Vinyl Theatre returns to MKE to open sold out Rave show

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Photo by Cassie Rogala/

Photo by Cassie Rogala/

Local indie-rock band Vinyl Theatre returned to Milwaukee Saturday night to perform in Twenty one pilots’ sold out show at The Rave. Vinyl Theatre has been on the road with Twenty one pilots as part of their Quiet is Violent tour since early September. Although the band’s name is unfamiliar to most (Milwaukee locals included), they may be the next big local sound. Back in March they were placed at the top of Billboard‘s Next Big Sound chart.

Vinyl Theatre formed as Alchemy, and consists of Keegan Calmes (vocals/lead guitar), Chris Senner (keyboard), Nick Cesarz (drums), and Josh Pothier (bass, backing vocals). After winning Milwaukee’s Battle of the Bands, the band was given the opportunity to open for Twenty one pilots when they played at Marquette’s Varsity Theatre in April 2013. Since then, the band has been touring and working on their first studio album, “Electrogram,” which they recently released on Sept. 23.

Senner describes the new release as a “compilation album.” Some of the most popular tracks from “Electrogram,” such as “Gold,” were taken from the band’s two previous EPs. Calmes said that when the band was creating their album they drew inspiration from their favorite bands like Pink Floyd, Blink 182 and The Killers.

“I think it’s important for a band to have substance,” Calmes said. “In certain bands you can just feel a certain sense of genuinity and it leads to a whole different world of sound.”

After a busy year in the studio and on the road, lead singer and guitar player Keegan Calmes said that he was excited to return home. “We’ve played all over,” Calmes said. “But Milwaukee is home. It’s great to be back.”

Vinyl Theatre has no plans of slowing down after their tour ends in two weeks.

“It’s refreshing to be home,” Calmes said. “My mind feels clear. It feels right for us to be back in Milwaukee, but touring has also made me feel like we need to keep going. We have to keep going. We love what we’re doing and I hope it’s something we get to keep doing for a very long time.”

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