Friday, April 27, 2012

KISS and Rush at The Richmond Arena - 1975

On April 27th, 1975 (37 years ago today), KISS played the Richmond Arena with openers Rush, Brian Auger and Oblivion Express & M-S Funk. KISS was supporting Dressed To Kill, Rush was supporting Fly By Night. Tickets were 5 bucks. Anyone at this show? Although I was fortunate enough to see KISS in the 70s, it wasn't until 4 years later.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Part 2: Richmond Coliseum under construction - 1970

Here's another great shot of the Richmond Coliseum under construction, the first post is here. You can see I-64 connecting to I-95 in the background, to give you an idea of the angle. I think all of the buildings you can see in this picture that are within a few blocks of the coliseum are now gone.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Benny Goodman at The Mosque - April 23rd, 1939

73 years ago today Benny Goodman and his Orchestra played the Mosque. Tickets were a whopping 75 cents to $1.50 each. And how nice of Richmond in the Jim Crow era: We made "Accommodations For Colored Patrons." Anyone want to take a guess as to what those were? Top row of the uppermost balcony? Nah, too nice. Maybe that walkway on each side of the top balcony, the one with no seats? Thankfully we've come a long way since 1939.

Regular picture with no link:

Photo courtesy of the University of Richmond's Boatwright Library/Digital Initiatives

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Before And After - 2 North 5th Street

Today's Before And After is The Hancock House, built in 1809, and the former home of (among others) a US Attorney General and two Richmond Mayors. It sits on the corner of 5th Street and Main Street.

Below are two different angles of the house, each with a before picture from 1936, and a current picture from 2012. Pretty impressive that this house has survived in downtown Richmond for 203 years!

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Here's another angle...note that the tree is the same in both pictures. 75 years later it's still there!

Before photos courtesy of The Library of Congress

Friday, April 13, 2012

fIREHOSE at The Flood Zone - April 13th, 1993

Today's concert flashback is from 19 years ago today. I pulled it off of a pole the week of the show, and have had it ever since. Anyone remember Digits and Peaches? Firehose just started playing shows again (for the first time since 1994) in the past few weeks. They formed out of the ashes of of The Minutemen in 1986. This flyer is from their show at The Flood Zone on April 13th, 1993 with Jettison Charlie & Crackerbash. Below the flyer is a review I found online of the show, as well as the video for the song Blaze, off Mr. Machinery Operator, the album they were supporting at this show.

Jettison Charlie are local Richmond, have been around for upwards of six years, and appear on the verge of taking a decisive step forward. They've had a change in bass personnel and haven't lost a step, while putting a different kind of punch behind their songs. This was their first gig at the Zone, which has the best sound in Richmond (although that's not saying much), and I was excited to see them LOUD. They were, and they were also spot on. They ripped through a fiercely tight 45 minute set or so, mixing the heavy with the lilting. To make a lame attempt at comparison (and to compare them with a band few humans have heard), they do a lot of the same fussing with dynamics of tempo and volume that Hassan Chop! do, but a lot more seamlessly and with fewer jaunts into the odd. They also are fond of starts and stops. One guitar, somewhat metal-ish bass, and crisp, busy drums. They're doing a bunch of shows up and down the coast of East end of this month/beginning of next month in places like Balt, NY, Brooklyn, Portchester, Hartford, Boston, etc. Go see them. They're good.

Crackerbash were a surprise--I had expected Helios Creed, who had done support on either side of this gig, but in the end I'm sure HC wouldn't have been as enjoyable. Crackerbash are from Portland and have an album coming out on Empty Records. The lead singer looks like Joe Strummer with dyed blond eyebrows and a snootful of crank in his brain. The drummer weighs about 300 pounds and is active enough to make me ashamed that i don't thrash myself around as much as he does. Anyhow, the music seems deceptively simple but rocks really hard, mostly due to the guitar, which squeals and skronks its way through the whole set. The bass is left to carry the melodies, strummed in chords. The whole band has an abundance of energy and really infects a crowd. By the end, folks were well enamored of Crackerbash. The final song was done with Watt joining in on bass--I'd feel like the coolest guy on the planet if I was playing guitar and looked over to see Watt thunking away with me on bass.

I was hoping that the new material from the Hose would be better live than it sounded on record. I must now entirely blame J Mascis for fucking up Mr Machinery Operator, because it's the same old Hose. The new stuff is harder and a shade less funkdriven, but I like that stuff better. They showed a lot of chutzpa to play some of their quieter material, though, for a crowd that wanted to push and sweat.

During the set, Mike or somebody in front put a beer bottle down on a monitor. I guess it fell over or something, because the stage volume sound guy rushed over in the middle of a song to retrieve it and mop up. Watt lambasted him for doing too much coke, and nearly pushed him off stage into the crowd. He continued to yell at the guy the whole set. They did all the fave standards--Chemical Wire, Brave Captain, Honey Please, Slack Motherfucker, Revolution, etc. During Revolution, a fracas ensued between a man and a woman. The man was being overly slamhappy (I guess--the crowd seemed kind of tame to me), and she was talking to him about it. He pushed her away, I guess, because when he turned around again she popped him one right on the jaw. fIREHOSE only saw the guy pushing back, and gave him grief for hitting a girl. Oi. Oh, also, Watt kept getting shocked by the mike throughout the set, so they chose this opportunity to just quit.

If you're disappointed by the new album, go see them live. You'll feel better about yourself, and the world too. In fact, you'll probably go right out and donate to charity.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baseball at Parker Field - 1960s

Baseball returns to Richmond tonight with the Flying Squirrels home opener at The Diamond.

To celebrate, let's take a trip back to the early 1960s for a glimpse of baseball at Parker Field with a player from the Richmond Virginians...

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia's Adolph B. Rice Studio collection