This weekend brings my personal favorite Bangor-area herald of spring: the 51st annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, set for Saturday morning. Paddlers leave the gates in Kenduskeag at 8:30 p.m. and start arriving in downtown Bangor around 11 a.m. Find your spot to watch along the race route and have fun! Temperatures are supposed to be between 45 and 50 degrees, so warm enough to not be miserable. That should really be on a t-shirt. April in Maine: Warm enough to not be miserable.
Canoe race aside, in Bangor on Friday night, the I Love The 2000s Tour comes to the Cross Insurance Center, featuring Ja Rule, Ashanti, Mase and Chingy (there’s an after-party with DJ 2Phat at the Downunder Club at Seasons). Elsewhere in town, post-hardcore bands Savor, Dearbones, Wait and Wolves Among Sleep are at the Bangor Arts Exchange, there’s the monthly Bangor Contradance at 8 p.m. at the UU Church, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and the Fremont Street String Band is at Black Bear Brewing. Up in Orono, local rockers Livid Orange and the Orchids are at Woodman’s. On Saturday, August West and Friends are at Paddy Murphy’s, indie rock band Colly is at Nocturnem, Stesha Cano and the Jerks are at the Sea Dog, and 80s cover band Eightysomething is at the Downunder Club. In Brewer, the Skyliners Big Band performs at the Next Generation Theatre, and in Orono, bluegrass stars the Steep Canyon Rangers are at the Collins Center for the Arts.
In Portland on Friday, screamo band Hawthorne Heights plays with a whole slew of others at Port City Music Hall, Quinn Sullivan and the Balkin Brothers are at Aura, EMRLD, Sarah Violette, and Freevo are at One Longfellow Square, and metal bands Feed the Corpse, Quiet Warning and Atomic Sled are at Geno’s. Also in Portland, there are several shows celebrating 4/20 (lol) including the Redeye Flight Crew and Hambone at Portland House of Music, and the annual Flannibus Ball at Empire, featuring Wisdom, A Lunar Landing, Cape Cannons and Snooze. Oh, and Brit Floyd brings its Pink Floyd tribute show to the Merrill Auditorium. Not technically for 4/20 but, well, you know. On Saturday, there’s a sold-out show from They Might Be Giants at the State Theatre (afterparty at Geno’s with TMBG collaborators Radio Wonderland), DJ legend Cut Chemist with El Dusty at Port City Music Hall, and folk band the Mammals are at One Longfellow Square. There’s a Metallica tribute band at Aura, a Fleetwood Mac tribute at Portland House of Music, and there’s The Femme Show, a burlesque performance, at the Apohadion Theatre. On Sunday, Gramatik and Mome are at the State Theatre, George Thorogood and the Destroyers are at Aura, and the G-Nome Project, Seasonal Temps and Stephen Lewis at Portland House of Music.
On the Midcoast, on Friday night multi-instrumentalist Rob Duquette is at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, while on Saturday in Rockland, guitarist Will Brown is at Rock City Coffee, rockers Tilden Katz are at the Myrtle Street Tavern, reggae band Catchavibe is at Rock Harbor Brewing, and up in Camden, country songwriter Suzy Bogguss performs at the Camden Opera House. On Sunday, there’s a slate of Earth Day documentary film programming at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, including the Behold The Earth Film Festival at 1 p.m., and “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story” at 3 p.m.
In the Bangor area, there are two fun performing arts events this weekend, including Some Theatre Company’s production of beloved musical “Rent,” set for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Keith Anderson Community Center in Orono. Also, the Robinson Ballet performs “Robin Hood” at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Brewer Performing Arts Center.
What else is going on? Well, there’s the Bangor Flower and Garden Show, set for Saturday and Sunday at the Alfond Arena at the University of Maine. There’s the Downeast Salmon Federation’s annual Columbia Falls Smelt Fry, set 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in beautiful Columbia Falls in Washington County. And there’s Bangor’s Earth Day Festival, featuring loads of eco-friendly vendors and activities, set for Saturday afternoon in Pickering Square.
On TV, the hilarious and filthy “Honeymoon Standup Special” with comics Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher is on Netflix, and several acclaimed films are up on streaming now, including “Loving Vincent” on Hulu and “The Florida Project” on Amazon Prime. In cinemas, opening this weekend is the long-awaited comedy sequel “Super Troopers 2” and the new Amy Schumer movie, “I Feel Pretty.”