Even with such amazing inventions as the Google and the Internets and the horseless carriage and the printing press, people still don’t always know what’s happening in their own state. But that’s why you read my columns, right? That’s why I spend whole days scouring for the latest thing, folks – so you can read it all in one place and make your plans now. Here’s a list of national touring acts making stops in Maine this spring and early summer; there’s a high likelihood you’ll find something you’re excited about somewhere in here. I know, it’s a little overwhelming. It’s not my fault things got awesome, fast.
State Theatre, Portland (statetheatreportland.com)
A quadruple whammy leads off the second half of April at the State Theatre, starting with modern rockers Three Days Grace on Wednesday, April 17, pop songwriter Chris Young on April 18, electro-jam lords Sound Tribe Sector Nine with Eliot Lipp on April 19, and 1990s rockers the Goo Goo Dolls on April 20. Skipping ahead a few days, there’s the sound and light dance-stravaganza One More Time, a tribute to Daft Punk, on April 22; there’s Canadian folk ensemble Great Big Sea on April 24, and popular indie band MGMT (pictured above) will take the stage on April 30. Jam band Rebelution with J Boog and Hot Rain are slated for May 2, followed by some epic metal on May 4 with Clutch, the Sword, Lionize and Never Got Caught. There’s a triple threat shortly after, with Silversun Pickups on May 7, Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band with the Felice Brothers on May 8, and, back by popular demand, there’s “Spank! The Fifty Shades of Grey Parody” on May 9.
It certainly doesn’t end there, however. On May 18 Iron and Wine comes back to Maine, with the Secret Sisters in tow. Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is set for May 29, British rockers Bloc Party will play on June 4, and on June 6, the Moth Mainstage – the live recording of the popular NPR storytelling show – will hit the State. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes bring their bouncy indie rock to Portland on June 9, metal rules on June 16 with Lamb of God and the Acacia Strain, and on June 21 two personal favorites of mine, David Byrne and St. Vincent, will play together. Close out June with two great female songwriters: Melissa Etheridge on June 22, and the legendary Joan Baez on June 26.
Port City Music Hall, Portland (portcitymusichall.com)
The three day Shaguzapalooza Fest is set for April 11-13 at Port City, and features a who’s who of DJs and electronic musicians, including Figure and Digital Bonesaw Society on Thursday, Reid Speed and Helicopter Showdown on Friday, and the legendary DJ Shadow (pictured at left) on Saturday, with Of The Trees. The week after that, the fascinating indie band the Dirty Projectors will play on April 17, jam favorites Dopapod are set for April 19, and bluegrass Grateful Dead covers band the Dead Sessions are set for April 20. DJ Gramatik will perform on May 1, songwriter Arium Rae is set for May 3, and longtime Portland favorite Keller Williams will drop on on May 4. Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah will roll into town on May 8, and on May 16 songwriter Melissa Ferrick will play with a full band for the very first time. The enchating indie band Ra Ra Riot is set for May 24, and in June it’s an indie rockers’ paradise at Port City, with atmospheric rockers Calexico on June 7, acerbic songwriters the Mountain Goats on June 8, and space-funk rockers !!! with Sinkane on June 13.
Waterfront Concerts, Bangor (waterfrontconcerts.com)
The Waterfront Concerts season doesn’t start until May 16, but then it’s in full gear through the rest of the summer at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion. May 16 brings the fully reformed Motley Crue, while shortly thereafter there’s a three day stretch that includes Sting’s Back to Bass tour on June 20, a country show featuring Darius Rucker, Rodney Atkins and Jana Kramer on June 21, and the inaugural waterfront Beer Fest on June 22.
Asylum, Portland (portlandasylum.com)
Shows are back in action at the Asylum in downtown Portland; upcoming ones include early 90s rockers Living Colour on April 21, country singer Phil Vassar on May 2, rockets Jackyl on May 9, songwriter Mason Jennings (pictured at left) on May 10, and two big pop concerts in June, with Ryan Cabrera and Jason Castro on June 6 and Aaron Carter – little pop star brother to one of the Backstreet Boys, now on reality TV shows and trying to resuscitate his career – on June 29.
Space Gallery, Portland (space538.org)
There’s some wonderfully weird shows coming up at the Space Gallery this spring, including children’s songwriter Gustafer Yellowgold on April 13, guitarist William Tyler on April 17, folk punk band O’Death play (a pre-Belfast Free Range Music Fest show) on April 25, indie pop band Generationals play with Portland’s Sunset Hearts on April 27, singer and rapper Dessa on May 5, indie rapper Sage Francis on May 26, and punk legend Jonathan Richman on June 12.
Stone Mountain Arts Center, Brownfield (stonemountainartscenter.com)
Out in the woods of western Maine, Stone Mountain hosts and array of fun concerts this spring, including Leo Kottke on April 18, Jonathan Edwards on May 4, the Steep Canyon Rangers on May 5, Asleep at the Wheel on May 11, Blind Boys of Alabama on May 22, Tift Merritt on May 23, Aaron Neville on May 26, the Wood Brothers on June 8 and Terence Simien and the Zydeco Experience on June 14.