1. Friday night in Bangor, there’s quite a dizzying array of things to do, including a triple header concert at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion featuring the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos and North Mississippi All-Stars. There’s also the monthly Penobscot Contradance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church, and there’s a free screening of “The Princess Bride,” set for sundown in Pickering Square. Later that night, enjoy three great local bands including They Called Me Legion, Marathon Man and The Very Reverend at the Central Gallery, jazz ensemble Sonja Harrington and her Mystical Harem of Sound at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rocker Riff Johnson at Paddy Murphy’s, a Tedeschi Trucks after party featuring Yacht Blooded at the Sea Dog, venerable funk band Motor Booty Affair at the Downunder Club at Seasons, and up in Old Town, the Tyler Healy Band is at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, get ready to rumble, as WWE Live Summerslam is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Cross Insurance Center. Later that night, Buddusky, Tall Horse and Cold Mornings are at the Central Gallery, The Ian Black Band is set for Nocturnem, Stesha Cano sings at Paddy Murphy’s, and rockers Raven are at the Downunder Club. On Sunday, country star Luke Bryan performs at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, while the complete opposite kind of show featuring Maine bands Nouveau, Give Way, Flooding Panama and Azeban is at the Central Gallery.
2. I have to say, if you see one show this week in Portland, go see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Port City Music Hall Friday night; they are incredible. But there’s plenty of other great stuff on Friday too, including rockers Beggers, Vernon Hall and RSO at Empire, Lisa/Liza, Greg Jamie, Amanda Glasser and Stumpf at Bayside Bowl, and Spectrobot, Wasted Mortality, Angel Slayer and Feed the Corpse at Geno’s. There’s also a highly unique event at the Space Gallery, as two artists transform the venue into a “dive bar” serving drinks and karaoke from 6 to 10 p.m. Moving onto Saturday, legends Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples are set for Thompson’s Point, while, there’s some local punk rock with The Worst, Covered in Bees and Bad Leg at Geno’s. On Sunday, dueling songwriters Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle are set for the Merrill Auditorium.
3. It’s that wonderful weekend again on the Midcoast: the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland. The festival rocks all day on both Saturday and Sunday in Harbor Park, and in the evenings on Friday and Saturday, the club and pub crawls turns Rockland into Maine’s nightlife destination for the weekend. Hear bands like Blind Albert’s Blues Jam at Rock City Coffee, the Juke Rockets at the Speakeasy, the Eric Green Party at Myrtle Street Tavern, all on Friday night, and many more. If the blues isn’t your thing, Everyman Repertory Theatre presents a theatrical adaptation of the film “Casablanca,” starting this weekend and for the next three weekends at the Camden Opera House. On Saturday night, Three Tides in Belfast hosts the Heat Wave Summer Dance Party, and on Sunday, there’s a free show from Maine legend David Mallett at 2 p.m. at Savage Oakes Winery in Union.
4. Festival season continues unabated, with plenty of fun things set for this very weekend, including the tenth annual Maine Celtic Celebration, Friday through Sunday in downtown Belfast; music, dancing, food, amateur highland games and the cheese roll. In Bucksport, the town and nearby Fort Knox State Park will be invaded by pirates and pixies, as the Pirate Festival and Pixie Harbor happens from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday; dress yourself and your little ones as pirates or pixies, watch the cannons last from the pirate ships Must Roos & British Sloop, launch water balloons from a catapult, eat tasty food and much more. Finally, Camden hosts once again the Harbor Arts and Book Fair, a seaside outdoor arts festival set for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
5. And now, the third installment of our entirely irregular series, Beaches That I Like In Maine. This time, it’s Lucia Beach — a.k.a. Birch Point State Park in Owls Head in Knox County. Why is this one special? Well, first, because it’s so secluded. There’s rarely a huge crowd at this hidden gem. It’s also highly picturesque, with little granite cliffs surrounding this neat little pocket beach, and sparkling sand. The water isn’t terribly freezing. The bird watching is great. Dog friendly. Near the Owls Head Transportation Museum, which is also great. I recommend it all!