For as busy a season as it has been, I’ve had a great summer, musicwise. Between the Nateva Festival and the KahBang Festival, I saw more bands than I’ve seen in years — the Flaming Lips, Grizzly Bear, Sound Tribe Sector 9, She & Him, Drive-By Truckers, OK Go, B.o.B, Free Energy, Bad Rabbits, Cabin, the Gay Blades and a bunch more. I’ve seen more local bands than I can remember. Oh, and Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels on the Bangor Waterfront. Not too bad!
I’m going to keep the live music streak going as best I can into the fall. We’ve all got plenty to choose from.
Bangor Waterfront (www.waterfrontconcerts.com)
The first two shows were a huge success, and there are four more to look forward to. Country fans can rejoice in the triple threat of Tim McGraw on Sept. 4, Alan Jackson on Sept. 10 and Miranda Lambert on Oct. 2. Pop lovers get the satisfaction of seeing hat-wearing groovy dude Jason Mraz on Sept. 11.
State Theatre, Portland (www.statetheatreportland.com)
In case you’ve missed all the news stories: yes, the State Theatre in Portland is finally reopening, five years after it closed. A huge opening night party is set for Friday, Oct. 15, with acclaimed Southern fried indie rockers My Morning Jacket ushering in a new era for the historic theater. Songwriter Josh Ritter is set for Oct. 22 and Guster will take the stage at their favorite venue on Oct. 27.
Port City Music Hall,
We’ll skip the intros and go straight to shows, since there are a lot of them here. Jamaican vocalist Sean Kingston is set for Aug. 26, then Latin rock fusion group Ozomatli on Sept. 8. The Wailers, former members of Bob Marley’s band, will perform on Sept. 19, followed by a double bill of metal with Mastodon on Sept. 21 and Mushroomhead on Sept. 29. Soulive will play two shows on Oct. 8 and 9, followed closely by pop rockers Fountain of Wayne on Oct. 14
Then it’s three days of some of the best rock you’ll see in Maine all year. Alt-rock singer-songwriter Citizen Cope will perform on Oct. 18, and beloved rock ’n’ rollers the Hold Steady will bring their huge cult following to a show on Oct. 19. Then, it’s KahBang Festival power pop band OK Go on Oct. 20. Metal band High on Fire is set for Oct. 21, and neo-bluegrass purveyors Yonder Mountain String Band will play on Oct. 24.
The Asylum, Portland (www.asylumportland.com)
This Portland club hosts two cool shows in October. The Dead Kennedys, composed of the original band minus lead singer Jello Biafra with the addition of a new singer, is set for Oct. 12, and jazz man Charlie Hunter will play on Oct. 29.
Space Gallery, Portland (www.space538.org)
Indie pop duo Mates of State play the Space Gallery again on Sept. 24, then gothic country punk band Murder By Death on Sept. 30. Indie rockers can jump for joy for a show on Oct. 11, which will feature spaz rock trio Deerhoof and experimental band Xiu Xiu.
Cumberland County Civic
For big arena shows, you can’t get too much bigger than Sheryl Crow, who will perform on Sept. 24 with opener Brandi Carlisle. For sheer entertainment value, however, you’d be wise to check out Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, who stop at the CCCC on Oct. 14 as part of their Halloween tour.
The brilliant guitar player and singer-songwriter Richard Thompson is at the Waterville Opera House on Aug. 26, and Maritime band Great Big Sea on Sept. 14. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals will take the stage at The Grand in Ellsworth on Sept. 14. Folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland on Sept. 22. And the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston will host Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, Clutch, Children of Bodom and 2 Cents on Oct. 9.