June 27 – July 1

This weekend's highlights include Grails and Nathan Bowles Trio, "SNL" comedian Sarah Sherman, the final Friday Cheers and more ...

Thursday, June 27

Mike Birbiglia at Dominion Energy Center’s Carpenter Theatre

The American actor, comedian and director returns with his “Please Stop the Ride” tour. A sharp writer, his new stuff reportedly chronicles his experiences as a husband and father. Event starts at 7 p.m. Doors open one hour earlier. Tickets start at $42.

Mark Morton “Desolation” Book Launch at Shelf Life Books

Come check out the latest book from a Lamb of God member, guitarist Mark Morton. 7 p.m.

Ett Eko, the Green Hearts and Fuzzy Prophet at Bandito’s Burrito Lounge

Local band showcase featuring the post-punk space rock of Ett Eko (former members of Postitive No and Manzara), the power pop of the Green Hearts and the psych-post-punk-folk-rock of Fuzzy Prophet. 8 p.m. $10.

 

Friday, June 28

Grails with Nathan Bowles Trio at Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House

When William Shakespeare wrote that all the world’s a stage, he was clearly aiming to presage the mammoth-sounding drama of instrumental rock band Grails. While listening to the veteran Portland, Oregon outfit’s 2023 album, “Anches En Maat,” sensations are sharper, emotions are heightened and you may get the sense that you’ve been cast in a movie depicting your own life as it’s unfolding. This cinematic experience awaits those who head to Richmond Music Hall on Friday, June 28. Joining Grails will be the Nathan Bowles Trio, whose leader has long shown his own ability to paint varying shades of darkness and light with expressive and exploratory banjo playing. Bowles’ trio is about a month shy of sharing a new album titled “Are Possible” via the esteemed Drag City label, making this the perfect moment for previewing that new material. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at thebroadberry.com.—Davy Jones

 

Sam Barber. Photo credit: Colton Kramer.

Friday Cheers: Sam Barber with Jake Kohn and Villages at Brown’s Island

“Give the drummer some” takes on new meaning when looking forward to a Friday Cheers lineup that includes Villages, the Justin Paciocco-fronted, country-tinged rock outfit whose drummer, Stephen Lecky, is central to Cheers’ success. Lecky is Venture Richmond’s director of events; his voice is the one you hear introducing acts as they come onstage, and his knack for identifying emerging talent means the event’s price of admission can seem shockingly paltry when Cheers alums go on to rise in notoriety. Take the two acts following Villages at this week’s series finale, Jake Kohn and Sam Barber, both country crooners whose strong songwriting and distinctive voices point to limitless futures. Friday Cheers: Fun in the moment, miraculous in retrospect and especially worth savoring when the year’s final installment rolls around. Gates open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 6:20 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($15 at the door) and children 12 and under are free. To purchase tickets, visit venturerichmond.com.—Davy Jones

 

Sarah Squirm from “Saturday Night Live.” Photo cred: Alexa Viscius

Saturday, June 29

Sarah Sherman at the National

Sherman is hands down one of the funniest, most unpredictable repertory players on “Saturday Night Live” as the sketch comedy show heads into its 50th season. But you really don’t know her, up-close and personal-like, until you’ve experienced her stand-up set – that is, until you’ve met Sarah Squirm. This is where she unpuckers and lets loose with a steaming shower of neurotic, spitfire comedy and cringy ‘body horror,’ maybe a “Seinfeld” bass jam or two, all buoyed by her manic onstage energy, running ape-like from the Backwards Superman right past vintage, coked-out Robin Williams-and-Koko-the-Gorilla territory. We won’t even get into her torturous use of medical videos and eye-burning, overhead genitalia animation. But she would’ve made a great double bill with the Butthole Surfers back in the day. For more, check out my interview with her. 7 p.m. —Brent Baldwin

LA + Rosette Quartet with Laura Ann Singh at Artspace

This is one of the most inevitable, slowest gestating ensembles in Richmond music. The all-woman Rosette Quartet completed their most recent “So Hot Right Now” concert in October of 2023. Vocalist Laura Ann Singh has embraced a kaleidoscope of genres, from Cuban boleros to the Great American Songbook, to more eclectic jazz. Over the past few years their paths have intersected, when Rosette backed Miramar onstage and in the studio, and most recently, when they performed together in Curt Sydnor’s “Fall of Richmond” concert in April. For this collaboration, the focus will be on string quartet arrangements of the works of female singer-songwriters, including Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny and Carol King. The Quartet includes violinists Ellen Cockerham Riccio and Treesa Gold, violist Kimberly Ryan and cellist Steph Barnett, with guest players, pianist Marlysse Simmons (Bio Ritmo) and bassist Adam Hopkins. The performance takes place amid the artwork on display at ArtSpace, which has become a fine venue to hear music. Sun V Set singer/songwriter Linnea Morgan opens. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. $10 admission. –Peter McElhinney

Former Richmonder DJ Williams returns. Photo by Peter McElhinney

Sunday, June 30

DJ Williams with Space Koi and Sqwerv at Ember Music Hall

Everything changes. It’s been more than a decade since guitarist DJ Williams ended his seemingly permanent weekly gig at Café Diem; even that funky spot is history. That does not mean all is forgotten, or that Williams’ local appearances are a rarity. He still has family in the area and has always been the main event for his mother’s annual ACE Liberia charity event. This time around, he is touring in support of his fourth solo album, “By Way of RVA,” which is a salute both to his roots and to the variety of music on the scene. Like his earlier work, the album is musically omnivorous, combining soulful introspection with blistering guitar work while soaring through the past half-century of popular music without ever sinking into any definable genre. It’s no criticism of his well-crafted recording to say that he is best experienced live, full of energy onstage, at lease-breaking volume. The state of the art, open-plan, EDM-optimized confines of Ember Music Hall should be an ideal place to see him. As a bonus, his band this time includes ex-Richmonder Macon Mann, whose adept, jazz-saturated piano chops might belie his memorable, mid-last-decade alter-ego rapper, “McChicken.” Doors are at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 to $35 advance, $22 day of the show.—Peter McElhinney 

 

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