The winter that never really happened is almost history. The days are growing longer. Our narrow window of pleasant weather before the oppressive heat comes is here, or soon to come. All of that of course means that it's time to step out and see some music. Quality options abound.
The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, fresh from a performance of Mahler's massive "Resurrection Symphony," pares things down a little for an Intimate Neighborhood Concert at St. James United Methodist Church featuring Britten's "Simple Symphony" and Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" on March 9. Catch the final round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, featuring performances from DeFrance, Dazz & Brie, Rah Howard, Brae Leni & The Evergreen Groove Machine, The Inner Party and CosmOcean, at Revolution on March 10. Honky-tonker Sunny Sweeney returns to Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack on March 11, and that same day Dugan's Pub hosts the music for a Third Street Block Party, with performances from Barrett Baber, Big Red Flag and Little Rock Pipes and Drum Corps. The women behind Rochester doom rock band Fox 45 join Adam Faucett and The Tall Grass for a show at Four Quarter Bar on March 12. On March 16, Argenta Community Theater hosts "Sing Out for the Buffalo," a benefit for the Buffalo River Watershed Alliance, featuring the music of Isaac Alexander, Matt Treadway, Amy Garland Angel, Jason Weinheimer and more.
Low Key Arts' Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival, March 17-21 in Hot Springs, brings in a smart lineup to Maxine's and at Low Key Arts: DTCV, Downtown Boys, Vodi, Ginsu Wives, Joan of Arc, NIL8, Big Piph and Tomorrow Maybe, Dangerous Idiots and more. Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers bring the party to the White Water Tavern on March 17, and Revolution hosts Cape Fear's self-described "weed metal" band Weedeater, with Beitthemeans, Iron Tongue and Tempus Terra March 18. Edward Simon and jazz ensemble Afinidad play the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville March 18, too. Patrick Sweany returns to the White Water Tavern March 18 and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires play the Tavern on March 20. March 22 marks the release of the much-anticipated "Heartless" from Arkansas doom rockers Pallbearer, who celebrate with a show at Revolution with Sumokem, Colour Design and Auric. Italian rockers Nothing for Breakfast join The Federalis and Peckerwolf at Stickyz March 23. That same night, The Steel Wheels take the stage at South on Main and Jucifer shares a bill with Hell Camino at Vino's. George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville hosts a show from Shovels & Rope featuring guests Lowland Hum on March 25. On March 28, the ASO's River Rhapsody Chamber Music Series at the Clinton Presidential Center features Haydn's "Emperor" String Quartet. Georgia Satellites frontman Dan Baird & Homemade Sin take the small but mighty stage at the White Water Tavern on March 29. Nora Jane Struthers and Joe Overton play a benefit for ACANSA at The Joint in Argenta on March 30, with an afterparty at Flyway Brewing. Pop-punk stalwarts Blink-182 land at Verizon Arena on March 31.
April ushers in a show from Gladys Knight at the Robinson Center on April 3. On April 5, the Jazz in the Park series kicks off at Riverfront Park with The Funkanites. Mandolin player Sierra Hull follows an April 6 show at South on Main with an April 7 performance at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Alt-rockers Local H play at Stickyz on April 8. On April 14, Los Lobos makes a landing at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Mountain Sprout plays at King's Live Music in Conway April 15. April 20 is a hallowed day for music — you can catch Indian guitarist Konarak Reddy at The Joint as part of the Argenta Arts Acoustic Music Series, Hayes Carll and Band of Heathens at Revolution and Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective at South on Main, just to name a few. It's also a big week for Verizon Arena, with a concert from Brantley Gilbert on April 21, Red Hot Chili Peppers on April 22, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers on April 23 and Boston on April 26. Delbert McClinton lands at Pulaski Technical College's Center for the Humanities and the Arts on April 26. Sinkane returns to Central Arkansas to share his high-art pop show at Stickyz on May 2, and Alice Cooper terrorizes Robinson Center on May 3.
YouTube hitmakers Postmodern Jukebox give a show at the Clear Channel Metroplex on May 4, and gospel superstars The McCrary Sisters are at South on Main that evening. Opera in the Rock stages Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" at Pulaski Tech's CHARTS May 19-21. The Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville hosts "An Evening with Buddy Guy" on May 23. ZZ Top is bad, it is nationwide, and it brings its time-honored Deguello riffs and formidable beards to the Robinson Center on May 26.
Riverfest returns to the First Security Amphitheater June 1-4. No word yet on headliner. Country rocker Tracy Lawrence plays the Timberwood Amphitheater at Magic Springs on June 3, and elsewhere in Hot Springs, the Hot Springs Music Festival kicks off June 4 at various venues downtown. The Walmart AMP in Rogers hosts a string of summer shows: Third Eye Blind on July 12, Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton July 18, Tedeschi Trucks Band on July 25, Lady Antebellum on Aug. 5 and Straight No Chaser on Aug. 6. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill play Verizon Arena Aug. 3.