You've gotta hand it to The Big Cats. Not many old punks keep their guitars strapped on long enough through their adulthood to get a chance to turn their all-ages shows — a staple of punk ethos that's usually aimed at giving underage teens a place at concerts — into a big, handmade "welcome" sign for families with small children (i.e. their friends).
Another reason to give it up for The Big Cats: They're simply one of the greatest bands ever to spring out of the local musical fountain. During last summer's Arkansas Music Poll, they cracked the top 10 list dedicated to local acts; they're all-but-unanimously beloved throughout town. Their last album, "On Tomorrow," is as beloved a release as any to come out of Pulaski County in recent memory and a defining moment of our local sound. Now, the Cats are in the studio, working on their follow-up album, and offering Little Rock a number of rare shows, an uncharacteristic move for the band whose live appearances have been scarce for years. We're not complaining. And we're certainly not complaining about this one: a family-friendly matinee at the rustic Dreamland Ballroom at Arkansas Flag & Banner Co. We look for any excuse to check out the Dreamland ruins. And we take any chance we can to check out The Big Cats. Which makes this show a no-brainer.