The first day of summer is still a month away, but it’s time to dive into big, outdoor concerts because there are a ton scheduled, starting this weekend.

Country singer Parker McCollum kicks things off on Saturday at the Maine Savings Amphitheater in Bangor.

From newer bands to acts that date back decades, this year’s outdoor summer concert season has something for everyone, and the shows don’t let up until after Labor Day.

Here are 15 of the summer’s biggest outdoor shows.

Aeriel view of the Snow Pond Center for the Arts amphitheater in Sidney. Photo by Izzy Bouchard

Jo Dee Messina
June 6. Bowl in the Pines at Snow Pond Center for the Arts, Sidney, $40 general admission lawn, $60 general admission pit. snowpond.org
Country singer Jo Dee Messina struck gold with her debut 1996 song “Heads Carolina, Tails California” from her self-titled release. Four albums have followed along with five EPs, and Messina has racked up nine No. 1 singles including “Bye, Bye” and “Stand Beside Me.” She’ll be the first outdoor act of the season at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts.

Hootie & The Blowfish
June 14. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $56.25 to $211.95. waterfrontconcerts.com
Thirty years ago, Hootie & The Blowfish released its debut album “Cracked Rear View” with hits like “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.” The album is a ’90s pop culture zeitgeist and won the band Grammys for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “Let Her Cry.” You can expect to hear all the hits along with tunes from the rest of the rock band’s catalog. Collective Soul and Edwin McCain, who also rose to fame in the ’90s, open the show.

Advertisement

See jam band Goose at Thompson’s Point on June 25 & 26. Photo by Daniel Prakopcyk

Goose
June 25 & 26. Thompson’s Point, Portland, $59.95 in advance, $70 day of show, $119.50 two-day pass, $184.95 VIP, free for kids 3 and under. statetheatreportland.com
Goose is a Connecticut-based rock and jam quintet that formed a decade ago and released its first album in 2016. The band has risen quickly up the ranks and has played venues like the Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado and Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Goose’s latest album, released in February, is a three-hour live improv compilation called “Ted Tapes.” With two nights of shows at Thompson’s Point, fans can expect some epic, wandering jams.

James Taylor & His All-Star Band
June 30. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $62.25 to $228. waterfrontconcerts.com
Singer-songwriter James Taylor has countless iconic songs, and his first hit was from the 1970 album “Sweet Baby James.” “Fire and Rain,” about the death of a childhood friend of Taylor, reached the No. 3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and still elicits an emotional response from audiences when he performs it live. With six Grammy awards, 19 albums and 38 charted singles, we’ve all got a friend in Taylor.

Patty Griffin Photo by Michael Wilson

Patty Griffin
July 17. Wilcox Main Stage at Prescott Park, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, $15. prescottpark.org
Singer-songwriter Patty Griffin is a longtime resident of Austin, Texas, who was born and raised in Old Town, Maine. With 11 albums and a pair of Grammy Awards, Griffin continues to be a highly respected artist on the strength of songs like “Let Him Fly,” “One Big Love,” “Rain” and “Heavenly Day.”

The British Invasion
July 20. Narrow Gauge Amphitheater, Farmington, $30. whistlestopconcertseries.com
Here’s a chance to hear two Maine bands pay homage to two of the biggest British musical acts in one night. Based in Augusta, Yellow Brick Road – A Tribute to Elton John, fronted by singer and pianist Gerald Brann, will be playing all of the British pop star’s biggest hits. The spirit of Freddie Mercury will be present with Portland’s The Masterstroke Queen Experience, fronted by Sean Slaughter.

Hozier performing in Amsterdam, Nov. 28, 2023. Ben Houdijk/Shutterstock.com

Hozier
July 24. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $55.95 to $122. waterfrontconcerts.com
Irish singer-songwriter Hozier (Andrew John Hozier-Byrne) released his debut single in 2013. “Take Me to Church,” with more then 2.5 billion streams on Spotify, appeared on the U.S. Billboard charts seven times, including at No. 1 on the Adult Top 40 and Hot Rock & Alternative Song categories. Hozier has released three albums and is currently touring “Unreal Earth,” released last year.

The Flaming Lips
July 25. Thompson’s Point, Portland, $49.50 in advance, $59.50 day of show. statetheatreportland.com
The Flaming Lips is an alternative and psychedelic rock band that formed in 1983 and has a cult following. Fronted by Wayne Coyne, the band has an astounding 22-album discography. Alternative rock fans might remember the 1993 single “She Don’t Use Jelly” as well as popular tracks “Do You Realize,” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Vol. Pt.”

