Saturday night Flora played host to one of Richmond’s longest running groups of scum bags and their sonic kin. Celebrating the release of their new record, Punch the Sky, The Milkstains played a packed house with openers Pete Curry and Ben Shepard as well as a myriad of special guests.
Sadly, I missed the opening set from Ben Shepherd and instead caught some of Sammi Lanzetta’s performance at the Girls Rock RVA benefit show at the Camel (sorry man!). But Shepherd is a veteran of the RVA scene, and if prior sets are any indicator I’m sure it was an emotional rollercoaster of sincere and melodic storytelling. But again I wasn’t there, so don’t quote me on that.
I did manage to stumble over in time for Pete Curry, which any one who knows me knows I have a maybe-unhealthy obsession with. What can I say, I still love to roll the windows down and jam to “Nobody’s Home” really hard.
Curry’s sets can often depend on the audience; if they are in the know, then great things happen. A recent warehouse show in Northside proved that he’s the kind of performer who can kill it even when the PA breaks.
Sure enough, surrounded by friends and familiar faces, Curry and his massive hairdo dominated the small backroom stage to a standing-room only crowd.
With his newest release, Night Logic, Curry has honed his perforce to feature live vocals and guitar backed by pre-recorded beats. While that can sometimes reduce diversity among his sets, it leaves room to dig into the nuance of his live parts and that I did. Between ripping solos and mid-gig banter, Curry got feet moving and butts shaking as expected.
Before long, and a few whiskey shots deep (thanks Jameson!), the main act took the stage.
Backed by inflatable letters and cheesy green streamers, Gape Lopez, John Sizemore and Raphael Katchinoff took the stage under their long time, bizarrely sexual moniker The Milkstains. (Other people think that’s a jizz joke, right?)
The trio cut through a set of classics as well as new, soon to be favorites from their new sophomore album. “Young Scum,” which got the video treatment back in May in anticipation of the new record, was a highlight as was the delightful punk, fuck-em-up “Perpetual Nuisance.” Shout out to the dick-hole skin head who was knocking drinks out of hands, you know how to ruin gigs but we all still had fun.
The show also offered a few guest appearances by the afore mentioned Ben Shepard, Jamie Lay, Ryan Jones, Chrissie Lozano, Brandi Price and Kyle Harris of Austin’s The Diamond Center. They used to live in RVA but have since moved back to TX, though that night they were in town for a Hardywood Brewery show earlier in the evening (I missed that show too, fuck me, right?).
I honestly caught the set between drink orders and unnecessary cigs, but I can’t help but think that’s the spirit of the Milkstains; a group of fellas who build atmosphere in addition to providing a banging party soundtrack. I look forward to catch them at the more intimate Cary St. Cafe on Monday, 7/10, with the Wiffs and Cherry Pitts.
Saturday’s show also gave fans the first chance to score Punch The Sky, which got a cassette release thanks to Trrrash Records – you can probably still snag a copy at the 7/10 Cary St. show.
I am genuinely excited for their next gig and you should be too.
Check out photos by Ashley Travis below: