For the single among us, Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend can either be a blessing or a curse. It’s easy to end up sulking around your house alone, feeling twice as ashamed because not only do you have nothing planned on Valentine’s Day, you’re also spending Friday night at home. But there’s no reason for you to do any of that tonight!
For the single among us, Valentine’s Day falling on a weekend can either be a blessing or a curse. It’s easy to end up sulking around your house alone, feeling twice as ashamed because not only do you have nothing planned on Valentine’s Day, you’re also spending Friday night at home. But there’s no reason for you to do any of that tonight! There’s a ton of stuff going on around the city, and not only do you not need a date to enjoy any of it, your night out will probably be more fun without one. So all you single people out there (and even you couples who are bored of the same old candlelight-dinner cliches), shake off those Valentine’s Day blues, and hit up any–or all–of these great local events tonight! It’s a lot more fun than eating chocolates alone on your couch, that’s for sure!
The Smiffs, photo by C. St. Ours
Shows in which bands form to cover, and perhaps even roleplay as, great bands of yesteryear are traditionally a Halloween thing. However, in the recent past, Richmond has become less and less content with only getting to do these tremendously fun shows only once every 365 days. We’re not sure what makes Valentine’s Day the second choice for tribute acts, but why overthink it? Enjoy this opportunity to hear these songs played live once again, and to block out, or wallow in, your own personal musical heartbreak.
WRIR’s 8th Annual Black Valentine’s Day: This traditional benefit for local listener-supported radio station WRIR will feature local musicians The Cales, Lightfields, and Clayton England bringing you “cover songs of love gone wrong” all evening. WRIR DJ Charlie, from The Creepy Side Of Love Show, will be spinning “songs of bad love to dance to” while the bands aren’t playing, and there’ll even be a live bachelor auction, so those of you without dates can secure one through a charitable donation to WRIR! It all starts at 7 PM tonight at Gallery 5 (200 W. Marshall St), and admission is free! For more info, click here.
Strange Matter Singles Night II: After a successful Valentine’s night of tribute acts at Strange Matter last year, the punk rock club on Grace St is bringing this event back for an encore. The stars of the show will be Charlottesville’s Smiths tribute act, The Smiffs. They’ll be joined by Weber’s Misfits cover band (a veteran of many Night Of The Living Dead Bands Halloween cover shows) and Darris Ball’s Paper Dolls Ballz, a tribute to 70s power-poppers The Nerves. ZJ Delorean will be spinning tunes between sets for all the lovelorn kids to cry into their beers by. This is a show for single people, but couples will be allowed in for a small surcharge. It all kicks off at 9 PM tonight at Strange Matter (929 W. Grace St)–for more info, click here.
Three Sheets To The Wind at The National: Meanwhile, if yacht rock is your thing, Richmond’s favorite yacht rock tribute act will be dishing out all your favorite Michael McDonald, Christopher Cross, and Steely Dan tunes, among others, over at The National! Since it’s Valentine’s Day, Three Sheets To The Wind will be presenting a special Love Boat Land Cruise, so wear your Hawaiian shirts and boat shoes, and get ready to drink some mai tais and meet some other attractive people who are also dressed like the cast of Fantasy Island. Hey, no worries, it’s ironic! Things get going at 7 PM tonight at The National (708 E. Broad St)–for more info, click here.
Mekong Xpress Valentine’s Day Heartbreaker: We told you about this show once already, but it’s a new day and a new article, so here’s a fresh reminder! Mekong Xpress, that crew of all-stars with the shifting lineup who are the main reason why Monday nights at Mekong sound so good and so funky, are taking their act on the road and driving a few miles east, into the Fan, to liven up Cary Street Cafe. Joined by the Get Fresh Horns and with an opening set from Chelsea Temple, the Mekong Xpress crew (featuring members of The Big Payback, DJ Williams Projekt, Bio Ritmo, Best Wellington, etc) will be serenading the crowd with soul/funk tunes about heartbreak and romance. It starts at 10 PM at Cary Street Cafe (2631 W. Cary St), and it’s free! For more info, click here.
If you’d rather just dance your blues away tonight, we certainly understand. We won’t say you can’t dance at any of the cover band shows, but the following events are designed strictly for losing your mind on the dance floor, keeping the music going all night until you just can’t even think about anything other than the beat. Never fear, these DJs will help you achieve that goal!
