By Caleb Hennington
Amplify Fest a 2-day celebration of Christian music
Amplify Fest a two-day Christian-music festival located in Benton is gearing for its 2015 celebration with bigger artists, more fun and a mission to spread its message throughout central Arkansas.
The event, which takes place on Holland Chapel Baptist Churchs property, features some of the biggest names in Christian contemporary music today, including a few local artists. This years lineup includes For King & Country, Tenth Avenue North, Matt Maher, Colton Dixon, Plumb, The Digital Age, Unspoken, Dan Bremnes, The Millennial Tour, Alex Edmonds and We the Union.
Many of these artists are up-and-coming musicians in the Christian-music scene, and two of the groups Alex Edmonds and We The Union are Arkansans. According to its website, the festivals mission is to glorify God by removing barriers between the Church and the world, exposing the people to the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The event takes place on a 20-acre grass field behind the church, and the festival directors encourage attendees to bring certain items, such as lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen and more, to make the concert as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
The festival is free to the public, and attendees only need to bring money for the food vendors and merch sellers who will be set up during the event. It all starts when the gates open at 3 p.m. Friday and concludes with a fireworks display at 10:45 p.m. Saturday.
For more information and a complete schedule, visit amplifyfest.org.
This Weeks Music
For fans of the metalcore-alternative metal sounds of bands such as Every Time I Die and Cancer Bats, members of Wilmington, North Carolina, band He Is Legend make a familiar noise to their heavy-music ears. The band, which has released a string of full-lengths and EPs since 2004, suffered a five-year gap between 2009s It Hates You and last years Heavy Fruit, thanks to various lineup changes and a brief hiatus from 2009 to 2010. The band is back now and playing a headlining tour across the U.S. with friends Sleepwave, Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghosts, More Than Sparrows and Vanguard Symphony. Catch these bands at Rev Room at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.
Aranda, a hard-rock band composed of brothers Dameon and Gabe Aranda, began in Oaklahoma City in the early 2000s. After signing to Astonish Records, the band members released their first album, a self-titled 2008 release. A single from that album, Still in the Dark, did well on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart and peaked at No. 31. Later songs, such as One More Lie and Satisfied, charted higher for the band. The band will perform with local rock acts The Revolutioners and Chariot The Moon at Juanitas at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.
Harkening back to the old-school soul and rock n roll days of the 50s and 60s, 10-piece Texas band The Suffers bring a sound thats reminiscent of a good time, hanging out with friends at a local club or lounge. Fronted by the soulful sounds of lead singer Kam Franklin, each member of the band brings an unparalleled level of skill and soul to the group. Although the group only has a couple of EPs and singles out right now, the band is planning a full-length release sometime this year. Catch them at Stickyz at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 day of show.
For fans of the folksy-rock sounds of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, Austin, Texas, artist Graham Wilkinson is playing at White Water Tavern at 9:30 p.m. His repertoire of songs is as eclectic as his influences, so check him out if youre looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Ticket prices are TBA.
Often described as a mix of Machine Head, Pantera, Clutch and Ministry, members of St. Louis Southern thrash metal band Final Drive want to make sure that by the end of their set, your ears are sufficiently bleeding and your neck is loose because of the headbanging. If that isnt enough, theyll also be joined by a slew of other metal acts, including Every Knee Shall Bow, Moment of Fierce Determination, Minerva and Killing Souls. The show starts at 8:30 p.m at Rev Room, and tickets can be purchased for $8.
Looking to emulate the sounds of legendary 50s and 60s country duets like Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, the duo who make up Motel Mirrors create timeless country music that will transport listeners back to a time when songs were much simpler. Motel Mirrors perform at White Water Tavern at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.
Epic Rap Battles of History, a YouTube channel that pits historical figures against one another in a mock freestyle rap-off, is taking its brand of humor and musicality on tour throughout the U.S. and Europe. With more than 12 million subscribers on YouTube, the duo of Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter found staggering success making their acclaimed videos. They perform at Juanitas at 8 p.m., and tickets are $20.