Hey there, folks, it’s that time of the week when we normally let you know all the best goings-on in the live music scene here in Richmond and around the state for the next week! As you may have realized, though, the current COVID-19 outbreak and the many social and legal restrictions placed on large gatherings have almost entirely shut down the live music scene here in Virginia. There may be a few things still going on, but we wouldn’t feel very responsible advocating for you to go see them. What’s a show-loving girl to do?
Well, for this week’s column, I decided to have compassion for those of you who have either joined me in the wonderful world of working at home (welcome to the club — isn’t it fun doing your job in your pajamas?) or, more unfortunately, found yourselves without any work while your place of business is temporarily shut down. I may not be able to send you to any clubs to see awesome bands light up your evening with their killer sounds… but I can offer you ten great performances by Richmond bands, all available for your viewing pleasure right here on the internet. You can space them out one (or two) per day as with the usual column, or binge them all tonight — the choice is yours! Crank the volume on your headphones for this one.
Lamb Of God at Hellfest Open Air, Clisson, France, June 23, 2019
We’ll start with what we all certainly hope is a preview of coming attractions — a full set by Lamb Of God, complete with multiple cameras and top-quality audio. Richmond’s veteran metal faves are planning as of now to release their latest LP, Lamb Of God, on May 8, and follow it up with a full US tour, featuring June dates at Jiffy Lube Live in NoVA and Veterans United Amphitheater in Virginia Beach. Will all that still happen in light of COVID-19? We can hope… and in the meantime, we can take comfort in this one-hour preview of what Lamb Of God’s latest lineup, now featuring former Prong drummer Art Cruz in place of retiring OG Chris Adler, has in store for us.
Division Of Mind at FYA Fest, Tampa, Florida, Jan 5, 2020
Taking things to a bit more of an underground level, here we have a room-destroying performance by Richmond hardcore ragers Division Of Mind, at Florida’s FYA Fest back at the beginning of this year. Guttural vocals, chugging guitars, brutal breakdowns, and an equally brutal mosh pit are what this video is all about. Better yet, despite the circumstances, it still features multiple camera angles and a great sound mix. Division Of Mind don’t have a social media presence (right on, I wish I didn’t), so I don’t know what’s up with them at this moment, but I’m sure they’d appreciate you grabbing a copy of their recent self-titled LP on Triple B Records if you haven’t already.
No BS! Brass Band at The Broadberry, April 17, 2014
Let’s take things in a more upbeat direction, shall we? This six-year-old live performance by No BS! Brass Band isn’t the most recent live footage online by this group, but there’s no substitute for seeing this Richmond favorite right here at home. And since at this moment, we have no way of knowing whether their gig planned for April 3 at The Broadberry is still going to happen or not, we may as well enjoy their music from home right now. Push the coffee table back and dance, y’all. And consider buying some merch from them, if you have the scratch — they will really appreciate the support. (Needless to say, that goes for all the bands on this list.)
Avail at House Of Independents, Asbury Park, New Jersey, September 5, 2019
Did you miss all the Avail reunion sets last year? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And if you’re not planning to head to Punk Rock Bowling or Furnace Fest later this year, you might especially appreciate this audience recording of their set in Asbury Park last summer. This is one of the few videos I’ve picked that doesn’t have pro audio, so the sound isn’t perfect, but what is perfect is that evocation of what it felt like to be crammed up against the stage (always my favorite spot), singing along and avoiding the moshers… and the sweat flying off Beau Beau’s head. We can’t be there now, but it’s a lovely reminder.
Want to chill with some fine hip hop? Check this Brewer’s Cafe session from last fall, featuring two of Richmond hip hop’s leading lights of the 21st century. Nickelus F is on the mic, spitting some of the best rhymes you’ll find anywhere in the world, while Ohbliv keeps the beats flowing on the decks. They’re behind the Brewer’s counter, and they aren’t serving up any hot drinks, but Brewer’s Cafe is still open for carryout and delivery today, and both Sweet Petey and Ohbliv have plenty of great tunes available over on Bandcamp for your listening pleasure (links above). They’d all appreciate your business during this trying time, I can assure you.
