1. It’s the final weekend of Waterfront Concerts in Bangor, and it’s going out with two shows; alt-folk band the Avett Brothers with Trombone Shorty (pictured) on Friday, and then, for those more spiritually inclined, a Christian rock festival on Saturday. There’s lots more to do downtown, starting with the Downtown Bangor Art Walk, set for 5 to 9 p.m. Friday in multiple locations; also that night there’s a hip hop showcase at Tantrum featuring ILLiJah, G-Fresh, B.Aull and Brandon Ross, there’s folk duo the Pitch Black Ribbons at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Blood Orange Martini’s at the Big Easy, and at Paddy Murphy’s you can enjoy an 80s dance party with DJ Baby Bok Choy, which happens to be my nom de DJ. On Saturday in Bangor, there’s the always entertaining Magnetic North at Paddy’s, Him & Her at Nocturnem, Larry and Leslie Latour at the Big Easy, and the Maine Street R&B Revue at 4Points, out in Winterport. Also, don’t forget that school is back in session, which means there’s cool stuff in Orono like the Skastitutes at Woodman’s on Friday, dubstep DJ PAulse at Bear Brew on Saturday, and in Old Town, there’s the 220s at Kingman’s, also on Saturday. Wrap it all up with the Juke Rockets Blues Band at 4Points on Sunday.
2. It’s going to be a beautiful, seasonal weekend to be in Portland. On Friday night, the uplifting sounds of Michael Franti and Spearhead Friday will be at the State Theatre, while at Port City Music Hall on Friday there’s Black Joe Lewis and Murcielago. Friday also brings impressively facial-haired indie rockers Tan Vampires (pictured) with Jeff Beam to the Big Easy, American ensemble Darlingside to One Longfellow Square, rockers I Barbarian and Covered in Bees to Geno’s Rock Club, and at Slainte, there’s more indie rock with First in Maths, Wood Burning Cat and Spaniards. On Saturday, rock with Pardon Me Doug at the Big Easy, dance with One More Time: Tribute to Daft Punk at Port City, and thrash with The Looters, the Never Nudes and Thee Icepicks at Geno’s.
3. There’s a week or two in between Labor Day and leaf peeping season where it’s still pretty nice out, but there aren’t quite as many people clogging Route 1. This is one of those weekends. On the Midcoast, on Friday night there’s blues man Eric Green at the Brickhouse in Searsport and there’s the Ale House String Band at Billy’s Tavern in Thomaston, while on Saturday you can enjoy either songwriter duo OC and Sarah at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, the Nikki Hunt Band at Myrtle Street Tavern, also in Rockland, and at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night there’s the Ghost of Paul Revere. Over in Hancock County, there’s music including the Blast Addicts at Chummies in Ellsworth on Friday, and Bangor-centric rock with When Particles Collide and Chamberlain (pictured above) at the Lompoc in Bar Harbor on Saturday.
4. Look at all the fun theater and comedy there is in Maine this weekend! In Brewer, improv kings the Focus Group play again at 8 p.m. Friday at the Next Generation Theatre. In Bangor, the second weekend of Penobscot Theatre’s over the top farce “The Fox on the Fairway” is set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor Opera House. In Belfast, the Midcoast Actor’s Studio opens David Mamet’s classic, decidedly for grownups play “Glengarry Glen Ross” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Troy Howard Middle School stage. And in Portland, there’s the King of Crows showcase at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mayo Street Arts, featuring ten short ten-minute plays by ten southern Maine writers.
5. Open Winery Day is Sunday, which means wineries across the state are open for visitors, tastings and exploration. Which means you, dear reader, have an excuse to spend a sunny, early fall day frolicking among the vineyards and orchards of Maine, sipping wine and chatting with fellow wine lovers. How about Bar Harbor Cellars, or Bartlett’s in Gouldsboro? What about Oyster River Winegrowers in Warren, or Sweetgrass in Unity? Cellardoor in Lincolnville? Winterport Winery? Find a full list here. It’s just the excuse you need.