RVA Shows You Must See This Week: March 13 – March 19

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Saturday, March 16, 6 PM
Municipal Waste (Photo by Sarah Tsang, via Facebook), Ghoul, Necrot, Dead Heat, Public Acid @ The National – $28 (order tickets HERE)
Nearly 25 years into their career, Municipal Waste is a genuine institution in the modern Richmond scene, and in the 21st century hardcore-metal-crossover scene as a whole. And that’s a wild thought, because the whole time, they’ve just been a bunch of raging goofballs who want to party, thrash, and have fun. You can hear that on their latest release, which is actually a reissue of their 2002 EP Tango & Thrash. Originally a split with the band Bad Acid Trip, the new version replaces the Bad Acid Trip tracks with bonus tracks including covers of Poison Idea and Corrosion of Conformity. It’s raw, it’s stripped down, but in essence it’s the same sort of thing Municipal Waste are still doing today, as most recently documented on 2022’s Electrified Brain LP.

And that’s great, especially if you’re looking to have fun and rock out at a killer show this Saturday night. The Waste boys have always brought maximum energy and intensity to their live performances — you could say they’re very serious about having fun — and no matter how big a room they find themselves in, that remains true. Barriers up front might keep the stagedives to a minimum at this show at The National, but whether you’re down in the pit or up on the balcony, you’re sure to have a blast as these party-thrash legends lay waste to ya with some of the best metallic hardcore riffs and goofiest singalongs of the last few decades.

And while Municipal Waste will be worth the price of admission all by themselves, the fact that they’ve got such a stacked support lineup, um, lined up for this one makes me feel like we’ve all just hit the jackpot. Fellow thrash veterans Ghoul, who claim to hail from “Creepsylvania” and have a longtime history of alliance with the Waste, are first on the list of killer openers. These guys inject a bit more low-end death metal growl into their sound, but they’re sure to please any Municipal Waste heads who haven’t previously had the pleasure. Californians Necrot are a newer band with more of a straight-up Florida-style old-school death metal sound, and the riffage they dish out on their new LP, Lifeless Birth, is more than enough to get heads banging throughout the National. Like Municipal Waste, Dead Heat has strong connections to the hardcore scene from which they arose, and you can hear those roots in their song structures and tendency toward heavy breakdowns. However, they have a ton of thrash metal in their DNA, making them the sort of band that will connect with listeners no matter which side of the hardcore-metal dividing line they fall on. The evening begins with a set from Public Acid, whose music is closer to raw hardcore and farther from metal than anything else on this bill. That said, their scathing, urgent riffs and double-time tempos should certainly be able to win over anyone who appreciates the other bands on this bill. This one is just a ripper from start to finish. Get ready to hit the pit.

Wednesday, March 13, 9 PM
Prisoner, Listless, Parricide Sentence @ Fallout – $5-$10 donation 
This one should be pretty obvious to all of our regular readers, right? After all, Doug just premiered the first track from the new Prisoner album, Putrid | Obsolete, right here on this very website — and I’m sure you took a listen. If you’ve forgotten how it sounded though, go put it on and listen while you read this paragraph, because I’m sure hearing it for yourself will do a lot to underscore the truth of my words. To wit: the new Prisoner LP is a quantum leap beyond anything this band has done before. And to be clear, I liked them a lot before! In the six years since their first LP, though, they’ve managed to build their sound up from a foundation of blackened crust-core to a towering inferno of industrial, metal, noise, and punk that really just feels like the sonic version of the apocalypse. And that’s just when you’re listening to it at a reasonable volume through the headphones you use at work! Imagine the sheer heaviness this band will bring when they’re playing at top levels on the stage at Fallout tonight. You probably can’t even picture the full extent of the apocalyptic terror that will create within you.

