RVA Shows You Must See This Week 6/24-6/30

by | Jun 24, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Sunday, June 28, 5 PM
Broadside Hometown Album Release Show, feat. Broadside, Such Gold, Old Again, Inquiry, Underdog Champs, The Concussion Theory @ The Canal Club – $5

This weekend at the Canal Club, it’s time to celebrate a local band made good!

Sunday, June 28, 5 PM
Broadside Hometown Album Release Show, feat. Broadside, Such Gold, Old Again, Inquiry, Underdog Champs, The Concussion Theory @ The Canal Club – $5

This weekend at the Canal Club, it’s time to celebrate a local band made good! Broadside have been around Richmond for quite a while, going through a ton of growing pains and lineup changes as they honed their craft and got better and better over the past half decade. Now it’s all paid off for them–they just released their debut album, Old Bones, on Victory Records. You can bet these guys will be away from home a lot over the next few months, touring the entire country and beyond, letting everybody know about the awesomeness they’ve been creating here in Richmond. But before they head out on tour, they’ll be celebrating with their hometown fans with an action-packed record release show this Sunday at the Canal Club!

Broadside are definitely from the more polished side of the pop-punk world; beer-swilling, beard-growing Fest lovers will not necessarily recognize these dudes. But they’ve still got a ton of talent, and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you really owe it to yourself to get familiar. Mixing melodic hardcore touches into their catchy riffing, they recall the days when Fall Out Boy were an actual good band (circa Take This To Your Grave), and also sport some really catchy choruses, complete with backup vocal harmonies. So yeah, be prepared to get songs like “Storyteller” and “A Place To Lay Your Head” stuck in your head for long periods of time.

These guys are bringing some friends with them for this record release party, none more noteworthy than the one and only Such Gold, the veteran easycore band from Rochester, NY. These dudes released their second album back in November, taking things in a slightly more introspective direction. But no worries, they’re still guaranteed to be energetic as hell live, and get the crowd worked into a frenzy in no time. Florida’s Old Again, whose slightly gruff yet always melodic pop-punk splits the difference between Broadside and all those Fest-core bands I was contrasting them with earlier, will be here to crank up the party as well. Locals Inquiry and The Concussion Theory, along with DC’s Underdog Champs, will round out the bill and make this an unbelievable six-band show for the low price of $5! This would be a steal at twice the price–don’t miss it!

Wednesday, June 24, 7 PM
Gouge Away, Never Wrong, Yankee Roses @ Gallery 5 – $3-$5 (sliding scale donations)

You know, I can’t be exactly sure why this is, but it always seems to me that the more political a hardcore band is, the better their music is likely to be. Gouge Away, a vegan feminist DIY quintet from Florida, are proving that theory to be true once again; their creative transitions between hyperspeed rage attacks and nuanced yet still ferocious breakdowns makes their sound a breath of fresh air in a scene too often dedicated to recreating what came before as closely as possible. Their singer’s high-pitched screams provide a unique sound as well, and her politically-informed rage comes through in Gouge Away’s inspiring lyrics. Not bad for a band named after a Pixies song.

RVA’s own Never Wrong are providing local support for this bill, and I’m kind of amazed to learn that a band like this exists in 2015. Real life skinhead oi/street punk rock n’ roll? Who knew anyone did that anymore? And who knew anyone could still do it WELL? Yeah, it’s true, Never Wrong have a lot of catchy singalong tunes and a fired-up attitude that backs up some politically progressive lyrics. If you’ve been itching to get more oi! into your diet, these guys have the cure for what ails you. The whole thing starts out with acoustic singer/songwriter Yankee Roses, who divides his time between RVA and Florida. Musically, this bill will be pretty wide-ranging, but all of these performers share a similar political mindset, which will undoubtedly act as the glue to hold the whole evening together.

Thursday, June 25, 7 PM
Worriers, Caves, Sundials, Smoke Break @ Gallery 5 – $6 in advance/$8 at the door (order tickets HERE)

If heartfelt, melodic punk rock is your jam, then you should already be really excited about what’s going on over at Gallery 5 tomorrow night. The tour hitting RVA tomorrow night brings us the best of this genre from two different continents, back to back on the same stage, and it’s absolutely going to rule. For starters, Worriers is a Brooklyn band led by Lauren Denitzio, the outspoken former frontwoman of The Measure [SA], who certainly released a ton of great music during their relatively short career. Worriers picks up where they left off, bringing Denitzio together with members of The Ergs and Bridge And Tunnel, among others, to crank out some more unforgettable tunes–as seen on their 2013 debut album, Cruel Optimist.

