When George Wethington headed to the Broadberry for an early November evening of live music, he was thinking about the aging process — specifically as it applied to him. He applied those reflections to appraisals of headliners the Districts, Atlanta artist Girlpuppy, and Richmond-based openers SHE. Some fared better than others.
Back in my day is a phrase that I never understood until it suddenly sank in that my day had come and gone. It has something to do with a point from 19 to 25. It has something to do with the drive to stay at home eventually overcoming the drive to roam. There is an impregnable, cocksure piece of the human ego that gathers rosebuds while you may or may not know it is even happening.
You find out who you are around then; where you are going, what you want to do, what your vices are. There’s a chance you find out that you don’t know, and that you’re all vices. The story kind of writes itself from there. With and without your assistance. After that, it is all a matter of timing.
On November 6, a band from Richmond, Virginia performed on the last night before the sun started setting at 5. They were opening for Girlpuppy and The Districts. I watched four young adults sweating over a stage and their next notes in an obvious labor of love. They played in their time as if it were their day alone. That band’s name was SHE.
I walked into The Broadberry as they danced in an alternating wash of blue and violet light. SHE had the untamed and unconquered feeling of burgeoning Richmond royalty. You get to know it when it is in the room. It feels like the raw and unstoppable power of the rapids at The Pipeline. It looks like the playful and inexhaustible comfort of Maymont.
SHE is the youngest to rise in a long and proud lineage of underground Richmond power. They had a ferocious live presence that turned their ambient and synth-laden rock sound into a statement. They played with sounds that betrayed their age but delivered them in a style that was awash in their day.
Girlpuppy was up next. The multi-instrumental talent of the woman playing guitar, keys, and singing backup vocals for Girlpuppy was truly remarkable. She helped Becca Harvey’s timid, airy, and shy delivery of her songs come across as cautious yet calculated. The rest of the band aided them in making a very soothing and pining indie sound.
Last of the night was The Districts. They are from Lititz, Pennsylvania. A moment of silence for possible innuendos, respectfully.
The Districts were the third act. They were on stage. It is there that they played. The keys were keyed and the strings were strummed and the drums went dum-dum-dum. When you put it together, you had a band playing music. The vocalist kept throwing his shoulders up and down and nodding his head back and forth like a bobblehead. I thought that maybe without the road, or constant movement, this young man would be an unimpressive caricature of a musician.
I liked what I heard of The Districts on the internet, to be fair. To be totally honest, I’m not sure I have a credible opinion. If the internet is to be believed, The Districts recently opened for Modest Mouse. Back in my day, I really liked Modest Mouse.
Photos by OCLW Photography