But that’s OK, because you can just go to Fallout tonight and remove all mystery about the subject. Better yet, you’ll also get to see Richmonders Listless, who’ll be joining Prisoner on the tour in support of Putrid | Obsolete that they’re kicking off at this very show. Listless, who features members of .gif From God and Ostraca, takes a more straightforward approach than their members’ other projects, focusing on heavy breakdowns and chaotic rage on their killer 2021 split LP with Amygdala. There’s been no new material from this band since that split LP three years ago, but whether they’ve got new tunes to preview for us or are just hitting us with the hits, their set is sure to be a gloriously brutal experience. As for openers Parricide Sentence, they are easily as dark and heavy as any other band on this bill, but the fact that their downbeat, moody tunes are closer to gothic industrial than harsh, metallic punk makes them the closest band on this bill to fit the idea you might have in your head of a band that plays shows at Fallout. That’s OK, though — while we wouldn’t want this goth fetish club to entirely lose track of its usual stock in trade, it’s always nice to see them switch it up a bit. Get stoked for this one.

Thursday, March 14, 7 PM
Dikembe, Padfoot, Shotclock @ Cobra Cabana – $10 in advance, $15 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Longtime readers who’ve followed this column across all three of its digital homes over the past decade might remember back in the early 10s when I, an OG emo kid, was super stoked about the musical movement often referred to as the “emo revival.” A ton of great bands were part of it at the time, and I hoped they’d all stick around for a long time to come. Sadly, only a few are still hanging on in 2024… but if you, like me, are still really into a lot of those bands, you’ll be glad to know that one of the ones who did stick around is coming to town to rock us all this Thursday night at Cobra Cabana. Florida band Dikembe have been through some things since their heyday with records like 2011’s Chicago Bowls EP and 2012 debut LP Broad Shoulders, and their sound has evolved accordingly. 2020’s Muck is moodier, darker, and reliant on twinkly guitar leads than their early material. However, the band remains incredibly talented, and has moved in a more mature direction that fits with the fact that, believe it or not, all of us are more than a decade older than we were when we first heard Dikembe.

Whether you’re feeling moody and mature or just want to relive your early-10s basement-show heyday of singing along with “Scottie Spliffin” and “Apology Not Fucking Accepted,” Dikembe’s set at Cobra Cabana Thursday night is sure to bring you a thrill. Better yet, it’ll give you the chance to check out two Virginia-based bands who have plenty of the emotionally-driven melodic energy of classic emo bands. Padfoot is the first, and this Virginia Beach quartet certainly knows their way around a twinkly guitar lead. That being said, it’s the catchy layered-vocal choruses and complex song structures that are this band’s strong suit, and they’re sure to impress all comers when they hit the Cobra Cabana stage. Shotclock rounds out the bill, and while we still haven’t gotten any new material since 2022’s “Can’t Explain” single, the sheer bulletproof brilliance of that song is definitely still keeping me stoked two years later. Hopefully they’ve got some new jams in the pipeline; if you show up on time for this show, you’ll be the first to find out. Either way, this one’s gonna be a blast. You know what to do.

Friday, March 15, 8 PM
Appalling, Thonian Horde, Athame @ Bandito’s – $10
Black metal is a great genre, full of harsh screams, double-time drumming, and hyperspeed riffage. But there aren’t too many bands within the genre who won’t at least occasionally get a bit self-indulgent. That’s why I appreciate Richmond’s own Appalling: they don’t mess around. On 2022’s Sacrilege, they label track one as an intro, but even that song has heavy breakdowns, super-fast blastbeats, and throat-shredding roars aplenty. And once we get to the proper tracks, it’s fully time to batten the hatches as these dudes let it rip with a complete lack of restraint. That same unrestrained roar of metal glory is exactly what we all have to look forward to from Appalling’s set at Bandito’s Friday night. And after a long week of soul-deadening wage slavery, I’m sure that’s exactly what we all need.

