1. Here’s something to make some of you folks in your 30s and older feel even older: the first giant Phish concert in Maine — The Great Went, at the former Loring Air Force Base — was 20 years ago this week. 20. Years. Ago. Let that sink in. Anyway, in Bangor Friday night, this summer’s Pecha Kucha night is set for 7 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library, while later that evening, there’s Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup at Nocturnem Drafthaus, rockers Circus at Paddy Murphy’s, and night one of two nights of dueling pianos at the Downunder Club at Seasons. On Saturday, the Norumbega Collective hosts a poetry reading with Cate Marvin at 7 p.m. at the Central Meeting House; Cape Cannons and The World Has Bees are at the Central Gallery, Revibe is at Paddy’s, rockers Here and Now are at the Sea Dog, and the Skyliners Big Band are at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer. On Sunday, REO Speedwagon, Styx and Don Felder return once again to the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion.
2. It’s always nice when the Fogcutters Big Band — Portland’s truly big band full of great local musicians — perform, and lucky for you, they play Friday night at Portland House of Music and Events. Also that evening is the Saved by the 90s cover band at Port City Music Hall, Barika and Sassquatch at Empire, and Reverend Green at Bayside Bowl. There’s a night of punk rock with the Labor Pains, Slow Coyote, Timeout Timmy, Stokin’ the Neighbors and Uncle Spudd at Geno’s, and there’s a benefit for Taylor Steeves featuring the Ghost of Paul Revere, Sarah Violette and Shane Reis at One Longfellow Square. On Saturday, the yearly Maine Hip Hop Summit is set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in Congress Square Park, featuring a who’s who of Maine hip hop, and an after party at Geno’s. Elsewhere, Delta Rae and Lauren Jenkins play at Port City, Jeremiah Freed reunites to play a show at Portland House of Music, and Beautiful/Weird and Swivvel are at Empire. There’s the Haitian band Lakou Mizik at Space Gallery, there’s Phantom Vanity, Mosart212, Renee Coolbrith and Sarah Violette at Bayside Bowl, and Tim Mercer, Ben Kilcollins and Pete Witham play at One Longfellow Square. On Sunday, there’s a benefit for cancer research at Portland House of Music featuring The Mallett Brothers Band, Jay McClure, Bishop Avenue Band and Eric Bettencourt, there’s Ex Eye, Nat Baldwin and Foret Endormie at Space Gallery, and Stick Men, a prog trio, is at One Longfellow Square
3. There’s lots of cool free or cheap stuff to see and do on the Midcoast this weekend, including a free concert from the entertaining classical ensemble Palaver Strings at 1 p.m. in the Camden Amphitheatre. Also, Belfast Harborfest kicks off with a concert from Miner’s Creek at 5:30 p.m. in the big tent. Elsewhere, the Nikki Hunt Band at Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont, and Pandafan is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. On Saturday, Belfast Harborfest continues, with music from Steelin’ Thunder at 10 a.m., Meghan Clark at 12:30 p.m., Jonesville at 2:30 and People of Earth at 6:30. Elsewhere, singer Nora Cavin is at Rock City, and the Midnight Riders are at Myrtle Street Tavern, also in Rockland.
4. This weekend brings the annual Machias Wild Blueberry Festival, a celebration of Maine’s favorite berry, with tons of music, entertainment, fantastic food, a fun run, parade, raffle and Saturday night’s Black Fly Ball. A full list of all the good stuff can be found at machiasblueberry.com. Further south, this weekend also brings the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston, with hot air balloons rising over Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston, with carnival rides, a craft fair, tons of food vendors and, of course, balloons, launching at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., with a 9 p.m. “moonglow,” when the balloons are lit up, on Saturday night. For more info, visit the website.
5. You know what I think? I think this would be a great weekend to go up and visit the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. It’s been a year since it was so designated, and while it’s still got that new monument smell, there’s now some infrastructure around it to help you enjoy. First off, the Friends of the monument have a free map you can download or pick up at the entrance. Secondly, our BDN pal Aislinn published a great hike in the monument — Orin Falls — earlier this week. She also detailed the wildlife you might be able to spot. There’s lots to see, and Sunday is going to be a gorgeous day to do it, so plan accordingly!