Halloween Gigs: Where To Go To Be Horrifically Entertained

‘Tis the season to be ghoulish. Music fans can celebrate the hallowed witching night across the country with a variety of suitable events.

Leading the pack attention-wise Halloween night is the much-heralded debut of the KISS Psycho Circus stage show at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. And what better Halloween stage mates for the make-up mavens than a somewhat scary-looking band with a name like the Smashing Pumpkins?

Up the coast in San Francisco, the legendary Filmore is hosting the near-legendary Residents from October 29 to 31. The Residents are best known for their own “freak show” (which is also the title of one of their many albums) and for their anonymity. The bandmembers have never publicly revealed their identities. On a regular night, they appear on stage in large eyeball masks, gigantic cowboy hats, tuxedos and other odd garb backed by elaborate sets and multi-media stage shows.

The Residents are also known for their odd interpretations of even odder material.
One album featured songs by George Gershwin and James Brown, another by John Philip Sousa and Hank Williams. The Filmore appearances mark the release of “Wormwood,” their first album of new material in seven years. The record is subtitled “Curious Stories from The Bible” and is apparently based on the bad parts of the good book. Song titles include “How to Get a Head” and “Burn Baby Burn,” sure to be Halloween favorites.

Rob Zombie, of course, is one to watch on Halloween. He’s playing Oct. 31 in Lewiston, Maine at the Central Maine Civic Center along with the equally suitable Monster Magnet. Fans who can’t make it to the live show may want to get an audio fright fix with “Halloween Hootenanny,” a Zombie-produced CD that features 19 from bands including The Bomboras (“A Fistful of Terror”), The Reverend Horton heat (“The Halloween Dance”), and Southern Culture on the Skids (“Werewolf”).

Family Values, the roadshow that Zombie bailed out of back in its infancy, is still a
good bet for a darkish night with the likes of Korn, Limp Bizkit and the fiery Rammstein. They put on the final show of the tour October 31 in Fairfax, Virginia.

The tour stop lucky enough to get Marilyn Manson is the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, MN. The goth shocker appears the night before on L.A.’s KROQ-FM in a session pre-taped from that city’s Viper Room earlier this week.

Gwar, which focuses on monster-like characters, goth battles and green slime, is another good bet for Halloween. They play the Lemp Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri., October 31.

Those with tastes leaning to horror-ska, the thus-styled Independents, led by Evil Presley, are teamed with the Misfits for a Halloween bash at Life in New York City. Side note: watch for the guy in the great Joey Ramone costume doing a few tunes with the bands.

Meanwhile, clubs around the country are staging a variety of witchin’ theme parties. One such event at Chicago’s aptly monikered Martyr’s is tagged
“Ghosts of Rock N’ Roll Past,” a night dedicated to music by dead rock stars.

Ah, sweet nostalgia.