Tedeschi Trucks Band carries a distinguished reputation as one of the premier live bands performing today – and they show no signs of slowing down as they head into their ninth year together. Led by Derek Trucks’ stinging fretwork and Susan Tedeschi’s naturally stunning, emotive vocals and guitar talents, the 12-member strong collective continues to expand musical boundaries in ways that only a rare caliber of musician can achieve. The band is touring in 2019 behind their fourth studio album, Signs. Commanding performances and exceptional musical chemistry – hallmarks of the can’t-miss-concert experience fans have come to anticipate live – are evident throughout the album’s eleven original tracks. From uplifting soulful anthems, to bittersweet ballads and driving rock and roll, Tedeschi Trucks Band delivers a sound and message that taps tradition while also extending the edges of American music with a genre defying collection that is all their own.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking 2015 Olivier award nominated musical CATS comes to Richmond direct from its sell-out seasons at the London Palladium. Adapted from TS Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, this “groundbreaking musical” (Daily Express) comes together in a sparkling fusion of music, dance and verse, and has now taken on a new life for a new generation. On just one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, makes the Jellicle choice and announces which of them will go up to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life. With “timeless music, spectacular sets and a superb cast” (Daily Mirror), breathtaking choreography and of course the unforgettable ‘Memory’, CATS is a magical musical like no other. Let CATS thrill you once again, but don’t miss out on a seat – act fast and book your tickets today! “It’s the cat’s whiskers” (The Times).
Holiday Dreams, A Spectacular Holiday Cirque!
Holograms, projection mapping, interactive lasers and award-wining cirque artists all come together under the most spectacular holiday production show in the world! Holiday Dreams presents a jaw-dropping, modern holiday show featuring cirque artists, comedy, daredevils and a modern soundtrack.
Holiday Dreams is a holiday show unlike any other. The story centers around two characters: one who is going to tell a wonderful Christmas story and the other, a Grinch-like heckler from the audience who is at the “wrong show.” Jaded and cynical, our whimsical heckler is taken into a journey around the beauty and wonder of the Holiday Season, represented in all its glory with the use of projection mapping–a technique of projecting computer images as seen by audiences in television shows like America’s Got Talent. Holiday Dreams also features holograms, where elements seem to appear and disappear from thin air and interactive Lasers. An incredibly diverse and talented cast of acrobats, cirque performers, musical comedy actors and daredevils round out this truly unique and modern show.
About the Show
Holiday Dreams is not your average holiday show! It harnesses the magic of Christmas to create an awesome holiday spectacle, using projection mapping, and hologram technology to create a truly unique show. The story is elegant in its simplicity and designed to be followed by audiences of all ages.
Despite its corporate influences, Richmond’s Dragon Boat Festival was an entertaining spectacle of Chinese culture by the James.
A little piece of China came to Richmond earlier this month, when the Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival hit Rocketts Landing on August 3. The festival, which has run annually for the past 11 years, featured 41 teams competing on the James alongside a variety of Chinese cultural performances.
Dragon boat festivals originated in China, and are usually held as a cultural festival around the summer solstice. The tradition of racing dragon boats dates back to the 5th or 6th century, and today the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) helps to organize rowing teams and races throughout the world. Every other year, the IDBF hosts a world championship in different cities around the globe.
The journey to my first-ever dragon boat festival began on the GRTC Pulse. With the final eastbound stop being Rocketts Landing, the Pulse was the obvious choice for anyone seeking a quick way to the festival without hopping in a car or sweating on a bike. But for some unexplained reason, my bus stopped at the Shockoe Bottom station; passengers were informed that the bus would not be traveling any further. This was unexpected, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Virginia Capital Trail was just two blocks away. The 10 minute walk to the festival along the river came complete with cool breezes and nice views of Richmond’s skyline.
The trail took me right to the middle of the festival, which was in full swing when I arrived. A voice over the PA system narrated a race in real time as teams cheered on from tents along the river. Meandering lines of attendees led to a handful of food trucks, which provided festival-goers with all of the essentials, from funnel cakes to beer.
Farther down the trail, crowds gathered to watch Chinese traditional dances. Conveniently, the performances largely took place between dragon boat races, so there was no need to pick between one or the other. An announcer — who couldn’t have been over the age of 10 — expertly described what was happening in each dance, and what it meant within the context of Chinese culture. Elegant and informative, the Chinese cultural performances were a definite highlight of the festival.
In the river, long canoe-like boats containing 22 rowers plus a drummer sped through the water. While it was a little difficult to get a great view of the boats because of our distance from shore, it was clear where each of the boats stood in the race. The speed at which the boats traveled was truly impressive; none of the races I witnessed lasted much more than a minute and a half.
Seeing nearly two dozen people working together to propel a massive boat forward is quite a spectacle. This, in combination with the cultural performances, made the festival well worth attending. But throughout my time at the festival, I couldn’t help but get the feeling that things were a little off — in the most corporate way possible. It seems as though many of the teams participating in the races were representatives from big businesses, participating in the festival for team-building exercises. Perhaps I’m being cynical, but in many ways, the Dragon Boat Festival resembled an employee playground for major corporations, who drank beer and took cool photos while superficially signaling support for the community at hand.
Perhaps the festival would have felt less corporate if the teams had come up with names a bit more creative than “Team CarMax” or “Altria East/Spring.” I will admit, though, that “Bankers Aweigh” perfectly captured the corporate/boating feeling of the festival while making me smile.
All in all, the Dragon Boat Festival was a fun way to spend a Saturday. While there are definitely ways the festival could feature better, more in-depth discussions of Chinese culture in the future, watching almost unbelievably long boats race down the James was definitely worth the trip to Rocketts Landing.
