Play it forward with Christopher Porterfield

“This has been one crazy year! Everyone went through their own grief regarding COVID19 in their own ways,” Milwaukee’s prolific troubadour Christopher Porterfield shared in a recent interview, “I’m just so so happy that we are in a place now where  we can be together and share in the experience of  live music together.”


Amen to that!  Porterfield, the singer-songwriter of the Milwaukee-based indie-folk band Field Report, has certainly felt the effects of the COIVD19 pandemic.  The band’s most recent record, Break Light Red Tide was released last spring to critically rave reviews.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this exceptional record came without the proper touring and fanfare that one would expect from a new release from one of Milwaukee’s premier bands.  


“I did a few streams last year,” Porterfield shared. ”To be honest, I kind of lost interest in doing those type of shows.  Ultimately they didn’t really work.  What I missed the most was being together with people.  I am so unbelievably happy to get to be back in a place where we can enjoy music together and play.”


Earlier last month, Porterfield had a chance to perform his first show with a sold-out live audience at SPACE in Evanston, Illinois.  “SPACE was the first time I was able to perform music in over a year in front of a larger live audience.  It was AWESOME!  We had a limited capacity show and people were very kind and compliant about following the venue’s guidelines.  It was so great to be part of an event where about 80 people, myself included, were dipping our toes into the pool of real, in-person concerts again.”


This Saturday, June 10th, Porterfield will be doing his first show in Milwaukee with a larger live audience since the pandemic hit.  “I am looking forward to schologging it out in the sun and having some fun,” Porterfield quipped with a big laugh and gentle grin, “Live music passes light around… back and forth, and you can only get so much for yourself when you do it in isolation… you really have to be in the present and enjoy living in the moment enjoying live music with others.”


Christopher Porterfield will be playing a show this Saturday at the Tonic Tavern at 2335 S. Kinkinikic Avenue in Bayview starting at 4:00 p.m. to benefit the Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth. “We’re gonna have a great time, just hanging out, playing some tunes, and having some fun,” Porterfield enthusiastically shared, “Afer a year of being able to do very little, now there are great things to do.” 

While Field Report are known as a first-class band, Porterfield’s stewardship in our city is commendable. In addition to playing in a #GigsForGood show this Saturday to benefit the Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth, Porterfield has done several shows to benefit organizations that promote citizenship and creating a more united Milwaukee. Last year, Porterfield’s Rock the Stream performance benefitted BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities). This was one of Porterfield’s only streaming shows, and while it was amazing, it will be even more joyful seeing a performer who truly is a community advocate for Milwaukee perform in real life, and not over a screen.

While being an amazingly talented musician, Porterfield is also a die-hard Milwaukee Bucks fan. “Bucks in 6!” Porterfield exalted, his palpable enthusiasm and zeal for his favorite local team coming out of the phone with a roar when asked his thoughts on the NBA Finals. 


“I definitely am a hardcore fan and have been following the Bucks through thick and thin,” Porterfield shared. “Of course, it wouldn’t really be the Bucks if they didn’t give us drama, intrigue, turmoil and success. Even after losing the first two games in Phoneix I’m keeping the faith. You have to lose two to get to six games and I’m calling it… Bucks in 6!”


Please join Christopher Porterfield at the Tonic Tavern beginning at 4:00 p.m. for a free outdoor patio performance benefitting the Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth.

Article by Will Piper