RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 7/27-8/2


Friday, July 29, 8 PM
Avers (LP release show), Blank Range, Camp Howard @ The Broadberry – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Life feels like a crazy blur sometimes, y’all. There are points where everything is moving too fast and shit gets way out of control–if you haven’t experienced any moments like this, let me assure you, they’re coming. But knowing this to be the case, it is nice to have some reliable things that one can count on in life. Like rad local bands releasing new music with which to soothe your stressed-out soul. 

Avers is doing exactly that this week, with new LP Omega/Whatever entering the world via Egghunt Records–who I guess have now signed every single hot indie band in this town? Hey, more power to ’em! The starpower-laden Avers lineup has shifted a bit since their killer psych-rock debut took this town by storm a couple years ago, but with Adrian Olsen and Alexandra Spalding, formerly of Hypercolor, still up front keeping things rolling, the level of quality you’ve come to expect from their music is assured! The new singles are pretty rad too, I must say. Bit of a harder edge than the debut, which is certainly welcome.

So will Avers blow your hair back Friday night at the Broadberry with their killer selection of brand new bangers as well as tunes you know and love? Yes, I think that’s pretty inevitable. There will be some cool rock n’ roll from the openers too–Nashville’s Blank Range has a bit of a twangier edge, but that whole psych-garage feel is very much present within their music too. Camp Howard are catchy, fun, fresh-faced young men with rad sounds aplenty to deliver your way. This whole show is gonna be a ton of fun for anyone who likes to dance to some fine rockin’ sounds. Plus, all of RVA’s prime movers and shakers will be there!


Wednesday, July 27, 7 PM
Third Eye Blind @ Innsbrook Pavilion – $20-79 plus fees (order tickets HERE)
Any other week, I’d probably need to remind you of just how much fun 90s stalwarts Third Eye Blind truly are. You’d only have your dim memories of “Semi-Charmed Life” and its open lyrical endorsements of crystal meth to refer back to. But this is probably the perfect week for these guys to come to town–fresh on the heels of their recent defiant behavior towards Republican National Convention attendees who stumbled into their Cleveland show that weekend and got mercilessly mocked from stage. Immediately afterwards, Third Eye Blind released a new single supporting Black Lives Matter and hating on cops, which is always rad. So maybe these guys are actually relevant again!

In truth, though, I’m just as guilty as the next girl of thinking of Third Eye Blind mostly in nostalgic terms. They had a lot more to offer than “Semi-Charmed Life” or even “How’s It Gonna Be,” though–that first self-titled album from 1997 is pretty much unassailable throughout, and followup Blue is also very good. These guys probably don’t like to think of themselves as a nostalgia act, but chances are they recognize the material that made up their prime, and you can expect to hear plenty of late-90s gems alongside “Cop Vs Phone Girl”–and maybe even some Republican hateration if you’re really lucky! Head to Innsbrook tonight and have some fun!


Thursday, July 28, 7 PM
Frankie Cosmos, Warehouse, Big Baby @ Strange Matter – $15 (order tickets HERE)
A lot of times I get hung up on the very literal celebrity pedigree that brings us the woman known as Frankie Cosmos–if no other journalist has told you this yet, Greta Kline is the daughter of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. But let’s be real, you knew that shit. What you might not know is how appealing Kline/Cosmos’s lovely, delicate folk-pop truly is. She just released her latest album, Next Thing, back in April, and there are aspects of everything from the amateurish jangle of early 90s K Records bands (Beat Happening, Tiger Trap, Courtney Love–Lois Maffeo’s band, not the singer for Hole; etc) to the spunky spirit of poppy folk-punk bands of the past decade or so (Bomb The Music Industry, Defiance Ohio, stuff like that). Sad girls who need a smile will be delighted by the sounds emanating from stage tonight–and so will everyone else!

There are a bunch of rad sounds happening during the opening bands as well, y’all! Warehouse hail from Atlanta and remind me of a lot of really great bands that have come out of the tougher end of the melodic indie/punk scene over the past decade or so. Most prominently, I’m thinking of Bully and Screaming Females–though that might just be because singer Elaine Edenfield has some major vocal resemblances to the frontwomen for those two bands. Musically, the band’s jangly sound is also inflected with some mellow yet guitar-heavy vibes that remind me of early 90s bands that straddled the line between indie-pop and shoegaze (there are some first-LP Velocity Girl feels in here for sure). Big Baby are your openers, and this new band from members of Young Scum and Antiphons sees the boys in question backing up a promising young female songwriter whose songs will have you tapping your feet with delight.


