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Large crowds and good music have been the norm for four straight Thursdays, and the same is expected tonight (Feb. 22) when the fifth and last semifinal round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase takes place at Sticky Fingerz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack.
Four bands have qualified for the March 2 finals, scheduled for the Revolution Music Room at 300 President Clinton Ave.: Damn Bullets, Cooper’s Orbit, Jeff Coleman and the Feeders, and the Dean Agus Band. Agus is from Hot Springs; the first three acts are all from Little Rock. Cooper’s Orbit, Jeff Coleman and Dean Agus are all acoustic-driven-modern rock bands, though Coleman is closer to standard rock ’n’ roll. Damn Bullets is a rockabilly-rock group.
Tonight, the four performers are The Global Test (modern rock), Highway 5 (country), Sean Rock and the Toltecs (folk rock) and Calcabrina (heavy rock). The show begins at 9 p.m. with a $5 cover charge (ages 21 and up). Jeff Allen of KKPT-FM, 94.1 The Point will host the show with Arkansas Times entertainment editor Jim Harris.
Jacksonville Guitar, Trio’s Restaurant, Blue Chair Studio of Cabot and Riverfest are providing prizes for next week’s winner, with Riverfest assuring the winner a slot in its Memorial Day weekend lineup. Other prizes include a photo shoot with Arkansas Times photographer Brian Chilson, and all finalists are paid for performing and will receive Red Bull drinks and other prizes.
Last week, Fayetteville’s The American Years opened the show with a solid rock-jam effort that set a high bar for the other three acts. It took Agus and his band, with their bluesy rock and Agus’ strong vocals, to overcome the Northwest Arkansas group, with local rockers Rein also in the tight mix. Conway’s Daybreak Bandits contended with a powerful show as well, but ventured into cover material and eliminated themselves from judges’ consideration.