “something else” you love.

Flannel Fest 2015

5 p.m. Nov. 7 at High Noon Saloon, Madison. $20, $25 day-of-sale. high-noon.com.

It’s getting chilly out there, so warm up at Flannel Fest, Madison’s annual celebration of Americana acts in their own backyard and from around the country. This time around, artists include acclaimed Madisonians like The Whiskey Farm, Beth Kille and The Mascot Theory, as well as Austin-based headliners Micky and the Motorcars. Bonus: By warming up here, you keep people warm somewhere else — the event is a benefit for the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, a nonprofit that helps thousands of people in need keep their heat and power on in the summer and winter.

The Avett Brothers 

7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Weill Center, Sheboygan. $57 to $77. weillcenter.com.

The Avett Brothers have been through Wisconsin a bunch in 2015. But if you’ve missed your chance to catch these indie folk rock stars so far this year, they’ll give you one more shot at Sheboygan’s Weill Center. And you should take it. The band’s been touring in support of their exceptional 2013 album Magpie and the Dandelion for quite some time and should be releasing another record, their 12th, in early 2016. So if you stop in to celebrate what’s come before, you might get a glimpse of what’s coming next. 


7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Alliant Energy Center, Madison. $35, $40 day-of-sale. alliantenergycenter.com.

Sure, you could plan to spend your pre-Halloween Friday freezing on the streets, getting an extra day of tricking and treating and all that jazz. Or you could show your “true colors” and party with Zedd, the electronica artist whose debut last year made him a star practically overnight. He’s celebrating the release of his sophomore album True Colors and has a multisensory, visual experience planned to go with it. You can always hit State Street the next night.

‘America’s Test Kitchen’ cooks up quite the stage show

Christopher Kimball, host of the PBS series America’s Test Kitchen, would like you to know that he ties his own bowties. He also admits he has no personal experience as a celebrity chef or in any kind of commercial cooking whatsoever.

That would make him a strange choice for his hosting role, were it not for his 25 years’ experience in food journalism, which ultimately led him to his other gig: editor-in-chief of Cook’s Illustrated. The culinary magazine promotes recipes and techniques useful to home cooks who want to realistically develop their kitchen capabilities.

That same goal also drives America’s Test Kitchen, which operates as a television show, radio program and, increasingly, an online outlet. Next month, it finds another medium to educate — live shows. On Nov. 3, Kimball will be hosting America’s Test Kitchen LIVE at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater, an evening in which he’ll reveal the show’s inner workings.

The evening-long look inside the test kitchen was originally scheduled for the Pabst Theater, but was moved to the much larger Riverside due to a groundswell in ticket demand. Such interest supports Kimball’s notion that more people are cooking than ever before, driving up the demand for affordable, accessible recipes.

“The concept is simple,” Kimball says. “Most recipes don’t work and therefore home cooks have a fear of failure. By doing extensive testing, trying almost everything, and by showing and discussing our mistakes, we can bring home cooks into our kitchen and make them comfortable with the process and the recipe.”

America’s Test Kitchen’s approach is one of simple show-and-tell, Kimball explains. The show employs some 40 cooks in its own test kitchen, several of whom appear regularly on the air. Recipes are discussed, dissected and tested in ways that are accessible to cooks without professional culinary training. He says that’s the show’s secret to success.

“For the most part, we stay away from professional dishes and chefs’ recipes because that is a totally different type of cooking,” Kimball says. “The challenge with all recipes is to figure out how the home cook plans on messing up a dish. They make substitutions, skip steps, change techniques and rarely follow a recipe as written.”

Correcting those mistakes before they happen — and in the process promoting successes while easing the frustrations of home cooks — is the main course offered by Kimball and his colleagues.

“At the heart of what we do is an authentic process,” Kimball says. “What we do on radio, TV and even onstage is not about showmanship. It’s about bringing our audience into our very real test kitchen.”

The stage show coming to the Riverside offers audience members a variety of ways to enter the test kitchen. Videos and photography highlight the presentation by Kimball and co-presenter Dan Souza. However, there is little cooking that goes on during the presentation.

“We have tried it and watching someone cook onstage is like watching paint dry,” Kimball says. ”We do have contests, taste tests, weird science experiments and even Dan Souza jumping at a Velcro wall wearing Velcro suit. However, we have not road tested this idea yet.”

The videos also show things that do not work, including a now infamous episode of NBC’s The Today Show featuring a recipe gone awry. Unlike episodes in the PBS series, the stage show does not seek to replicate the work of area chefs and adapt it for home cooks, nor does it offer a kitchen gadgets segment like one seen in the series. 