We’ve got two other black metal-related bands on this bill as well. The first is Thonian Horde, a group hailing from rural Maryland who have proclaimed themselves “black n’ roll,” a hybrid genre classification that makes me want to make a joke about a Cajun seafood restaurant. Once I got used to the concept, though, I realized that Thonian Horde have a lot more in common with European black metal bands I’ve always liked (Emperor, Marduk) than I had expected. They definitely like to slow down and hit a groove in a manner you’d be more likely to expect from a stoner band, but they never lose sight of the elements that make their blackened sound so ferocious and memorable. As for fellow Marylanders Athame, they’ve got a bit more of a raw, death-metallic take on black metal, and if anything remind me of Bathory and Celtic Frost in their faster earlier days. Overall, this show is going to rage from beginning to end, and that’s not even mentioning the awesome Bandito’s nachos you have the option of starting your evening with. Hint hint.

Saturday, March 16, 6 PM
Clayhouse Live Presents: Battle Of The Bands For Palestine, feat. Solera, Wrong Worshippers, Brack Fisher, Camp Werewolf, Paradiso @ Monroe Park (620 W. Main St) – Donations requested
OK, honestly, I’m not sure how this one is going to work. The flyer lists the Main Street side of Monroe Park as the location for this battle of the bands — over where the swings were, for all the 45-plus-year-olds in my readership (that’s “across from the engineering building” for the rest of you). Is this a whole elaborately constructed outdoor event, or will the Clayhouse folks just show up with a stage, a PA, and a generator? We’ll all find out at the same time, but regardless — and regardless of who wins this “Battle of the Bands” — this show should be a lot of fun. And it’s for a good cause, as all donations collected at this event will be passed on to the besieged citizens of Palestine via VCU chapters of the Palestinian Student Organization, Students For Justice In Palestine, and Youth On The Rise, who have all partnered with Clayhouse for this event.

So yeah, regardless of the setup for this whole thing, it should be a great way to spend Saturday evening. It’s no surprise to find the politically-driven bass-drum punk duo Wrong Worshippers on this bill, and if you ask me, their set is the biggest musical reason to show up for this event. However, they’re far from the only excellent artist that’ll be performing. Indeed, while I’ve only managed to hear one song by youthful indie-gaze project Solera, I am definitely impressed with what I’ve heard and excited to check out more. Camp Werewolf has made a bit of a name for themselves with their intense, emotional indie sound, and they’ll certainly be a great addition to this fine evening. Paradiso are another relatively new project, one with impressive alt-metal riffs that are sure to get heads banging. Brack Fisher is a cosplayer and singer whose music I haven’t really heard, but they seem to integrate everything from drag performance to musical theatre into what they do, so that’ll definitely be a fascinating change of pace. Overall, this’ll be a great opportunity for Richmond music heads of all ages to see what some of the younger folks in the scene are up to and support an excellent cause. What more could you really need?

Sunday, March 17, 7 PM
Court Order, Concrete Ties, Betty Grey @ Bandito’s – $15
As a holiday, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t really for me. I mean, yes, I have a tiny bit of Irish ancestry, but I’m not a fan of wearing bright green clothes and I don’t drink alcohol, so there’s really not much it can offer me. Therefore, this year I’m going to spend Sunday the 17th doing what I’d normally be doing — looking for some good music to rock out to. Thankfully, such things are provided in abundant amounts by the bill Bandito’s is presenting this St. Patrick’s Day, which is headlined by Brooklyn/Jersey crew Court Order. While this band’s latest EP, Twilight Patrol, shows off an impressive musical reach, Court Order’s sound most frequently hovers around the heaviest end of the hardcore spectrum, managing to be every bit as heavy, brutal, and guttural as New York-style death metal without ever losing that quintessential hardcore groove. If you’re a fan of Harms Way, All Shall Perish, and chugging beatdown riffs, this band is sure to delight you.