Palm Palm at River City Roll, September 1, 2019
If you know how awesome J. Roddy Walston & The Business were as a live act, you really need to catch Palm Palm, Walston’s new band with members of The Trillions, The Southern Belles, and the Milkstains. These folks had the misfortune of having their spring tour fall apart while they were on it earlier this month; they had to skip the last half of their dates and head home because all the other shows were cancelled. Fortunately for us, their set from last summer at River City Roll is online in its entirety, featuring high-quality audio and a very active single camera capturing the event from all kinds of angles. If you dig this, hit up Palm Palm online to support them by buying a t-shirt. After losing quite a few tour dates, they sure could use the help.
Windhand at Elsewhere, Brooklyn, NY, November 2, 2018
Windhand is another Richmond band who had a tour fall apart on them this month; indeed, this very night, they were supposed to be in Harrisonburg playing The Golden Pony. Now that show, and the rest of their March tour dates, are cancelled, and the only place we can see them is on YouTube. Luckily for us, this incredible live performance was captured by Revolver Magazine in high-quality audio by multiple cameras back in 2018, and we can enjoy it to our heart’s content now. With their tour having been cancelled, Windhand have been selling leftover tour merch on their BigCartel page — go grab some records and t-shirts if you’ve got the scratch.
.gif From God at Wonderland, July 5, 2019
Here’s what will doubtless be the messiest live video you’ll see this week — .gif From God laying waste to Wonderland last summer, in their inimitable fashion. This video is washed out and chaotic, full of flying hair and overdriven guitar chugs, and if you don’t know these songs going in, you might at times struggle to make out what’s going on. But that’s what .gif From God are all about, and if you ask me, it’s part of their charm — a delightful wall of chaos. No word as yet on the status of .gif From God’s April tour, but if you don’t have a copy of their latest LP, approximation_of_a_human, now is absolutely the time to get one. And if you do, you should donate to their Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project fundraising team — a good cause is still a good cause, even during a quarantine.
Bio Ritmo at Rio Loco Festival, Toulouse, France, June 19, 2015
And now for something completely different — a high-energy salsa infusion from long-running local band/party machine Bio Ritmo. This was filmed several years ago and far from home, but don’t get it twisted — this impeccably-documented performance is still muy caliente and well worth your time. Bio Ritmo haven’t performed locally since back around Christmas and don’t have anything in particular coming up, so why not stock up on their impressive back catalog over at their Bandcamp? Guaranteed to heat up your living room even if your space heater’s broken.
Good Day RVA Live Sessions Playlist, feat. Benjamin Shepherd, McKinley Dixon and Friends, Sports Bar, Doll Baby, The Wimps, Spooky Cool, Antiphons, Dumb Waiter, Clair Morgan aka New Lions, Dave Watkins, Lobo Marino, Navi, The Trillions, Andrew Alli & Josh Small, White Laces, Nelly Kate, Houdan The Mystic, Black Girls aka Rikki Shay
Who’s up for a lightning round? Good Day RVA have got the mother of all live sessions for you here with a mega-playlist featuring all of the sessions they’ve filmed over their entire career, which has been going on for… damn near 10 years now. Wow, time flies, huh? These videos feature a who’s who of Richmond’s best musicians, captured at various evocative sites around Richmond and ensuring that the city itself is just as much of their videos as the excellent bands involved. Maybe you’ve missed some of these over the years and need a reminder, or maybe you saw them all when they came out and would just enjoy a playlist full of great Richmond sights and sounds with which to warm your heart while you’re stuck in the house. Either way, this will go down smooth and warm your heart and soul. Guaranteed.
Must-See Shows will be back next week. Whether we return with actual live shows around town, or more video picks to get us through another week of quarantine, only time will tell… but I’m not getting my hopes up. See you then!