Friday night brings the first Downtown Bangor Art Walk of the year, set for 5 to 8 p.m.; a full schedule of activities can be found on the Downtown Bangor Arts Collaborative Facebook page. Later that evening, the Bill Barnes Jazz Trio is at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and songwriter Samantha Lynn is at Black Bear Brewing in Bangor, while up in Orono, Stesha Cano is at Woodman’s and roots band Driving Charlie Home is at Black Bear Brewing.
On Saturday, local favorites Chris Ross and the North play with the Rotating Taps at the Bangor Arts Exchange, while the Trisha Mason Band is at Paddy Murphy’s and Married with Chitlins is at Nocturnem. On Sunday, the wonderful Jim Gaffigan does standup at the Cross Insurance Center.
It’s also First Friday Art Walk night in Portland, with lots of cool events planned including a walking musical tour of downtown Portland featuring violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain. Later in the evening, there’s standup comedy at Empire, PVRIS, Slender Bodies and Crystal Canyon at Port City Music Hall, jam bands Revibe and Sassquatch at Bayside Bowl, the Warp Trio and Nate Tucker at One Longfellow Square and local roots acts Darlin’ Corey, Okbari and the Evan King Group at Blue. You also can enjoy some local funk and Afro-pop with African Dundada, Akela Moon and the Desperate Man’s Blues Explosion at Geno’s, and Kath Bloom, Friendship and Hours at the Apohadion Theatre.
On Saturday you’re in for a treat, because Canadian metal gods Anvil — the subject of one of the best rock documentaries ever — play at Geno’s, with guests Shadowside, Metalfier and Hessian. Elsewhere, fellow Canadians Sloan are at Empire, harmonica legend John Popper and Katrina Woolverton are at One Longfellow and Hayley Jane and the Primates are at Portland House of Music. Indie rockers the Huntress and Holder of Hands, Sammus and EDT are at Space Gallery, Amright, Nice Life and Million Dollar Lounge are at Bayside Bowl, and Don Pride Quartet, Sojoy and Yeahman are at Blue.
Down on the coast, in Belfast Friday night there’s the monthly Belfast Contradance at the American Legion Hall, South American ensemble Ladama is at the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and folk duo Natural High Jumble is at Rock City Coffee, also in Rockland. On Saturday, there are two Cinco de Mayo parties, including jam band The Dolphin Strikers at Thresher’s Brewing, and Cuban dance ensemble Primo Cubano at the Speakeasy at Eclipse Restaurant in Rockland.
What else is good? This weekend in Bangor is the annual Kid Central Festival, set for Saturday morning in downtown Bangor and featuring lots of free events for kids 12 and under. On Sunday, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra closes out its 2017-2018 season with a 3 p.m. performance at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, and in the evening, the Maine Playwrights Festival, a traveling showcase of short plays written by Maine playwrights, will take the stage at the Bangor Opera House at 7 p.m.
Also, this Saturday is a holiday that only comes once every seven years: Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby are on the same day. Whether you’re drinking margaritas or mint juleps (or both? yikes), it’s a good day for hats and frivolity. Now, I’ll admit: I don’t know a damned thing about what horses are going to win the race this year. I just like hats and pretty horses.
What’s on TV this weekend? Well, on Netflix, John Mulaney’s new stand-up special premiered this week, and it’s absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend it. There’s also the premiere of season two of “Dear White People,” and on YouTube Red, there’s the premiere of “Cobra Kai,” a new series based on the “Karate Kid” franchise that has been surprisingly well reviewed. In movie theaters, “Avengers: Infinity War” continues its unfettered dominance.