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Maine Concerts & Events

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The most northern state on the east of the United States, Maine brings vacationers in with coastal activities. However, Maine also has plenty of inland options for entertainment, including an admirable music community. Whether a resident who has yet to tap into what entertainment Maine has to offer or a vacationer who wants to explore the state’s talent, consider concerts. Read below to uncover what makes Maine great for live listeners.

Many of Maine's venues offer patrons tasty, local foods and drinks during concerts

The entertainment industry does not exist in a vacuum. Smart venues offer the lure of other entertaining facets to draw crowds into their places of business. Imagine movie theaters without foods like popcorn, or imagine baseball games without their famous hot dog. Often at music venues, things like food, drink, and merchandise are available, but it is hard to find places who do it well. Fortunately, in Maine, there are plenty of places offering tasty food, well-made drinks, and live music without skimping on any of the quality. How did Maine pull this off? According to locals, the food scene and music scene in Maine—specifically in places like Portland, Maine—experienced an evolution around the same time. For a while, all of the best music and food options were underground. Once these industries grew, new faces entered the market. Business owners realized they could capitalize on both aspects of entertainment in their own venues.

So, where can concert enthusiasts who want some good food go to see a show? Andy’s Old Port Pub is a neighborhood bar bringing friend seafood, local draft beer, and live acoustic performances every night of the week. Blue offers tapas, wine. Although they call themselves a jazz club for their Saturday jazz lineups, a variety of acts are found on stage, including open mic to Irish traditional. SPACE Gallery holds documentaries, community events, and music acts alongside niche local beverages such as Urban Farm Fermentory’s ciders and Bunker Brewing Company’s draft beers.

Maine has a robust music community, filled with engaging people

In some places around the country, the divide between musicians and fans is stark. However, in Maine, this does not happen. With such a large arts community in such a small state, Maine’s music towns are filled with listeners who want to feel like they know their favorite musicians and with musicians who are ready to reach out to their audiences. Of course, these interactions happen at shows in community spaces. However, Maine also has an active online community where zines and blogs post content about the interesting artists who call Maine their home.

Hot Trash, Knack-Factory and Portland’s Best Albums are two websites involved in Maine music. Another one of these online communities is Factory Portland. Its founders are Stephen and Megan Quirk who run the website with several contributors. What makes their take unique is that they engage with Maine-connected musicians by playing the game 10 Questions with them. One of the latest interviews was with Mel Stone, an acoustic singer-songwriter. On Factory Portland, readers can learn about the charities she supports, where she was born, why she came to Maine, her memorable and worst gigs, her greatest musical influences, her favorite music equipment, her guilty pleasures, her first experiences with music, her current earworms, and the best shows she as attended. Clearly, Maine’s artists and listeners are devoted to building and sustaining community. For people who want live shows, Maine promises small-town dedication and community without sacrificing its serious talent.

Maine has a disproportionate number of talented artists for such a small east coast state

Every one in the Maine music community will have their own recommendations to dish out about who to see live, so check out some forums and talk to some locals. Coke Weed is a must-see. From Bar Harbour, this band has been around since 1999. One of the founding members, Walter Martin, went on to be in national sensation, The Walkmen. Expect heavy rock with synths. Crunk Witch is a group doing something entirely unexpected. A cross between dance and pop genres with great lyrics, this Presque Isle duo is worth a listen. Kennebunk and Biddeford residents form Old Soul, an eight-member folk rock composing with elements of psychedelia, bluegrass, blues, and world music. Songs like “Blackbird Calling” haunt. Other acts include alternative country The Mallet Brothers Band, pop folk The Ghost of Pail Revere, hip-hip Cam Groves, and pop-punk-rock When Particles Collide. With these dedicated artists’ sounds filling the air, attending live shows is a no-brainer.