Bleachers’ high-energy rock makes people – including the band members – want to move. So Evan Smith is excited the band is playing some big outdoor venues this summer.

He’s even more excited that one of those shows, at Thompson’s Point in Portland on July 22, is within walking distance of his house.

“After going more than a year without playing live (in the pandemic), I really appreciate a lot more the two-way street we create with the audience,” said Smith, 39. “In this band, you’re never playing to people, you’re creating something together, an energy.”

A native of Dallas, Texas, Smith moved to Maine from Brooklyn, New York, in 2013 with his wife, Megan Smith, who grew up in Cape Elizabeth. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who has recorded with David Byrne, St. Vincent, Pink, Lord and Taylor Swift, to name just a few. He often records his parts at his home studio in Portland.

His versatility as a musician can be seen on Swift’s massive hit album “Folklore,” released in 2020. On the song “Illicit Affairs” he played accordion, saxophones, electric guitar and keyboards and sang background vocals. On “The Lakes,” he played saxophones, keyboards, flute, clarinet and bass.

Evan Smith of Portland is a member of Bleachers, playing at Thompson’s Point this summer. Photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Shortly after Smith moved to Maine, a musician friend recommended him to producer and musician Jack Antonoff, who had been in the bands Fun and Steel Train. Antonoff said he was putting together an indie pop band, Bleachers, and wanted Smith to join.


Antonoff is the band’s primary songwriter and creative force. The high octane music is heavily influenced by pop of the late ’80s and the high school films of John Hughes. The band has put out three studio albums.

The band’s latest album, “Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night,” was released last July and has a different feel to it, Smith said. Many of the songs were recorded live in studio, with all musicians presence. On previous Bleachers’ albums, there were fewer in-studio band sessions, Smith said.

“After a year of no touring and doing everything remotely, it was really intense to record all together in the studio,” said Smith. “It really felt like a gift to be able to record together like that.”

The album went to No. 3 on both Billboards’ rock albums chart and its alternative albums chart.

Smith says the last time he and Bleachers played Portland, it was indoors at the State Theatre. He’s excited to be able to do a Bleachers show on Thompson’s Point, surrounded by water, historic buildings and food trucks. Smith is particularly fond of the historic train shed roof that shades part of the property.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for the chance to play there,” Smith said. “It’s such a cool place. The fact that I can basically walk there makes it really special for me.”


Bleachers, July 22, Thompson’s Point, Portland. Tickets are $50 at


Here are a few other big summer rock concerts scheduled for Maine this summer,  including some acts that have Maine connections and others who are worth seeing no matter where they’re from.

Sheryl Crow

Crow was a constant presence on radio in the ’90s. She had five songs make the Top 40 between 1994 and 1996: “All I Wanna Do,” “Strong Enough,” “Can’t Cry Anymore,” “If It Makes You Happy” and “Everyday is a Winding Road.” The singer-songwriter has won nine Grammy Awards has sold more than 35 million albums. Her 2019 album “Threads” features collaborations with some of her musical heroes, including Stevie Nicks, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and others. At her Portland show, Keb’ Mo’ will open.

Sheryl Crow, July 13, Thompson’s Point, Portland, $50,


Guster will play Thompson’s Point as part of its Guster on the Ocean Maine Weekend, after a two-year pandemic-induced break. Photo by Matt Cosby

Guster On The Ocean

After a two-year break because of the pandemic, rock band Guster is back with its fourth annual Guster on the Ocean Maine Weekend, with the big show Aug. 13 at Thompson’s Point. The weekend is always a homecoming for the band’s singer and guitarist, long-time Portland resident Adam Gardner. Besides playing music, Gardner co-founded the Portland nonprofit organization Reverb, which works to get fans, bands and venue operators to recycle and make concerts and festivals more environmentally-friendly. The weekend includes a kick-off show at the State Theatre Aug. 12, but that’s sold out already. The show at Thompson’s Point includes Shovels and Rope, Amythyst Kiah and Maine-based acts Darlingside and Pete Kilpatrick. There’s also B-stage with comedy as well as a Guster Q&A session, a kids zone and food trucks.

Guster on the Ocean, Aug. 13, Thompson’s Point, Portland, $55 to $100 (VIP), $10 for kids 13 and under, or

Jack White

Best-known for founding The White Stripes, White will bring The Supply Chain Issues Tour to Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena in August. White is a 12-time Grammy Award Winner who released his fourth solo studio album in April, “Fear of the Dawn,” and is set to release his fifth, “Entering Heaven Alive,” in July. At his Portland show, singer-songwriter Cautious Clay will open.

Jack White, Aug. 23, Cross Insurance Arena, Portland, $42 to $102,


The Ghost of Paul Revere will host its last Ghostland music festival this year. Photo by Joel Page/Staff Photographer


Members of the Ghost of Paul Revere, one of Maine’s most popular bands, announced in April they are breaking up after 11 years together. But fans will get a chance to say goodbye at the very last Ghostland festival, which the band began organizing in 2014. The self-described “holler folk” band not only won over fans in Maine and across the country, but it left its mark on state history. In 2019, Gov. Janet Mills signed legislation declaring the band’s song “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” the official state ballad. The song is about the 20th Maine Regiment’s crucial role in winning the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Other bands on the Ghostland schedule include Hiss Golden Messenger, Marco Benevento and GoldenOak.

Ghostland, Sept. 3, Thompson’s Point, Portland, $41, free for kids 3 and under,


One of the most legendary of rock bands, Aerosmith is still touring after some 52 years. In 1978, the Boston-based rockers played the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland – then just a year old – with Golden Earring of “Radar Love” fame as the opener. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Aerosmith, Sept. 4, Maine Savings Amphitheater, Bangor, $55 to $750,

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