Life is still weird and hard on the pandemic front, especially with the recent scary spike in cases in Maine. But lately there’s been an extra spring in my step. This is because several actual, in-person shows by Maine artists have been recently announced, some indoors, some outside and all taking every possible safety precaution. Need a boost? Buy yourself some tickets!

The Ghost Of Paul Revere. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

A recent email from Vinegar Hill Music Theatre in Arundel had me clapping my hands at my desk. It was to announce their Memorial Day weekend reopening, featuring a drive-up show from The Ghost of Paul Revere with opening act The Jason Spooner Band on May 29. Vinegar Hill is a gorgeous spot and will be putting on a number of drive-up concerts and comedy shows and screening films. If I were you, I’d jump on tickets at vinegarhillmusictheatre.com.

I’ve told/warned the staff at Stone Mountain Arts Center that I’ll likely collapse with joy when I head their way in the coming weeks for a show. They’ve just started scheduling some limited-capacity ones, and upcoming acts include The Clements Brothers on April 30 and Heather Pierson Acoustic Trio on May 14. Find tickets and keep an eye on the schedule at stonemountainartscenter.com.

I’m also counting the days until May 16, which is when I’ll meet my concert buddy, Sean, at Maine Craft Distilling, where we can actually sit together and watch Lady Lamb perform. Last year, I saw a total of two live, outdoor shows and one of them was a surprise, last-minute one from The Lone Bellow at the distillery. It’s a sweet spot to see a show, and you’ll be satiated both sonically and with plenty of food and drink. Both Lady Lamb shows on May 16 are sold out, as is the pair of Ghost of Paul Revere ones on May 23, but some tickets remain for the rest of the schedule. Check it out at mainecraftdistilling.com.

Meanwhile, at the Camden Opera House, there’s a solo show happening by Dave Gutter on April 30.  He’ll be playing songs by his three bands (Rustic Overtones, Armies and Paranoid Social Club) and toss in a few new tunes, as well as ones he’s penned for other artists. The venue is launching a series of small, indoor shows with Gordon Bok on April 23. Other upcoming artists include Gordon Thomas Ward, Elsie & Ethan and Shank Painters. Scoop up tickets at camdenoperahouse.com.

The Mallett Brothers Band Photo by Ray MacGregor

Chocolate Church Arts Center made a good call when it decided to team up with Maine Maritime Museum to present a series of outdoor concerts on the museum’s sizeable chunk of real estate. The series kicks off on a rock, Americana and country note with a May 6 show from The Mallett Brothers Band, and you can see Luke and Will Mallett’s father, David Mallett, there on June 19. For info and tickets on all five shows, head to chocolatechurcharts.org.

Shout-out to the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, which has been chugging along with limited-capacity shows like a champ. You can see Oshima Brothers on Friday, Junction 27 on May 1, Portland Symphony Orchestra on May 6, Cattle Call on May 8 and the PSO Ensemble on May 20. Bookmark boothbayopreahouse.com because they keep adding more shows and are also presenting a robust schedule of streaming ones.

Don Campbell is all smiles in the Clambake parking lot in Scarborough on June 6, 2020. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Same goes for Jonathan’s in Ogunquit. In fact, Don Campbell Band will be playing an afternoon and evening show there on Mother’s Day (May 9). Info and tickets are at jonathansogunquit.com. Speaking of Campbell, he and the boys will be kicking off their “Shake off the Covid Tour” with a free show at The Clambake Restaurant in Scarborough on May 22. The band played a bunch of shows there last summer, and I caught the first one and had a heck of a good time.

While nothing is 100% confirmed at this exact moment, I’m holding out hope for some kind of live show at Thompson’s Point this summer.

Dare I dream about The State Theatre? It’s too soon to predict the trajectory of its reopening and what those shows will look like but all words fail to express how full my heart will feel walking in there when they do.

And maybe, just maybe, that Squeeze show at Aura that had to be postponed last year will one day be rescheduled? I’m tempted to daydream about that one.

If you’re comfortable, go see a show! And if you’re not quite there yet, continue to find ones to stream. Let’s all roll up our sleeves and continue to support live shows in a way that works for us individually. Because, to quote Nietzsche, “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Comments are not available on this story.