By Monday, John Paul White -- formerly of The Civil Wars -- will have played both Northwest Arkansas' largest and most successful music festival as well as a festival at our largest music venue in the span of two months. The folk musician performed on the Friday night mainstage at this year's Roots Festival and on Saturday, he returns to Northwest Arkansas to headline the second year of AMP Fest.
Lead singer David Shaw and guitarist Zack Feinberg of The Revivalists join the mainstage lineup with an acoustic set featuring stripped-down versions of some of the alternative rock group’s music.
"I most certainly did [have a good experience]," he says of his "whirlwind" visit to Roots. "I told them I'd like to come back. They've cultivated a really good music-loving crowd that will be quiet when an artist is quiet and loud when an artist is loud. It takes time to cultivate that sort of thing, so I commend them for that."
AMP Fest 2017
WHEN — 4-9 p.m. Saturday
WHERE — Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers
COST — $45; includes collectible beer sampling glass and access to all activation experiences
INFO — 443-5600, waltonartscenter.org
AMP Fest 2017
4:30 p.m. — Opal Agafia and The Sweet Nothings
6 p.m. — David Shaw and Zack Feinberg (of The Revivalists)
7:45 p.m. — John Paul White (formerly of the Civil Wars)
Walmart Stage (backstage)
4:15 p.m. — Will Brand
5:30 p.m. — Goose
6:45 p.m. — Adam Faucett
PBR - DJ Stage (top of lawn)
4 p.m. — DJ Abboriginal
5 p.m. — AttA
Samsung • Rockfish • Zebra • Promark • Merge Virtual Reality • Shine Solar
The Purple Banana • IDK Café • Hickory Hollow Smokehouse • Smokin’ Hawg
And while White admits he does choose some of his more upbeat songs to play in a festival atmosphere, Saturday's audience will certainly experience that spectrum from soft to high-spirited he enjoys traversing in his music.
"I tend to pick songs that will tailor to that sort of crowd but also not change myself too much -- stick with what got me here," he says. At a festival, the performers are trying "not only to keep the attention of the people [already in the crowd], but also maybe people who are going to other stages; if there's a certain amount of energy on stage, sometimes you can draw them in as well."
Luckily, as the headliner, White is the only performer during his time slot at the AMP Fest. His only competition for the crowd's attention will likely be the food vendors, the beer samplings and the tech offerings as they wrap up for the evening. With the hope of creating an event to engage the young professionals of Northwest Arkansas, Walton Arts Center and AMP public relations director Jennifer Wilson says the event serves to get a younger demographic involved in their community through what they're already interested in.
"A lot of research went into [AMP Fest]," she says. The goal was "to create something that wasn't super stuffy, and the research showed us that beer, music and tech activations were all in the sweet spot of what that demographic really likes."
Companies like Samsung, PlayStation, Zebra and more will attend to demonstrate and share innovative products with festivalgoers from 4 to 8 p.m. Besides the virtual reality experiences and technology displays, four food vendors will be on hand with regional specialties while more than 20 brewery partners provide the libations. Three stages -- the AMP mainstage, the DJ stage (at the top of the lawn) and the Walmart Stage (backstage) will give guests an insider's view of the AMP rarely accessible.
Local acts Goose and Will Brand along with a musician the Fayetteville Flyer has called "Arkansas' truck stop poet laureate" -- Little Rock's Adam Faucett -- take to the Walmart Stage while White, The Revivalists' David Shaw and Zack Feinberg, and Eureka Springs darling Opal Agafia fill the mainstage.
"We do this duo acoustic set from time to time, and it's very fun for us because we do a lot of Revivalists songs stripped down, and we also play a lot of unreleased material," says Feinberg, the rock band's guitarist. "It's very fun because it's really conversational, very intimate and a different energy and vibe that we have with the audience. What it comes down to is we're going to play these songs with our hearts, and there's a lot of meaning to it because these songs mean something to us, and I think that's ready to be conveyed regardless of the performance format."
While Shaw and Feinberg's set may be a significant departure from their full-band experience with the seven-piece alternative rock outfit that is The Revivalists, White assures his solo work won't be much different from his time spent as half The Civil Wars.
"I didn't set out to make it different, I didn't set out to not make it different," he says. "I would like to think it's an easy transition if you want it to be. And that's fortunate because I didn't really want to hit everybody with a huge curve ball, but I didn't want to tailor the music in any certain way. I wanted it to just be what it wanted to be."
NAN What's Up on 10/13/2017
Print Headline: Community Activated