The next show at the State Theatre is a concert by Primus on June 25, but it’s been sold out for months, so don’t get too excited (unless you have tickets already). A double bill featuring songwriter John Hiatt and bluesman Robert Cray is set for July 8, and on July 11, the annual State of the State concert brings a who’s who of Maine bands to the stage, like the Other Bones, Kenya Hall, Spose (pictured above at last year’s concert) and the Mallett Brothers Band — if you want to win tickets for it, via a contest the BDN and organizers Katalyst Clothing are sponsoring, get online and comment on my BDN Columnist Emily Burnham Facebook page!
July at the State is rounded out by audio-visual rockers Lord Huron July 16, songwriter Natalie Merchant on July 18, reggae rockers the Dirty Heads, Pepper and Katastro on July 21, gypsy punk all stars Gogol Bordello (pictured at left) with Man Man July 24, Asking Alexandria, Miss May I and Upon A Burning Body July 28, and Band of Horses and Midlake July 30. Moving onto August, songwriter Ingrid Michaelson is set for Aug. 1 and bluesman Jonny Lang with Rich Robinson will take the stage Aug. 19, while in September, there’s rockers Chevelle with Middle Class Rut Sept. 3.
The lineup for the next few months at Port City Music Hall is more than a little overwhelming. Let’s start with this Friday, June 20, with a funky show featuring Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket and Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds (pictured at left), and then two days of ska, with Reel Big Fish and Survey Says on June 22, and the English Beat and El Grande on June 25. That weekend, there are two big local shows, with Spencer Albee and Zach Jones on June 27 and a cancer benefit featuring the reunited Portland band the Hot Tarts, the Dirty White Hats and Atomik on June 28.
Drive By Truckers with Anders Parker and Cloud Badge kick off July with a show July 1, rapper Sage Francis is set for July 3, and King Buzzo of the Melvins play with Emma Ruth Rundle on July 7. Zach Deputy is set for July 9, bluegrass sensation Rising Appalachia will play on July 11, and Circa Survive, Ume and the Box Tiger are set for July 13. Touche Amore will play with Tigers Jaw on July 17, Richard James and the Name Changers are slated for July 18, and Bear Hands and Junior Prom are set for July 22. Close out July with the Milk Carton Kids July 24, Model Airplane July 25, the Old 97s and Tommy Stinson July 26, Against Me! with Jenny Owens Young July 27, Orgone and the Nth Power July 28, and London Grammer July 31.
As if that wasn’t enough, August is also an embarrassment of riches at Port City Music Hall, including the Fogcutters Big Band Aug. 8 (pictured), Red Wanting Blue and the Alternate Routes Aug. 13, Model Airplane again on Aug. 22, and a ska festival featuring Bim Skala Bim, King Hammond, El Grande, the Beat Horizon and Roots Rhythm & Dub Aug. 25. Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang wraps up the month on Aug. 28. In September, look forward to Future Islands on Sept. 4, songwriter M. Ward on Sept. 5, the New Mastersounds on Sept. 9 and Sun Kil Moon Sept. 18.
There’s a benefit at the Asylum for the Patrick Dempsey cancer research center on June 21, featuring a ton of Maine bands including Fifth Freedom, Afterblack, Loki and others. After that, there’s two days of contemporary mainstream rock, when Saliva plays with Eve to Adam and Sygnal to Noise on June 26 and Trapt plays with Leaving Eden on June 28. Indie rock legends Dinosaur Jr (pictured above) play on July 10, and rap legend Grandmaster Flash will play with local hip hop group Ock Cousteau on July 11. DJ Dev is set for July 12, 80s favorites the Tubes will play on July 18, and 90s rockers Cracker will play an acoustic show on July 19. Get your hair metal on on July 22 with Quiet Riot, Faster Pussycat, Bullet Boys and Gilby Clarke. Country musician Josh Thompson is set for Aug. 9, Powerman 5000 and Hed PE play on Aug. 17, Celtic band Gaelic Storm are slated for Aug. 22 and blues legend Taj Mahal rounds out August on Aug. 23.
Out in the western Maine woods, June ends at Stone Mountain with a two night stand from comedian Paula Poundstone, June 19 and 20. Country songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter plays another two nights July 10 and 11, and July 22, songwriter Marc Cohn takes the stage. Folk legend and Mainer Noel Paul Stookey plays July 25, folksinger Iris Dement is set for July 31, and the totally amazing r&b singer Bettye Lavette (pictured above) sings on Aug. 2. Comedian Bob Marley is set for Aug. 7, the Wolfman himself, Peter Wolf, plays two nights on Aug. 15 and 16, blues singer Ruthie Foster is set for Aug. 22, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band plays Aug. 24. There’s some wonderful bluegrass on Aug. 28, when Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and the Gibson Brothers play, and for a week in September, enjoy Asleep at the Wheel Sept. 12, Slaid Cleaves Sept. 14 and banjo legends Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Sept. 18.