RVA Shows You Must See This Week 8/12-8/18

by | Aug 12, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, August 15, 5 PM
WRIR & Commonwealth Of Notions Presents: Volume Five, Day One; feat. Goldrush, Anousheh, Positive No, Lady God, Various Eggs, Way Shape Or Form, Manzara @ Gallery 5 – $5

This is apparently the month for multi-day festivals here in RVA.

Saturday, August 15, 5 PM
WRIR & Commonwealth Of Notions Presents: Volume Five, Day One; feat. Goldrush, Anousheh, Positive No, Lady God, Various Eggs, Way Shape Or Form, Manzara @ Gallery 5 – $5

This is apparently the month for multi-day festivals here in RVA. Swamp Fest was last weekend, and this weekend, we not only have the whole GWAR-B-Q shebang hovering over everything like an 800-pound gorilla, but also the scrappy young newcomer, Welcome Week Fest (which I didn’t have room for full coverage of, but still, check it out if you’re curious). Somewhere inbetween the two where name recognition and established tradition is concerned is Shannon Cleary’s yearly labor of love, WRIR & The Commonwealth Of Notions Presents. 2015’s edition is Volume Five, which means it’s the fifth year Shannon’s put on this showcase dedicated to local music under the auspices of WRIR and his weekly radio show on that station. And this year’s going to be bigger than ever.

Nothing proves that fact more obviously than checking the schedule for this particular festival. While day one takes place this Saturday night at Gallery 5, the whole thing is actually spread over two weekends; after a 6-day break, days two through four will occupy Friday through Sunday of next weekend. And chances are good that we’ll talk about some or all of those festivities in next week’s column. For now, let’s focus on day one’s extensive lineup, which is excellent and worth the price of admission all by itself. At the top of the bill are established RVA power-pop veterans Goldrush. Featuring not only the considerable songwriting chops of Prabir Mehta, this band also has a secret weapon in the form of Matt and Treesa Gold, a couple of classically trained orchestra musicians who weild violin and acoustic bass, thereby giving Prabir even more free rein to chase down his Beatlesque symphonic ambitions. The result is a super-tasty treat for fans of pop here in the river city.

There are so many more bands on this bill that I’m gonna have to rush through them, but rest assured they all rule. Anousheh’s an incredible singer and pianist who brings her own power-pop, but with electronic rather than symphonic tinges, as seen on her excellent new album, Make Noise. Positive No have an imminently-arriving album of their own, Glossa, but until it gets here, their glittering dream-pop will send you soaring. Lady God have a 60s-retro garage-rock sound full of swinging psychedelic vibes. Various Eggs bring unusual and dark influences to bear on their song-driven alt-rock. Way Shape Or Form have a million instruments at their disposal, and they use them to create electronically-infused math rock that is both cerebral and enchanting. Manzara bring us spooky, syncopated post-punk from members of Canary Oh Canary and Four Hundred Years. It all adds up to an incredible evening of local goodness for only five bucks–a steal at twice the price (and certainly way cheaper than a GWAR-B-Q ticket).

Wednesday, August 12, 7 PM
Neurosis, Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, Sumac @ The Broadberry – $30 (order tickets HERE)

OK, just to warn you all, this entire show column may be rendered obsolete tonight at the Broadberry. I say this because it is entirely possible that Neurosis’ performance will be heavy enough to wipe all life as we know it from the scorched surface of Richmond VA. I’m going to write this column on the assumption that we as a city have sufficient mettle to survive, but honestly, death by Neurosis would be the awesomest form of destruction… so I could kinda handle it. Neurosis are one of the heaviest bands of the past three decades, starting as a hardcore/crossover trio in the mid-80s and growing through the addition of a keyboard player and a second guitarist into a band who inhabits their own genre, somewhere between the worlds of epic doom metal, ambient noise, folk music, tribal percussion, and gloomy industrial terror. Mindblowing albums like 1995’s Through Silver In Blood and 2004’s The Eye Of Every Storm have had huge impacts on me personally, and their career has significantly affected the broader metal genre as a whole.

