Happy full-moon 4/20 weekend everyone! The energy should be “high,” so to speak, with the now completely legal celebration of all things cannabis related falling on the heels of a full moon Friday night. There’s lots of live music around to help you celebrate in whichever way you choose. Here’s what’s happening:
One of the hot spots in the capital this weekend should be Sweet Melissa’s on the corner of Elm and Langdon streets, as it has a party-ready lineup of music. On Friday night, local hip-hop acts get the full moon party poppin’ when Sed One, Question the MC and The Aztexts take the black box stage.
On Saturday, Mel’s switches gears when it hosts ‘80s tribute act Duroc, maybe the most popular act around these parts currently. It is somewhat of a shame that that title be given to a cover band, but the proof is in the pudding and these guys absolutely pack the venue every time they play there. They also play the Reagan-era catalogue very, very well, and seem to have a knack for choosing some of the better material the decade had to offer. Both shows kick off at 9 p.m., and you should expect a nominal door charge on the weekends.
Around the corner at Charlie O’s on Main Street, you’ll find a funk-laden lineup for your dancing pleasure this weekend. Tonight, you can catch Z-Jazz in the early slot at 6 p.m., followed by Funk Shui at 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday night, the funky vibe continues when prog-rock/funk act Fossa cranks it up in the land beyond the pool tables. That one also gets started at 9:30 p.m. On Sunday, there is no live music at O’s, but there is free pool and a popular pool tournament at 8:30 p.m. every week. If you choose to enter, be warned: There are some mighty fine shooters at the ol’ world famous.
Hopping over to the Granite City, on Saturday night, Mingle Nightclub in the heart of downtown is hosting a 4/20 party with local fem-rockers Yestrogen (one of my current fave band names, incidentally). They’ll get the party started at 10 p.m.
If you are looking for something more high-end, another female act is playing the Barre Opera House this weekend. One might on first glance think The Quebe Sisters hail from Quebec, but they are actually from deep in the heart of Texas (and Quebe actually rhymes with maybe). The three have been fiddling and singing together since they were teenagers, and have been lauded for their fiery fiddle playing and gorgeous harmony singing. Their Texas-swing authenticity should transform the BOH into the Grand Ole Opry for the evening, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and for those and more information, visit www.barreoperahouse.org.
Another week, and another weekend of great programming over at Zenbarn in Waterbury Center. The Zen has what looks to be the most extensive 4/20 celebration going down in central Vermont, with cannabis-related happenings and food and drink specials leading up to a dance party with DJ Disco Phantom at 10 p.m.
On Sunday, the Zen hosts Rochester, New York’s Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, who’ve made a name for themselves by fusing reggae-inspired sounds with a jam band aesthetic. A popular act on the fest circuit, this should be a fun one to see at a more intimate venue like the Z-Barn. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and those and more info can be had at www.zenbarnvt.com.
There’s live music to be had in our more rural environs as well. Head on up the County Road out of the capital proper and you’ll arrive in Maple Corner, the little Calais hamlet that houses the Maple Corner Store, which in turn houses The Whammy Bar, which features live music most weekends. Tonight at 7 p.m. is the weekly open mic night (arrive early if you want to sign up).
On Friday night, it’s jazz standards with Bella and the Notables. I’ve not caught the act yet, but word on the street is that Bella has an outstanding voice, and being that our area loves a female singer, I’d expect this one to be well attended. On Saturday night, Bob Hannan and Friends will play in the cozy barroom. Weekend shows at the Whammy start at 7:30 p.m., and are for donations.
Another rural venue that’s cranked up its programming for spring is The Den at Harry’s Hardware in the heart of Cabot village. On Saturday evening, Daryl Hance Powermuse will take the diminutive stage with his “very southern-sounding music (that) has all the sophistication of British pop” (Sean Jewell, American Standard Time, Seattle). Check out a unique artist in a unique setting starting at 7 p.m.
That wraps up this week. Celebrate responsibly and go see live music.
Ed DuFresne has produced concerts and events (which he prefers to call shows) in and around central and northeastern Vermont since the late ’90s. He is grateful to live in Montpelier with an exemplary Renaissance man as a housemate.