Advertisement

Elle King
July 28. Bowl in the Pines at Snow Pond Center for the Arts, Sidney, $39.50 general admission in advance, $45 day of show, $89.50 VIP in advance, $95 day of show. snowpond.org
Blues and country-infused singer-songwriter Elle King collided with Billboard charts in a huge way in 2014 with the track “Ex’s & Oh’s.” Since then, King has released the albums “Shake the Spirit” and “Come Get Your Wife.” The latter peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard  U.S. Top Country Albums chart. King’s latest single, released in April, is the country call and response rocker “Baby Daddy’s Weekend.”

Rock band Styx. Left to right: Todd Sucherman, Will Evankovich, Lawrence Gowan, James “JY” Young, Terry Gowan, Tommy Shaw and Chuck Panozzo. Photo courtesy of the artist

Foreigner and Styx
Aug. 3. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $44.10 to $399.95. waterfrontconcerts.com
You can’t talk about music from the ’80s without mentioning the bands Foreigner and Styx. The tour is called Renegade & Juke Box Heroes, and the opener is John Waite who surely will be singing his 1984 hit “Missing You.” Some of Foreigner biggest hits are “Jukebox Hero,” Hot Blooded,” “Cold As Ice” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Styx is famous for “Come Sail Away,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto,” among others.

The Smashing Pumpkins
Aug. 4. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $67.25 to $150.50. waterfrontconcerts.com
In 2000, alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins was given a key to the city from then Portland Mayor Nicholas Mavodones. Fans flocked to Bull Moose on Middle Street to get autographs. This time around, the band, fronted by Billy Corgan, will be in Bangor as part of its The World Is a Vampire tour. From albums like “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” and “Siamese Dream,” some of the band’s best-known songs are “1979,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “Disarm.”

Guster. Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Guster On The Ocean
Aug. 10 & 11. Thompson’s Point, Portland, $110 to $290, $20 kids. statetheatreportland.com
This is the sixth time alternative rock band Guster, featuring Mainer Adam Gardner, has presented its multi-day Guster On The Ocean shows. It starts on Aug. 9 at the State Theatre then heads to Thompson’s Point for two days of music. Every year, Guster invites other bands to be part of the weekend, and this year’s lineup features Grace Potter, Kevin Morby, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Dip, Trousdale, Sunny War and The Wolff Sisters.

Lake Street Dive. Photo by Shervin Lainez

Lake Street Dive
Aug. 17 & 18. Thompson’s Point, Portland, $55 in advance, $65 day of show, $104 two day pass, $180 VIP, free for kids 3 and under. statetheatreportland.com
Pop/soul group Lake Street Dive celebrates its 20th anniversary with a pair of shows at Thompson’s Point. Fronted by vocalist Rachael Price, Lake Street Dive has played in Portland many times through the years including a few shows at One Longfellow Square in the early 2010s. The concerts are always a fun and festive experience. On both nights,  fans will be treated to opening sets from singer and electrifying guitarist Celisse.

Emily Saliers (left) and Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. Photo by Jeremy Cowart

Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge
Aug. 18. Bowl in the Pines at Snow Pond Center for the Arts, Sidney, $99.50 general admission in advance, $105 day of show, $99.50 VIP in advance, $105 day of show. snowpond.org
For the first time in both of their long careers, Indigo Girls (the duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) and Melissa Etheridge are touring together. Indigo Girls’ debut album “Strange Fire” was released in 1987 and Etheridge followed a year later with hers. The Etheridge album went Platinum and a few years later she won a pair of Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance. In 1989, Indigo Girls won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album for their second album featuring the duo’s signature song “Closer to Fine.” Both acts have released numerous albums and have loyal followings.

Bret Michaels
Sept. 1. Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $56.15 to $334.90. waterfrontconcerts.com
It’s back to the ’80s and ’90s for Parti-Gras starring Bret Michaels from the rock and glam metal band Poison on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Warrant, Firehouse and Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) will also be slinging the hits during a night of music that starts at 6:30 p.m. and ends when the last bit of hairspray has been used up. It ain’t nothin’ but a good time in Bangor, even if every rose has its thorn.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.