thursday 4-sunday 7
Waterfront Blues Festival
Bringing together rising talents (like young Seattle soul singer Allen Stone) and bona fide legends (Robert Plant presents the Sensational Shape Shifters, Mavis Staples) the Waterfront Blues Fest is a patriotic mini-week of blues and brews. Other artists to watch include Eric Burdon, the former frontman for The Animals and still going strong; New Orleans' Hot 8 Brass Band, which blends funk, soul and jazz with traditional brass band instrumentation; and fireball soul singer Nikki Hill. $50-100.
friday 5-saturday 6
Original Practice Shakespeare
Armed with nothing more than an Elizabethan English education, a few short rehearsals and an onstage prompter, this group of Portland actors produces a yearly Original Practice Shakespeare Festival in parks across the city. This year's lineup spans six plays, with two of the best tragedies in the folio, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, being performed under the glass patio at Director Park. Reverting to practices used during the play's original runs, actors have little rehearsal time, limited props and perform outside in the open air-meaning the window for performing in Portland is about two months long. Director Park. 7 pm. Free.
friday 5-sunday 7
Walking into the third annual Steampunk Convention will be something like an H.G. Wells novel, a quazi-Victorian, futuristic sphere with a dash of cowboy in space. Cogs, gears, leather, machinery and a whole bunch of dry ice, the science-fiction term (a little like Doc Holiday meets Wild Wild West) refers to art, music and fashion. The convention will draw vendors (in case you've been looking for a cog monocle or a pair of boots for the apocalypse), panels, performance events, a Victorian Martial Arts symposium and Steampunk music from DJ Xander Gerrymander, Professor Gall, Abney Park and more. 12 pm. Doubletree Hotel. $25-55.
New Kids On the Block, 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men
Did you read that lineup!?! Did you immediately curl into a little ball and start squealing!?! EEEEEE! One Direction, sit down and let the professionals show you how it's done. "The Package" tour (oh, hehe! I get it) includes every teenage girl's biggest crushes of the '80s and '90s and some of the smoothest pop vocals and dancing of, um, ever! Bust out the hair gel and listen to some smooth 20-year-old slow jams. No certainty, though, that all the members still have cut abs, flowing white mesh button-downs and wallet chains. WEEEE! Tacoma Dome. $27.50-$89.50.