Live music in April: Bob Dylan, Gallery5 turns 10, Matthew E. White, XL102 Local Exposure, and more

Happening this month: Gallery5 turns 10, bands battle it out for the big time, Spacebomb artists are back in town, and Bob F***ing Dylan!

Spring is here! That means everyone is outside drinking on patios, walking dogs, and playing cornhole on Monument Avenue. There’s also a metric butt-ton (actual unit of measure) of music shows coming to RVA this month. While my top picks are below, make sure to check out the RVANews events calendar or RVA Playlist to see all the great music going on in town.

Gallery5 10 Year Anniversary Series

Gallery5 • All of April!

Why you should go: Gallery5, the award winning, community-motivated art gallery and music space is turning 10 years old! That’s 10 years of crazy music shows, burlesque ladies showing off their ta-tas, and every kind of art on its walls. For its 10 year anniversary, Gallery5 will be celebrating throughout the month of April by offering a million things to enjoy. Music-wise, the month kicks off on Friday, April 3rd with White Laces, Lobo Marino, Dave Watkins, and The Awesome Few. The month continues with Priests, Creepoid, Positive No, and Christi on April 4th; Friend Roulette, Night Idea, and Recluse Raccoon on April 5th; Dan Deacon, Prince Rama, Ben O’Brien, and Nu Depth on April 7th; and Triac, Ramming Speed, The Glorious Gone, and Vorator on April 16th. (Prices vary. Check G5’s website for costs.)

Tim Reynolds TR3

Capital Ale House • April 16th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: You know Tim Reynolds from seeing him with Dave Matthews. Now that you’re past that “oh yeah!” thought, take a look at Tim Reynolds’s musical career: guitarist, sonic innovator, and two-time Grammy nominee. He ranges on musical styles, from rock, jazz, and blues to classical and reggae and is known for having the ability to improvise on any instrument he touches. ($20)

Bad Suns

The National • April 29th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: This SoCal pop rock band already have some radio breakthrough with its sun-drenched rock music that’ll get you in the mood to have a good time. The group was on the road with Fitz and the Tantrums and The 1975 last year, and they also released the incredible Language & Perspective. They were here last year as a “to be discovered” band and are now headlining the National. ($15-$18)

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XL102 Local Exposure

Canal Club • April 2nd, 9th and 24th (Finals), 8:00 PM

Why you should go: Every week, three local bands compete for a chance to play at XL102’s Big Field Day on May 2nd. One RVA band will have the chance to play on the same stage as Incubus, Dirty Heads, Passion Pit and many more. It’s contests like these that give local bands their big break. Full disclosure: I am one of the judges for this contest and I’ve already decided to be the Simon Cowell of the group and crush everyone’s dreams if the bands don’t step it up. (Free!)

Delta Saints

The Camel • April 4th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: The Delta Saints are an interesting mix of delta blues, rock, and soul with “a Dobro tone that will melt your soul.” You had me at soul melting. ($12-$14)

Amanda F*ck!ng Palmer

The National • April 5th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: It’s Amanda F*ck!ng Palmer! She actually goes by that. She’s provocative, controversial, and creative as a singer, playwright, and blogger and, thanks to the evolving social media landscape of the music industry, very well-connected with fans. Palmer is currently touring solo for the first time since 2011, hitting stages with a mix of rock originals, ukulele ballads, and readings of her memoir The Art of Asking. ($20 reserved seat balcony, $25 reserved seat orchestra)

Matthew E. White

The Broadberry • April 11th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: It’s Matthew Effing White! But seriously, White is receiving all sorts of praise for his brand new album Fresh Blood from places like NPR, Pitchfork, Garden & Gun, and just about everything else. He also recently performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, which made Dave very happy (he even said so!). You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss this show. ($10-$12)

Bob Dylan and His Band

Altria Theater • April 12th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: It’s Bob F***ing Dylan! (See a trend here? Why stop?) Bob Dylan is a music icon. There’s really no reason I should have to convince you to go to this show. ($47-$77)


Capital Ale House • April 14, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: WATERS is a new band you need to discover. They’re from Norway, which is where all the great new music is coming from these days. The band’s new album What’s Real comes out April 7th, and they just appeared on Conan O’Brien promoting it. PLUS they are on tour with Matt & Kim this spring! See them now. ($5 – Tickets will be available to purchase at the door the night of the show ONLY)

Hiss Golden Messenger and Natalie Prass

The Broadberry • April 15th, 8:00 PM

Why you should go: American folk music duo Hiss Golden Messenger has been gaining national attention with its latest release Lateness of Dreams. And no doubt you know Natalie Prass. Her debut self-titled album has been getting all sorts of love from the likes of Pitchfork, TIME, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Stereogum, and more. This will be a show to see. ($10)


Top performer:

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Looking forward

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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.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Ryan on said:

    Haha. I had that “oh yeah!” thought right when I read the Tim Reynolds thing!

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