Hempstead Hall has finally opened up for events now that covid restrictions have been lifted, and what else to kick off festivities with a bang but a night filled with music, dancing and fun; the very first concert since shut down in March 2019.
On Friday night, The UAHT college campus at The Hempstead Hall amphitheater was packed, chairs lined the lawn full of excited fans ready to witness none other than Texas country music legend, three time grammy nominee, Pat Green.
A longtime Pat Green fan, who lives in Conway, Ar., Lindsey Eaves was really excited for the show. “I have seen Pat Green probably eight times in concert, I loved him every time. I’m from Texas so Texas music is my favorite and I made my whole family come out tonight,” Eaves said.
But first, Southdown Main, a local band bursting with talent took the stage playing cover songs by various artists as the crowd clapped and sang along. Their renditions of ‘Gonna Take a Freight Train’ and ‘Purple Rain’ were just a couple of the audience favorites.
There was a short intermission before the country music star made his appearance on the grandstand, Amanda Lance, Director of Hempstead Hall along with Lindsey Honea, President of SWAAC took the mic to thank concert sponsors and reminded everyone that food and drinks were available for those that needed a pick me up, a cool down or a full belly.
Hebrews 11 & 1 was on campus offering their delicious coffees and smoothies, The Italian Ice Truck was on site serving their famous flavored ice cups to those who needed to cool off and Cuzzin Ed’s BBQ was available to hungry concert goers, Pat Green merch was also available for purchase under the pavillion.
At 8:30 pm Pat Green stepped into the limelight, grabbed hold of the mic and literally rocked the stage. His music, most of which he writes himself is electrifying, as is he on the stage. Off stage, he is a humble, kind, devoted man. “My wife, whom I have been married to for 20 years is my inspiration when I write, sing or really anything I do in life. She is the reason I am who I am today,” Green said when asked about inspiration for songs and the biggest influence in his life.
Legendary songs such as ‘Wave on Wave’ and ‘Dancehall Dreamer’ along with songs from his most recent album were a hit with the crowd. People danced their hearts out, sang as loud as they could and clapped along to the beat of the music. Green had the audience bursting with laughter with his humorous personality, telling relatable jokes from the stage. He is definitely an act not soon to be forgotten.
“I am just so excited to get back to work and do what I love,” Green said when asked what he thought about being the first artist to entertain at Hempstead Hall since restrictions lifted.
Lindsey Honea, President of Southwest Arkansas Arts Council said, “It’s so important to elevate the entertainment options in Southwest Arkansas, and the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council is proud to spearhead that effort along with our partners at Hempstead Hall. It was awesome to be a part of this event for many reasons, especially to help our community ease back into a more normal routine. From the food trucks and shops to the outpouring of community sponsorships, it was great celebration for Hope and all of the Southwest Arkansas.”
“What an amazing night! Pat Green was the perfect artist to bring concerts back to Hempstead Hall on the beautiful University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Hope campus. I couldn’t be any happier with how the evening went. None of it would be possible without our community partners and their support. After being dormant for over a year due to health restrictions, it was amazing to see so many people enjoying Hempstead Hall again. This was the first major event at our Amphitheater and because it was so successful I expect to see more use for that great part of our facility in the future,” Amanda Lance, Director of Hempstead Hall and Workforce Development said.
The very first concert of 2021 at the Amphitheater is now a successful wrap. Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming events at Hempstead Hall with SWARK.Today.