Viva Wisconsin, Part Deux

Violent Femmes relive memorable 1998 tour with Eau Claire show

Emily Kinzel

Eau Claire, get ready to rock with Sconnie pride as the legendary Violent Femmes set their sights on the State Theatre Oct. 25 as part of their five-city Viva Wisconsin 2017 tour. The Milwaukee-born Femmes are returning to their cheesehead roots and reinventing their 1998 Wisconsin tour, which was immortalized in the live album Viva Wisconsin. Released the following year, that album included a compilation of live recordings across the state, including the likes of “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” and “Dahmer is Dead.” Founding band members Gordon Gano and Brian Ritchie, now with John Sparrow on the drums, are excited to perform both old and new songs, including some from their latest album, We Can Do Anything, released just last year. This album embodies the Femmes’ true sound – a classic balance of folk and punk. Their in-your-face, honest lyrics embodies the true meaning of the punk genre, yet their sound is undeniably authentic. Nothing is more timeless than a trio with a guitar, a bass, and a drum kit. Tour promoter Peter Jest adds, “Violent Femmes are a band that you could bring a person to one of their concerts who never heard of them and they would become an instant fan.” Joining the tour and adding to the Wisconsin theme will be opener and soloist Brett Newski, who jams on his guitar and amps up audiences with his acoustic jams. The show is at 7:30pm Wednesday, Oct. 25, and tickets are available online at