Keith Urban at the Richmond Coliseum
Keith Urban's brand of country music is nothing if not upbeat. His latest CD, "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy Thing," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart last November (his album "Be Here" reached that spot in 2004). The New Zealand transplant's musical styling is a positive spin on a genre that can often be found crying in its beer at the local dive. Even his new single, "Stupid Boy" a song reprimanding a jaded lover who has crushed his woman's heart is a sweeping homage to modern, optimistic country. The Grammy winner will be playing at the Coliseum along with female country duo The Wreckers Sunday, Aug. 19. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $45.50. Call 262-8100 or visit www.richmondcoliseum.net. Colby Rogers
GWAR at Toad's Place
Though they haven't always been welcome in their hometown, GWAR has been providing Richmond with over-the-top musical violence since 1985. Their ultraviolent stage presence includes elaborate outfits, puppets, monsters and live "executions." Be sure to bring a poncho to the Aug. 15 show, as you're bound to get sprayed with various fluids. It's kind of like going to see Gallagher, but with buckets of fake blood instead of sledgehammered produce. The all-ages show starts at 7:30 p.m. $18-$20. Call 648-8623 or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. C.R.
Antiseen performs at Wonderland
Perhaps it's fitting that North Carolina rock group Antiseen is performing at Wonderland, since the band gets curiouser by the year. In 1993, Antiseen released an album called "Eat More Possum." Seven years later, guitarist Joe Young ran for the House of Representatives in North Carolina on the Libertarian ticket. And in 2004, the band released a 250-page coffee-table book retrospective called "Destructo Maximus" as if rock demigods had coffee tables. Antiseen plays Wonderland Saturday, Aug. 18, at 10 p.m. Local band Deviltones opens. $8.50-$10. Call 643-9233 or visit www.wonderlandrva.com. Sarah Mogin
Aries Spears at the Richmond Funny Bone
Aries Spears made a name for himself at a young age with his uncanny impressions of celebrities on MADtv. Recently seen hosting "Web Junk 20" on VH1 which makes fun of the weird videos floating around the Web Spears excels at exploiting outrageous situations. Those who've laughed at "I Love the '80s" or "Talk Soup" will probably find solace in Spears' brand of humor when he brings his act to the Richmond Funny Bone Aug. 15-19. Tickets are $15. Call 521-8900 or visit www.richmondfunnybone.com for showtimes. C.R.
Thrash metal band Coalesce has taken a little hiatus as of late. Besides a reissue of their first full-length album "Give Them Rope" in 2004, the band hasn't released any new material since 1999. Fans of Coalesce have also had to endure a two-year dry spell in tour dates, but it seems the band is taking steps to correct this with a September vinyl release and a month-long tour. The band hasn't changed much in the past two years, which should delight its dedicated followers. Expect melodic, growling lyrics along with walls of crunchy sound punctuated by a few swirls of electro. Coalesce comes to Alley Katz Sunday, Aug. 19. The show starts at 7 p.m. $12-$14. Call 643-2816 or visit www.alleykatzva.org C.R.
Out of Town Pick: Hawgs, Hosses & Hinies
For two outrageous summer days, Lanexa's Rockahock Campgrounds, an RV resort along the Chickahominy River, becomes a mecca for chains and leather, bandanas and blue jeans, and revving engines. It's Rockahock's Hawgs, Hosses & Hinies Bike Festival, a celebration of bikes and classic rock. Now in its second year, the festival includes a bike show, bike games and plenty of bike paraphernalia, in addition to live music, featuring Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot and the Kentucky Headhunters. On the lighter side, there are also craft vendors and food, for when the motor oil stops coursing through your veins. The Hawgs, Hosses & Hinies Bike Festival runs Aug. 17-Aug. 18. $12-$20. Call 966-8362 or visit www.rockahock.com. S.M.