This weekend, I decided to take a quick roadtrip out of Richmond to check out the Tom Tom Festival in Charlottesville (Thanks to Right On Productions for the passes!). There were a ton of bands playing a different venues around downtown Charlottesville and all within walking distance. There was a lot of back and forth that night but absolutely worth it to see some great musicians.
I headed over to a venue called The Haven, a church redesigned as a concert venue, to check out singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. As soon as she begins to play, she breaks a guitar string (“This happens once every 10 years” she joked). Her concert then became an unexpected Q&A session as she fixed her string. Luckily, she got back to playing quickly and performed a bunch of songs to “first make you comfortable and then others to make you uncomfortable.” I was seriously impressed with her simple and entertaining funky folk songs.
Erin McKeown – The Foxes
Quickly moving over to the Main Street Arena, I make it just in time to see The Walkmen perform. I’ve wanted to see these guys for years and was very excited. They played a bunch of songs from their new album “Heaven” and people were really getting into it. I loved hearing my favorites live, but was a bit disappointed in the band’s stage presence. The music was phenomenal but the band barely moved on stage. They looked somewhat bored to be honest. Still a great show though.
Not wanting to end the night just yet, I headed down the street over to the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar to check out Birdie Busch.
I’ve seen Birdie perform twice at the Listening Room and have always enjoyed her sets. The Tea Bazaar was a bit cramped but I was able to get a good spot to watch Birdie perform her mellow and soulful songs. I thought I had an idea of what to expect from seeing her at the Listening Room, but she seemed more polished tonight. I found myself enjoying even more than I thought I would.
And finally, back to the Haven to check out the ever popular No BS Brass Band doing what they do best – put on an awesome show. Just watch below.
I’m really bummed that I had to miss out on Day 2 on the festival, which offered even more amazing aritsts including the Great Unknown, Dead Fame, Birdlips, Hospitality and Josh Ritter. Note to self: At next year’s Tom Tom Fest, get a hotel room and plan for the entire weekend. I seriously wish we could accomplish something like this Richmond.