Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
by John Tarpley
7 p.m., Verizon Arena. $23-$48
n Twenty years ago, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" debuted and modern rock radio has been heard through a distortion pedal ever since. Sixteen years ago, in the months following Kurt Cobain's "fade away," Nirvana's drummer released a block of home-recorded punk-poppery under the dashed-off name Foo Fighters. And now, in 2011, Dave Grohl may just be modern rock's elder sage, a Gen-X McCartney for Nirvana's answer to Wings. Now days, every radio rocker rocks like Foo Fighters. But no one does it nearly as well. Sure, the Foo's run of singles is the pudding with the proof, but I suspect that what keeps us all coming back (and what keeps the band relevant long after a reasonable expiration date) is that Grohl & Co. either still love the joy of rock music or do one helluva job faking it. We bet it's the former; these guys keep their ears in the arena and everything between firmly in the rock clubs. Warming up the crowd: Motorhead. Has there ever been a better opener in the history of Verizon/Alltel? Don't get it wrong: we're all excited for Foo Fighters, but we're really going to worship at the altar of St. Lemmy.
FREE LOVE VIRGINS
8 p.m., Prost. $5.
n Twenty years ago, sometime around the time "Smells Like Teen Spirit" debuted and, locally, the old Towncraft guard was thrashing away at the Belvedere, five Little Rockians (Justin Bank, Chope Chappell, James Donato, John Slater and Kelsey Stout) passed over angst chic for sounds right out of Athens, Ga., and NME Magazine. Admittedly, Free Love Virgins didn't change the world with their brand of jangle-pop (they had to change their name to FLV to play Riverfest '92 to appease the morality police), but they had a such a good time doing it that, 16 years after their break-up, the guys are re-banding for a one-night-only reunion. Expect tracks from their 1991 album, "Garden" (available for free at bit.ly/freelovevirgins), and a good bit of Cameron Crowe-shaped rock nostalgia. One Free Love Virgin opens the night with his new outfit, Justin Bank and the Royal Electric.
GREEK FOOD FESTIVAL
11 a.m., Annunciation Greek Episcopal Church.
n Now in its 27th year, we can call the Greek Food Festival an Arkansas institution, right? Once a year, what's essentially the best Greek restaurant in the state opens for three days, offering Mediterranean cuisine from gyros to pastitso (a Greek lasagna), sourota (a nutty pastry) to dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and that unbelievable mystery salad dressing, prepared and bottled at the church, that you wouldn't be wrong to stock up on while it's available. While we assume most people will be happy with nothing more than mouthfuls of olives and goat meat, the festival also offers dance and music from the Greek-American Folk Dance Society, the Dubkeh Middle Eastern Dancers and more. As always, the three-day-long event donates profits to a number of area charities. And this year, folks on the go can again make to-go orders online at the festival website, GreekFoodFest.com.
'HANDS FOR HAITI' BENEFIT
7 p.m., Clinton Presidential Center. $25 minimum donation
n It's too real a fact that it's been almost a year and a half since 2010's devastating earthquake in Haiti and the country is still in a precarious balance, with sickness still abound, the government as unsteady as ever (which is saying a lot) and a bulk of its population still displaced. However, a team from Arkansas consisting of a doctor, a nurse, a translator and a microfinancier (don't discount the importance of sustainability), is aiming its sights towards the country and, this Friday, a number of area musicians are helping with the cause. The Clinton Center will host members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Amy Garland Band, Paul Morphis, and Bonnie Montgomery Trucking, all performing to help launch the local "Hands for Haiti" team to under-assisted parts of Port-au-Prince. The group asks for a minimum donation of $25, but doors open at 9 p.m. for "pay-what-you-can" admission.