And Bristol, England’s Caves are just as great a band, as they’ve proven most recently on their 2014 LP Leaving. This trio is focused around the contrasting talents of guitarist Lou and bassist Minty, who switch off on lead vocals depending on the song but always back them up with some speedy, catchy riffs. These guys would have been right at home on Lookout Records 20 years ago, so if you’re in the mood for some upbeat pop-punk with the emphasis on speed and energy, you better make sure you catch their set. Considering they’ve previously done a split EP with Caves, it would be a bigger surprise if local punk rockers Sundials were NOT on this show. And of course, this is the perfect debut show for Smoke Break, a local pop-punk supergroup featuring members of Close Talker, Springtime, Hold Tight, Cross Eyed, and more (and there are only three people in the band!). Get stoked!

Friday, June 26, 7 PM
Vacation, Pretty Pretty, Close Talker, Teen Death, Bare Thoughts @ Strange Matter – $7

I think this must seriously be the best week for live pop-punk in Richmond since the genre’s mid-90s heyday. If you’re into bands that dish out energetic, no-frills melodies with a ton of distortion and a snotty DIY spirit, you really need to be at almost every show I’m writing about this week, and Friday’s Strange Matter show is the opposite of an exception. Cincinnati’s Vacation are on the trashy/lo-fi side of this particular musical spectrum, but that only makes them more fun, as you know if you happen to own their 2013 LP Candy Waves. These guys have a singing drummer, Ergs-style, and that’s always fun to watch, but what’ll really be fun is dancing to all their rockin’ tunes when they hit the Strange Matter stage. You better be ready!

Pretty Pretty is another Ohio melodic punk band who are really more of a catchy old-school rock n’ roll band than anything. They’re coming through on tour with Vacation, and they’ll inspire plenty of hip-shaking as well. And then there are all the local RVA bands who are filling out this bill: Close Talker, who word has it are getting ready to lay a new album on us at some point in the relatively near future; Teen Death, featuring dudes from Hold Tight switching instruments to bring us some rock n’ rollin’ pop-punk of their own, complete with subtle Nirvana influence; and Bare Thoughts, one of the most buzzworthy up-and-coming bands in the city. This show is gonna kick ass from beginning to end. You really can’t afford to miss it.

Saturday, June 27, 10 PM
Foehammer, Thera Roya, Beldam @ Wonderland – $5

And now for something completely different–because the last thing I would want to do is overlook my metalhead constituency. This Saturday night at Wonderland, there’s going to be some seriously painful sludge doom torture happening, and you won’t want to miss a single minute of it. Foehammer hail from Annandale, VA–hardly the most grim and desolate of locales, unless suburbia fills you with an inescapable sense of creeping doom… wait, what am I saying? Maybe NoVA IS a grim and desolate locale! Foehammer are ready to tell you all about it, too, bringing the pounding, guttural slow-motion trudge captured on their recently released self-titled LP to spooky, shambling life in the back room at Wonderland this Saturday night. Said LP contains three songs and is 35 minutes long, so you know the doom is real.

Brooklyn’s Thera Roya are on tour with Foehammer, and while this band isn’t quite as terrifyingly slow and obsessed with low frequencies, it’s certainly safe to say that those who enjoy their metal being on the sludgy and gloomy side are going to have a lot of fun while these guys are playing. They’ve got a bit more of a groove to what they’re doing, while Foehammer just wants to plod over you in slow motion, but the downbeat heaviness of Thera Roya cannot be denied. Charlottesville’s Beldam will open up with some pretty ferocious grinding doom and gloom of their own. It’s slow-motion headbangs all around for this show–start doing neck stretches now!

Sunday, June 28, 8 PM
Blood Pressure, Tenement, Big Zit, Chain Rank, Concealed Blade, Firing Squad @ Strange Matter – $12

This show should be crazy, y’all. There are so many out of town bands on this bill, representing so many different facets of the punk rock sound, that everybody should have at least one reason to be there. Most importantly for all concerned should be the return of Eric Montanez, whom you may remember as a member of Direct Control, Government Warning, or any of the several other bands he played in during his time in RVA. The dude is living in Pittsburgh now, but he’s still got the touch where fast, angry, old-school hardcore is concerned, and Blood Pressure will make that clear in a big way when they hit the Strange Matter stage. An equally important reason to get hella stoked about this show is the return to RVA of Tenement, that Replacements-influenced Wisconsin pop-punk band, who have proven themselves to be ridiculously prolific with the release over the past four months of both an overstuffed singles collection AND a double LP of entirely new material! One thing’s for sure–these guys are gonna have a ton of great songs to choose from when picking out their set list for Sunday night.