Neurosis haven’t been to Richmond in something like a decade and a half, and who knows when they’ll be back, so if you care about heavy music at all, you’re really gonna want to make it out to the Broadberry tonight. I keep checking back to make sure it isn’t sold out (I have a policy against covering shows in this column that you can’t buy a ticket to), and thus far it isn’t, but I can’t imagine it won’t be by the time Neurosis hits the stage, so get there early, or better yet, order a ticket at the link provided above. If you need further inducement to show up to this show, you can find it in the form of openers Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth–Tad Doyle of legendary Seattle band Tad’s new project–and Sumac–which features Isis/Hydra Head’s Aaron Turner along with Brian Cook from Botch/These Arms Are Snakes and the drummer from underrated maniacs Baptists–but really, Neurosis should be all the reason you need to plunk down your hard-earned wages on a ticket to tonight’s show. Don’t miss what just might be our imminent sonic destruction.

Thursday, August 13, 9 PM
Murphy’s Kids, Eastern Standard Time, Nesta @ The Camel – $8

Wait, what? I’m gonna follow up a writeup about Neurosis with a ska show? Yeah, sure, why not? After all, no one can live on minor chords, gloom, and destruction all the time–let’s get some upstrokes and horn sections in there for a nice happy change of pace! I know, I know, the days of Reel Big Fish and Save Ferris are long gone, and ska is no longer “on trend,” but if nothing else you have to give RVA’s own Murphy’s Kids credit for sticking around year after year and proving that they’re playing their chosen form of music for the right reasons. With a third album on the horizon, these guys are clearly still coming up with new tunes to get you dancing and high-stepping, and they’ll be rolling out a few of those at this show, so even those of you who still show up every time they play can look forward to some new treats.

Another treat will be a visit from DC’s Eastern Standard Time, who don’t crank the tempos quite as high as the classic ska-punk bands of yore, instead charming all comers with a soulful mixture of rocksteady rhythms, laid-back reggae grooves, and that upbeat ska feel you know and love. These guys are fresh off a European tour and guaranteed to be in prime performing shape, so expect a super-solid set from them. The evening will be opened up by Nesta, who forgo horns and any real touches of ska vibes to get deep into the psychedelic reggae jam groove. These guys should appeal to fans of Matisyahu or SOJA. I’m more down for the ska jams, personally, but hey, something for everyone! Get stoked already–after all, this sound has been due for a revival for a minute now.

Friday, August 14, 2 PM
GWAR presents B4BQ, feat. Coal Chamber, Arch Enemy, Fear Factory, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, Cattle Decapitation, Beyond Creation @ The National – $34.50 in advance/$39.50 day of show (order tickets HERE)

OK so I’m sure you’ve already made your decision about whether or not you’re heading out to Hadad’s Lake for GWAR-B-Q 2015, so I’m not gonna belabor the point. BUT–are you aware of just how awesome the yearly B4BQ Friday night show is this year? It’s kind of insane. Usually these shows feature an out-of-town band or two that you’re really stoked about, and a couple of local openers that rock, but this year they’ve pulled out all the stops to bring us somewhere around a dozen bands, many of whom have not been to RVA in quite a while. I’m amazed to see early nu-metal powerhouse Coal Chamber (who I always had more time for than the vast majority of that mostly ridiculous genre) at the top of the bill here, but I guess they just put out their first new album in 13 years, so they should be well worth seeing! Meanwhile, Arch Enemy recently parted company with longtime vocalist Angela Gossow, but understudy Alissa White-Gluz proved herself in fine fashion on last year’s War Eternal album, so expect the usual metal rage from this outstanding Swedish metal crew.

