Riverfest 2014 preview 

CeeLo, fireworks, dogs doing interesting things highlight this year's Riverfest.

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9:45 p.m., Bud Light Stage
(Clinton Presidential Center)

Three Days Grace is a rock quartet from Ontario fond of leather, black and facial hair. Consisting of Neil Sanderson, Brad Walst, Barry Stock and Matt Walst, the band favors melodic yet lyrically dark alt-metal. Their biggest hit, "I Hate Everything About You," should be familiar to those who were anguished, Hot Topic-loving high school students in the mid-2000s. Other stand-outs include "Break" and "Animal I Have Become." The band recently underwent some changes in lineup, with Matt Walst replacing longtime vocalist Adam Gontier in March, and it recently released the single "Painkiller," its first recording with Walst. Fans of introspective alt-metal should check these dudes out. MS

8 p.m., Coors Light / Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage
(First Security Amphitheater)

Salt-N-Pepa, the stretchy-pant-loving and doorknocker-earring-sporting trio of ladies from Queens, N.Y., is responsible for jams that we all know and love: "Whattaman," "Shoop," "Push It" and "Let's Talk About Sex." Salt, Pepa and their DJ, Spinderella, conquered the charts (and some challenging fashions) in the late '80s and early '90s as one of hip-hop's pioneering acts, male or female. Notable for injecting a little feminism into their booty-shaking as they parsed some rather raunchy topics from a woman's point of view, they secured American Music Award nominations, a Grammy and something a little more elusive for women in hip-hop: respect. The trio disbanded in the late '90s, but reunited in 2009 and have since shared the stage with everyone from Biz Markie to Public Enemy. So don't even pretend you don't know the words (I've seen what happens in an adequately drunk room when "Push It" comes on) and watch some of rap's trailblazers do their thing. MS

9:45 p.m., Coors Light / Arkansas Federal Credit Union Stage
(First Security Amphitheater)

Back when "Dirty South" was the name of a song instead of a catch-all brand, Outkast and Goodie Mob brought a jolt of creativity and regional pride to rap in the mid-'90s. Goodie Mob was a great group (if not historically great like Outkast), but it was clear even then that CeeLo Green's talents were bigger than one group, or even one genre. He sang and slurred and rapped his way through scene-stealing verses with country swagger and something too often lacking in the rap and R&B of the time: soul. (His contribution to an Outkast song still stands for me as one of rap's most jarringly tender opening lines: "I don't recall ever graduating at all / Sometimes I feel I'm just a disappointment to y'all.") The rest is history: five Grammy awards for solo work and Gnarls Barkley, his soul collaboration with producer Danger Mouse; the hit "Crazy," which at times has felt like the most ubiquitous song on the planet; a solo track with such infectious Motown vibes that it was a mammoth hit even though it was called "Fuck You"; reality television stints and a Super Bowl halftime show with Madonna. He's also a dynamite live performer, a bundle of manic energy — I was once on the receiving end of a CeeLo stage dive in the Goodie Mob days and collapsed beneath his weight. He's a big dude, so watch out. DR


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