I am very rarely the type of person that believes that things in the past were always better than they are in the present. But I have to say: I think that people nowadays are far, far, far more cautious about snowstorms than they ever were when I was growing up, or even just five or ten years ago. I feel like six inches of snow never used to be a big deal; now literally everything gets canceled. 12 inches of snow? Call in the National Guard. Snow days used to be a rare and magical event; now they happen every other week, if there’s even a hint of white stuff on the ground. I don’t doubt that we’re going to get a fair amount of snow over the next 72 hours; I just think civilization doesn’t have to grind to a halt while it happens. We live in Maine, people! Weather happens! You’re made of tougher stuff than that, right?
1. Anyway, brave the elements this weekend here in Bangor with one of these fun things going on. On Friday night, take your pick from either improv troupe The Focus Group at 8 p.m. at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, two fantastic New England bands, Tigerman Woah and Livid Orange, at the Central Gallery; there’s the Wyatt Jenkins Band at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, the Allison Ames Band is at the Sea Dog, and up in Orono, local rockers Wyld Lyfe are at Woodman’s and Stesha Cano is at Black Bear Brewing. On Saturday, it’s the third annual Bangor On Tap beer fest at the Cross Insurance Center all afternoon and evening; later that night, local rockers The Very Reverend and They Called Me Legion play at the Central Gallery, the Junkyard Cats are at Paddy’s and Dave Mello is at Nocturnem. On Sunday, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra performs at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts.
2. Friday night in Portland town, Sophistaphunk play a record release show at Portland House of Music, there’s a night of EDM with Perkulator, Esseks, Deltanine and Smigonaut at Empire, and Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards are at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday, local gothic Americana band The Ghosts of Johnson City play a record release show at Portland House of Music; Switchfoot and Relient K play at the State Theatre, folk legend Tom Rush plays at One Longfellow Square, bluegrass ensemble the Potato Pickers is set for Mayo Street Arts, and Geno’s Rock Club hosts local metal and punk bands Ogre, Eldemur Krimm and Nuclear Bootz.
3. Friday night, acoustic trio Sugarbush plays at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. On Saturday, there’s a murder mystery dinner theater event at 5:30 p.m. at the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts. Across the bay in Hancock County, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Eastern Maine presents “The Pirate of Penzance” all weekend at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth, and on Saturday, Schoodic Arts for All presents Chris Ross and the North at Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor.
4. On Saturday in Portland, hockey fans and beer fans (surely there’s crossover) can enjoy the Maine Brewer’s Cup hockey invitational, set for 1 p.m. and featuring hockey teams from Orono, Shipyard, Allagash, Oxbow and Maine Beer Company. This weekend is also the ice bar at Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer; both Friday and Saturday night, enjoy icy surroundings and custom cocktails on the banks of the mighty Penobscot. If you want to stay indoors, however, the Maine State Pinball Championships are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at New England Pinball in Gorham. And if you want to stay indoors but still enjoy the great outdoors, the Banff Mountain Film Festival screens Friday and Saturday at Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills High School, and Sunday and Monday at the State Theatre in Portland.
5. And if all else fails, well, yes, you can stay in, in your pajamas, with the bread and milk you got at Hannafid, and your canned and dry goods, and your flashlights and generators, hunkered down to ride out the storm. To each their own, I suppose.