Heard Lines 

One writer's quick romp through Fall Line Fest.

This weekend, the second-annual Fall Line Fest showcased 55 music acts on Richmond stages. Here are a few of the highlights:


The National, 9:18 p.m. – Detroit proto-punk band Death takes the stage, playing a few bars of reggae before launching into their furious funk-influenced rock music.

Sporting sunglasses, dreads, a shiny red vest and tights, singer and bassist Bobby Hackney seems to be having the time of his life, and the band plays so loud it appears that small pieces of the ceiling are falling onto the stage. The band closes their set with fan favorite “Politicians in My Eyes.”

The Camel, 10:52 p.m. – Local rock group Sleepwalkers are playing their infectious tunes, and the only thing more impressive than the band’s pop hooks is the coiffures. The band gets the masses dancing, as do Black Girls afterwards. Black Girls singer Drew Gillihan is humorously plugging Fall Line sponsor Tito’s Homemade Vodka every chance he gets, which is often.


The Broadberry, 11:07 a.m. – A friend once referred to the exhausted, ear-ringing, sore neck feeling you get after live music as a bangover, but I’ve also heard the term used for an evening of gratuitous hooking up.

Whatever you call it, I have one (from the music), and I’m hoping that brunch at the Broadberry (included with the day’s ticket) and Bloody Mary (with Tito’s Homemade Vodka!) will work some restorative magic.

The brunch features goodies from the Blue Goat, Toast and others. Sweet marmalade french toast, crab eggs Benedict, sausage and gravy over a doughnut -- the food is rich enough that a nap is required between brunch and the second round of music.

Gallery 5, 6:34 p.m. – Richmond’s Sports Bar is onstage, playing its simple, catchy garage rock about fast food and biscuits. The Milkstains follow with their punk, psychedelic, spaghetti-Western music, but it’s Washington-based punk band Priests later in the evening that makes the most impressive showing of the evening.

Singer Katie Alice Greer channels Karen O and Iggy Pop as she bounces around the stage like an ADHD kid with three espressos under her belt. She explains that her father is a church minister before launching into another song, beating on herself, her blond mop forever in her eyes. “YEEEEAAAAAAAAH!” she screams.

The Camel, 10:57 p.m. – Hailing from Mali, West Africa, Cheick Hamala Diabate and friends create infectious rhythms that are impossible not to dance to. Diabate is wearing silver robes and red shoes, and he’s playing a right-handed guitar upside-down like Dick Dale or Jimi Hendrix. He brings a young blond woman onstage to belly dance.

“I like Reesh-mon,” he says before launching into a song that’s supposed to bring rain. Richmond likes him too.



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