1. The Waterfront Concerts start in earnest this week, starting with Thursday’s Sting concert and Friday’s Darius Rucker concert. There’s so much more going on afterwards, however – on Friday night, there’s reggae band the Junkyard Cats at Ipanema, guitarist Dave Mello at Nocturnem, Travis Cyr and the Strings of Calamity at Paddy Murphy’s, country rock duo North of Nashville at Tantrum, soul brothers The Tumblers at Hollywood Casino, and improv comedy with The Focus Group at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. On Saturday, there’s a show not to be missed at the Bangor Opera House – Portland’s Forget, Forget and Boston’s Aloud play at 7 p.m., and at 8 p.m., in between sets, Bangor’s rock superstars Chris Viner and Sasha Alcott of When Particles Collide (pictured) are going to tie the knot on stage. Yes, you read the right: an open to the public, rock n’ roll wedding. Now that is cool, isn’t it? Afterwards, you can enjoy Tomorrow Morning at Nocturnem, Pitch Black Ribbons at Paddy’s, and funk lords Juicebox at Ipanema. It’s a great weekend to be in the Queen City.
2. I wish I were going to this show: David Byrne and St. Vincent are playing at the State Theatre in Portland Friday night. Oh, and Melissa Etheridge is there on Saturday, but that’s been sold out for a while. Elsewhere in Portland, on Friday there’s the enchanting Miss Fairchild at the Big Easy, Dead Man Ramsey, A Minor Revolution, the Bed Bugs and Still Average at Geno’s, Portland’s own Lady Zen at St. Lawrence Arts, African funk band EMEFE at One Longfellow Square, and out in Biddeford there’s Vio More, Laughing Eye Weeping Eye and Hersey State at the Oak and the Ax. On Saturday there’s another show I really, really wish I were going to: legendary Brazilian Tropicalia band Os Mutantes (pictured) are playing at the Space Gallery. Also on Saturday, there’s Jimmy and the Soul Cats at Big Easy, the Gamma Goochies, Bedroom Rehab and Saturn’s Return at Geno’s, and Jacob Augustine and Hospital Ships at the Oak and the Ax.
3. Judging by the amount of traffic between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor that I experience on Tuesday, the season is definitely in full swing. For your nightlife fun in MDI and Ellsworth, you can check out Rose Hips and Ships Friday at the Lompoc on Friday, Trisha Mason at the Thirsty Whale, also on Friday, and in Ellsworth, check out Skyscraper at Chummies and Alan Cook at Finn’s Irish Pub. On Saturday, there’s Paul Cataldo at Thirsty Whale, Livewire at Chummies, and Bobbie Lane at Finn’s. Across the bay, there’s a special summer solstice show on Friday night featuring experimental jazz duo Algorithm at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. Reggae band Middle Ground is at the Myrtle Street Tavern in Rockland on Saturday night.
4. Not one, but two beer festivals this weekend. TWO OF THEM! In Bangor, Maine breweries like Baxter, Atlantic, Oak Pond, Andrews Brothers and many others are extremely well-represented at the first-ever Bangor Brew Fest: Tap Into Summer, set for 1-5 p.m. Saturday on the Bangor Waterfront. $35 admission at the gate gets you tastes of beers from more than 20 Maine breweries. Then, down in Portland, The Festival is set for Friday and Saturday at the Portland Company Complex. At $95, it’s a bit more pricey, but man, what a collection of breweries! Germans! Belgians! Swedes! Brits! You name it. Those brave folks who try to go to Portland Friday and Bangor Saturday get put into the Maine beer hall of fame. Cheers!
5. It’s one stop shopping in Orono this Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m., with the third annual Stillwater Artsapalooza set for the whole day in venues throughout town. Join musicians like bluegrass band Old Time Machine, Celtic rockers St. Huckleberry, the New Renaissance Singers, pianist Colin Graebert, the Six Basin All Women Dixieland Band and many others; enjoy poetry and storytelling; see some swing dancing and salsa dancing; and check out visual art. It’s very family-friendly, and it’s completely free. Find a full schedule of events online at Stillwater Community Arts.