There’s so much more cool shit happening on this bill though, I kinda can’t even believe it. I mean, look at this–it says here Fear Factory are playing! This band’s industrial/metal hybrid sound blew everyone away back in the mid-90s with classic albums like Demanufacture, and they proved they’ve still got it on recent post-reformation albums like The Industrialist and this year’s Genexus. It’ll be time for some serious robot mosh during this set. With younger deathcore maniacs Born Of Osiris and Veil Of Maya, as well as downtuned metalcore heroes Acacia Strain, plus technical death metal geniuses Obscura, all on the bill, we can expect some serious low-end overload. And that’s not to mention the addition of Cattle Decapitation, who started out as a side project of electro-grind weirdos The Locust and have since grown into a powerhouse of monstrous (and still pretty weird) grind brutality. Oh dude, this is going to be a serious headbang overload. And it’ll be indoors, so you won’t get heatstroke! (I mean, unless you go REALLY hard in the pit…)

Saturday, August 15, 5 PM
He Is Legend, Sleepwave, My Enemies & I, Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost, Set For Tomorrow, Here After, Overcomer @ The Canal Club – $13 in advance/$15 at the door (order tickets HERE)

More metal? Yeah, why not? Let’s all head down to the Canal Club this Saturday night for yet another dose of serious mosh, shall we? OK, I promise this next sentence will not end in a question mark. He Is Legend is a sick metalcore band from North Carolina who were right in the middle of the early-2000s metalcore renaissance with their legendary debut album I Am Hollywood. They almost didn’t make it to this point, though, struggling with member changes and near-breakups for a few years after that album before righting the ship. These days, they’re touring behind their fourth album, Heavy Fruit, and cranking out the sweet jams on a nightly basis.

On this tour, they’re joined by Sleepwave, the latest effort from former Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. While this project still features the hardcore/metal backbone that kept Underoath’s sound heavy and powerful even at their most emotional, Sleepwave is noteworthy for their dabbling with electronic textures and keyboard sounds augmenting the guitars. Chamberlain isn’t screaming as much as he once did, but he’s got a great voice for clean vocals, and his composing partner Stephen Bowman can write some pretty excellent riffs, so this project is well worth a look for anyone who dug Underoath as much as I did. Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost are also on this bill, and if you ever wondered what happened to the original drummer for Zao after he became the last original member to leave the band, this set will tell you. He’s stepped out from behind the kit to take the frontman role, and the result is a stoner-rock quintet that just might surprise you. With local openers My Enemies & I, Set For Tomorrow, Here After, and Overcomer, this bill is hella stacked, so come rock out!

Sunday, August 16, 9 PM
The Akabane Vulgars On Strong Bypass, Don Babylon, Thai Sun, The Alberts @ Bandito’s – Free!

If your first thought upon reading the name of the headlining band on this bill was “That’s gotta be a Japanese band,” then give yourself a pat on the back, because you know your shit! The Japanese are the best at coming up with fascinatingly strange turns of phrase for band names, and The Akabane Vulgars On Strong Bypass is one of the weirder ones I’ve ever heard–which is really saying something. But let’s get past the weird band name and talk about this totally awesome band. The Akabane Vulgars On Strong Bypass is an all-female rockabilly/garage/punk trio from Tokyo, with a strong fashion sense and an even stronger riffing ability. They’ve got energy, they’ve got style, and they’ve got the ability to bust out some really choice classic rock n’ roll covers–what more could you want?

Well, if you do want more, we’ve got more music from right here in Richmond VA. Don Babylon are always fun; this quartet mixes garage rock sounds of their own with an almost-Weezerish power-pop sensibility that really just gives them a 90s feel. I’m into it. And then there’s Thai Sun, a bunch of weird dudes with a loud, crazy sound and a recently-released EP called Get Out Of My Head Satan–just to let you know where they’re coming from, mentality-wise. Opening up are The Alberts, a band about whom I know very little. However, from listening to their bandcamp, I feel like I can safely say that these dudes have a few Led Zeppelin records in their collection. It all adds up to an evening of great, powerful rock n’ roll, featuring a once-in-a-lifetime headliner. With zero dollars as your price of admission, plus the always-wonderful opportunity to score some Bandito’s nachos, I don’t see how you can lose.

