1. It’s Dave Matthews Band weekend! Bangor is preparing for an onslaught of concert goers, the weather looks to be decent enough to be outside, and nearly every hotel room in town is booked. For those who are (and aren’t) going to the show there’s lots to do pre- and post-Dave. The Sea Dog on the Waterfront hosts songwriter Chris Ross from 5-7:30, the nightclub Tantrum hosts local rockers Trendy Robots from 5-7 p.m., and there’s a pre-show dance party at Seasons across the street from the venue starting at 4 p.m. — spend a minimum of $10 at the restaurant and put your receipt on your car, and you can park there for the show! Also, be on the lookout before the show for the Pirates of the Dark Rose, who will be sailing up the Penobscot and “invading” the Waterfront before joining the fun at Seasons. After the show, there’s a party at Tantrum with groovy local bands Magnetic North and Knotty Pine, there’s karaoke (and food until 11) at Paddy Murphy’s, there’s rockers Fishwhistle at the Penobscot Pourhouse, there’s Mark Miller at the Big Easy, there’s great beer and tunes at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and there’s a jukebox and free pool at the New Waverly, the best dive bar in New England. If you’re sticking around Saturday, there’s an art opening and mixer at the KahBang Arts Central Gallery on Central Street from 7-9, and later on, you can enjoy the 220s at Ipanema, the Bill Barnes Trio at Nocturnem, Stesha Cano at the Big Easy, or a CD release party for Bangor rockers Chamberlain at Paddy’s. Bluesman Poppa Chubby is at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport on Sunday at 6 p.m.
2. Friday night the State Theatre in Portland hosts a big night of independent hip hop, with rapper Atmosphere, Prof and Dem Atlas. Also on Friday, multi-talented musician Dan Capaldi plays a record release party for his new album as Sea Level (pictured), set for Empire and also featuring bands including Micromasse and Kristina Kentigian. Additionally, there’s songwriter Robert Earl Keen with Andrea Davidson at Port City Music Hall, there’s roots artists Girls Guns & Glory and Sarah Borges at One Longfellow Square, there’s the Zemya World Folk Ensemble at Mayo Street Arts, it’s Flea Bites food truck night at the Portland Flea-For-All, and out at the Oak and the Ax in Biddeford, there’s Heaven’s Gate, SS Cretins and Sweet Teeth. On Saturday, Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers with Jeff Pitchell is at One Longfellow Square, there’s a big night of pop-punk and hardcore with Sparks the Rescue, Too Late the Hero and Newbury at Port City Music Hall, and the Oak and the Ax hosts Fountainsun (a.k.a. Daniel Higgs), Molasses and Jonathan Frazer Lessard.
3. Saturday night in Bar Harbor, you can check out local boy Jonah Tolchin (pictured) and the Lonesome Angels at Lompoc Cafe; there’s also the country-fried sounds of the duo North of Nashville at Carmen Verandah, and out at Sips in Southwest Harbor, enjoy the party-rocking sounds of the Larks. Down the coast, the Speakeasy in Rockland hosts the swingin’ fellas of Three Button Deluxe on Friday night, while the funky New England mainstay Lovewhip takes the stage there on Saturday. Friday night in Rockland Rock City Cafe hosts fiddler George Fowler and guitarist Will Brown, an on Saturday, the Myrtle Street Tavern plays host to reggae band Middle Ground. And don’t forget: It’s the last weekend of Midcoast Actor’s Studio’s production of “August: Osage County,” set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast.
4. You know summer has started — at least, it feels like it has — because it’s Old Port Festival weekend in Portland. For the first time in its 41 years, the yearly event will be a three-day affair, starting with the First Friday Art Walk and Circus in the Square on Friday night on Congress Street and surrounding environs; on Saturday there’s a scavenger hunt across town and tours of Portland’s working waterfront, and on Sunday, there’s the full festival, starting with a parade down Exchange Street, food vendors near Exchange Street, children’s activities and six music stages across town. All weekend will be rides on a 90 foot gondola wheel, the “Casco Bay Eye,” set up in the parking lot by DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant on Commercial Street. Fun for the whole family, as they say.
5. Portland’s got it’s art walk Friday night, but so don’t Rockland and Bar Harbor, also on Friday night — both communities offer up walking tours of galleries, studios, art-centric shops and other open to the public art exhibits, starting in the early evening until 9 p.m. And on Saturday, it’s Open Winery Day across the state — 17 wineries and mead-makers from Cumberland to Hancock Counties will throw open their doors for tastings, wine pairings and demonstrations of how wine-making works. A full list of participating wineries and times they are open for visitors and workshops, as well as contact information, can be found at the Maine Wine Trail website.