929 West Grace St. has long been a Richmond institution for punk rock and live music in general. This month, the legend is once again revived in the form of Strange Matter, the newest addition to a long line of previous inhabitants and former glories.
Advertised as a restaurant, venue, and an arcade, Strange Matter takes the place of the defunct Bagel Czar, which despite its best intentions as a hipster spot for college kids to grub out, never quite caught on. The restaurant folded last spring, and while the Czar did cave in and book shows, it never operated to the effect of former inhabitants Twisters and the Nanci Raygun. Regardless, Strange Matter picks up where the Raygun left off in 2006, opening the building up from the get-go as a much-needed local venue.
The opening of Strange Matter comes at a good time for Richmond music. Nara Sushi, which seemed to fill the place of 929 for a little while, closed down about two months back, now to be reopened as a new City Dogs location. This, of course, has left the Fan with few options for live music outside of random house shows and travelling down to Shockoe to Alley Katz and Canal Club, venues that don’t necessarily foster the same kind of love by patrons (or the same of bands to play, for that matter.)
October 8th marks the first show at the building, bringing the storied address back to its punk roots. On the bill is The Catalyst, Fight Amp, The Network, and coming all the way from Australia, Robotosaurus. It’s a $6 cover at the door, and the show is set to kick off at 9 P.M.
Welcome back 929. It’s been too long.
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