Court Order are joined on their trip south to Richmond by Concrete Ties, who hail from Western Massachusetts and feature members of such past northeast hardcore luminaries as Full Blown Chaos and Blood Has Been Shed. These guys have a straightforward tough-as-nails hardcore sound that focuses on midtempo riffage, and is occasionally leavened by the interjection of a more old-school chant-along mood, such as on most recent single “For My Family” (if this one doesn’t show up on the soundtrack to the next Fast And Furious movie, a serious injustice has been done). Richmonders Betty Grey round out this bill, and their own brand of heavy midtempo hardcore, full of brutal power and fury, fits in well with the two out-of-towners to make this evening a full-on festival of mosh. You know you want in on that.

Monday, March 18, 7 PM
Braids, Clifford, Sequela @ Cobra Cabana – $10
This Monday night, it’s a night full of indie poptones over at Cobra Cabana — and I appreciate that. Of course it’d be easy for that venue to only ever book bands with some connection to the hardcore/metal scene, but I’m glad they’re willing to challenge their typical audience and bring in some new blood. I definitely do mean “new” where this show is concerned: hometowners Braids have only released three singles thus far, and don’t seem to have been around for even a full year at this point. In case that sounds like I’m low-key running them down, though, let me assure you, it’s not like that — the few songs this indie project has released are catchy and memorable, the sort of tunes that will have you walking down the street singing “I take shitty pictures” and not caring what passerby think. Braids haven’t had time to do too much yet, but I’m sure they’ll impress us all in the very near future. Perhaps even this Monday night!

As for the other bands on the bill, both of which come to us from out of town, Clifford is the more experienced of the two. They recently followed up their 2021 LP Projections of a Body Electric with an EP, Surface Tension, and a lo-fi single called “Chrysanthemums.” The latest single in particular pairs a strong sense of indie-pop melody with a grunge-postpunk sensibility that adds a welcome dose of fuzz to their catchy, pretty tunes. As for Sequela, who round out this bill, I have only had the opportunity to hear one of their songs, but that song’s fuzzy shoegaze energy won me over in a big way. All of the bands on this bill are relatively new to the world of underground music, but all have shown a great deal of potential thus far, so digging a little deeper to discover what they have to offer is certainly a great way to spend a Monday night — especially since you’ll be able to hang out at Cobra Cabana while you’re doing so.

Tuesday, March 19, 7:30 PM
Shockoe Sessions Live presents Charles Owens Trio @ In Your Ear – $15 (order tickets HERE)
If you’ve kept up with Richmond’s jazz, funk, soul, or even indie scenes over the past decade or thereabouts, you’re sure to have encountered saxophonist Charles Owens. A talented player with a ton of connections, he’s showed up on recordings and stages with everyone from jazz luminaries like Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel to local ensembles like R4ND4ZZO BIGB4ND and Deau Eyes. However, Owens’ most frequent collaboration is the Charles Owens Trio, a jazz combo that for most of the past decade has been rounded out by Butcher Brown members Andrew Randazzo on bass and DJ Harrison on drums. The three have made several albums together as a trio, most recently Here It Is, released back in December and featuring the sort of relaxing yet skillful take on bop-style jazz that is always a big treat to listen to.

It’ll be just as much a treat to tune in to Shockoe Sessions Live this Tuesday night and hear Owens and his trio play an excellent set featuring all manner of different sounds and moods. Over the course of their nearly decade-long working relationship, both as the Charles Owens Trio and as the nucleus of larger ensembles, Randazzo, Harrison, and Owens have proven that they have a fundamental chemistry that cannot be disrupted, and will always yield fruitful results — whether they play intricately composed material or just work off the cuff. All of that means I can’t exactly tell you what sorts of sounds they’ll be exploring when they get together for Shockoe Sessions Live on Tuesday — they’re capable of so many different things that, in truth, very little they could do would surprise me. But I can say for sure that the end result will be a great listen — especially if you order yourself a ticket and head down there to In Your Ear to hear it happen live and in person. You know you want to.

Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows (that take place after the week this column covers -– this week’s column has obviously already been written): rvamustseeshows@gmail.com

Please consider supporting my Patreon, where I’m documenting my progress on two different novels and (sometimes) writing about music of all types. patreon.com/marilyndrewnecci

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