1. As a wise man named Tom Waits once said, you can never hold back spring. In Bangor this weekend, Friday night brings good stuff like First Friday jazz with Bill Barnes at Nocturnem Drafthaus, gypsy jazz ensemble Mes Amis at Blaze, rockers Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, and guitarist Mark Miller at the Big Easy. In Orono, the Trendy Robots are at Woodman’s, and in Winterport, Pitch Black Ribbons are at 4Points BBQ & Blues. On Saturday night, Boston rockers Aloud play a special acoustic set at Nocturnem, there’s the annual Maine Discovery Museum Disco Ball at Seasons featuring Motor Booty Affair, there’s Stesha Cano at Paddy’s, Trisha Mason at Ipanema, and the Pride Night dance party at the Big Easy. Up in Old Town, the Eric Green Party rocks the Boomhouse, and in Winterport, songwriter Chris Ross is at 4 Points. It’s also opening weekend for Penobscot Theatre’s thrilling production of modern American classic play “August: Osage County,” a scene from which is pictured above (thanks Josh Gass). Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bangor Opera House.
2. It’s First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, the weather looks to be lovely and there’s lots and lots to enjoy out on the streets and in the galleries, from an exhibit of Portland abstract painters at the Oak Street Lofts, to MECAmorphosis, Maine College of Art’s annual spring gala. Later that night, take your pick of musical entertainment, including the English Beat and Zeme Libre at Port City Music Hall, Five of the Eyes, the Shills and Clara Junken at Empire, Shango Afrobeat Orchestra at One Longfellow Square or the Love night of deep house and techno at Flask Lounge, featuring DJs Jamie O’Sullivan and Mike Swells. All weekend, dance troupe Vivid Motion presents its slightly naughty take on “Peter Pan” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at St. Lawrence Arts. On Saturday, there’s the sold-out show from Guster and Kishi Bashi at the State Theatre, while at Empire, there’s The Box Tiger (pictured above), Off and On and Old Etc, there’s Ari Hest and Dan Blakeslee at One Longfellow, and at Geno’s, there’s a tribute to late Portland metal mainstay Phil Lambert, featuring former members of Lambert’s band Stygified, Collapsing Point, Weapons at Hand and Past the Pits. There’s also the record release party for Builder of the House, with guests Maine Marimba Ensemble and Jeff Beam. On Sunday, there’s more Portland metal with Eldemur Krimm, Stone Tools, Apostle of Solitude and Trails at Geno’s.
3. Friday night is First Friday Art Walk night in Rockland, too, and there’s fun stuff across the town including a collaboration between the Black Hole Gallery and Assymetrick Arts and “Spring Tonic” at the Caldbeck Gallery. Also on Friday, Stesha Cano plays at the Speakeasy in Rockland, the Dolphin Strikers will rock out at Rock City Coffee, the Llyn Foulkes One Man Band is at the Strand Theatre, and Kayla Jo is set for Rock Harbor Brewing. On Saturday, in Belfast Three Tides & Marshall Wharf Brewing hosts Waldo County rockers The Rugged (pictured above), while the Juke Rockets take over the Speakeasy in Rockland, songwriters Sara Grey and Kieron Means with fiddler Ben Paley are at Rock City, the Alan Doyle Band is at the Strand Theatre, the Trendy Robots are at Trackside Station in Rockland, and Jeff King and Company are set for Rock Harbor Brewing.
4. HEY KIDS! On Saturday in downtown Bangor the fifth annual Kid Central Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in many locations across downtown. From art projects to tie dying, face painting to building your own cannoli, a Box City, a superhero costume contest and much more, there’s something that everyone will love, for families with kids under age 12. The Bangor Daily News will be at the festival, too, making newspaper hats in West Market Square for the entirety of the event. Best of all? It’s completely free. Visit kidcentralfest.com for a full schedule.
5. What else? Oh man. Well, it’s opening weekend for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which I am obscenely excited for and which I’m so going to in 3D and geeking out hardcore for probably the entire weekend ahhhhhh. It’s also Kentucky Derby day on Saturday, and there’s great parties, big hats and mint juleps set for places including Hollywood Casino in Bangor and the Asylum in Portland. And Friday is May Day, so to add to the First Friday fun in Portland, in Congress Square Park from 2:30 to 4 p.m. there’s a Maypole and May baskets. What fun!