May 23-27

Heading into the long weekend with everything from Chappell Roan and RVA Music Night on the island to Paul Oakenfold, Kountry Wayne, Daydream Fest and more.

Thursday, May 23

Chappell Roan at Brown’s Island

The hottest touring artist in Richmond this week is Chappell Roan, the Gen. Z pop star from Missouri, influenced by West Hollywood drag culture, who made a big splash at this year’s Coachella in the fry-your-ass heat of Indio, California. Now she’s headlining every major festival or event in the universe for the next couple years. Alas, the Brown’s Island show is long since sold-out; we’re not including this pick to rub it in, but to feel closer to the magic. The show is outdoors though, so you could potentially follow the example of her thirsty Pink Pony Club fans in Florida and find a trashcompactor to scamper atop to get a view of her (maybe) mermaid-themed show? Whatever happens, if you’ve got zoomer friends, your socials are about to blow up this Thursday night in a “queer pop supernova” of color. 7 p.m. SOLD OUT.

Friday, May 24

Friday Cheers presents RVA Music Night at Brown’s Island featuring the Legendary Ingramettes, Woody Woodworth and the Piners and Knifing Around.

It’s that special week for Friday Cheers when the long-running, downtown concert series celebrates homegrown talent in a giant bear hug (and probably some pink glitter left over from Chappell Roan the night before). The big night is headlined by our own gospel legends, the Legendary Ingramettes (8:20 p.m.) while the bill also features the rising country revival of Woody Woodworth and the Piners (7:15 p.m.) and the infectious dance/punk of Knifing Around, who kick things off at 6:15 p.m. Looks like the weather is going to hold out and this should be a great one. $10 advance tickets and $15 at the door. Children 12 and under are free.

An Ingramette dancing with a crowd member at the Richmond Folk Fest. Photo by Scott Elmquist

Paul Oakenfold at Ember Music Hall

So much musical royalty in town this week. The collar-poppin’ “godfather of electronic dance music” is in Richmond to perform at Ember at 309 E. Broad St. Why am I getting flashbacks to that vintage SNL commercial for Cracklin’ Oak Flakes (now with MDMA) commercial? “Pounding at your heart with the fist of god.” Tickets range from $35 to $150. Day of show cost: $40. 21 and up. 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

Legends on Grace presents Ali Thibodeau (Deau Eyes) and Cassidy Snider and the Wranglers at Richmond Performing Arts Alliance’s Bob and Sally Mooney Hall

This is your chance to catch two of Richmond’s rising live talents in one intimate venue for the closeout of the Legends on Grace series. Ali Thibodeau (Deau Eyes) was recognized by NPR as Slingshot’s 2023 artist to watch and her sophomore album took home last year’s Newlin Music Prize in Richmond. Style recently wrote about the awesome live performer Cassidy Snider (by way of New Orleans) and her band the Wranglers, who provide a mix of folk genres and dance sounds from the Bayout to Appalachia. Or as Snider told us: “Country is not far away from any African-American music. The Beyonce thing is pop. It’s still country music to line dance to, but that’s not me. Give me the two-step.” Tier I and Tier II cabaret table seating runs $42 – $52 per person. Each table seats up to four patrons. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. For tickets, go here.

The music of Cassidy Snider and the Wranglers has been described as “genre-fluid.” Photo by Scott Elmquist

Kountry Wayne at Altria Theater

Kountry Wayne, a.k.a. Wayne Colley, brings his King of Hearts tour to Richmond. Named one of Variety’s “10 comics to watch” in 2021. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $45.

The Love Movement Social Event series presents The Hello Summer Festival at Main Line Brewery

This new community event celebrates the kickoff to summer with a day of music by the Love Movement (DJ Adapt, DJ Kirven and DJ E1) hosted by Chey Butta. Plus live performances by R&B artist LoveJoi and from Washington, DC, the go-go-influenced Experience Band and Show, or “the People’s Band,” as they say on their site. Noon to 6 p.m. $15 for advance tickets. Go here for more.

Sunday, May 26

Reverend Horton Heat with the Surfrajettes at Ember Music Hall

All hail the return of the psychobilly freakout! One of the modern masters of the rockabilly fusion of country, punk and surf rock returns to RVA with his snakeskin bag of foot-stomping party classics that go back many decades. The honorable Reverend is around 65 now, but he still rocks out harder than most kids a third his age. Also, the Surfrajettes, an all-female instrumental four-piece from Toronto, start the night off with a reverb-drenched twang party. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets: $30-$38.




Monday, May 27

Daydream Fest feat. Butcher Brown, Illiterate Light, Palmyra, Deau Eyes, Michael Millions and more at Main Line Brewery

This is the third iteration of the day-long festival at Main Street Brewery. Organized by Baripete Productions, the booking organization led by sometime baritone saxophonist Peter LeBlanc, the event features a curated cross-section of the area’s most interesting bands. This year that includes headliners such as breakout local jazz/funk heroes Butcher Brown and the hard-touring Illiterate Light. Also on the bill are the Mekong Express, the always charming Deau Eyes (this time backed by strings), Appalachian folk trio Palmyra, rapper Michael Millions, Newlin Prize nominees Hot Spit, the always fun Mikrowaves, and blue-eyed psych funk upstarts Cleophus James. It is an epic day that starts in the early afternoon and ends after dark. There are tables and places to set up chairs, but if the past is any indication, prepare to spend a lot of time on your feet. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Rain or shine. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 day of show. For tickets and more info, visit the festival website here. -Peter McElhinney

Deau Eyes at the 2022 Daydream Festival. This year, she’s rocking strings. Photo by Peter McElhinney


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