The purpose of the stage show is to expose audience members as much as possible to the test kitchen process and make them more successful in their own kitchens, Kimball says. Part of that success for any cook is taking the proper approach with the proper tools, he adds.

“Preheat your pan properly so you are cooking with heat,” Kimball says. “Use a sharp knife and buy a good knife sharpener. Use enough salt and check all of your seasonings before serving for those recipes which can be modified before serving.”

The show also does not predict food trends, something to which Kimball has a personal aversion.

“I pretty much hate trends,” he adds. “The only trend I really like is that more people are cooking. And you can keep that quinoa on the shelf.”


America’s Test Kitchen LIVE featuring Christopher Kimball is coming on Nov. 3 to the Riverside Theater, 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. For tickets call 414-286-3663 or visit pabsttheater.org.

The Sets List: | Tigernite, Mötley Crüe, Charli XCX and Bleachers, Diana Krall

Tigernite Album Release Spectacular 

9 p.m. Aug. 1 at Cactus Club, Milwaukee. $8. cactusclub.dostuff.info.

“Spectacular” is a very dramatic way to describe your album release party, but could a glam rock band do anything less for a debut record? This Milwaukee-based, sequin-studded act will be unveiling their self-titled debut, packed full of songs inspired by witchcraft, comic books and beat poetry and sung by their manically soulful frontwoman Molly Roberts. They’ll perform with their fellow Wisconsinites, power pop band Haunted Heads, as well as the “space-grunge, metal-punk” The Dead Deads, from Nashville.

Mötley Crüe 

7 p.m. Aug. 7 at BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee. $17 to $97. bmoharrisbradleycenter.com.

The Crüe is through. After 34 years, the hard rock and glam metal rebels of Mötley Crüe are apparently calling it quits, embarking on a final tour of debauchery before hanging up their guitars. Who knows whether they’ll stick to that — the band signed a “cessation of touring agreement” banning them from performing after 2015, but they know better than anyone that rules are made to be broken. But if you’re a fan of the foursome, better safe than sorry. Alice Cooper is opening.

Charli XCX and Bleachers 

7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Rave, Milwaukee. $31 for two tickets, $36 for VIP pair. therave.com.

It takes a lot to get a Rave recommendation these days, but we’d be telling you to catch this show if Charli XCX and Bleachers were playing the O’Donnell Park garage. Their Charlie and Jack Do America tour brings Milwaukeeans the opportunity to get twice the bang for their buck — catching both the ‘80s-tinted side project that turned out to be as good as fun. (or maybe better than?) and the British songwriter-turned-star who hopscotched from featured spots on “Fancy” and “I Love It” to her own big smash: “Boom Clap,” from The Fault in Our Stars’ soundtrack. Hey, at least they’re in the Eagles Ballroom, right? Psych pop songwriter BØRNS opens.

Diana Krall 

7:30 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Riverside Theater, Milwaukee. $60 and $75. pabsttheater.org.

Fans of Diana Krall’s goosebump-evoking jazz stylings were disappointed last November, when she cancelled her new album and her fall tour, including her Milwaukee gig, due to a severe case of pneumonia. Now that she’s back to full strength, she’s making good on her promise to return, appearing at the Riverside Theater this month. Her style may be different than fans are used to, but it’s not due to the impromptu hiatus — Krall’s latest album, Wallflower, is an unabashed pop record featuring covers by some of Krall’s greatest fellow performers.

Oxbow Brewer makes beer with live lobsters

Oxbow Brewing in Maine is serving up beer brewed with live Maine lobsters and a dash of sea salt. 

Brewmaster Tim Adams says the lobsters were placed in a mesh bag and suspended in a kettle full of boiling wort during the brewing process.

He says the lobsters add a subtle brininess and sweetness that lobster fans will recognize. 

The beer is a saison-style beer brewed in collaboration with a brewery in Parma, Italy. It is 4.5 percent alcohol by volume and is available on a limited basis. The beer became available this summer.

Adams says the lobsters that were cooked in the brewing process were later eaten.

The Sets List | Big Data, Belle and Sebastian, Bleachers, more

Big Data 

7:30 p.m. April 1 at the Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. $15. therave.com.

Admittedly, Big Data is not big yet. Which is weird, because the electronic music project had one of last summer’s most underrated jams (the disco-influenced, sinister “Dangerous”) and the producer behind it, Alan Wilkis, is turning big monumental things, like NSA surveillance and our growing reliance on technology, into stuff you can dance to. But with its new album 2.0 finally out, Big Data should be moving beyond the Internet underground soon.

