1. Usually the first day that it breaks 60 degrees is more towards the end of March or beginning of April, but this year — the warmest winter on record — we got it on March 9. That’s it. It’s summer. Break out the flip flops and sangria! On this balmy weekend, what can you do? Well, in the Bangor area, Friday night you can check out some fun stuff like the East Coast Rap v. West Coast Rap DJ battle at the Central Gallery, starting at 9 p.m., music from Stesha Cano and her Jerks at Paddy Murphy’s, or the Fremont Street String Band at Nocturnem Drafthaus. On Saturday, take your pick of either Weakened Friends (pictured above), the Dollys and Old Etc at the Central Gallery at 8 p.m., live improv and sketch comedy from the Focus Group and Her Majesty’s Cabaret, also at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, and later on, there’s funk and jam band music from the Hornitz and Hambone at the Union Street Brick Church, there’s the Calypso Soldiers at Paddy’s and there’s Dave Mello at Nocturnem. Also on Saturday, there’s Jordan Kaulbeck at the Boomhouse in Old Town, and singer Meaghan Clark at 4Points BBQ & Blues in Winterport.
2. Friday seems to be the night that things are packed in in terms of shows in Portland, yeah? On that night, please enjoy any of the following: rapper Logic and Dizzy Wright at the State Theatre, funk and rock with Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and Armies at Port City Music, punk rock with Nemes, Tiger Bomb and The Forz at Empire, or Weakened Friends, Old Etc and the Dollys at Bayside Bowl. There’s also bluesman Popa Chubby at One Longfellow Square, jam band Shut Down Brown at Portland House of Music and Events, and there’s an evening of Middle Eastern dance and music with Jamileh and the Zapion Ensemble at the Space Gallery. On Saturday, take your pick of either songwriter Martin Sexton and the Brothers McCann at Port City, local hip hop with Da Newvment and Alban Mitima at Empire, or Richard Shindell and Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Soucy (pictured above) at One Longfellow Square.
3. In Rockland on Friday night, the legendary folk duo Schooner Fare is at the Strand Theatre, while guitarist and singer Adam Babcock takes the stage at Rock City Coffee. On Saturday, there’s a plethora of all cool events up and down the Midcoast, including another edition of the Free Range Music Series with Fur, Earth Person and Quelle at Waterfall Arts in Belfast; there’s Vicky Andres and Max McFarland at the Speakeasy in Rockland, there’s Tom Albury at Rock City Coffee, at the the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, there’s the improv troupe Teachers Lounge Mafia.
4. I’m trying to find a clever way to tie in bull riding, motorcycles and hunting and fishing, but I’m having a hard time with it. So let’s get straight to the good stuff: in the Bangor area this weekend, lovers of any of the aforementioned things are very much in luck. On Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m., the BluDef Professional Bull Riders come to the Cross Insurance Center, bringing thrills, spills and cheers. Also on Saturday and Sunday, there’s the annual Motorcycle Show at the Bangor Mall, and at the University of Maine’s Field House, there’s the 78th annual Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, a beloved spring time tradition for Mainers all over. My totes adorbs coworker Aislinn Sarnacki is pictured above, at last year’s show.
5. There’s also loads of great theater to be seen this weekend in both Bangor and Portland. This weekend marks the opening of Penobscot Theatre’s “The Last Five Years,” a lovely two-person musical about love, set for the Bangor Opera House (a scene from which is pictured at left). In Belfast, Midcoast Actor’s Studio opens “A Lie of the Mind,” Sam Shepard’s searing play set for each night this weekend at the Troy Howard Middle School. In Portland, the University of Southern Maine premieres the hilarious musical “Reefer Madness,” set for Russell Hall in Gorham, and Portland Stage offers the second weekend of the new play “Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods,” set for the theater company’s space on Forest Avenue in downtown Portland.