Friday, July 29, 7:30 PM
Tommy Stinson’s Cowboys In The Campfire, Long Arms @ Gallery 5 – $10 in advance/$13 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Friday night might have been killing Tommy Stinson back in the early 90s when he was fresh out of The Replacements (a band he started playing bass for when he was literally 12 years old) and finding his feet as a frontman. But it’s hopefully bringing him back to life in RVA this week, as Friday night will see Stinson and a pickup crew of friends with acoustic guitars take the stage at Gallery 5. Who knows what sort of sounds we’ll hear–Americana, punk rock, metal (after all, Stinson was in Guns N’ Roses for quite a while longer than Slash was), country, and all sorts of other genres are potentially on the menu.What’s really important to Stinson and compatriots Frankie Lee and Chip Roberts is giving the people who show up a good time.

There is apparently a new album (will that, like the tour, also be called Cowboys In The Campfire? I’m really not sure), which has some similar elements to the songs you’ll hear this weekend at Gallery 5. But Stinson’s main goal with this current tour is to “do something fun and low-maintenance with a guitar on my back and a couple of friends.” I admit that I’ll be hoping for him to break out some Bash And Pop tunes, but that might be a really farfetched wish. One thing I do know for sure is that Long Arms frontman James Menefee is stoked to be playing an acoustic opening set on this bill. Anyone who’s heard anything Menefee’s ever done over the course of his long career probably recognizes the significant influence the Replacements had on making him the songwriter he is today. And Menefee and co. carry on that tradition with aplomb, so there’ll be some high-quality, heartfelt music waiting for you when Long Arms take the stage as well.


Saturday, July 30, 9 PM
This City Called Earth, Trinkets, Ashes, Doctor Collins @ Strange Matter – $5
Folks, this Saturday night is your time to math out. This City Called Earth are, in a way, a musical version of a bowl of ramen noodles. Bear with me here, I promise it’ll make sense. The unpredictable rhythms and pleasing melodic changes are the spice that gives the whole thing such a delicious flavor, while all those tangled, intertwined noodles represent the millions of complex riffs that ebb, flow, and twist around each other throughout all of this band’s songs. Fingertaps, effects pedals, and multilayered drum fills are core ingredients in the delicious musical soup this band is serving up–vocals would only get in the way. So come groove to their instrumental sounds this Saturday night at Strange Matter–but make sure you’re ready to play close attention, because tapping your foot along to this band’s tunes is hardly a simple thing.

There’s more math rock in store for ya from the Trinkets–apparently also a local project, though this is the first I’ve heard of them. But hey, if they’ve been hiding out, it was time well spent, because they’ve got a whole bunch of lovely tuneage awaiting us Saturday night–at least if their Watoga EP from back in spring is any indication. I’m not sure if I have yet referenced the excellent early 90s emo band Ashes while writing about today’s Richmond band of the same name–if I have, I guess this is an encore performance. But I’m sure you’re wondering about the band you’ll actually see on this bill, and my research indicates that these guys have some moody indie rock jams to lay down for you. Should be cool (even if I do still miss Elena Ritchie). Doctor Collins will get things started with some fun, goofy synth-rock. This is a great time to learn about a bunch of up and comers from the local scene, y’all–do it up!


Sunday, July 31, 7 PM
One Master, Bog Of The Infidel, Scowl, Voarm, Appalling @ 25 Watt – $10
You know, I don’t know a ton about any of the bands on this latest Between 2 Beers extravaganza, taking place at 25 Watt this Sunday night. But I’m always down to check out anything these guys bring to town, just because I know they have excellent taste in all different forms of extreme metal. This has been borne out once again, judging from the bandcamp links that are scattered throughout the rather minimalist facebook event page from which I learned of this show. One Master, our headliners, come to us from the northeast and bring some raw, raging black metal epics with which to flay our eardrums from our skulls. I’m not sure that’s even a thing one can do to eardrums, but if it is, it’ll happen to at least one unlucky soul at this show Sunday night. But really, what are the chances it’ll be you? Plus, even if it is you, it’ll be metal as fuck. You’ll be telling that story towards closing time at bars for years.

