1. We did it. We made it! The week is (almost) over, February is almost over, winter is almost over (not that it’s been that bad anyway). It’s time to celebrate, methinks. This weekend in Bangor, you have lots of things to choose from for your Friday night, including a huge lineup of local rock with Glass Canyon (pictured at left), Banner Year, Caster, Under Fire and Acadia at the Downunder Club at Seasons, Stripped with Sam acoustic songwriter night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rockers Tomorrow Morning at Paddy Murphy’s, indie rockers Japansies at Woodman’s in Orono, bluesman Dave Mello at Black Bear Brewing, also in Orono, and in Old Town, New England jam band favorites the Adam Ezra Group are at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, at 4 p.m. at the Skehan Rec Center in Hampden, Bangor Roller Derby takes on both the Fog City Roller and Central Maine Roller Derby. Later that night, Maine favorites the Mallett Brothers Band are set to rock the Downunder Club at Seasons, Rob Benton and Riff Johnson play at the Sea Dog, the Junkyard Cats are at Paddy’s, Mes Amis jazz is at Nocturnem, and Skyfoot is at the Boomhouse in Old Town.
2. There hasn’t been a Friday night as jam-packed and diverse in Portland all winter. I mean, really. First off, there’s a night of EDM at the State Theatre with R5, Max and DJ Ryland. There’s the No BS Brass Band and El Malo at Portland House of Music and Events, there’s local electronic and hip hop with Of The Trees, Deltanine and God Damn Chan at Port City Music Hall, there’s a triple bill of excellent local rock with Seepeoples (pictured at left), Forget Forget and Jeff Beam at Geno’s, there’s the Matt Flinner Trio and Joe Walsh at One Longfellow Square, and there’s a local improv comedy show at Mayo Street Arts. On Saturday, the trend continues, with blues legends the Robert Cray Band at the State Theatre, Stephen Kellogg and Liz Longley at Port City, local rock with Old Etc, Rigor Samsa, Fellow Celebrants and Wait at Geno’s, and more local rock and metal with Sylvia, Foaming Mouth, Leash and Apollyon at Empire. But wait! There’s more. There’s rockabilly with Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies and the Flipsides at Bayside Bowl, there’s the Mierlita gypsy trio at Mayo Street Arts, and there’s Celtic music with Ten Strings and a Goat Skin One Longfellow Square. That’s almost overwhelming, there’s so much good stuff to choose from.
3. Rockland and Camden host a number of fantastic shows this weekend, starting Friday night, with Lunasa and Tim O’Brien at the Camden Opera House, songwriter Peter Carriveau at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and the always entertaining Mallett Brothers Band at the Speakeasy, also in Rockland. On Saturday, guitar hero Kaki King brings her multimedia show to the Strand Theatre in Rockland, while elsewhere in town, there’s Silent Sam and the Evens at Rock City, there’s The Shizzle at Myrtle Street Tavern, and there’s the MoJo Orchestra at the Speakeasy — and don’t forget the Yellow Brick Road Elton John Tribute Band at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. And, it’s not in the Midcoast but it is a coastal show, there’s a rare opportunity to see James McMurtry play solo with Maine songwriter Micah Blue Smaldone at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor.
4. Lovers of the performing arts have some wonderful opportunities for live theater and dance in both the Bangor and Portland areas this weekend. “Clue: The Musical,” as performed by Some Theatre Company, opens this Friday at the Keith Anderson Community Center in Orono, while at UMaine, the second weekend of the offbeat musical “Urinetown” is at the Hauck Auditorium. The Collins Center on Saturday night plays host to world-renowned avant-garde dance company Bill T. Jones Dance. And in Portland, Good Theatre’s hilarious “Shear Madness” at St. Lawrence Arts in Portland, Wednesdays through Sundays.
5. Sunday is Oscar night, which means that some of you will be strapping in for the always-too-long ceremony to see who is named Best White Person of 2015. At the very least, it’s an occasion for snarky comments and fashion commentary, whether you’re at home on your couch or out enjoying an Oscar party. If you’re feeling extra special, you can attend one of two great Oscar parties in eastern Maine — Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor hosts it annual Oscar party dress up benefit for the Jesup Library, while the Strand Theatre in Rockland also hosts a fun dress up party. What are your picks for winners this weekend?