For the first time in two years, live music and all manner of costume parties are ramping up for Halloween weekend. Lucky for you, we’ve selected 13 of ’em to check out.
Maybe Halloween has been made even creepier, even scarier thanks to the long-winded COVID-19 crisis.
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After all, as if there weren’t enough things in the world to terrify folks, a global pandemic certainly added another layer of horror to the landscape.
Fortunately, this weekend’s celebration of the ghoulish holiday offers plenty of opportunities for music lovers and Halloween lovers to forget about that and concentrate on the usual stuff like petrifying costumes, eerie-good songs and lots and lots of sugar-buzz-inducing candy.
Local Spins has compiled a roster of 13 can’t-miss concerts/parties/events for intrepid Halloween-ites – or just fans and bands ready to rock the casbah. Here’s our lucky 13 (plus some honorable mentions):
1. Never Ending Nightmare at The B.O.B., 8 p.m. Saturday, $40 – Traditionally, it’s been regarded as the biggest Halloween costume party in West Michigan with five floors of hair-raising hoopla, with music provided by DJs Matt B, VanHekken, Ryan Henry, Jay Vee and Kane. The annual costume contest comes with a $500 prize for first and $250 for second, with judges picking the five finalists and audience applause determining the top two winners. Details here.
2. Bass Country Halloween, 8 p.m. Friday at The Intersection, sold out – Svdden Death, Tsuruda, Black Gummy, G-Rex, Chee and more rev up EDM/electronic music fans to get the weekend started, with Saturday’s lineup featuring country’s Laine Hardy and more at Elevation and jam band Spafford in The Stache. Speaking of jamming, Boston rock band Dopapod wraps up the weekend with an all-ages Halloween night show in Elevation ($18 advance, $20 day of show). The lowdown on all of these at sectionlive.com.
3. Larkin Poe (with The Collection) at Fountain Street Church, 8 p.m. Saturday, $37.50 advance, $42 day show) – The sister-fronted Larkin Poe will rock the church rafters in this WYCE and Audiotree Presents show. Read the Local Spins interview here and get tickets online at audiotreepresents.com.4. The Pyramid Scheme’s Three-Night Celebration with Michigander, Fever Haze, Trauna and Dawning at 8 p.m. Friday ($15-$18), Lazy Genius’ LP-release and Halloween Dance Party with Vesperwynd, DJ Haunted S. Bitch and DJ Kripz Kepper at 8 p.m. Saturday ($10), and Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, The American Hotel System and J.Rob at 9 p.m. Halloween night ($10) – Not much else to say, except that it’s three terrifyingly good lineups of regional stars three nights in a row. Tickets here.
5. Tip Top Troika: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express (plus Matt Jaffe) at 8 p.m. Friday ($20), Devil’s Night with Pretzel Logic and The JetBeats at 8 p.m. Saturday ($8) and Halloween with Zoofunkyou, Act Casual and Benzing-Graves Collective at 7 p.m. Sunday ($10) – The first person to email firstname.lastname@example.org with “PROPHET” in the message field will win tickets to Prophet’s show at Tip Top. Details about all three shows here.
6. Wavves (with Harmless) at Bell’s Eccentric Café Back Room in Kalamazoo at 8 p.m. Saturday ($20 advance, $23 day of show) – This Saturday night tour stop by California rock band Wavves serves as Bell’s celebration of Halloween. Tickets here.
7. Stovepipe Album-Release Show with Emilee Petersmark of The Crane Wives at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Listening Room in Grand Rapids ($20) – Justin “Stovepipe” Stover is a dark folk, Gothic Americana artist who adores Halloween and murder ballads, among other things. With The Crane Wives’ Emilee Petersmark on board, it shapes up as a special Halloween weekend show in an intimate setting. Tickets and more here.8. Brett Young playing GLC Live at 20 Monroe at 7 p.m. Saturday ($35-$99) – Country star Brett Young, CMA’s “New Artist of the Year,” brings his “The Weekends Tour” to Grand Rapids, with Ryan Hurd and Filmore also on the bill. Details here.
9. Halloween with Flexadecibel and Earth Radio at Unruly Brewing in Muskegon, 8:30 p.m. Saturday ($10) – The funky Flexadecibel and progressive neosoul Earth Radio combine forces for a special evening in Muskegon. And earlier in the day, Unruly hosts “Celtic Halloween” starting at 2:30 p.m. with Whorled Band, Barley Saints, Ardan Lakeshore Dancers and Barley Saints. More here.
10. Chris Jones & The Night Drivers at Spring Lake’s Seven Steps Up at 8 p.m. Friday ($25-$35) – Described as creating “some of the most elegant yet driving bluegrass music heard anywhere today,” Chris Jones & The Night Drivers make a West Michigan tour stop for Halloween weekend. Info here. (Seven Steps Up follows this on Saturday with folk’s Ordinary Elephant and singer-songwriter Scott Cook.)
11. Holland’s Park Theater Blues and Elton Weekend, with Davy Knowles at 7 p.m. Friday ($20 advance, $25 day of show) and Elton Rohn (EJ tribute) at 8 p.m. Saturday ($20-$50) – Guitarist Davy Knowles, 34, is a blues-rock phenom and everyone knows the classic songs created by Elton over the past 50 years. Take your pick. More information online at https://parktheatreholland.org/tickets.
12. The Mushmen and Ghost Bunnies at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo at 7:30 p.m. Friday ($5) – It’s billed as “a spooky rock ‘n’ roll show.” Details here.
13. The Go Rounds at The Livery in Benton Harbor at 8 p.m. Saturday ($15) – It’s touted as the “long-awaited return” of Kalamazoo’s The Go Rounds to The Livery stage. More info here.
ALSO NOTABLE: Halloweed on Saturday hosted by New Standard behind its Park Place dispensary in Muskegon with Westside Soul Surfers at 3 p.m., DJ Prim and Biffy the Beat Slayer at 6 p.m. and Desmond Jones at 8 p.m.; Hillbilly Knife Fight, User-Friendly Killer Robots and Last Straw Motel on Friday, Vanzig, The Von Werewolves and Necrophilicons on Saturday at Mulligan’s Pub in Grand Rapids; Thirsty Perch Blues band on Friday and Hannah Rose’s annual Halloween Hootenanny with Benzing-Graves Collective and KJ and the Good Time Family Band on Saturday at Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids; Laurel Premo on Friday at The DAAC in Grand Rapids; BareNaked 90’s on Friday and Haywire on Saturday at Twisted Bull Saloon in Grand Rapids; “Metal Show” and costume contest with Bog Wizard and Pick Axe on Saturday at Turnstiles in Grand Rapids; “Halloween Weekend” at Skelletones in Grand Rapids (with Dance Contraption, American Cheese Oi!l Change and Dregs on Friday, Old Fire, M.D.O.P., