Music roundup: Milwaukee's Rave to host Chevelle this Saturday

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By Bill Livick/Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Chevelle, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, The Rave, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. 10 Years and Aeges also perform. Tickets: $32.50-$42.50. Visit TheRave.com or call 414-342-7283.

The nu-metal power-trio heads to Milwaukee after last year's release of “The North Corridor,” the band's heaviest, darkest, and most aggressive album in more than a decade.

Brothers and self-taught musicians Pete (lead vocals and guitar), Sam (drums and percussion) and Joe Loeffler (bass and backing vocals) formed Chevelle in 1995 in the Chicago suburb of Grayslake. The band started playing small outdoor concerts and clubs around Chicago in the mid-1990s when Joe was just 14 years old.

Part of the band's large following includes fans of Christian rock who got to know Chevelle in 1998 after it signed a contract with the contemporary Christian record label Squint Entertainment. The album “Point #1” won several Gospel Music Association awards in 2000 and 2001, and was well received by The Phantom Tollbooth, a Christian music website.

The band signed with Epic Records in 2002 and released its second album, “Wonder What's Next.” The album included three singles and was a huge hit, selling more than 1 million copies in the U.S. in 2003. To date, Chevelle has released eight studio albums, two live albums, two DVDs, 17 singles and 15 music videos, according to its website.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 3 and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 29, BMO Harris Bradley Center, 1001 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee. For tickets, call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.

With special effects in dazzling shows and a troupe of professional performers, Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a larger-than-life act that combines hard rock and heavy metal with progressive rock and classical symphonic music. TSO has released a series of rock operas including a Christmas trilogy: “Christmas Eve and Other Stories,” “The Christmas Attic” and “The Lost Christmas Eve.”

The orchestra began in 1993 and is led by the creative team of Paul O'Neil, Jon Oliva, Robert Kinkel and Al Pitrelli—but the shows include a cast of dozens. To accompany their hard-edged music, the group uses fog machines, lasers and multicolored lights as part of an over-the-top stage show.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra first toured in 1999, performing concerts in New York City, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit. The next year, two touring groups were formed to allow the band to cover more ground in the short time frame O'Neill allows the Holiday Rock Operas to be performed—November and December. TSO has maintained the dual-band format for touring during those months ever since, but performs as a single band the rest of the year.

The concept behind TSO is performers become characters in a story told through music. The group didn't invent the concept of the rock opera, but it has been one of the most successful at maintaining and capitalizing on it.

Both Billboard Magazine and Pollstar have ranked TSO as one of the Top 10 ticket-selling bands of the new millennium.

BoDeans, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30, Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison. Tickets: $35. Call 608-241-8633.

After forming in Waukesha in 1983, the BoDeans went on to become one of the state's most famous rock bands. The group has since undergone some lineup changes and relocated to Austin, Texas, but it maintains its heartland-rock sound.

A 1987 Rolling Stone magazine readers' poll named the BoDeans the best new American band. The band had several singles in the Top 40 mainstream rock charts in the late 1980s and early '90s, and it had two Top 10 songs in the adult contemporary charts in the late '90s. Most recently, BoDeans has returned to its roots-rock origins.

Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann met in high school in the early 1980s and established the band the year after they graduated. After Neumann and the rest of the band moved to Texas in 2010, Llanas left the group to pursue a solo career.

The band now has seven members and an expanded sound featuring two guitars, fiddle, accordion, keyboards, bass and drums. Neumann continues to perform on lead guitar, but the band's sound has become broader under its new arrangement.

The band released its first album, the critically acclaimed “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams,” in 1985. Its early music featured a rootsy, heartland sound and had moved in the direction of alternative rock by the late '80s and early '90s. It has released six albums since 2010, all featuring Neumann as producer. He also has played most of the instruments on the albums in his home studio outside of Austin.

Pete Lee, 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 21-23, The Comedy Club on State Street, 202 State St., Madison. Tickets: $10-$15. Call 608-256-0099.

Comedian and Janesville native Pete Lee returns to The Comedy Club on State Street with a world of experience since launching his career almost 20 years ago.

Lee, a 1995 Craig High School grad, has performed stand-up comedy on some of American television's most popular late-night shows, including “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “Late Night with Conan O'Brien.”

Lee performed his first stand-up show at a club in Minneapolis in 1998 and made his network television debut in 2005 on Comedy Central's “Premium Blend.” An appearance on NBC's “Last Comic Standing” competition in 2008 gained Lee a national following, and he performed at almost 500 colleges throughout the U.S. in the next four years.

In 2012, he was hired as a writer and cast member of Fuse TV's “Video on Trial” and the NFL network's “Top 10s.” The next year, Lee became a writer and cast member on VH1's “Best Week Ever,” and is currently on TruTV's “Best Ever.”

—Bill Livick

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