Around these parts, Halloween is a month-long affair, and it starts this weekend. But there are lots of non-Halloweeny things happening, too. Here are some highlights. (Be advised that many venues and organizations now require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for admission.)
‘Abstracting the Seacoast’ at Discover Portsmouth
The Portsmouth Historical Society will introduce a new exhibit in the main gallery at Discover Portsmouth during Art ‘Round Town, the city’s monthly gallery walk, on Friday from 5-8 p.m. “Abstracting the Seacoast” features the work of five contemporary artists (Dustan Knight, Tom Glover, Peter Cady, Barbara Adams, and Brian Chu) who challenged themselves to find new ways of portraying and abstracting this unique coastal area. Learn more here.
New exhibits at the NHAA
The New Hampshire Art Association holds opening receptions for four new exhibits to the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery in Portsmouth on Friday from 5-8 p.m. “Botanica” features photography by Lesley Morgan. “All Things Bright and Beautiful” includes paintings by Barbara Barclay. “Welcome to Goose Pond” displays oil paintings by Marybeth Patterson. The dichotomy of “Light and Dark” is the theme of the member exhibition for October.
Christian McBride at Jimmy’s
At long last, Jimmy’s Jazz & Blues Club is now open in downtown Portsmouth. This weekend, seven-time Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride and his all-star band Inside Straight will take the brand new stage for a total of four performances in two nights. There’s an early show at 7:30 p.m. and a late show at 10 p.m. on Friday, and an early show and a late show at the same times on Saturday. Tickets are $35-$75.
Doctor Gasp at the Grant Lot
Every October, a mysterious and spooky crooner known as Dr. Gasp emerges from the shadows and embarks on a month-long Halloween tour across New England (curiously, during this same period, regional folk hero Dan Blakeslee disappears). Gasp kicks off his 19th annual tour with an outdoor show at the Grant Lot in Bath, Maine, on Friday from 7-9 p.m. Presented by local label Burst & Bloom Records, tickets are $10. Learn more here.
Dance Hall Reopening Concert
The Dance Hall in Kittery has been shuttered for the last 18 months. They’ll celebrate their reopening with a special concert on Friday from 7:30-9 p.m., featuring local violin maestro Jason Anick and the Gypsy Jazz All-Stars. Anick and his band (featuring Italian accordionist Giorgio Albanese, guitarist Max O’Rourke, and bassist Greg Loughman) will play the music of Gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt. Tickets are $25. Learn more here.
Concerts at The Stone Church
It’s a packed weekend at The Stone Church in Newmarket. Vapors of Morphine, featuring members of Morphine, plays an album-release show Friday at 8 p.m. with guest Will Bradford ($25). Experimental trio Fiveighthirteen plays an outdoor show Saturday from 6-9 p.m. ($15). Jam band The Change Up plays with guest Clandestine Saturday at 9 p.m. ($20). Acoustic roots band High Range plays outside Sunday from 3-5 p.m. ($15). Learn more here.
The 16th (I Gotta) Rock! Show
The Portsmouth Halloween Parade will present fundraising events throughout the month, and foremost amongst them is the 16th annual (I Gotta) Rock! Show. This year’s concert is at The Press Room in Portsmouth on Friday at 9 p.m. The lineup includes metal band EZ Cheef, spoof band Spinal Tarp, and a secret third act. Plus, the highly-anticipated naming of the 2021 parade grand marshal! Tickets are $10-$15. Learn more here.
Portsmouth Out of Darkness Walk
Every year, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention presents hundreds of community walks across the country, all to support its mission of creating a culture that’s smarter about mental health, developing suicide prevention, and providing support for those affected by suicide. The Portsmouth Out of Darkness Walk takes place at Peirce Island on Saturday from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (registration starts at 8:30 a.m.). Learn more here.
Melissa Ferrick at The Word Barn Meadow
While the warm weather lasts, The Word Barn in Exeter is still hosting outdoor concerts in its cozy meadow. On Saturday, singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick takes the stage for an early show from 4-5:30 p.m. and a late show from 7-8:30 p.m. Ferrick, who signed with Atlantic Records at age 21 following a tour with Morrissey, has also shared the stage with Weezer, Bob Dylan, and Ani DiFranco, among many others. Tickets are $35. Learn more here.
Poetry in the Meadow
Postponed by stormy weather back in August, Poetry in the Meadow will bring three New England writers to The Word Barn Meadow in Exeter on Sunday from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Chard deNiord was poet laureate of Vermont from 2015 to 2019. Kylie Gellatly of Massachusetts recently released “The Fever Poems.” Samantha DeFlitch of Portsmouth was the 2018 recipient of the Dick She Memorial Award for Poetry. There’s a suggested donation of $5. Learn more here.
See the full calendar for more local events.