Back from Hot Springs | Rock Candy

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Back from Hot Springs

Posted on Sun, Jul 2, 2006 at 1:35 PM

Funny thing about yesterday afternoon, around Magic Springs it didn't seem as hot as the evening news later said it was. Maybe we're just getting fully acclimated, and 101 in the shade won't even be a bother to us the next two months.

Anyway, we took the young 'un to Magic Springs for, believe it or not, The Click Five show. Yes, he's 4, and he likes the Click Five, which might tell those boys that their target audience is a little younger than even they thought. Mostly, it's high school girls, as we gathered from the high school-like cheers emanating from the pit in front of Timberwood Amphitheater's stage last night.

First, though, we spent a few hours just walking around Magic Springs and Crystal Falls. The young 'un was a little wary of trying anything at first, and he wasn't tall enough for most of the rides to ride at all, and on some he had to have his big 'un with him. I don't fit real well into those little flying planes that go in a small circle and make you dizzy as heck afterward.

Worse, though, young 'un's wariness was definitely about trying Crystal Falls water park, where most of Saturday afternoon's crowd was hanging out, and darn near every one of them in a $5-rental yellow inner tube, either floating around this man-made 3-foot deep Guadalupe River through the park, or in the man-made beach. There was even a 2-foot baby pool, but  young 'un said not this time; he'll try it again next time. We've heard that a lot. Why we carried bathing suits and beach towels in, we'll never know.

We did try some kiddie rides, bought lots of water, watched the bumper cars, played in the arcade a while, walked a ton, including back up a major hill to the entrance about four times. We feel in shape now.

Timberwood Amphitheater is very cool. If only Little Rock's Riverfest Amphitheatre could take a few lessons. Teere are VERY FEW sight obstructions. The soundboard area is in line with the main walkway down from concessions stands, which are at the top. They dug this thing out of a mountain, bulldozing it down in a perfect incline where everybody gets a nice view. Reserved seating is available, but last night there were so few people who had paid the extra $5 for reserved seating, they invited everybody to come down and fil it in. The show probably drew 3,000 or so, maybe more.

Bare Foot opened, and we heard them from outside the park. We're guessing, even without looking, that they've got a myspace.com page. You might like a few of there songs; their opener was a solid hit. The last one was pretty decent as well. In person, their vocals, wafting through the park, sounded a little off at times.

The Click Five, the main event, played everything they had in an hour show, including a great cover of Til Tuesday/Amiee Mann's "Voices Carry," and jammed out on Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone Now," plus they offered a couple of new ones they claimed they'd never played. Throughout, Eric Dill screamed "How are ya, Arkansas." This little spot in the state was serving as the whole, we guess. The band put on a pretty decent show, with a style that's pretty much a tip of the cap to the Cars and the '80s, with a little Knack dress-up-in-suits look, just like they look on their debut album.

The amphitheater sits high enough on the hill next to the Arkansas Twister ride that it catches some nice breeze, and it was quite pleasant after the sun went down.

Tonight, we're almost inclined to rush back to see the Spinners, who provide a few songs to the soundtrack of our life, to be sure. They start at 8 p.m. If you have a season pass to Magic Springs, the show is free. If not, it's $28.99 after 5 p.m. Also, they don't tell you about the additional $8 parking change inside the premises. Hot dogs run $4, and the best buy on drinks there, if you go to Magic Springs a lot, is to buy the $7.99 cup that they'll refill for 99 cents. Water is $3 a bottle. A big bottle, though, not those tiny things Riverfest was charging $4 for back in May.

Somebody with business/money connections should look at what Magic Springs and the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Fayetteville are doing to bring in decent music entertainment for the summer. There is NOTHING again, for the third year, at Riverfest Amphitheatre, until the much-awaited Poison and Cinderella show in late August. Can't wait.

By the way, upcoming at Timberwood will be Kansas, Foreigner, Rick Springfield, a bunch of name country shows, and more through Labor Day weekend. The AMP at the Northwest Arkansas Mall also has some big names in classic music coming, country (SHeDaisy next week, on their way to Timberwood), Lyle Lovett, and they also have a Movies in the Park kind of series, called Chick Flicks. Thanks to Blake Rutherford and his crew for bringing Movies in the Park to Riverfest Amphitheatre. Now, somebody needs to look at the music end for affordable weekly or bi-weekly shows during the summer, not these hit or miss, every once in a while shows like Poison or Willie Nelson.

Or, we can just leave it to Timberwood Amphitheater, which is less than an hour away and is a much better amphitheater anyway. I'm surprised more people in Little Rock haven't discovered it, and why more big-name acts and promoters in the market haven't looked at it for shows outside of the months that Magic Springs is open.

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