9 p.m. Juanita's. $20.
While Big K.R.I.T. is no stranger to Little Rock, this show marks the first time the Meridian, Miss., native and rising rap star has come to town since the release of his Def Jam Records debut, "Live From the Underground," back in June. The album has earned solid reviews, though in general the tone seems to have been tempered just slightly from the gushing accolades that were understandably elicited by his excellent mixtapes, "K.R.I.T Wuz Here" and especially "Return of 4Eva," which was produced entirely by K.R.I.T. Matthew Keever of Houston Press wrote of last Saturday's House of Blues concert that the rapper "breathlessly regaled the crowd with an hour-long set, full of high-energy, club-ready verses that celebrate life in the South" and that his enthusiasm and energy were infectious. I think you could safely wager that K.R.I.T. and company (including Houston heavyweight Slim Thug, Tito Lopez, Big Sant, GT Garza and local group Flint Eastwood) will bring it for Little Rock as well.
7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $35-$65.
OK, so one of the bona fide megastars of country music is coming back to Verizon Arena, and aside from all the hit songs everybody wants to hear him play, there's another topic that's gotta be on everybody's mind: Is Paisley gonna address The Great Collegiate Doormat Spat of 2011? This is the first time he's been to Arkansas since that whole incident. To recap: his tourmates, Arkansas natives Eden's Edge, absconded with the singer's "BELOVED" West Virginia doormat and replaced it with a Razorbacks doormat. Paisley and his bros torched said Arkansas mat. Video footage of this hit the web and got Hog Nation all riled up way beyond what was called for (shocking, I know). Paisley sought to clear things up by placing his act of arson in the proper context, i.e., as the natural and proper escalation of a prank war and not an explicit act of blasphemy against the Hogs. He tweeted thusly: "If they had placed a Crimson Tide, or Vols, or Buckeyes, or you name it — mat there, that is what I would have burned. It was not personal," and later offered this fig leaf: "In closing, I will be rooting for the Razorbacks this year. Lord knows you have a better shot at the title than we do. May you win em all." Well, Paisley's BELOVED West Virginia football team is now sitting at No. 5 in the nation after knocking off the Longhorns in Austin last weekend. And the Hogs are... well, we all know where the Hogs are. But hey, it's not Paisley's fault. It was just a simple prank, right? Surely that act of Hog mat immolation didn't somehow directly start the chain of events that led to the collapse of the Razorbacks and the ascension of the Mountaineers, right? But just to be safe, maybe we should try to get Paisley to burn an LSU doormat. If he won't do it, maybe openers The Band Perry or Scotty McCreery will give it a go.
9 p.m. Revolution. $16.
Torontonian quintet Stars has spent the last decade crafting the sort of beautiful, propulsive pop tunes that can give weight to the most mundane of activities, transforming that headphone-clad walk to the post office into a cinematic voyage of bittersweet heartache. Need proof? Just try not to get all wistful and nostalgic while listening to "Ageless Beauty," from the band's 2005 breakout album "Set Yourself on Fire." It'll take you right back to that confusing, aimless period after college when you were still trying to figure things out but mainly just drank too much and got your feelings stepped on a lot. The group's most recent long-player, "The North," has been hailed by many critics as a return to form after a couple of missteps. The opening track, "The Theory of Relativity" finds Stars appropriating the woozy synth textures of the chill-wavers and putting them to their own decidedly less hazy pop purposes. The title track recalls The Smiths, the maudlin Anglo-pop favorite that is perhaps Stars' spiritual forebear. Openers at this all-ages show include the glammed-to-the-max Diamond Rings and the '80s-pop-informed guitar rock of California Wives.
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