Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $14-$18.
After gaining huge exposure on the big screen, “the demon barber of Fleet Street” returns to his original home, the stage. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Weekend Theater knows its fake blood. Based on a character from a 19th-century British serial, “Sweeney Todd” tells the story of a barber, the titular Todd, who's exiled to Australia by a powerful judge who wants Todd's wife for his own. The story catches up with the barber post-exile. Deranged and hell-bent on revenge, Todd reopens shop, cutting more throats than hair. To hide his crimes, his sometimes lover Mrs. Lovett hides the remains in her meat pies, which quickly become the talk of London. The Weekend Theater bills this much-beloved Stephen Sondheim musical as an “intimate production,” which “shows us that sometimes melodrama is the most effective vehicle for capturing basic truths about the human condition.” Andy Hall directs and Lori Isner is musical director. The musical runs on weekends through June 22 with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $8.
The world has (or had) the Van Halens, the Allmans and the Stinsons. Little Rock has the Kerbys. Those other famous rocker brothers have married TV stars and Cher, played at the Fillmore and trashed hotel rooms. The Kerbys, Josh and Kevin, played Vino's without their shirts one time. They also have rocker neck beards and menacing tattoos, respectively. With Kevin, known for his prowess as a singer/songwriter, kicking out chunky riffs on the ole electric guitar, Josh vamps and hollers out the lead vocals. They sound cowpunk-ish, but rawer and more well-rounded. Bryce, a refugee from the Contingencies, plays drums and the bassist is known almost exclusively as Slaughter House or sometimes just Slaughter. San Antokyo is celebrating the release of its debut album; the cover charge gets you a copy. Magic Hassle, an American Princes side project featuring David Slade, Matt Quin and Burt Taggart, opens the show along with barroom heroes Smoke Up Johnny, who after playing out prolifically and touring, briefly, with the Green Day alter ego, Foxboro Hot Tubs, probably won't be playing again for a long, long time. So make it count.
9 p.m., Downtown Music. $5.
Back in April, rapper Max Farrell, who performs as Maxx, hosted a concert at Vino's that packed in close to 300. Those are pretty staggering numbers for a local bill, particularly with a high school kid — an upper-middle-class white kid at that — headlining a hip-hop show in a club known lately for emo and punk. Farrell, who's since graduated from Central High (he'll attend Grinnell in the fall), is a strong talent. His rhymes are basic, but often skewed and smart enough to mask their simplicity. His flow, once fairly deliberate, has become dexterous. He's even producing with impressive results (see Rock Candy for a sample). But Farrell's success probably has more to do with his general charisma than his rap talent. He knows a lot of people, including, from his time in the inaugural session of the Hip-Hop School, a good number of the scene's top rappers. Emboldened by his initial success, he's seeking to broaden his reach. He was fairly ubiquitous at Riverfest, handing out flyers, and he's cut a promotional video for the show, which shows him catching air after taking a hill in his Chevy truck (craziness on the road leads to craziness on the stage seems to be the message). His line-up should help, too. Local favorite 607 joins North Rock, Bware, Rockst*r and long-off-the-radar Trapper the Rapper. Razormack.com hosts with g-force manning the turntables.
PINNACLE OF MUSIC FESTIVAL
10 a.m., Pinnacle Mountain State Park. Free.
It's on the cusp of being too hot, but it's 6/7/08. The stars have aligned. You're pretty much obligated to do something memorable. The Pinnacle of Music Festival offers the key components of any small-time festival: It's cheap, the line-up is strong and there's a three-on-three basketball tournament. Admission is free, but parking costs $5. The Lord owns the first half of the day. From 10 a.m. until noon, Arkansas gospel and Christian acts perform. From 1 p.m. till 8 p.m., the tenor of the performers shifts into less uplifting (but equally awesome) territory as blues performers take the stage. Big Mike Griffin, a W.C. Handy Award-winning bluesman from Nashville plays from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. Camden native Michael Burks closes out the festival from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. With the release of his new album, “Iron Man”— named for Burks' nickname, earned through long, physical performances and from logging thousands of miles behind the wheel of his touring van — the bluesman seems primed for the next level of fame.
HOT ROD POWER TOUR
9 a.m., State Fairgrounds. Free.
Circle the date, grease monkeys. After culminating in Little Rock last year, the Hot Rod Power Tour kicks off this year with more than 4,000 hot rods, classic cars, low riders and muscle cars streaming into the Arkansas State Fairgrounds on Saturday. Locals who want to join the fray can register, regardless of make or model, on-site for $80 or beforehand for $65. The festivities run until 6 p.m. If that sounds hot and dusty and smog-filled, you can catch a slice of car culture on Friday night, as a parade of hot rods and other souped-up rides make their way from the fairgrounds to the River Market. From 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., the cars will be there for the gawking. Local cover act Crisis! will perform.
MOTHER'S BEST MUSIC FEST
Noon, Cherry Street Pavilion, Helena-West Helena. Free.
Two weeks after the Arkansas Delta Family Gospel Festival, downtown Helena slides back into festival mode. Now in its third year, Mother's Best Music Fest takes its inspiration from a 1940s radio show on Helena's famed KFFA 1360 AM that featured a broad sampling of blues, rockabilly, country and Americana. Michael Powers, an East Coast bluesman whom Billboard has called “the future of the blues,” headlines with contemporary bluesman and Helena native Lonnie Shields. Also on the bill: the old-time group the Skirtlifters, R&B man James “Gone for Good” Morgan, Delta rockabilly favorite C.W. Gatlin, bluesman Sam Carr, acoustic blues player Steve Cheeseborough, Sterling Billingsley, K.M. Williams and Washboard Jackson, Live Soul featuring Phillip Stackhouse and Live Wire Band.
8 p.m., Robinson Center Music Hall. $27.75-$37.75.
The female bonding continues. If the male-female ratio at the opening weekend of “Sex and the City” was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1:200, expect similar numbers at Tuesday's concert. (Maybe there'll be a demographic shift from the coutured-up to the hemped-out. Maybe I'll get sucker punched for pigeonholing.) Of all the acts to rise out of the late '80s folk revival — 10,000 Maniacs, Tracy Chapman, Suzanne Vega — the Indigo Girls have managed to stay relevant the longest. Now more than 20 years into their career, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray still thrive off a pretty simple recipe: two guitars, harmony, literate lyrics and diverse influences (Saliers comes from the Joni Mitchell tradition; Ray draws from more abrasive influences, like the Jam and Husker Du). The duo's latest, 2006's “Despite Our Difference,” finds them crafting some of their strongest and most raucous material in years. Up-and-coming folky Brandi Carlile, whose latest album, “The Story,” was produced by T. Bone Burnett, opens the concert.
DEMON HUNTER/ LIVING SACRIFICE
7:30 p.m., the Village. $17 adv., $20 d.o.s.
Spiritual warfare is serious business. At least for the legions of fans of the Christian metalcore band Demon Hunter who have the group's symbol, a demon skull (sort of like a goat's) with a bullet through it, tattooed on them. Or maybe it just looks hard. The lines are easily blurred in the Christian death metal scene, where melody is important, but only as a counterpoint to sonic annihilation, where songs are about faith, but are sung incomprehensibly. It may not square for you, but you better believe that the Village will be packed to the brim on Wednesday. Demon Hunter comes to town with Living Sacrifice, historically one of Little Rock's most popular acts. In fact, because of Living Sacrifice, Little Rock was the epicenter of the Christian metalcore movement in the '90s. Apart for five years, the band has reformed, with not quite the original line-up, but one that's not likely to draw any complaints. In the same ilk, Oh Sleeper, the Famine and Advent open.