Not only does this weekend’s Green River Festival boast a strong diverse lineup, but the Western Massachusetts fest offers something that others don’t: hot air balloons that rise opposite the main stage at Greenfield Community College. It’s quite a sight from the concert field. As for music, Friday’s opening slate includes eclectic country-rockers the Mavericks (pictured, who move to Webster’s Indian Ranch on Sunday), the Afro-pop duo Amadou & Mariam sing Saturday in addition to Lake Street Dive, and daring Grateful Dead re-interpreters Joe Russo’s Almost Dead close the fest on Sunday. Here’s the whole Green River schedule and info.
In town on Friday, Larry Campbell (who anchored many a Ramble at Levon Helm’s old Woodstock barn) and his wife Teresa Williams offers their sublime roots music at Brighton Music Hall while Bim Skala Bim counters John Brown’s Body as one of two Rock On! Concert Cruises on Boston Harbor (Bim also hit the Cape to play the Beachcomber in Wellfleet on Saturday). The adventurous Club d’Elf also holds court at the Lizard Lounge on Friday with guitar guest Dave Fiuczynski adding a solo set of Mahavishnu Orchestra fare. Up at the Cabot in Beverly, the Infamous Stringdusters lay down their infectious brand of bluegrass on Friday, while the hip-hop orchestra Pink Martini (with China Forbes) plays the same night at the Cape Cod Melody Tent before moving to the South Shore Music Circus on Saturday.
Big Saturday concerts include classic standards rocker Rod Stewart at Mansfield’s Xfinity Center and an ’80s-rooted pairing of the Violent Femmes and Echo & the Bunnymen at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, while the unique combo Gangstagrass merges bluegrass and hip-hop at Thunder Road the same night. And on Sunday, the Pavilion hosts the original lineup of Omaha’s ’90s reggae-rockers 311.