I’ll try and keep my excitement for this week’s Friday Cheers to a minimum. Actually, no — I won’t. This line-up is freakin’ amazing, people! Seriously, I can’t remember a show in town I’ve been more excited for this year so far and I’ve had this date marked on my calendar since the moment it was announced. Kurt Vile, Shovels & Rope, Drew Holcomb — these are great shows too, but hands down, the true “can’t miss” show for Friday Cheers this year is RVA Music Night this week. If you aren’t at least a little stoked about this lineup, then you’re just not paying attention to music here in Richmond. But don’t worry. This is the perfect time to start.
Richmond transplant Natalie Prass is the headliner of the event, and trust me when I say that any show with her on the bill instantly becomes “must attend.” It seems like the music world’s ear has turned more to Richmond in 2016 and you can bet that Prass is a big reason for that shift. Of course, acts like No BS! and Matthew E. White laid the groundwork and Lucy Dacus continues to draw people in now, but Prass’ ingenious debut record last year really made people want to dig deeper into what Richmond had to offer. Prass is an artist with charm and radiance that’s unavoidable and you can feel it whether she’s performing her delicately intimate songs or pulling off some jaw-dropping ’90s dance moves. The possibility of hearing the power of “My Baby Don’t Understand Me” as the sun sets on Brown’s Island is just too much for me, or any of you reading this, to not attend on Friday.
Local favorites Lady God with their timeless rock sound are on the bill as well and if you’ve ever caught a whiff of what this frenetic quartet is doing, you know it’s imperative to catch them in all their glory on the Friday Cheers stage. The band is made up of Richmond devotees and since their formation, they’ve been doing everything they can to earn the title of “Richmond’s hardest working band.” They might just have earned it too. That hard work has paid off immensely though as their musical powder keg is now perfected with each sweltering lyrical jab bringing the band one step closer to erupting on stage and the audience one step closer to becoming instant fans.
Singer Sam Reed from the Jellowstone camp rounds out the event and gives you a reason to duck out of work early on Friday so you can grab an ideal spot in front of the stage. This is music you definitely want to experience up close too. In a perfect representation of Jellowstone’s roots, Reed will provide the most diverse set by far on Friday night where she’ll effortlessly weave in and out of funk, R&B, pop, rock, and more. Just listen to “True Value” or any other song on her 2015 record This Is Love. It’s incredible, and it positions Reed as the shining star of the Jellowstone camp, which is the highest praise you could offer considering all the incredible musicians and artists attached to the group.
Three prominent local artists offering up their own distinct, striking music, which showcases perfectly the diversity and quality Richmond has to offer. Yeah, cancel any plans you have going on Friday — this is where you need to be.
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