This Friday. Jeez. This might be the most stacked day for live music in a long time, Richmond. Practically every venue has something worthwhile going on. Friday Cheers has indie troubadour Kurt Vile and RVA jewel Lucy Dacus. The spectacular Sam Reed’s heading up a Michael Jackson tribute at The Camel (what!). Both Butcher Brown and Tennison will be at Strange Matter representing Jellowstone. The Broadberry has Brooklyn rapper AZ stopping by on his Do Or Die 20th Anniversary tour (as shrewdly picked by Drew in her column). Capital Ale House Music Hall has a free show with buzzy Lynchburg band Vacation Manor. And to top it all off, Death Cab For Cutie is playing their first show in Richmond since…2001? Is that right? Millhiser Gym ring a bell for anyone?
So yeah, you’ve got your pick of shows to go to on Friday and you should take full advantage of it. But maybe you’re overwhelmed by the wide array of viable choices. Or maybe you just want to try something new. Either way, let me help you out here.
You should go see Captive at Gallery5.
Captive’s a five piece rock group from here in town with a familiar sound that is also too ambitious for its own good. Though tons of cliques could stake claim to the band, it seems they actually exist on the ill-defined boundaries of genres like prog, math, and post rock, where they’ve forge a sound that’s particularly novel, especially for Richmond. What I love most about the band is how selective they are with what they borrow from each genre. For instance, there are plenty of prog rock influences you’ll hear in their music, but the genre’s hallmark of maximalism is strikingly absent and replaced with a post-rock minimalist approach that really stretches each song. Like all the genres mentioned before, there are plenty of sudden musical twists to keep you on your toes, wondering what’s coming next. Perhaps most alluring about their sound though is how pointed and guided it can be. Too many of their contemporaries are content with five minute meandering pieces that struggle to make a point. Not Captive. Their lyrics are filled with relatable ambiguity that’s driven by music that swirl around a concept before making it crystal clear.
If any of this sounds tempting to you, then you should check out their debut record from March, A Lost Dream; The Dreamer Lost. It’s a bit of an overlooked gem for Richmond releases so far, something understandable when you realize what’s been released in the city thus far and what’s still to come this year. But gem is exactly what is and it quickly became one of my favorite Richmond records of 2016. “Kaleidoscopes” was on repeat for days and I still find myself marveling at the brief magnificence of “Return.” Check the record out and make sure you catch them live to so you can learn just how well it translates to the stage.
Supporting Captive on this bill are always entertaining local bands Deer Eat Birds (formerly Motel Fire) and A Woman Is A Woman. Deer Eat Birds have been climbing the ranks here in town by playing with bands like Manatree, Camp Howard, and even some national acts like Peach Kelli Pop, and they’ve been winning over crowds the whole time with their loose version of jazz rock. A Woman Is A Woman might be the most recognizable band on this bill due to their appearances at Radio Rubber Room events, but the quartet’s actually been taking it easy on live shows recently as they put the finishing touches on their debut record due out hopefully this year. That actually makes it a perfect time to catch a show from them as you’ll get a sneak preview of all the stuff in store for us on that record, as well as some pent up energy being unleashed by four dudes who just love how to rock.
As I said, you have more than enough to choose from this Friday night, but if you’re looking for some intriguing rock music that will keep you guessing all night long, you might want to head over to Gallery5.
Friendly reminder: RVA Must-See Shows is a free (and great!) resource for the local music fan, so why not contribute to ensure its wonderful creator/editor/amazing person has the means to keep it going? $1 a month from each reader is more than enough to keep the wheels moving so take this plea under consideration and donate if you can over at https://www.patreon.com/rvamustseeshows.