Live music in December: Holiday edition

Richmond’s music scene is getting into the spirit of the season with numerous holiday shows full of goodwill and cheer. And booze.

Original — December 02, 2015

The holidays are here, and that means battling shopping traffic, the never-ending Christmas songs on the radio that have been playing since November 1st, lots of sweets, and spending an excessive amount of time with family.1 Richmond’s music scene will also be getting into the spirit of the season with numerous holiday shows full of goodwill and cheer. And booze, always booze.

And, if holiday music is not your thing, check out the RVANews events calendar or RVA Playlist to see all the great non-Christmas music going on around town.

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Flashlight Tag Christmas Carol with Sarah White and Jack Brush

Ashland Coffee & Tea • December 17th, 8:00 PM

Celebrate the season with indie Americana rockers Flashlight Tag, who will perform a set of holiday classics and indie folk originals, and Sarah White performing a full set of originals and holiday selections in her hybrid pop, honky tonk, and post punk style intermixed with tales of Christmas past, present, and future by Jack Brush. There will also be plenty of shenanigans, gifts, outfits, special guests, and wholesome family mayhem. ($10 in advance; $12 day of show)


The Camel • December 18th, 8:30 PM

It wouldn’t be a Christmas in Richmond without Hamaganza! The annual celebration is a crazy night of rock & roll, scantily-clad dancers, local celebrities, politicians, media types and, of course, Dirtwoman, performing off-color ditties to benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank. Musical entertainment will be provided by Diamond Heist, League of Space Pirates, Summerhaus, and more. ($10 or bring a ham!)

The Christmasfits, London Caroling, Menorah Threat

Strange Matter • December 19th, 9:00 PM

Punks For Presents, uh, presents this holiday performance from the Yuletide punk music of the Christmasfits along with Clash tribute band London Caroling (featuring members of Long Arms and Ann Beretta) and Menorah Threat. It’s gonna be ridiculous. And awesome. All proceeds from this show go to benefit the Richmond Children’s Hospital. ($10 or $8 with a canned good)


The Broadberry • December 19th, 7:00 PM

An annual holiday tradition, Richmond’s ska and punk community has marked the season with Happy Skalidays, a celebration of local music and holiday charity. Murphy’s Kids hosts the evening, and joining them this year will be Mighty Joshua, Neighborhood Friendly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, Major and the Monbacks, and Nesta. Proceeds will benefit Richmond Food Not Bombs($10 in Advance, $15 at the door)

A Tater/Grandsons Christmas

Ashland Coffee & Tea • December 19th, 8:00 PM

An Ashland Coffee & Tea holiday tradition! The Taters will play an eclectic mix of roots rock, pop, country, and Americana, while the Grandsons will play a mix of New Orleans R&B, rockabilly, swing, and country two-step. Together, it’s going to be a great night of holiday rock music. ($15 in advance; $20 day of show)

Emme St. James and Her Jazz Gentlemen Holiday Show

The Tin Pan • December 22nd, 7:00 PM

Combining the influences of Julie London, Doris Day, and Peggy Lee, jazz singer Emme St. James uses her silky, seductive voice to recreate the classy atmosphere of early-20th-century jazz. She’ll be celebrating the season with holiday classics and songs from her album, I’d Like You for Christmas. ($10)


Miracle on Broad Street

The National • Various dates between November 30th – December 12th

Every year, the good folks at XL102 spread some holiday cheer in the best way possible–by bringing in some kickass bands for a big show. This year’s Miracle on Broad Street is the biggest yet. Spanning over seven separate nights at the National, acts performing include Elle King (November 30th), Twenty One Pilots (December 2nd), Coheed and Cambria (December 3rd), Panic! at the Disco (December 4th), Third Eye Blind (December 11th), City and Colour (December 12th), and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats (December 15th). Many of these shows have sold out, but there are a few left with tickets. And XL102 will be holding ticket giveaways for lucky listeners. (Various prices, check here for details)

Richmond Symphony presents Handel’s Messiah

Carpenter Theatre • December 4th, 7:30 PM

Every season, Richmonders are wowed by Handel’s holiday classic Messiah. It’s one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in music, and the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Chorus puts its own spin on the song. ($20-$50)

A Richmond Big Band Christmas

VCU’s Singleton Center for Performing Arts • December 12th, 4:00 PM & 7:30 PM, December 13th, 4:00 PM

Bringing together many of Richmond’s best jazz musicians, A Richmond Big Band Christmas will feature holiday classics redone in energetic, modern arrangements. Taylor Barnett (member of No BS! Brass, assistant professor of music at VCU) will direct the ensemble which includes vocalists Laura Ann Singh (Quatro na Bossa, Miramar), Terri Simpson (Butterbean Quartet), and Rudy Faulkner (Rudy Faulkner and FRIENDS), as well as members of No BS! Brass, the RVA Big Band, KINGS, Trio of Justice, Old New Things, the Upper East Side Big Band, and more. Proceeds from this family-friendly show will benefit Church Hill Activities & Tutoring (CHAT), a system of integrated programs in Richmond’s East End that empower aspiring youth to break cycles of poverty and reach their goals. ($15 for adults and $13 for students)

  1. Don’t worry, we’ll suggest that Andrew read Sam Davies’s guide to living a low-stress holiday. – ed. 
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Andrew Cothern

Andrew Cothern is the founder and editor of RVA Playlist, a music site that showcases events, concerts, album, show reviews, and opinion pieces that focus on the vibrant local music scene in Richmond.

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