I remember, when I started writing this column nine years ago, how I’d have to scrape and search to find enough touring shows and big name acts playing in Maine to make it worth an entire column. I’d have to draw from four full months to make it not look so depressingly sparse. And there’d be absolutely nothing to report on from the Bangor area. Now, I feel as though I’m overloading you, dear reader, with just two months worth of shows. And that, my friends, is a good problem to have.
This Friday the State Theatre plays host to Latin guitar sensation Rodrigo Y Gabriela, set for April 25, while comedian Bill Burr does two shows on April 26. All Time Low, Mayday Parade and many others are set for a big bill of rock on April 28, while the intelligent dance party of MIA (pictured) and ASAP Ferg is set for May 6. Country rockers the Mavericks will play May 9, Pure Prairie League, Jonathan Edwards and Livingston Taylor play a benefit for the Maine People’s Alliance on May 10, and NPR’s Moth Mainstage will tape a show on June 5. Hip hop hero Atmosphere will perform with Prof and Dem Atlas on June 6, “American Idol” winner Kellie Pickler is set for June 13, and Maine native Patty Griffin will play on June 15. That Primus show on June 25 sold out in about .5 seconds.
On April 23, electronic artist Koan Sound shares a bill with Minnesota; Canadian indie rockers the New Mendicants will play with Portland’s own Jose Ayerve on April 25; the Both, which is a duo pairing of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (pictured), is set for April 26; and indie rockers Baths with Young Farmers are set for April 27. Songwriters Andrea Gibson and Jesse Thomas will play on April 29, and Grateful Dead fans will want to check out the Dead Sessions on May 2. The Maine Youth Rock Orchestra featuring Lyle Divinsky and Sara Hallie Richardson is set for May 8, there’s Katie Herzig, Elizabeth and the Catapult and Keelan Donovan on May 9, and local big band the Fogcutters will play with the Kenya Hall Band on May 10. Wrap up May with Pardon Me Doug on May 16, and 80s tribute band The Awesome on May 17.
Moving on into June at Port City, songwriter Robert Earl Keen is set for June 6, while Portland favorites Model Airplane will perform on June 13. “The Voice” contestant Melanie Martinez is set for June 18, and a night of roots rock with Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds with Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket is scheduled for June 20. 90s ska legends Reel Big Fish will take the stage June 22, 80s ska legends the English Beat will take the stage June 25, and, just edging into July, the Drive-By Truckers are set for July 1.
1990s alt-rockers Local H will play with Planeside at the Asylum on April 25, followed immediately by country singer Frankie Ballard on April 26 and hair metal legend Sebastian Bach with Leaving Eden on April 27. Rockers Sevendust will play an acoustic show on May 9, while local indie rockers KGFreeze, Tall Horse and Leveret are set for May 10. Parmalee with Jillan Cardarelli are set for May 16, dubstep producer Borgore spins on May 22, and hilarious hair metal rockers Steel Panther (pictured above) with Future Villains are set for May 24. Rapper Kid Ink is planned for May 29, and Satisfaction, renowned Rolling Stone cover band, are set for June 19.
The Waterfront Concert series in Bangor kicks off on May 10 with a big metal show featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hellyeah, Black Stone Cherry and many others. Country legend Tim McGraw with Kip Moore and Cassadee Pop are set for May 29, while NPR favorites Celtic Woman will perform on May 30. What’s likely going to be the biggest show of the summer in Maine is Dave Matthews Band (pictured), who will play on June 6, while Brad Paisley is set for June 15, and Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss with Kacey Musgraves will perform on June 19.
This folk and roots venue in far western Maine features country guitarist Junior Brown on May 3, country songwriter Suzy Bogguss on May 9 and the terrific American group the Wailin’ Jennys on May 10. Folk legend Tom Rush is set for May 15, Maine’s own Jonathan Edwards will play on May 25, blues pianist Marcia Ball is set for June 6, Portland rockers Rustic Overtones take the stage on June 13, and comedian Paula Poundstone does two shows, June 19-20.
Ticket information and showtimes for all listed shows can be found on the venue websites, all linked above.