Belle and Sebastian

8 p.m. April 4 at Overture Center, 201 State St., Madison. $39. overturecenter.org.

Almost 20 years into their musical career, Belle and Sebastian still have more than a few tricks up their sleeve. The indie pop band has never quite regained the luster of their earliest albums, the super-underground Tigermilk and their name-making smash “If You’re Feeling Sinister.” Yet their latest effort, Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, shows that the band still has more to offer, turning in a work that ventures onto the dance floor more brazenly than any album before. Come for the Europop take on Sylvia Plath, stay for the indie music veterans still making waves. Honeyblood opens.

Cactus Club Comedy & Music Show

9:30 p.m. April 3 at the Cactus Club, 2496 S. Wentworth Ave., Milwaukee. $7. cactusclub.dostuff.info.

Don’t force yourself to choose between a comedian and a rock band. Get both at the Cactus Club’s latest combination show, featuring a stacked slate of stand-up artists and two sets by the evening’s featured artists. This time around, the artist-in-residence is indie rock act Twin Brother, hot off its Turner Hall debut last month, performing with seven local comics. 


8 p.m. March 31 at the
Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. $26. majesticmadison.com.

His fun. bandmate Nate Ruess has the radio’s ear right now, but Jack Antonoff has the retro ‘80s sound on lockdown with his side project Bleachers. Accidentally crafting the tracks for his debut Strange Desire in his spare time on the road, Antonoff taps into the nostalgia of his childhood, evoking a modern day John Hughes-soundtrack sound that still resonates 25 years later. The best part is all that ‘80s angst is happening in the here and now, so until fun. gets back together it’s all yours for the taking. Joywave and Night Terrors of 1927 open. 

Clean Bandit 

9 p.m. April 4 at the Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., Madison. $20, $22 day of show.

It’s too bad “Mozart’s House” wasn’t the single that actually put Clean Bandit on the map, because it’s the track that perhaps best hints at the British act’s fusion of classical and electronic music. Instead, we got “Rather Be,” a more-than-worthy, infectious alternative. Clean Bandit won’t perform with any of the guest artists featured heavily on their album, but reports from elsewhere across the country suggest that doesn’t make their live shows any less exuberant. 

The Sets List, February 26, 2015

Ariana Grande 
7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee. $27 to $67. bmoharrisbradleycenter.com.

The mantle of teen pop queen is a lofty one to bear. In 2015, the crown that’s anointed the brows of Britney, Xtina and Miley has been passed along to former Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande. But Grande’s got one thing her predecessors would have killed for: pipes reminiscent of a young Mariah Carey. Whether she will ultimately join the ranks of her foremothers or become this generation’s Jessica Simpson depends as much on how her fickle audience ages up as anything else. For now, enjoy having a nice whistle tone-toting songstress in the public eye once again. Special guests Rixton and Cashmere Cat open.

The Gaslight Anthem
8 p.m. March 12 at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee. $25. pabsttheater.org.

Sharing the same Jersey roots, it’s no wonder The Gaslight Anthem sounds like a classic Springsteen album. But frontman Brian Fallon isn’t content to just be The Boss Lite. With the band’s latest album Get Hurt, The Gaslight Anthem has shaken up its style, injecting arena rock, folk and pop influences into the heartland sound the members know so well. They’ll be preceded by guests Northcote and The Scandals.

8 p.m. March 1 at The Rave, Milwaukee. $20. therave.com.

It’s hard to figure out how to describe the exact sound of the Kongos brothers, until you look into their recent history. While the four-piece band of brothers may be based out of Phoenix now, they spent their childhoods in South Africa and their biggest hit, “Come With Me Now,” is heavily influenced by the 1990s era genre known as kwaito, characterized by a slowed-down house beat and accordion accompaniment. Sir Sly and Colony House open.

Count This Penny
7:30 p.m. March 6 at Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton. $15. ci.stoughton.wi.us.

Count This Penny doesn’t sound like a Madison band, and they almost weren’t. The city caught a break when married duo Amanda and Allen Rigell relocated from Tennessee to the Midwest and brought their recently formed Appalachian pop act with them. Now a four-piece, Count This Penny is one of the hottest bands in the state, with clear, harmonic tunes reminiscent of the defunct Civil Wars. They’ll play this one last gig before heading down to SXSW — so catch them now while you can still be ahead of the hype.

Gaelic Storm 

8 p.m. March 11 at the Barrymore Theater, Madison. $30. barrymorelive.com.

8 p.m. March 12 at the Meyer Theatre, Green Bay. $30. meyertheatre.org.

8 p.m. March 17 at the Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee. $30. pabsttheatre.org.

