1. For at least four consecutive St. Patrick’s Days, I’ve said that I would not go out. I would not participate in the ridiculousness that is the bar scene on March 17. And every year, I’ve broken it, much to my regret the following day. Fortunately, this year it falls on a Saturday, which means I have no real excuse beyond being able to do without hordes of 21-year-old revelers drinking (and possibly involuntarily getting rid of) Irish car bombs all night. But even then, it’s kind of fun to behold the madness. In Bangor, Saturday brings loads of fun at Paddy Murphy’s, starting at 6 a.m. with the BArSTuARDs, and ending at 9 p.m. with The Larks. Geaghan’s Pub has Celtic music all day long, from pipers to fiddlers, as well as lots of delicious in-house beer. There’s a dance party with the Repeat Offenders at Ipanema, there’s the melodic indie rock of The Rotating Taps at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and at the KahBang Arts Gallery at Zen you can check out Portland’s Volcano Rabbit and Bangor’s own When Particles Collide. Or you could just stand in West Market Square and watch the kids — and who are we kidding, the grownups — act foolish.
2. Continuing with the St. Patrick’s Day theme, there’s naturally extra amounts of fun in Portland on the big night. To start, the Clash of the Titans returns to Empire Dine and Dance, pitting two assembled groups of Portland musicians in one epic cover song battle. This time, it’s of course the Pogues vs. the Cranberries. I personally would like to see a fistfight between Shane MacGowan and Dolores O’Riordan. Ahem. Meanwhile, Celtic/Maritime songwriter Dave Rowe plays his regular gig at Bull Feeney’s, Brian Boru hosts a full day of pipers, rockers, step dancers and folks like J. Biddy and Jason Spooner, and at Rira, there’s the quintuple threat of North of Nashville, Erin’s Guild, Ben Kilcollins, Nikki Hunt and, yes, more bagpipers. And if you don’t feel particularly Irish, there’s always honky-tonkin’ country with Big Ass Rooster at Bayside Bowl, or DJ extraordinaire RJD2 at Port City Music Hall.
3. Let’s go coastal, shall we, with St. Patrick’s Day options? Starting in the MDI/Ellsworth area, there’s songwriter Chris Ross at Sips in Southwest Harbor, at Mad Hatter’s in Bar Harbor there’s hip hop with Green Tank, and at Chummies in Ellsworth, River Bottom Funk will play. In Belfast, check out the 220s at Bowan’s, and traditional music and non-traditional beer at 3 Tides, with longtime roots ensemble Old Grey Goose. At Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland, the band Odlaw will take the stage, and for a lower key affair, try Strings & Reeds at Rock City Coffee on Main Street.
4. And then there’s Western Maine! At Sugarloaf, Donavan Frankenreiter will play at the King Pine Room, and at The Rack, the BArSTuARDs will play their second gig of the day — after their 6 a.m. gig at Paddy’s in Bangor. Meanwhile, over at Sunday River, 80s cover band Orange Crush is at the Foggy Goggle, and at the Matterhorn in Newry, check out the Adam Ezra Group. At Saddleback, Matt & the Barnburners will play. This may be one of your last weekends for good skiing, so get on out there!
5. Wait, you mean there’s other stuff happening this weekend besides St. Patrick’s Day? Oh sure – like the Downtown Bangor Art Walk from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, a contradance starting at 8 p.m. Friday at the UU Church on Park Street in Bangor, improv comedy with The Focus Group at 8 p.m. on Friday at Next Generation Theater in Brewer, indie rockers The Head and the Heart on Friday at the State Theatre in Portland, and the Maine Jewish Film Festival kicking off in Portland on Saturday night, and running for a full week afterwards. Also, I mistakenly said that “The Hunger Games” opened last weekend, when I wrote “5 Things” last week – I was wrong! It opens this Friday! Oops! Apparently I started hitting the green beer a while back. Hiccup. I mean, have fun!