Check Out These October Arts Events

By Jessica Steinhoff


The Head and the Heart
Oct. 3-4, The Sylvee

This indie folk band’s warm, acoustic sound has set the stage for emotional moments on “New Girl,” “New Amsterdam” and numerous other TV shows, and it can do the same in a concert venue. Their new album, “Every Shade of Blue,” is bound to move your heart as well as your body, so bring a pocket pack of tissues and the number of someone you want to thank for being awesome.

The Black Angels
Oct. 7, Majestic Theatre

Be among the first to hear these psych- rockers perform their new album, “Wilderness of Mirrors,” in its natural habitat: a concert hall with a top-notch sound system, a big stage and scores of sweaty, music-obsessed fans.

Oct. 8, Majestic Theatre

This lovable indie-pop collective met in New Zealand, live in the U.K . and are touring the U.S. in support of their sophomore album, “World Wide Pop,” a celebration of committee-style music-making that features guests such as Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and rap sensation Dylan Cartlidge.

The Airborne Toxic Event
Oct. 12, Majestic Theatre

Known for blending rock and electronic music in dramatic ways, often in collaboration with orchestras, this L.A. band knows a thing or two about creating a mood. “Hollywood Park,” the album this tour showcases, explores material from frontman Mikel Jollett’s bestselling memoir about growing up in the infamous Synanon cult.

King Princess
Oct. 14, The Sylvee

Calling this 23-year-old artist a rising star doesn’t quite capture the surge of success she’s experiencing. Pitchfork dubbed her a “burgeoning queer idol” back in 2019, the year she appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” and this year Rolling Stone described her as an “indie-pop visionary” before the release of her second album, “Hold On Baby.” Find your own descriptor at this show.

Lyle Lovett with John Hiatt
Oct. 14, Overture Center

Hiatt, a satire-loving troubadour who has penned songs for Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and other legends, joins Lovett, a master melder of Texan gospel, blues, country and swing, at this all-acoustic concert.

Joel Ross’ Good Vibes
Oct. 16, Memorial Union

The vibraphone is making a bid for America’s most exciting instrument thanks to this band’s namesake and leader, who uses it to conduct musical experiments that propel jazz into the future while paying homage to important people from his past.

The Knocks with Cannons
Oct. 22, The Sylvee

The Knocks holed up in their studio during the lockdown phase of the coronavirus pandemic and emerged ready to collaborate like crazy. Their efforts paid off when they were featured on “Fireworks,” Purple Disco Machine’s funky megahit from the summer of 2021. Cannons approach electronic music from a different angle, creating dreamy soundscapes and cinematic pop.

Sammy Rae & the Friends
Oct. 27, The Sylvee

With horn and rhythm sections, keyboards and plenty of backing singers, this funky yet folky band packs a punch that’ll take your breath away, especially when frontwoman Rae adds her vocal pyrotechnics to the mix.

Soccer Mommy
Oct. 29, Majestic Theatre

Though she’s most heavily influenced by fierce female artists like Mitski and Liz Phair, Soccer Mommy (aka Sophie Regina Allison) isn’t afraid to admit that she’s inspired by pop icons Taylor Swift and Natalie Imbruglia as well. See how these creative reference points shaped her new album, “Sometimes, Forever.”

George Winston
Oct. 30, Overture Center

New Orleans R&B piano is Winston’s bread and butter, but he’s also a huge fan of Vince Guaraldi, the jazz pianist famous for his Guaraldi, the jazz pianist famous for his soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and other Peanuts TV specials. In other words, Winston might surprise the crowd with his latest interpretation of “Linus and Lucy.”


“The Mole Hill Stories”
Oct. 15-30, Madison Youth Arts Center

In this Children’s Theater of Madison production, Fox tells Mole her molehill needs to move, and Mole’s world is turned upside down. Together, Mole and her friends work together, explore new land and look up to the sky.

(Want tickets?! Enter to win for a chance to win a five-pack of tickets to The Mole Hill Stories!)

“Kanopy Redux: No Limits”
Oct. 20-23, Overture Center

This program of new works and old favorites is back on Overture Center’s schedule after COVID-19 forced it into hiatus back in April. The centerpiece is Pascal Rioult’s “Views of the Fleeting World,” which uses Hiroshige’s famous woodblock prints to explore musical themes by classical heavyweight J.S. Bach.


“Imprinted in Madison: Artists Making Their Mark”
Through Feb. 17, 2023, Madison Municipal Building

Madison’s rich history of printmaking, including work created at Tandem Press and UW-Madison’s top-ranked program, is the focus of this exhibition featuring works by 15 local talents.


Gary Gulman
Oct. 14-15, Comedy on State

Gulman thrives at finding the absurd in the everyday, a skill that has taken him to the stage of nearly every major late-night TV program. Much of his recent work, including the much- lauded HBO special “The Great Depresh,” finds humor in unlikely places, such as the hospital where he sought treatment for anxiety and depression.

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