1. OK, everyone. Take a breath. Exhale. Good, good. Feel a little lighter? That’s because tourist season has passed the seasonal benchmark (Labor Day) and is now on its way out. Route 1 will be less insane. You’ll be able to eat at restaurants again. And you can enjoy the best month: September. In the Bangor area this weekend for entertainment, on Friday night take your pick from either acoustic duo Koostix at Paddy Murphy’s, songwriter Max Garcia Conover at Nocturnem Drafthaus, or Penobscot Theatre’s season opener “Calendar Girls,” starting this weekend at the Bangor Opera House. Up in Orono, Woodman’s hosts the first Blazing Beats night with DJs IBG and BCKWLD, and Black Bear Brewing hosts songwriter Justin Walton, and up in Old Town, rockers The Cards are at the Boomhouse. On Saturday, rockers the Blast Addicts are at Paddy’s, bluesman Dave Mello is at Nocturnem, Maine legends Rustic Overtones are at the Downunder Club at Season, and up in Orono, comedians Ian Stuart and Travis Cowing are at the Bear Brew.
2. Friday night in Portland brings the long-awaited concert from soul man Leon Bridges at Thompson’s Point, while elsewhere in town, the Nigel Hall Band is at Portland House of Music, there’s a whole weekend of comedy at Empire, with Ian Stuart’s comedy record release on Friday night (and Ian Stuart and comedian Lachlan Patterson on Sunday). On Saturday, songwriters Haley Bonar, Morgan Bouton and Ossalot are at the Space Gallery, Nick Perry’s Brass Tax are at Bayside Bowl, and longtime Portland-area 80 cover band The Awesome are at Portland House of Music. On Sunday, songwriter Justin Townes Earle performs at Port City Music Hall.
3. Coastally speaking, Waldo and Knox counties have a several fun shows for your aural and visual pleasure. Friday night is opening night for Midcoast Actor’s Studio’s production of G.B. Shaw’s “Arms and the Man,” all weekend at the stage at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast. Elsewhere, songwriters Marc Douglas Berardo and John Juxo perform at on Friday night at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, Americana ensemble the Rusty Hinges are at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, and songwriter Mike Rodrigue is at Trackside Station, also in Rockland. On Saturday, acoustic duo Two Birds One Stone are at Trackside Station, and electric duo When Particles Collide (pictured above) are at Three Tides in Belfast.
4. In a fun turn of events, this weekend offers three chances to see some excellent music documentaries, all over the state. For starters, at 9 p.m. on Friday night there’s a screening of Pink Floyd’s “Live from Pompeii” at the Central Gallery on Central St. in downtown Bangor. Then, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, there’s, a screening of the original “Woodstock” documentary at One Longfellow Square. And finally, in Rockland on Saturday there’s the HD broadcast of “One More Time With Feeling,” a documentary about the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album, “Skeleton Tree,” set for 8 p.m. at the Strand Theatre in Rockland.
5. Finally, there are four fun fests for families of all types this weekend, all over the state. From Friday through Sunday there’s the 11th annual Eastport Pirate Festival, a three-day extravaganza of parrots, peg legs and pure pirate plunder, with a pirate invasion, arts and crafts, food, kid’s activities, music, games and much more set for the weekend; visit www.eastportpiratefestival.com for the scoop. Also this weekend is the annual Medieval Tournament at Fort Knox State Park, set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and featuring combat competitions in swordfighting and archery, a fashion show and much more. For the more party-centic peoples, this weekend the fourth annual Great North Festival is set for Minot — just north of Lewiston — which features tons of great electronic and jam bands all day and night; visit www.greatnorth.us for information. And finally, down in North Yarmouth, the annual HenryFest is set for Sunday, and features some great traditional musical acts including John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Joe Walsh and Grant Gordy, Choro Louco, Red-Eyed Fox, and Kelly Muse and Susie Pepper, from noon to 6 p.m. at Skyline Farm; visit 317main.org for info.