Those three Peabody-Little Rock Rooftop parties that proved quite popular last year will be back in weekly form through the summer starting May 6 and with a new name. They’re not really on the rooftop like they are at Memphis’ Peabody, but they are about a stone’s throw from the river (an advantage over Memphis), so the Peabody Little Rock settled on “RiverTop Party” for a name.
The names of bands scheduled to play outside on the Peabody’s second level upper terrace each Friday night will begin trickling out, with popular Memphis band Venus Mission, which makes a Little Rock club stop every so often, likely being the inaugural Friday band. The Odds, a Fayetteville-based band that won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase earlier this year, will land somewhere on the schedule as well. Many of the scheduled bands will be playing the night before at Memphis Peabody’s Rooftop Party, which is the happening event in downtown Memphis during the summer.
The organizers also surveyed many partygoers to best decide how the RiverTop Party should operate, and when. They settled on Friday nights, giving people a chance to get home from work, change, and hit the Peabody and the local clubs in the River Market. There is a sense of working together between the Peabody and the other entertainment organizers this year. The shows won’t clash with the three Big Downtown Thursday parties in May, and the hours (from 7 p.m. to midnight) will allow overlap so revelers can visit other hotspots downtown or on the River Market.
Little Rock’s need for an indoor concert venue to handle the 500-to-1,500 size crowd apparently has been answered by the Clear Channel Metroplex Events Center at Interstate 430 and Colonel Glenn Road.
The Papa Roach crowd two weeks ago at the facility would have been too large for the biggest nightclub hotspots (Juanita’s and Sticky Fingerz, which both handle around 300 fans) but too small to bring into Alltel Arena or a cavernous Barton Coliseum and too rowdy to sit in Robinson Center Music Hall. The Metroplex fit the bill in size and acoustics.
The next Metroplex show is at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, with Tool-influenced heavy rockers Chevelle and opening act Dark New Day. Tickets are $19 plus service charges through Ticketmaster (975-7575).
“Basically what we’ve done on this tour is we started out and did big cities, then the smaller cities,” says drummer Sam Loeffler. “We’re doing this as an old-school tour, with one bus and one trailer, playing these smaller clubs of around 800 to 1,000 people, and the people are coming.”
Chevelle’s most recent CD, “This Type of Thinking,” was released six months ago by Epic Records, and the first single, “Vitamin R,” hit No. 1 on the modern rock charts. “The Clincher” is the second single release and is inching its way up. The CD’s predecessor, the platinum selling “Wonder What’s Next” from 2003, spawned three hits.
Sam, who is 30, and brothers Pete (vocals, guitar) and Joe (bass), at 28 and 24 respectively, make up Chevelle, which they formed 10 years ago in Chicago.
“We really came together as a group about three years ago,” Sam said. “We did the Ozzfest second stage in 2002, then the main stage the next year. Most recently, we were on the Sno-Core Tour with Helmet and Crossfade. That whole thing was sold out every show and it was a really good time.”
Dark New Day is a collection of musicians from other heavy rock bands such as Sevendust and Stereomud, and have played in Little Rock with their respective bands in the past. DND’s sound will fit nicely with Chevelle’s.