OK, that paragraph got a little weird. What else should I talk about? Maybe the FOUR other bands on this bill? An excellent suggestion! Bog Of The Infidel (not to be confused with Blog Of The Infidel, which is a name someone might conceivably give to this very website) hail from Rhode Island, which may mean they’re making the trip down in One Master’s company. That’d certainly make sense considering how fucking hard they shred all over the place on the mp3s I found online. This is a bit crazier and more hectic than One Master, but it sure is raw, raging black metal, and therefore an opportunity to double your pleasure! And that’s before black metal-influenced grindcore goofballs Scowl, who hail from NYC, get their licks in. With locals Voarm and Appalling kicking things off with even more black metal madness, this will be a night filled with enough raw screams, blast beats, and buzzsaw guitars to satisfy even the most diehard of metal fans. Come bang your head!


Monday, August 1, 9 PM
ANIMAL presents: What Cheer? Brigade, Gull, Madison Turner, All The Saints Theater Company @ Strange Matter – $5-7 (sliding scale)
Hey, so I know No BS! Brass Band are from right here in RVA, and for a lot of people their excellent, original take on one of the most traditional jazz forms–which incorporates metal, punk, and hip hop into its classic vibe–is enough to satisfy them where brass bands are concerned. But look, if that’s you, you really should consider seeing what more is out there! One particularly killer example of a modern brass band doing plenty to push the form forward is Rhode Island’s What Cheer? Brigade, and this crew will be hitting RVA on Monday night courtesy of ANIMAL! So now you know, if there was ever even a shred of doubt (hint: there shouldn’t have been) that queer music fans can get down with a whole lot more than just electronic dance music.

What Cheer? Brigade are mixing far different influences into their sound than the ones local faves No BS! Brass are pulling from–you’ll hear some Eastern European vibes, some Bollywood touches, and classic Latin American forms like samba flowing through their twist on traditional jazz. With 19 members, this group needs no amps, and will have the Strange Matter crowd swinging from the rafters with the sheer jubilance of their sound. Wild, experimental one-man band Gull will open up, along with some inspirational folk-punk tunes from Madison Turner–who, if you’re lucky, might have some friends along to provide musical augmentation. All The Saints Theater Company are kicking this show off with a very special presentation of a “cantastoria”–Italian for “story-singer,” but in this case it refers to a theatrical form in which singing performers tell stories accompanied by relevant visual images. I’ve never seen anything remotely like this, so I’m super-interested in what they have in store. The whole show has a lot of amazing things in store, really–you’d be blowing it if you weren’t there!


Tuesday, August 2, 7 PM
Carcass, Crowbar, Ghoul, Night Demon @ The Broadberry – $25 (order tickets HERE)
METAL, you guys. Metal is so good. And the grind/death-metal fusion of Carcass’s best work is some of the best shit metal has to offer. Considering how long and how strongly I’ve held this viewpoint, it is a damn shame that I still have not seen these 30 year UK metal veterans perform live. I may not make it out this Tuesday night either (money is definitely tight right now), but if you can scrape up the $25 admission fee for this stacked bill, it will definitely reward you with interest.

Not only will you have a chance to see Carcass, still fronted by original founders Bill Steer and Jeff Walker, wipe the floor with everyone in the building, you’ll also get to check out some sets from a bunch of other metal heavyweights who are worth the price of admission on their own. Downbeat NOLA doom-mosh pioneers Crowbar are still going strong after a quarter-century themselves, and will have the room grimacing with intensity as they headbang in slow motion. Ghoul are coming from the opposite place–this wild band of thrashing maniacs like to take the stage wearing sacks over their heads and proceed to brutalize the entire place with wild thrash hysteria. Blood will be splattered–take care that it’s not yours! Night Demon get things going with some old school speed metal to, again, make you bang your head. In fact, if you do it right, you won’t stop headbanging all night–not even between bands! What are you, a lightweight?


Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows: rvamustseeshows@gmail.com

Hit up my Patreon page if you’d like to be a supporter of my endeavors here! RVA Must-See Shows will always be free, but any contribution helps ensure I can keep the column going into the future, and is massively appreciated! $1 a month is all we ask. Please consider it. https://www.patreon.com/rvamustseeshows


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