1. Say goodbye to summer, kids, with a weekend for the ages. Friday night in Bangor, 58 Main hosts its last show for a while, with roots ensemble Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings. Elsewhere, Fules Gold is at Paddy Murphy’s, it’s vinyl night at Nocturnem Drafthaus, DJ 2PHAT is at the Sea Dog, and up in Orono, the Wyatt Jenkins Band is at Woodman’s. On Saturday, the Adam Babcock Band is at Paddy’s, John Nowak is at Nocturnem, the Tyler Healy Band is at the Sea Dog, and the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion concert season winds down with country star Eric Church, with guest Carly Pearce.
2. Friday night in Portland, there’s some great shows around, including a sold out concert from post-punk legends Wire with Minibeast at the Space Gallery, Gogol Bordello and Lucky Chops at the State Theatre, Jand ake Owen and Jillian Cardarelli at the Maine State Pier. There’s also Strange Machines at Portland House of Music, the Spillers, Big Sway and Brooke Binion at Empire, and night one of two nights of Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies at Bayside Bowl. On Saturday, Zeme Libre, El Malo and A Mighty Lion perform at Empire, songwriters Jonathan Edwards, Tom Snow and Tim Hill are at One Longfellow Square, and the Thompson’s Point season winds down in Portland, with a free concert from Futurebirds and Parker Gispert at 4 p.m., followed by headliners the Head and the Heart and Shelters on the main stage.
3. Friday, there’s a really neat showcase called Mountain Voices, a benefit for Coastal Mountain Land Trust, featuring an array of local musicians including John Fishman of Phish, Gordon Bok, Wax Wings and many more, set for the Camden Opera House. Also on Friday night, Chris Ross and the North will rock the Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, and the By the Bay Jazz Trio is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland. On Saturday, the Fremont Street String Band plays at Three Tides in Belfast, Aztec Two-Step is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and Khalif Neville plays at Rock City Coffee. On Sunday at 4 p.m., the Crosby Center in Belfast hosts a local jazz and blues festival, featuring the Wayne Delano Quintet, Mes Amis feat. Shane Ellis, Bill Barnes Jazz Trio and the Mike Whitehead Group.
4. Hard to believe, but it’s true: it’s once again Common Ground Fair weekend. Truly one of the best and most beloved yearly events in New England, there’s always much to see, do and taste during the fair’s three days at the Unity Fairgrounds. Me, I like to people watch, try not to spend an entire paycheck on food and crafts, but still indulge in my favorite: fried shiitake mushrooms. There’s music, too, from everyone from the Gawler Family and Sugarbush, to Sara Trunzo and Putnam Smith. If you’ve never been, you owe it to yourself to go. If you go every year, I’ll see you there!
5. What a gorgeous weekend! While we wait for the leaves to change, let’s take advantage of the summery weather and get outdoors. This time of year, I enjoy a classic eastern Maine hike, like Blue Hill or Chick Hill, or a ramble through the Bangor City Forest or Fields Pond Audubon Center. What’s your go-to nearby hike?