Top Photo by Jimmy O’Keefe
Today, all you need to make a silly, simple YouTube video is the camera on your phone–it could even go viral. Many creative people have taken this simple video platform and turned it into a career, making consistent, quality entertainment that keeps us up and laughing past 2 a.m.
Dan Howell and Phil Lester are two of those people. And they’re coming to Richmond one week from today.
With over ten million subscribers between their channels, “danisnotonfire” and “AmazingPhil” respectively, Howell and Lester have taken their personal brands and self-deprecating humor (that would even make Conan O’Brien proud) and made themselves into household names.
Based in London, they each uploaded their first videos in 2009 as vlogs (video blogs), Howell’s being titled “HELLO INTERNET” and Lester’s being “Phil’s Video Blog – 27th March 2006”. They have since collaborated their efforts, making various videos both together and separately on each of their channels that range from funny stories, ‘Day in the Life’ videos, memes, and general thoughts on life and current events.
While their content on the whole is generally dry, self-deprecating humor (Howell made a video on the incredible feat of how to get out of bed), on occasion they get a little serious for the betterment of their younger fanbase. Howell alone has made a couple videos addressing his own experiences with having depression and how that affects his life.
Dan and Phil speaks to my generation (millennials) specifically for these reasons, and uses self-deprecation as a way of coping. Our generation is in this weird, in-between place where we have both fewer financial opportunities and advantages than the generations both before and after us, but are still held to an unreasonably high standard. We’re struggling to find work, to buy a house, to live an adult life as we all ebb closer to our thirties–still drowning in school debt, with no relief in sight, and no ounce of compassion from our “suck it up and get over it” older generations, who navigated entirely different economic and political terrains in their 20s.
And it’s not just because we’re all buying avocado toast. This writer personally isn’t even a fan, but rock on if you are.
“I just prefer a different kind of humor but I can definitely understand why they have so many fans,” said local Richmonder Rob Morley. “They’re not the only ones doing that kind of humor, like you said. It’s maybe a coping thing.”
Even those who are not huge fans of the duo can see the valuable and relatable social commentary that their videos provide to millennials, who struggle to find understanding from elders, yet discover solace and kindred mentalities with the humorous commentary of YouTube stars. While Dan and Phil’s video output has slowed down (no doubt due to preparing for the upcoming tour), I’m sure there will soon be more to make us laugh until we cry and remember (ironically, of course) the crippling amount of debt and stress we are under.
Interactive Introverts: Dan and Phil 2018 World Tour is happening now and will be at the Altria Theater on July 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33, and more information can be found here.
You’ve heard “Bad and Boujee,” the number one song in the country, but you truly haven’t heard it until you’ve heard it live.
Initially, I was skeptical about a major rap act in the Altria Theatre. I had seen Travis Scott perform there some months prior and the weight of his audience in the pit caused the floor to become unstable, putting the entire concert at a standstill. Still, I thought it would be interesting to see how the Atlanta-based Migos played out their huge trap sound in a venue that only holds around 3500 people.
The concert opened its doors at 8:30, with influxes of people wearing everything from Siberian hats (courtesy of the “T-Shirt” video influence to custom retro Air Jordans still flooding doors through 10pm.
The Altria’s attention to crowd control was unmatched with many concerts I’ve been to in Richmond, with ushers going above and beyond to show patrons to their seats.
What was lacking, however, was a better bar presence. The setup on the ground level was nothing more than DIY cocktail station devoid of liquor choice and affordable brews. More than once, I witnessed the bartenders service guests by pouring generous amounts of limited liquor in a plastic cup, only to run out of juice or a mixer.
Ultimately, the crowd was at the whim of the promoters, KoolParties and Facejay’s, choices for opening entertainment. The energy from iPower hosts Cam Cooper and Paris Nicole was strong, however many guests at the show were unable to identify the opening acts that featured two DJs and another emcee.
This didn’t stop everyone from dancing to club favorites from similar artists such as Future, Gucci Mane and even some Kodak Black, but it would have been nice to clearly hear who the other performers were. Closed-circuit television screens focused on the stage weren’t really helpful either, since they were consistently blurry (most likely from the bass shaking the Altria from every song). After about two hours of priming the crowd, DJ Durell and the Migos did saunter onstage and that moment was the turning point for the energy to go from ‘huge house party’ to ‘history in the making.’
— Blessed (@Facejay) March 26, 2017
Quavo, Takeoff and Offset ripped through banger after banger, starting with some more classic tracks like “Fight Night” and “Freak No More” from their album No Label 2 while Quavo effortlessly played his assumed role as front man in the rap trio. Every time, without fail, Quavo would ask his audience a question or give chances for the crowd to sing along and the balconies would buck and bounce under the weight of screaming dancing fans.
You could feel the music reverberate from the entry doors and sitting in the Grand Tier felt like more of a gamble than standing in the pit near the stage.
The show was high-energy from start to finish and better than a run-of-the mill rap performance. As a huge Hip Hop fan, I still find trouble staying engaged at rap shows because of the lack of interaction from artists or stage set-up: live bands offer way more stage presence just due to utilized space, especially compared to one emcee and a DJ.
That’s why you see rappers of recent travel with gaudy festival-like stage setups that include screens or psychedelic visuals behind them to amplify the experience. Migos had no such thing and held their own between the three of them; interchangeably delivering their verses and playing hypemen. The night culminated in the celebration of the artists’ most recent platinum album, Culture.
The city of Richmond rapped mega rap tracks like “Bad and Boujee” and “Slippery” right back to the Migos, bar for bar and any show where the entire audience knows every word, is a solid show indeed.