Those two bands would be reason enough to come to this show right there, but believe it or not, there are still three more touring bands playing Strange Matter Sunday night! Big Zit is on tour with Tenement, but they’re more of an 80s revival fastcore act than anything. Like, if you dig the Accused or Animosity-era COC, you’re gonna love these guys–silly name and all. Concealed Blade, meanwhile, are on tour with Blood Pressure, and have the same sort of old-school rage that band is kicking ass with. Lo and behold, Concealed Blade kick major ass too! Who saw that coming? Finally, Chain Rank journeys down from Boston to dish out some Negative Approach-core for all you fanatics with an endless appetite for that sort of thing. RVA speed demons Firing Squad open the whole thing up. Oh my goodness, this is gonna be nuts.

Tuesday, June 30, 5 PM
Dikembe, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), From Fragile Seeds, Reps @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: https://dikembe.eventbrite.com/)

We haven’t talked as much in this column lately about the “emo revival” as we did about two years ago when I was joining a whole lot of other people in cranking up the buzz for that whole thing, but it wasn’t just a passing trend, y’all–there are still a ton of great modern emo bands out there recreating the best sounds of the late 90s and mixing them with excellent modern influences to create something new and awesome in the vein of a lot more awesome stuff from back in the day. And yeah, this show is a great example of that, as Florida’s Dikembe show up in town to rock us all with a set of excellent tunes, probably drawing heavily from their 2014 album Mediumship. That record was a bit more mature than their 2012 debut, Broad Shoulders, but it’s just as rad, so this show is sure to rule.

Meanwhile, there’s no way anyone will ever take the “longest emo revival band name” crown from The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, but I definitely think Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) have TWIABP beat on sheer band-name weirdness. Their music is pretty idiosyncratic as well, with complex song structures and unusual instrumentation choices being twin hallmarks of the Empire! Empire! sound. Beneath it all, though, are a ton of beautiful melodies, all of which carry that same unmistakable touch of wistful melancholy. If you can get over all the strange punctuation choices this band has made, you’ll find that their musical choices will thrill you every time. Fresh off the release of their excellent new album, Myth & Ceremony, RVA locals From Fragile Seeds present an post-rock-infused set of reverb-drenched emo epics, while Reps kick things off with some energetic guitar-driven sounds from members of Wow Owls, Pink Razors, and more.

Tuesday, June 30, 8 PM
Creepoid (Photo by Noel Conrad), Ecstatic Vision, Lady God @ Gallery 5 – $8 in advance/$10 at the door (order tickets HERE)

Y’all, since I had nothing for Monday, and since the Dikembe show ends so early on Tuesday night, I’m gonna go ahead and send you to two shows Tuesday, OK? Seriously, you’ll thank me later, because Creepoid is at Gallery 5 on Tuesday night and regardless of what other show you’re hitting up earlier in the evening, you won’t want to miss this one. I caught this band a few months ago when they played G5 with Priests, and their set was pretty much perfect. As a foggy haze filled the room and was lit up by the band’s elaborate light show, Creepoid cranked out a set of tunes that perfectly split the difference between punk rock and pure psychedelia.

They channeled the early, noisy Jesus And Mary Chain while at the same time evoking Mazzy Star and the best of Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s loose guitar odysseys. It blew me away, and I bought both of the LPs they had for sale that night. Since then, though, they’ve released a third, Cemetery Highrise Slum–and it’s better than both of the previous ones! You need that record, but you really need to see Creepoid lay down the heavy psych-punk jams from that album (and their previous ones) in a live environment. There’s just nothing like it. Creepoid will be accompanied on this jaunt down to RVA by fellow Philadelphians Ecstatic Vision, who are far more on the psychedelic end of things and will be attempting to put you into a trance before Creepoid ever hit the stage. Don’t fall asleep, though–you won’t want to miss a moment of this night. Local psych-pop trio Lady God kicks things off at 8 PM–run over right after Dikembe finishes playing, and you’ll probably catch their set!


Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: andrew@rvamag.com

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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