Meet the Milwaukee bands playing at the Colectivo Back Room this Saturday

The Colectivo Back Room is a must-visit concert space in the Milwaukee music realm, hosting a ton of up-and-coming names from all over in a uniquely intimate setting. This weekend, the focus is on several groups that call the city home. Social Cig, Bug Moment and Scam Likely – all born and raised in Milwaukee – play a sold-out show on site this Saturday, August 20, doors open at 7 p.m.

The concert will support the release of Social Cig’s third album, “Cheesehead,” which will be available to stream everywhere that night. Parker Schultz, the lead singer and creator of Social Cig, started the project in 2018 and has since played shows throughout the Milwaukee area, including opening Wet Leg at the Pabst Theater in 2021.

Schultz has struggled to classify Social Cig’s sound into a genre, but describes it as “indie-skate-punch-apple-core”. Sounds confusing – but let it explain to you

“Indie just because of the instruments we use,” Schultz said. “With guitars and drums, it’s more of an indie sound. I would say our sound is a lot like indie-surfing, but I don’t surf, and being from the Midwest, I skate a lot. I get a lot of energy from skateboarding, and that translates into the music. The punch is that I’m a very nervous person sometimes – a lot of my music sounds very raspy. Apple-core because it’s sweet but straight to the point. These words all together sort of fit my gender.

Schultz released two singles from the new album in May, including “Hot Red” and “From Afar,” which show the fluctuations of his sound across different genres. “Hot Red” has slower, softer, mellow melodies while “From Afar” has a faster beat with more groovy tones throughout.

Outside of influences from his youth – like Weezer, Green Day and Blink 182 – Schultz drew a lot of inspiration from his experiences in Milwaukee and the people he cares for near here.

“For my latest projects, I’ve always spent the summers enjoying the outdoors and being all hermits and indoors in the winter, writing and recording,” Schultz said. “I get a lot of inspiration from the summers in Milwaukee, that’s for sure. As you know, the scene is very close-knit and everyone is lovely and welcoming. I wouldn’t feel as comfortable exposing myself if it wasn’t for the scene here.

Opening for Social Cig on Saturday night are Bug Moment and Scam Likely, two other Milwaukee bands who share the same passionate experience with the Milwaukee music scene.

Bug Moment has been around since late 2020, consisting of vocalist Jasmine Rosenblatt, drummer Aidan Hoppens, guitarist Gray and bassist Elias Dorsey. The band sees itself as a bit of everything: alternative, emo-shoegaze and indie.

The band’s most recent release is an acoustic EP titled “Bug Moment Live from Hayward” which puts a nice spin on their heavier live sound, heard on their 2021 release “Bugs”. They will be playing unreleased music from their upcoming release at the Back Room Show.

“The Milwaukee music scene is really thriving right now,” Rosenblatt said. “We’ve been able to play with a lot of great bands, and they influence our music – especially bands like Spoy and Moonglow. They’re all great people, and we’re lucky to have so many great nuggets on the music scene right now.

Scam Likely is a newer addition to the Milwaukee music scene, coming together in February 2022. But while they’re new, they can absolutely shred alongside any seasoned band. The band consists of vocalist Charlee Grider who also plays rhythm guitar, Thierry Diatta on bass, Denzel “Ducky” Dondiego on lead guitar and Cary Dean Elger on drums.

The band’s sound is equally indefinable – but if it boils down to anything, they consider themselves a punk band that dabbles in alternative and indie sounds, influenced by contemporary musicians. Grider cites Gwen Stefani, Hayley Williams from Paramore and Lily from Beach Bunny as some of his strongest influences.

Scam Likely has yet to release a full album on streaming services, but their recent 2022 single “Jesus Christ” is available to stream on all platforms. The song flows seamlessly through its initial fun indie riffs into a deeper punk sound with a strong guitar solo. Milwaukee was also a big part of their songwriting process.

“The music scene in Milwaukee kind of had a little revival,” Diatta said. “During COVID it was kind of dead even before that. Now you come out and there’s a scene that works, which is nice. The Milwaukee scene is pretty tight-knit…it has the energy that works.

Saturday’s show is already sold out – but you can follow the bands’ future events, releases and more on Instagram at @socialcig, @scamlikelytheband and @bugmoment.