Before the fall chill creeps in, enjoy the air at the Classic Amphitheater at the Richmond Raceway Complex with The Head and the Heart on Oct. 1 and Rob Zombie on Oct. 6. Across town with Innsbrook After Hours at ServPro of Richmond Pavilion, Lynyrd Skynyrd returns (Sept. 15), and Brian McKnight closes out the series on Sept. 21.
For those bummed about missing that crowd-funded Foo Fighters show at The National in 2014, they’re coming back to town Oct. 14 for a gig at the Richmond Coliseum, which has also scheduled the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 6). Yo Gotti will be at the Altria Theater on Oct. 7, followed by ZZ Top (Oct. 21) and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Nov. 30). Settle in at the Dominion Arts Center with the a cappella group Straight No Chaser (Oct. 30), where you can also get into the holiday spirit for 98 Degrees at Christmas on Nov. 28.
For its varied schedule, The National welcomes some long-familiar faces, including The Afghan Whigs (Sept. 11), Adam Ant (Sept. 20) and Primus (Oct. 25). Phish’s Mike Gordon arrives Sept. 26 to do his own thing, with the Irish band Two Door Cinema Club (Oct. 2) and Modest Mouse (Oct. 15) also among the season’s highlights. Jazz fans can look forward to Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (Nov. 9) and new music from saxophonist-bandleader Kamasi Washington (Dec. 1).
At The Broadberry, look for Kevin Morby (Sept. 8), electronic musician Com Truise (Oct. 2), indie rock band San Fermin (Oct. 27) and Leftover Salmon (Nov. 15). Mix it up with something heavier Oct. 24 with Soulfly, along with Brujeria (Nov. 8) and Cannibal Corpse (Dec. 1).
Always one of the major events of the season, the Richmond Folk Festival (Oct. 13-15) has jazz guitarist Jan Knutson and the soul and blues of Eddie Cotton Jr. in its lineup. Capital Ale House spotlights the blues with singer-guitarist Ana Popovic (Sept. 27) and Tinsley Ellis (Jan. 16). Jazz group Hearts and Minds plays there Oct. 21, and also look for metal band Wolves in the Throne Room (Oct. 11), Waxahatchee (Nov. 19) and indie-rock legends The Dream Syndicate (Dec. 10).
For its packed schedule, The Tin Pan welcomes The Lettermen for two shows on Sept. 10, plus John Waite (Sept. 20), rock vets Wishbone Ash (Sept. 26), Rik Emmett of Triumph (Oct. 22) and the return of David Bromberg (Dec. 30). Jazz fans should note guitarist John Pizzarelli (Sept. 24), The Rippingtons (Sept. 27) and two shows from Najee (Nov. 12). Also look forward to an evening with Ellis Paul and Sophie B. Hawkins on Oct. 29 and genre-crossing English rock group The Strawbs (Nov. 21).
The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell welcomes ’70s hitmakers Pablo Cruise (Sept. 9), a night of prog-rock glory with Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy (Oct. 5) and R&B-funk band Con Funk Shun (Nov. 25). Jazz pianist-composer Chan Hall plays Ashland Coffee & Tea on Oct. 21, while The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen will feature Masters of Soul (Oct. 20), the Susan Greenbaum Band’s “A Tribute to the Carpenters” (Nov. 15) and a Battle of the Bands at the ninth annual Djangoary Music Soiree (Jan. 13).
Carolina Chocolate Drops co-founder Rhiannon Giddens appears Oct. 4 at the University of Richmond as part of the Modlin Center for the Arts’ season, along with a triple bill of Irma Thomas, The Blind Boys of Alabama and The Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet (Nov. 11) and former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page a bit later on Feb. 7.
Heading to Charlottesville, the Paramount Theater has big nights planned with Gordon Lightfoot (Sept. 25) and Patti LaBelle (Oct. 8). At the Jefferson Theater, Sylvan Esso appears for two sold-out nights (Sept. 14-15), with Third Eye Blind (Oct. 20), Japandroids and Cloud Nothings (Oct. 28), guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen (Nov. 8) and Kamasi Washington (Nov. 30) also on the schedule. Check out Frankie Cosmos (Sept. 23) and Son Little (Sept. 28) at the Southern Café & Music Hall, and get some fresh air at the Sprint Pavilion with Young the Giant (Sept. 19) and Stephen Stills and Judy Collins (Oct. 5).
Looking toward Hampton Roads, Janet Jackson plays Scope Arena on Dec. 14. Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (Sept. 21) and Rob Zombie (Oct. 5) will be at Portsmouth Pavilion, while the Hampton Coliseum hosts a three-night stand for Bass Center X with Bassnectar, Cashmere Cat, Dan Deacon and more (Sept. 1-3). Chrysler Hall welcomes Doug E. Fresh, En Vogue and Stokley Williams of Mint Condition (Sept. 17), Straight No Chaser (Nov. 1) and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas (Nov. 22).
Jack Johnson plays Sept. 27 at Virginia Beach’s Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater. Ferguson Center for the Arts at Christopher Newport University brings in Stephen Stills and Judy Collins on Oct. 1, plus Christmas shows from Dave Koz (Dec. 1) and Jim Brickman (Dec. 21). The lineup at ODU’s Constant Convocation Center offers Bastille (Sept. 10), rapper 2 Chainz (Sept. 11), the R&B Remix Tour with Bobby Brown, Avant and Tony! Toni! Tone! (Sept. 14), ZZ Top (Nov. 4) and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band (Nov. 12). And highlights at the NorVa include Jadakiss (Sept. 22), STS9 (Oct. 1), Manchester Orchestra (Oct. 5), Jon Bellion (Oct. 26) and SZA (Dec. 8).
Heading north, The Groove Music Hall in Thornburg will feature Saving Abel with Tantric (Sept. 10) and Blackfoot (Sept. 30). At Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, look for Matchbox Twenty and Counting Crows (Sept. 3) and Lauryn Hill with Nas (Sept. 15). Finally, the Verizon Center in D.C. has a monster season planned, with The Weeknd (Sept. 15), Arcade Fire (Sept. 16), Ed Sheeran (Sept. 19-20), Katy Perry (Sept. 25), Bruno Mars (Sept. 29-30), Guns N’ Roses (Oct. 19), Lady Gaga (Nov. 19) and Jay-Z (Nov. 29), to name a few.