AN ORANGUTAN/ MIDWEST CARAVAN
9 p.m., Sticky Fingerz. $5.
How 'bout a solid bill of local pop- and alt-rock to get you in that springtime kinda mood? For the first time in a long while (blame babies and jobs), the Reds return to the stage with a hook-heavy-helping propulsive pop-rock. With deeply infectious lyrics about summer gone wrong, red Martians and the sort of weirdos Frank Black's made a career singing about. From Bryant, An Orangutan blends scores of disparate influences into an upbeat sort of prog-rock. And Midwest Caravan, a local pop-rock duo (drums and guitar), specializes in sly songs about crazy ex-girlfriends and youthful unease. The group employs a tried-and-true formula: leisurely verses — good for guitarist and lead singer Sammy Williams' bright pop vocals to shine — followed by punchy, shout along choruses. LM
8 p.m., Village. $22-$50.
Famous for beat boxing through Bon Jovi's “You Give Love a Bad Name” and finishing second to Jordin Sparks on “American Idol” the season before last, Blake Lewis continues to run against the tide of “Idol” alumni. Lately, he's been on tour with Finnish trance DJ Darude with whom he collaborated on the Flock of Seagulls cover “I Ran (So Far Away).” It's a natural extension of the self-described “electro-funk-soul-pop” of Lewis' debut full-length “A.D.D.,” which included production from dance music super producer BT. Look for the vocalist to debut new songs. Despite getting dropped from Arista last year, he's forged ahead on a follow-up, which he's described in interviews as “Massive Attack meets Zero 7 — drum-and-bass with a little pop influence.” VIP tickets include a chance for a meet-and-greet. They're on sale for $40 in advance and $50 at the door. LM.
UUCLR, 7:30 p.m., $10, free ages 12 and under.
If powerful acoustic and resonator slide guitars suit your tastes, an evening with Brooks Williams should make for a full-course musical dinner. This road warrior has spent the last two decades performing his unique combination of traditional and original music across the U.S., Europe and even Turkey; sharing stages with Taj Mahal, and performing high profile gigs such as Trowbridge, Guitar Stars and Marlborough Jazz festivals. With more than 16 albums under his belt, his last release from 2008 climbed to number three on the FOLKDJ charts, where it remained for six months. Along with appearances on World Cafe, BBC and NPR's “All Things Considered,” Williams remains in heavy rotation on roots and blues stations and XM Satellite Radio. Aside from a heavy performance schedule, this innovative picker is in high demand on the summer guitar camp circuit, including clinics at Newport Guitar Festival. His intense interpretation of genres ranging from early blues to original compositions should prove rewarding to all in attendance. The Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 1818 Reservoir Road. PP
7:30 p.m., Weekend Theater. $10-$14.
This dialogue-heavy drama, which Little Rock playwright and historian Grif Stockley adapted from his recent treatise on race relations in Arkansas, “Ruled by Race,” considers our state's racial history from slavery until modern times. Now in its second week of a three-week run, the play centers around a meeting between three whites and two African Americans who've convened to plan a commemoration event for the 50th anniversary of the Central High crisis. Discussions dip into Arkansas's racial past, and as the drama's title alludes, characters struggle with the idea of reconciliation. Despite the weighty discussion, Stockley told John Williams, in the latter's theater preview in our Spring Arts issue, that there's also romantic tension between characters. LM.
HAYDN'S ‘HARMONY MASS' AND ‘TE DEUM'
7:30 p.m., St. James United Methodist Church. $10-$15.
In its penultimate performance of the season, the Arkansas Chamber Singers return to familiar territory. As the group has for the last two years, it takes on selections from Franz Joseph Haydn. With accompaniment by members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Singers deliver, for one night only, a performance of the composer's “Harmony Mass” and “Te Deum.” Guest soloists include Mary Ann Robinson, soprano; Suzanne Loerch, alto; Matthew Newman, tenor; and Jon Bruno, bass. LM.
8:30 p.m., Revolution. $10-$12.
Fronted by brothers Willy (vocals, guitar) and Cody Braun (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica), Reckless Kelly got its start in Bend, Ore., in the late '90s, before relocating to Austin, Texas. That sounds more like it. Along with guitarist David Abeyta, bassist Jimmy McFeeley and drummer Jay Nazz, the brothers have become one of Texas' foremost country-rock groups (or “more like a country band with a fiddle,” as Willy Braun prefers). With sing-along hooks, big guitars and driving rhythms, the band fits easily in the rough-and-tumble Texas tradition of raucous country, popularized by folks like Steve Earle and Alejandro Escovedo. They come to town behind “Bulletproof,” a new album on Yep Roc Records that finds the Brauns addressing weighty subject matter (the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Katrina), while keeping it as wild and wooly as usual. The poppy Josh Grider Trio, also from Texas, opens the show. LM.
MUSIC AS A WEAPON IV
2 p.m., Riverfest Amphitheatre, $29.50-$49.50.
Here's a day for getting the lead out. This alternative-/heavy-/nu-metal and hard rock tour created by American metal giants Disturbed is in full swing in its fourth installment. But this one's raised the bar a notch, with festival attractions including famous tattoo artists such as Oliver Peck, extreme sports exhibitions, interactive video game booths and a Harley Davidson display. Along with headliners Disturbed, other acts on the bill are Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil and Chimaira, and the festival's web site invites fans to select set list options by each of the four bands, which is a nice twist. A second stage will feature local Battle of the Bands winners Rusty Hook and some lengthy-named act from Fort Smith, as well as Suicide Silence, Spineshank, Crooked X and Bury Your Dead. Weather permitting, this day-long festival should bring the metal heads out in droves. A downside worthy of mention, however, is that lawn chairs won't be permitted. But the less bonfire fuel on hand, the better. PP