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Concert review: Florida Georgia Line

There aren’t many country music concerts where you’ll hear covers of Eminem, Meghan Trainor and Wiz Khalifa songs. That’s why some purists won’t claim Florida Georgia Line as country. Some have labeled their music country-rap.

As my companion and I left the group’s Jan. 24 concert at Verizon Arena, we were entertained and appreciated the talents of the duo made up of Brian Kelley (Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (Georgia). However, we struggled as to what genre Florida Georgia Line fits. They aren’t really country, not really hip-hop, not really rock and not really pop. But maybe a combination of all? So, what is that called?

I’m not sure, but what I do know is that 12,846 fans — many were young girls clad in dresses and boots — were enjoying themselves. As was I. Florida Georgia Line’s sound is all party, and with beach balls flying through the crowd, the two played for more than an hour and included their chart toppers such as “Dirt,” “Get Your Shine On,” “Stay” and “This is How We Roll.”

The two kicked off the performance with an original song, “Sun Daze,” then dug in to the covers. Hubbard was spot on with his … Read more >

This Week’s Music

Sharon Corr.

Here’s the music lineup in central Arkansas for this week:

THURSDAY
The Spring Standards come to Stickyz, and maybe this three-piece indie folk band from New York City will bring a shot of spring with them. Maybe. If not, one can depend on the trio to deliver some golden-voiced three-part harmonies and spontaneity as the band members trade out instruments during their live show. There’s a $7 cover for the 18-and-up show with the music starting at 9 p.m.

FRIDAY
Blind Water Finds Blind Water is the new album from the great Adam Faucett, and the singer-songwriter is celebrating the release of the album with a record release show at White Water Tavern. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. Faucett, known for his blending of folk rock with soulful vocals, worked on the very personal Blind Water Finds Blind Water for two years, and the 10-track record is being released via Last Chance Records.

The Departed — you might know them as Cody Canada and The Departed — are coming to Stickyz, playing their roots-flavored Americana, Canada is the former lead singer of Red Dirt band Cross Canadian Ragweed (The Departed also includes Ragweed … Read more >

This Week’s Music

Here’s the music lineup in central Arkansas for this week:

THURSDAY
Paleface is no longer just Paleface. The one-man indie folk band now includes girlfriend and drummer Mo Samalot, who also adds a little harmony vocals to the mix. But Paleface is still the singer-songwriter schooled by Daniel Johnston who has friends from The Avett Brothers to Beck, and it’s Paleface that visits White Water Tavern. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. Included on the bill is local act Sea Nanners.

Back in 2013, North Little Rock band Whale Fire released their debut album, Before You Run. Featuring co-lead vocalists/guitarists John Steel and Clay Grubbs along with Matthew Steel on backing vocals/bass guitar and Will Vick on drums/percussion, the album is a hazy, melodic take on indie rock with a touch of dream pop. Whale Fire comes to The Joint, playing a show with local electro-powered indie-rock band Collin vs. Adam. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. with a $5 cover.

FRIDAY
Catfish music for the masses? That’s what Jimbo Mathus and The Tri-State Coalition play and what local music fans can expect when the band visits White Water Tavern. The show is a … Read more >

Bruno Mars at Verizon Arena this spring

Bruno Mars.

Bruno Mars.

Pop superstar Bruno Mars — he of the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show this year and hit songs such as “Grenade,” “Locked Out of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man” — comes to Verizon Arena on June 10 as part of his The Moonshine Jungle Tour, according to new dates released via Mars website. Aloe Blacc — remember that song “I Need a Dollar” — is the opener. Tickets go on sale Feb. 3.… Read more >

Weekend Music Roundup (Starting with Thursday)

Kevin Gordon. Photo by Daniel Coston.

Kevin Gordon. Photo by Daniel Coston.

Here’s what’s on tap for live music this weekend in and around Little Rock:

Thursday

The Browning brings their The Hypernova Tour to Downtown Music as the act promotes their Oct. 1-released album Hypernova. What this means is that Downtown Music will be rocking to the Kansas City band’s mixture of heavy metal with hard style, trance and other electronic music. Joining The Browning is Pennsylvania melodic hardcore outfit This or The Apocalypse, Virginia-based metalcore quintet Honour Crest, Victory Records metalcore band Tear Out The Heart and Houston’s Myka Relocate with their screamo meets electronic elements. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7 p.m. with tickets $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

If you don’t know Louisiana-raised, Nashville, Tenn.-based singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon, you should. The man has written tunes for the likes of Keith Richards, Levon Helm and Irma Thomas, and The New York Times had this to say about Gordon’s 2012 Gloryland: “Mr. Gordon’s music is both a distinctive slice of the Nashville scene far from the country mainstream and a window onto the DIY paths that increasingly come with a … Read more >

Luke Bryan Sold Out

Sold out.