When you think of Celtic rock, you think of Gaelic Storm. (Unless you’re a Dropkick Murphys fan, in which case we’re deeply sorry.) The genre-bending band has been touring like mad ever since a cameo in Titanic catapulted them to fame, and 2014 marked the release of Full Irish, a greatest-hits album that collects the best tracks from their past decade. But it’s in performance that the band really shines, so you’re in luck: Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater has been the band’s St. Patrick’s Day home for years, which means they always make sure to drop in at venues elsewhere in Wisconsin, too.

Lily & Madeleine
9 p.m. March 7 at The Frequency, Madison. $10, $12 at door. madisonfrequency.com.

Neither Lily nor Madeleine Jurkiewicz has broken into a third decade of life, yet this sister duo already has two albums to their name and a big fan base in the folk music community. On the latest LP, Fumes, Lily & Madeleine face their approaching adulthood head-on, with ethereal, harmonic vocals that speak of two young women in transition. They’ve vowed to keep their audience happy with an album every year for at least three years, which means their current tour may be the origin point for that third album’s nascent tracks. 

The Sets List, Feb. 12, 2015

Kacey Musgraves

7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Orpheum Theatre, Madison. $30, $27 in advance. madisonorpheum.com; 8 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Pabst Theatre, Milwaukee. $33. pabsttheater.org.

Jason Aldean. Blake Shelton. Tim McGraw. Taylor Swift. Those aren’t just the names of four of country music’s greatest working artists, they’re also the names of the artists Kacey Musgraves stepped over on the way to picking up a Grammy for 2013’s Best Country Album — for her major-label debut, Same Trailer, Different Park. In a genre full of good ol’ boys who pander to red state values, Musgraves is a breath of fresh air, turning a critical eye on small-minded small-town values in songs like “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Follow Your Arrow.” The best part: They’re great songs too, making this progressive powerhouse the full package.

Zap Mama and Antibalas

8 p.m. Feb. 15 at Wisconsin Union Theatre’s Shannon Hall, Madison. $25–$40, $10 for UW-Madison students.

How often do you get the chance to see two rhythm-loving, African music-influenced acts for the price of one? Zap Mama, aka Belgian artist Marie Daulne, sings polyphonic Afropop and has integrated elements of jazz, soul and urban music over her 20-year career. Antibalas, part of the same music scene as TV on the Radio and The Dap-Kings, is pure Afrobeat, a bridge from Fela Kuti’s work to the present day. They’ve never collaborated before, and they might never again, so don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime show.

The Digitour

6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Pabst Theater, Milwaukee. $25. pabsttheater.org.

It’s a brave new digital world we’re living in, and now it comes with its own tour. Digitour, founded in 2011, bills itself as the first social-media tour, enlisting top stars from YouTube, Vine, Twitter and Instagram like Pentatonix, Fifth Harmony and Tyler Oakley to perform in front of often-sold-out crowds. Names like Sam Pottorff, WeeklyChris and Twaimz may not mean anything to you yet, but if the Internet’s proven anything in its relatively short life, it’s that you never know where the next viral hit is coming from.

The Nile Project

8 p.m. Feb. 26 at Wisconsin Union Theatre’s Shannon Hall, Madison. Free. uniontheater.wisc.edu.

Eleven countries border Africa’s Nile River, and the multiculturally minded Nile Project unites them all. Founded by ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and singer Meklit Hadero, the Nile Project is a world music lover’s dream, a huge collective of musicians all coming together to share their abilities with each other. The artists just had their third “gathering” thus far, in Egypt, which means they’ll show up in Madison with a revitalized sound and brand-new work to show off.

Barry Manilow

7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee. $17–$127. bmoharrisbradleycenter.com.

Barry Manilow’s had a long, lucky career, working regularly as both a singer-songwriter and adaptor of others’ works since the ’70s. But he’s also entering his 70s, and has decided to scale things back accordingly. Cue the “One Last Time!” tour, one last run around the nation with all his greatest hits, including “Mandy,” “Copacabana” and more. Manilow will be joined on the tour by Dave Koz, a man as talented on the saxophone as Manilow is on the vocal chords.

Dead Horses

7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee. Free. psoa.uwm.edu.

UWM’s MKE Unplugged music series is back, and kicking off 2015 with an Oshkosh band on its way up. Acoustic folk band Dead Horses specializes in coming-of-age narratives, and the four-piece has done a little coming-of-age of their own in recent months. Their sophomore album, Space and Time, made waves upon its release in October, and the band’s been touring to high acclaim ever since. Catch them now before Dead Horses really comes to life. Upstart Milwaukee indie band Ugly Brothers opens.