Live music in Richmond this August: WRIR’s Commonwealth of Notions

Spotify, Rdio, they’re all well and good, but did you know that bands are composed of real live people who sometimes allow you to witness the in-person making of their music? We’re as surprised as you!

Live music shows this month include Brandon Flowers (from the Killers), mayhem with GWAR and Friends, and the local band-packed Commonwealth of Notions multi-day festival.

WRIR and the Commonwealth of Notions Presents: Vol. 5

Gallery5, Strange Matter, Sound of Music, and the Broadberry • August 15th-23rd, see site for times

Shannon Cleary–of local independent radio station WRIR’s Commonwealth of Notions fame–presents the fifth installment of “Commonwealth of Notions Presents,” a multi-night event featuring more than 20 local bands performing unique and intriguing sets. This year, Cleary will be hosting four nights of live performances spread across the city at five different venues.

On August 15th, the event will kick things off at Gallery5 with Anousheh, Goldrush, Lady God, Way Shape or Form, Positive No, Manzara, and Various Eggs. August 21st features Wow, Owls!, Victorious Trees (a Samantha Pearl & Dave Watkins collaboration), Everyone Dies In The End, The Mad Extras, Big No, and Ultra Flake (a new band featuring members of Hot Dolphin, Bitchmouth, and Samantha Pearl) performing at Strange Matter. On August 22nd, Sound of Music Recording Studio will host Lobo Marino, Gull, Toxic Moxie, and Among the Rocks and Roots. And to close things out on August 23rd, Commonwealth of Notions takes over the Broadberry with White Laces, Warren Hixson, Mikrowaves and a Canary Oh Canary reunion. Go support this show when it comes. Every year, Shannon Cleary brings together some incredible local talent, and it just gets better every year. ($5-$7 per show, at the door)

Todd Rundgren

The National • August 20th, 7:30 PM

The man responsible for “I don’t want to work. I just want to bang on the drum all day” is coming to Richmond. Rundgren will be playing his multitude of hits including “I Saw the Light,” “Hello It’s Me,” and “Can We Still Be Friends.” Fans of classic rock should make it a point to catch this show. ($20 general admission standing, $25 reserved seat balcony)

Chris Stapleton

The National • August 22nd, 7:30 PM

A skilled singer and performer, Chris Stapleton is an established songwriter responsible for penning number one hits for the likes of George Strait, Darius Rucker, and Kenny Chesney. He was also the lead singer and guitar player for Grammy-winning bluegrass outfit, the SteelDrivers. He’s on his own now and his album Traveller has been getting all the attention from music critics. ($22.50 in advance, $27.50 at the door)

For more live shows, check out the RVANews events calendar or RVA Playlist.

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Dar Williams

The Tin Pan • August 2nd, 7:00 PM

Dar Williams brings with her a fresh folk pop sound that you can’t help but fall in love with. Compared with such artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter and Ani DiFranco, Williams is bound to put on a great show. Her latest release Emerald came out in May. ($45 in advance, $50 at the door)

The Shack Up

The Broadberry and The Camel • August 7th-8th, 7:00 PM

The Shack Up, a two-day music festival hosted by The Shack Band, features numerous acts on three stages across two venues. The Shack Band itself will be performing twice, joined by Love Canon, Consider the Source, The Southern Belles, The Big Payback: A Tribute to James Brown, The Trongone Band, Sol Driven Train, Jackass Flats, Butcher Brown, Dank, Dale and the ZDubs, The Slank, and Dalton Dash. ($25 weekend pass)

Brandon Flowers

The National • August 11th, 8:00 PM

The Killers’ frontman goes solo when he heads to Richmond. He’ll be supporting his new album The Desired Effect, which was released in May, is already getting accolades from all over the place. Maybe he’ll play some Killers songs as well at this show. Maybe. ($25)


Hadad’s Lake • August 15th, 10:00 AM

The mayhem and insanity of GWAR will once again take over Hadad’s Lake as a musical onslaught takes over three stages. Bands performing all day include Clutch, the Descendents, Dead Earth Politics, Cro-Mags, Ringworm, American Sharks, Down, The Dickies, Ghoul, Mutoid Man, Child Bite, Goatwhore, mc chris, Cancer Bats, Valkyrie, and RPG, followed by the almighty GWAR. And the day before GWAR-B-Q, the B4BQ event at the National will bring a full day of eardrum-blasting metal from Coal Chamber, Arch Enemy, Fear Factory, Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Cattle Decapitation, and Beyond Creation. ($55 standard ticket, $75 deluxe ticket; $34-$40 for the B4BQ show)

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Altria Theater • August 18th, 8:00 PM

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came to fame in 1962 with hit classic songs like “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Thanks to the success of the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of the legendary group, the music is popular all over again. ($67-$97)

The Beach Boys

Innsbrook After Hours • August 19th, 6:00 PM

The Beach Boys are STILL playing shows. That’s enough of a reason to go. Classic songs like “Surfin’ USA,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Kokomo,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “California Girls,” and a bunch of other hits will be played. ($15-$99)

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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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