Tag Archives: review

The band Leagues: a review. A solid B+ performance.

On a Thursday night, I ditched my usual, go-to-bed-early, old-lady routine and went to Shank Hall to check out Leagues. It was only the second time I’d been to the tiny venue tucked away on Farwell Avenue. The other time had been for Will Hoge, who, like Leagues, calls Nashville home.

I was a bit disappointed in the turnout at this show, but maybe people are still finding out about Leagues. Their tune Spotlight is getting some airplay these days, but the band is far from mainstream at this point.

While I enjoyed a Spotted Cow (For those of you not from Wisconsin, this is, in fact, a beer and not a farm animal.), Wausau’s Windsor Drive did a great job of getting the show started. I toe-tapped along to their pop rock melodies.

Leagues took the stage decked out in dark denim and facial hair, and rocked it out for more than an hour (Exactly how long they rocked it out, I have to be honest and admit I’m not quite sure. My alarm clock, which I knew was set for 5 a.m., pulled me away after an hour of their set.)

Leagues is rock with a bit of  soulful, bluesy country and pop thrown in. Their guitar sounds offer up a welcomed ’70s vibe. While no band likes comparisons, it’s impossible not to draw them. Their sound is infused with indie/pop/rocker sounds like those of Black Keys, Imagine Dragons, Arcade Fire, MGMT, OK Go.

I like their single Spotlight, and my other favorites are Mind Games and Magic. I enjoyed Leagues’ performance, although it felt a little lackluster at times, like they were holding back and not throwing their everything onto the stage. I expect a band to offer up their heart and soul, no matter the stage or venue size, and leave me wanting more. I left feeling glad to have seen them but not necessarily hungry for more.

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When in Rome. Or Milwaukee, more accurately.

Last weekend, the Redhead and I went out to dinner with two of our friends. I wanted to go to Louise’s downtown because I’ve heard good things about it. …And it’s Italian food. …And I love Italian. …And when I’ve had Louise’s from a cart during summer events on Catherdral Square, it’s always been tasty. Do I need any more reasons?

After satiating my ever-present need for Italian (for the time being), I feel compelled to treat you to an abbreviated review of the four Italian restaurants that I’ve been to in Milwaukee. You’re welcome.

Louise’s: The prices were great; most of the entrees were around $15ish, which my wallet smiled upon. The bread and dipping oil were tasty. The vegetable tortellini was good. I say good, because it wasn’t great. Overall, this isn’t somewhere I’d go if I were craving a succulent, saucy Italian dinner. However, it is a perfect spot for an affordable double date. B-

Zarletti: Delicious. So, so delicious. Went here for a special occasion, and I fell in love with this gem of a downtown dining spot. The butternut squash ravioli was on special the night I went, and it was to. die. for. And the tiramisu was pretty spot-on as well. Would definitely go here again and recommend. Solid A.

Pizzeria Piccola: Ok, so it’s not really a full-on Italian restaurant. More of a gourmet pizza place. But it’s definitely worth including. Fresh, hot, quasi-authentic pies for a decent price. And the service is always good. B+

Calderone Club:
This spot is often overlooked when it comes to discussing Milwaukee’s Italian offerings. But let me assure you, this is quality Italian. I lived near here and went on two or three occasions, and each time, I was more than satisfied. Love, love, love the gnocchi here. Great spot downtown. A-