Sold out.

As you probably already know, especially if you were trying to get tickets, country superstar Luke Bryan has sold out his Dirt Road Diaries Tour stop Thursday, Oct. 17 at Verizon Arena. As Ticketmaster notes, some reserved seats might be released before the show but don’t count on it. Bryan’s sell out should come as no great surprise as the sell out is certainly not the first in the history of Verizon Arena. In fact, country artists — and some guy named Jimmy Buffett — do quite well at the arena, especially George Strait.

Each of Strait’s five appearances at the arena, which opened in 1999, has drawn more than 15,500 fans. Strait’s first appearance in February 2004 drew a then record 17,811 fans, besting the Dixie Chicks’ record of approximately 17,060 fans from August 2003. Strait’s January 2006 appearance in North Little Rock drew a still-arena record with 18,004 people in attendance. Subsequent visits in January 2008 and March 2010 (with co-headliner Reba McEntire) drew 15,840 and 15,597 fans, respectively. Strait drew 17,036 fans in April of this year.

And Buffett, who returns to Verizon Arena in December, drew 16,161 fans when he visited in March … Read more >

Weekend Music Roundup

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.

Here’s what’s on tap for live music this weekend in and around Little Rock:

Friday

Fiddle-powered Texas country with a touch of banjo. Gentle acoustic country ballads with rip-roaring choruses. Red Dirt-flavored country rock that kicks up a little dust. These are just a few of the sounds one will find on the Josh Abbott Band‘s April 2012 album Small Town Family Dream, including the soaring pop chorus of “Touch.” And all this and more is what one will hear when seeing Josh Abbott Band at Rev Room. The music starts at 9 p.m. with tickets $15 in advance and $18 day of for the 18-and-up show. Texas country rock band Tyler & The Tribe opens.

Dirty Alabama rock ‘n’ roll is what Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires will deliver when stopping in at White Water Tavern. The sound is Southern rock ‘n’ roll, but there’s something awfully raw about it. A little brawny Muscle Shoals R&B and gritty Memphis soul with a sweaty dose of 1970s Detroit punk. But the band can connect Walker Percy with the Ramones. And the outfit is working on a follow-up … Read more >

Cher at Verizon Arena on March 28

Cher comes to Verizon Arena on March 28.

Cher comes to Verizon Arena on March 28.

Cher comes to Verizon Arena on March 28, 2014, with her Dressed to Kill Tour. So the Friday night concert is a whole six months away. Get excited now. And get tickets starting at noon Oct. 25. Tickets are $36.50, $61.50, $104. 50 and $127 via all Ticketmaster outlets.… Read more >

Sunday’s Music

New Edition.

Giving you the music a day early:

The pop-flavored R&B group that brought the world “Cool It Now” is on the road for their 30th anniversary tour as New Edition visits Verizon Arena. Tickets are $58.15, $68.40 and $79.40 with fellow R&B act After 7 and R&B artist El Debarge opening the show. Of course, “Cool It Now” is not all New Edition did. How about “Candy Girl”? “Mr. Telephone Man”? “If It Isn’t Love”? “Hit Me Off”? “I’m Still in Love with You”? Yeah, the group featuring Bobby Brown and Johnny Gill has some hits.

Here are New Edition with their “Cool It Now”:

Cool It NowRead more >

Saturday’s Music

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Giving you the music a day early:

Okay, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Verizon Arena. Does anything else really need to be said? This is one of those must-see shows. It’s Petty and the Heartbreakers with their classic American rock sound. Throw in indie artist Regina Spektor. Kind of an odd pairing, but again, it’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Be there. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the music starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Verizon Arena Box Office for $27.50, $57.50, $77.50 and $99.50. It’s going to cost you extra if you go through Ticketmaster.

Clarence Carter sings the soul/R&B classic “Patches” — that’s all the reason you need for attending the all-day show Blues on the River at Riverfest Amphitheatre on the Arkansas River that also features Bigg Robb & The Problem Solvers, TK Soul, Sweet Angel, Donnie Ray and more. It’s all presented by Power 92 Jams and 102.1 KOKY. Doors open at 2 p.m. with the music starting at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 day of show. Of course, Carter also sings “Slip Away,” “The Feeling Is Right,” “Doing … Read more >