Driving east on Locust St. over the bridge and coming into the east side, you wouldn’t imagine that one of Milwaukee’s best kept secrets is right there, hiding in plain view. You see Riverside High, some houses, Cousins Subs and if you look a little to the south when you hit Oakland, you see the Miramar Theater – my sanctuary. The Miramar Theater has been the venue of choice for me so far living on the east side and attending UWM. Its convenient location, inexpensive shows and consistently interesting lineup have made the Miramar a favorite of many UWM and east side residents. The intimate venue has great acoustics that make any artist sound great regardless of genre. There are rows of theater style seating around the hard-wood floored dance floor in the center. The stage is low and there is no barrier between the band and the fans and I have even danced on the stage at couple of the shows I’ve seen there.
One of the great bands I’ve seen at the Miramar is EOTO. They are an electronic jam band that improvises throughout their entire live show, making every concert a unique and always psychedelic experience. They combine the styles of break beat, house and drum n bass to create a groovy and definitely dance-worthy set-list. The energy at their shows is incredible and the mix of live drums and guitars with the hand percussion and live mixing make for an unforgettable and funky performance.
Another great show that I saw at the Miramar was Pretty Lights which is the brain child of Derek Vincent Smith. He puts on a DJ set and his shows comprise of live drums and digital sampling from other previously recorded songs and creating a new sound that blends many genres including hip hop and old-school funk and soul samples to put on a hard hitting dance party performance. This was by far one of the biggest shows I have ever been to at the Miramar and the place was packed to capacity full of sweaty kids getting their grind on. The lights were of course, very pretty and the DJ set came across extremely well in the tiny theater.