Soulpower Valentine’s Day Party: Mr. Felty and DJ Pari always spin the greatest funk and soul tunes on their monthly Soulpower nights, and by now I’m sure you’re used to their quality sets played only from the original vinyl. So you don’t need to tell us that Soulpower nights at Balliceaux are always worth your time. What you might not know is that this month features a guest DJ on the wheels of steel–Doc Delay, from NYC, has traveled down to RVA to join Pari and Felty for “an unforgettable night of soulful love songs.” So come to Balliceaux (203 N. Lombardy St) with your dancing shoes on, starting tonight at 10:30, and did we mention it’s free? For more info, click here.
Valentine’s Day Blowout With Bobby LaBeat & J5K: The legendary DJs of Audio Ammo should need no introduction at this point. While Gent & Jawns may have the biggest names in that crew at the moment, it’s Bobby LaBeat who you can most often rely on to hold it down on the homefront. He knows how to rock the party, he’s been doing it for years, and chances are you’ve danced to his sets many times in the past. This Valentine’s Day, head over to the New York Deli (2920 W. Cary St.) and let Bobby LaBeat and J5K obliterate your cares with a nonstop wall of bass. The party starts at 10 PM, and as always, it’s free. For more info, click here.
Valentine’s Day With Beat Down The Kid: The Richmond DJ with the most Ramones-sounding name will be spinning at Bellytimber, and he’s made it his stated goal to get you a date for the night. “Come spend it with the love of your life (and me), or come meet the woman/man of your dreams (I can help)”–now who wouldn’t want to take him up on an offer like that? Regardless of how your night goes, one thing’s for sure–Beat Down the Kid will be spinning awesome tunes, and the dancing at Bellytimber (1501 W. Main St) will be off the hook. It all starts at 10:30 PM, and of course it’s free! For more info, click here.
Starlite’s Valentine’s Day Bash: OK, this isn’t even really a dance party–Beau, Erika, and Kirstin will be blasting tunes and keeping the drinks flowing all night, but really, tonight at Starlite is about having a place to go where you can pretend it’s just another Friday, and party the night away with all the usual friendly faces you see at this place. We imagine you’ll hear some great punk rock tunes over the sound system, but if you really just want to drink instead of dancing, Starlite (2600 W. Main St) has got you covered tonight. For more info, click here.
ONE OF A KIND EVENTS
If loud bands and hectic parties aren’t really your speed, never fear–there’s plenty of other stuff to do around RVA tonight. The Valentine’s theme is in effect, but these events will help you to laugh, ponder, or whoop your cares away in an environment that isn’t ear-splittingly loud.
Brews & Burlesque Valentine’s Day Edition: Those Freaking Weirdos and Strangeways Brewing have been engaged in a collaboration on a monthly event bringing together these two wonderful things (beer and scantily-clad babes) for a while now, but this month, the second-Friday event just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. With Strangeways dishing out the fine brews and Those Freaking Weirdos joined by Lea Loveless, Whiskey A. Gogo (these burlesque names, gotta love em), Jen Coffin, and DJ Jesse James Felice on the tunes, you’re guaranteed a fun night of clothes-shedding acrobatics. This show, taking place at Strangeways Brewing (2277A Dabney Rd), officially begins at 9 PM. Advance tickets are close to selling out, but there’ll be 25 available for purchase at the door, so if you miss the online sale, get there early! For more info and to order tickets, click here.
The Relationship Show at Coalition Theatre: The Richmond Comedy Coalition crew is planning a celebration of Valentine’s Day in their own inimitable fashion. The Relationship Show is an improvisational extravaganza in which the Coalition crew will draw on stories told by audience members for sketches that will be mixed in with scenes they make up on the spot. Who knows what kind of craziness will ensue, but we can guarantee one thing–it will be hilarious! It all starts tonight at 8 PM at The Coalition Theater (8 W. Broad St)–for more info and to order tickets, click here.
Love Song: New Paintings and Drawings by Mary Chiaramonte: If on this Valentine’s Day you don’t even feel up to hearing other people talk in anything other than hushed tones, we understand. However, there’s even an event for that kind of feeling, and you can catch it by heading over to the Eric Schindler Gallery (2305 E. Broad St) at 7 PM tonight for the opening of local artist Mary Chiaramonte’s latest solo exhibition, Love Song. These works will give you the opportunity to quietly ponder the nature of love and its relationship to art, and hopefully you’ll go home with something other than your own sadness to think about. For more info, click here.
Whether you do one, five, or none of these things tonight, we hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget to hit up CVS tomorrow for sales on cheap Valentine’s Day candy. That’s always the best part of this holiday.