Monday, August 17, 9 PM
Organ Dealer, Amara, Crucial Rip @ McCormack’s Irish Pub – $5

I know, I hear what you’re saying–haven’t we talked about metal enough for one week? And the answer is: hell no! Never enough talk about metal! Plus, this show, being brought to us by Between 2 Beers Productions, who have come out of nowhere this summer to present a whole bunch of excellent bills, is a completely different type of metal than we’ve talked about at any other point in this edition of the column! Organ Dealer come to us from New Jersey with some prime deathgrind stylings–blastbeats galore, ripping riffs at top speed, guttural howling screams, along with occasional deep rumbling growls… Whatever you want from death metal or grindcore, they’ve got it in abundance and will deliver it to you at top speed! This band is going to decapitate you with their metal rage, and you will fucking love it. Or, I mean, maybe you won’t, but you should, and I DEFINITELY will. So whatever for all you scaredy-cats.

Who else is on the bill? Well, let’s talk about Newport News’s own Amara (there are bands from Newport News?). “Blackened crust” is the subgenre listed on the flyer, which makes me think these guys could fit right in with local bands like Prisoner, Asylum, and maybe even Unsacred. Musically speaking, I don’t have much to go on, as I had to scour their facebook for audio evidence and could only find a practice tape, but it sounds like lo-fi noise devastation with dark gloomy riffs and fast, furious beats. What could possibly be wrong with that? Crucial Rip will open this show up, and I’m pretty sure these guys are at least partially behind the whole Between 2 Beers thing, so they deserve props on that basis alone. Musically, they’re on the straight-up death metal tip, with plenty of pinch harmonics and deep growls a la Suffocation and all those other New York rippers. Is this what the kids call “slam”? I never quite got a handle on that one. Either way, it’s super heavy and should be a great start to this great metal evening.

Tuesday, August 18, 5 PM
The Sidekicks, All Dogs, Atta Girl @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: http://sidekicks.eventbrite.com/)

All ages pop-punk matinee! These are always great, especially when the headliner is a band like The Sidekicks. These Cleveland veterans have been around for about a decade now, proving their talent on tours with bands like our own Sundials and finally having their hard work pay off with a signing to Epitaph Records last year. Their latest album, Runners In The Nerved World, sees them arriving on the biggest stage of their career with the most interesting and adventurous music they’ve produced yet. In fact, as catchy and obviously punk-rooted as their sound remains, I’m not sure I’m being the most fair to them by continuing to categorize them as a pop-punk band. These guys are dipping into alt-rock and even less easily stratified sounds on this new album, and it makes for a fascinating and memorable listen full of melodies you’ll be humming all week long. All the more reason to catch their performance this Tuesday evening.

All Dogs are pretty noteworthy in their own right. This Ohio band still hasn’t quite released a full-length yet–Kicking Every Day is out at the end of the month on Salinas Records, though. However, even without an LP collecting a dozen of their tunes in one place, they’ve made a powerful impression on those paying attention. Previous EPs and advance tracks from their debut album make clear that this band is catnip for lovers of Lemuria, Swearin’, Chumped, and other great female-fronted melodic punk bands. They know how to keep it tough and put the punk rock sound up front, but the sugary-sweet vocals will drive these tunes right into the deepest recesses of your brain, charming you endlessly. Brand new melodic indie-pop/punk quintet Atta Girl will open things up with a sound that blew everyone away at the First Time’s The Charm show earlier this summer. So avoid the rush hour traffic and make it down to Strange Matter as soon as you can on Tuesday afternoon–you won’t wanna miss a minute!


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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