Lazy Lightning, Fiddle-icious to bookend busy weekend at Franco Center

LEWISTON — The Franco Center will be busy this weekend starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, with a show by the Grateful Dead tribute band Lazy Lightning, followed on Saturday night by Maine Music Society’s Battle of the Blends and ending with a concert by Fiddle-icious on Sunday afternoon.

Having covered the Grateful Dead’s music for 20 years, Lazy Lightning played to a packed house at the Franco Center last April as they performed a song-by-song recreation of the Dead’s one-and-only Lewiston concert, performed in September 1980 and one of the longest shows they ever played. Lazy Lightning spent weeks rehearsing for it.

While not planning anything quite so ambitious this time around, the band is preparing another lengthy show with only a few songs reprised from their April appearance. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door for this show at Heritage Hall, which is in the Franco Center’s lower level. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Then at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, the Franco Center will host the Maine Music Society’s 20th anniversary Battle of the Blends concert, a celebration of vocal groups from throughout Maine and New England, including The Deansmen, Maine-ly Harmony, Mt. Blue Voices, None of the Above, Renaissance Voices, and Talk to the Hand.

The concert will be held in Franco Center’s Performance Hall, which features a 75-foot ceiling that is acoustically tailor-made for vocal performances. Last year’s performance was sold out. Call L/A Arts at 207-782-7228 or visit www.mainemusicsociety.org to purchase tickets, which sell for $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Gold/VIP tickets are also available for $50, which includes prime seating, access to a reception with the performers, and a “Best of the Battle” CD.

And finally at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, the Franco Center’s annual Fiddle-icious concert will once again showcase traditional fiddle music in the French-Canadian, Acadian, Irish and Scottish traditions. Led by master fiddler Don Roy, what makes this show remarkable is the sheer number of fiddlers on stage at the same time – a number that often exceeds three dozen – and the traditional jigs and reels that in some cases have been played for hundreds of years. Doors open at 1 p.m.

Tickets for Fiddle-icious are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students. They are available by calling 207-689-2000 or visiting www.francocenter.org. They may also be purchased at the Franco Center box office between noon and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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