No, Madison is not one of the biggest or most notable cities in the US per se, and because of its modest Midwestern position, it would not seem like a major attraction for big musical acts. Time and time again, however, the city has proven capable of pulling artists who are stars in the making, underrated or under the radar artists as well as their fair share of established stars in the industry.
Musical artists know Madison is essential to their tours because the city is chock full of fun and excited University of Wisconsin students who will show out at the various comfy venues the city has to offer to create a unique atmosphere.
Fortunately, artists continue to recognize Madison’s appeal as there is something for every student in the time leading up to spring break in the middle of March.
Students won’t even have time to catch their breath coming back to campus as indie rock group Whitney performs at The Sylvee to end syllabus week Friday, January 24. Whitney has been making waves since their first single “No Woman” dropped in 2016 ahead of their first record, “Light Upon the Lake.” Since then, the songwriting duo Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek released a demo recordings project of their first album, including a new take on the 70’s hit “Southern Nights.” Most recently, the duo dropped the record “Forever Turned Around” in 2019 and will likely play many of their songs from this record at their show.
For all the Harry Potter fans out there, the Overture Center is presenting Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in concert with the Madison Symphony Orchestra on January 31 and February 1 in a can’t miss concert. The Prisoner of Azkaban is the third installment in the Harry Potter series and is the movie where a new direction took over and the series immediately became darker and higher in quality. John Williams, of course, earned another Oscar nomination for best original score in this movie. The Madison Symphony Orchestra will pay tribute to this fantastic score.
On February 3, we are treated to one of hip-hop’s brightest new stars in YBN Cordae. The 22-year-old North Carolina native broke out this past summer with his record, “The Lost Boy.” J. Cole worked on the album with YBN and the record featured artists such as Chance the Rapper on “Bad Idea” and Anderson .Paak on “RNP.” Tracks like “RNP” and “Have Mercy” are showstoppers that will be a blast in concert. If you can still swipe YBN Cordae tickets at the Majestic Theatre you really should.
A lot of students are buzzing about the upcoming RUFUS DU SOL show February 27 at The Sylvee. Hailing from Sydney Australia, RUFUS is essentially an electronic band that has found a groove in indie electronic dance-pop. The band is a trio made up of a guitarist, keyboardist and drummer. The group formed in 2010 and has formed quite the discography to this point and will offer a variety of different songs to the Madison crowd.
Don’t worry pop fans, you will get your fill with the mega-popular Fitz and the Tantrums on February 29 at The Sylvee. Fitz is touring their latest record, “All the Feels,” on their “All the Feels Winter Tour 2020.” Fitz is another group that has been making music for a while and their retro style has produced pop hit after pop hit. Arguably the biggest hit from their latest record is “123456.”
DROELOE is another musical act bringing dance and electronic music. The Dutch duo has been on the come up since 2017 and have collaborated with the likes of Zeds Dead. Though the duo hasn’t been around long, they have plenty of tracks and mixes of other songs with their own spin to offer. Tracks like “Homebound” speak to their wide appeal as many of their songs feature a combination of solid guest vocals with house and electronic music.
Country fans can get theirs when Jason Aldean comes to take over the Alliant Energy Center on March 12, right before spring break with his “We Back Tour 2020.” Just in time for the warm weather in Madison — fingers crossed — but it will likely still be snowing, unfortunately. The Georgia native has been a staple in country music since his debut album in 2005. At this point he has a lot of music in his discography to offer, so fans who have loved his music since they were kids will look forward to new and old hits.
There are plenty of other great musical acts coming to Madison this semester prior to spring break, these are just some of the many highlights, so grab your tickets while you can and be on the lookout for other artists you care for.