Hope native and former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, entertained a charmed audience tonight with nostalgic stories and humorous anecdotes throughout the concert played by his band, Capitol Offense, at Klipsch Municipal Auditorium. Huckabee, who plays the bass guitar, and his fellow band members played a variety of classic rock music spanning several decades, and spectators could be seen clapping with the festive beats and singing along with their favorite tunes. However, participants of the night’s concert seemed the most delighted with Huckabee’s occasional narratives describing the people and places from the Hope of his youth. Huckabee shared memories that included a longstanding Hope family, the Brights, the former Hope youth center, his home church Garrett Memorial, and much more.
Huckabee wasn’t the only band member with Hope ties though. Keyboard player Marynell Branch was in attendance, as well as vocalist Mike Mitchell, filling in for a Capitol Offense vocalist who couldn’t attend the concert last night, and vocalist Rick Calhoun. Huckabee said Mitchell and Calhoun are former members of the band, Saint James, who used to play in Hope on a regular basis many years ago.
Klipsch Heritage Museum Association (KHMA) Executive Director, and event planner for tonight’s concert, Rebekah Moore said the concert was a memorable celebration for KHMA. “We are thrilled!” Moore said. “Capitol Offense doesn’t just bring one Hope native home, but others like Marynell and Mike, as well. Having all these talented musicians and longtime Hope friends come together has been fun and exciting.”
Moore said another high point of the night was the Meet & Greet which took place at the KHMA Visitor’s Center earlier in the evening. “Tonight was the first time that some were able to see the renovations that have been underway at the Visitor’s Center,” she said. “The Huckabees, the band, and our out-of-town visitors with Hope ties were able to come back and see what we’ve been working on at KHMA.” Overall, Moore described the night as a “huge celebration of music, Klipsch speakers, and the Huckabees coming home.”
If smiles and laughter are the measure when gauging an event’s success, then the audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Huckabee and Capitol Offense. At one point in the night, Huckabee humorously stated to the crowd, “We don’t pretend to be great, we just pretend we have more fun than most people you’ll ever hear making music.” Not only did the band have fun making the music, but those in attendance at Klipsch Municipal Auditorium tonight had fun experiencing the whole show.