It goes somewhat without saying that the biggest thing happening in Bangor this weekend is the 53rd annual Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, which kicks off at 8:30 a.m. in Kenduskeag. The first paddlers tend to arrive at Six Mile Falls in Glenburn around 10 a.m., and most folks have crossed the finish line in downtown Bangor by 11:30 a.m. or thereabouts — so if you’re not participating yourself, find your viewing spot somewhere along the stream bright and early. Maybe bring a raincoat or umbrella. Judging by the weather forecast, if you don’t, you’re likely to get as wet as the paddlers do.
Elsewhere in Bangor this weekend, on Friday night, roots band Red Tail Ring plays at the Bangor Arts Exchange, The Focus Group improv troupe celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer, the Whiskey Brothers play at the Exchange Street Black Bear Brewing, Jordan Kaulback is at Paddy Murphy’s, Allison Bankston and Hippie Soup are at Nocturnem Drafthaus, and there’s standup comedy at Bangor Beer Company featuring headliner Tyler Morrow. Up in Orono, the Napper Tandies are at the Mill Street Black Bear Brewing, and Crystal Radio plays at Woodman’s. On Saturday, Eightysomething is at the Downunder Club at Seasons, the Lost Woods play at Paddy’s, and Adam Babcock plays at Nocturnem.
On Friday night in Portland, Citizen Cope is at the State Theatre, songwriter Robyn Hitchcock plays at One Longfellow Square, alt-jazz ensemble the Squirrel Nut Zippers is at Aura, experimental jazz trio Sun of Goldfinger is at the Space Gallery, the Lost Dog Street Band and Matt Heckler are at Empire, jam band Percy Hill is at Portland House of Music, and there’s a night of punk rock at Geno’s featuring Damnation, Shadow Windhawk, Ghostrunner and more. On Saturday, there’s the first of two nights of concerts at the State Theatre from critically acclaimed metal band Sleep, with an after party at Geno’s featuring Come to Grief and Clan of Dyad. Elsewhere, The Werks and Strange Machines are at Port City Music Hall, the Flannibus Ball hip hop showcase is at Empire, Roomful of Blues plays at One Longfellow Square, the Red Eye Flight Crew is at Portland House of Music, Gorilla Finger Dub is at Bayside Bowl, and Wildflower, Cyrus Gengras and Emily Ritz play at the Apohadion.
Down on the Midcoast, on Friday night, Travis James Humphrey plays at the Blue Cafe at the Camden Opera House and Rob Burnell plays at Rock Harbor Brewing in Rockland, while on Saturday, songwriter Holly Clough plays at Rock City Coffee in Rockland, the Shizzle is at the Myrtle Street Tavern (also in Rockland), Troy Youngblood and the Soulfish play at Thresher’s Brewing in Searsmont, and the Halcyon String Quartet plays at the United Farmer’s Market in Belfast.
If you’re looking for something to entertain the family during this school vacation week, there are a couple of great musicals in eastern Maine to enjoy. For younger kiddos, the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth presents “The Wizard of Oz,” all weekend, while for teens, Some Theatre Company in Orono presents Stephen Sondheim’s macabre classic, “Sweeney Todd,” at the Keith Anderson Community Center, also all weekend. Visit their websites for ticket info and times.
In movie theaters on Friday are horror film “The Curse of La Llorena,” nature film “Penguins,” and family drama “Breakthrough.” On TV this weekend, Amazon premieres a new season of the detective drama “Bosch,” and looking ahead, on Monday HBO premieres a new period drama series, “Gentleman Jack.”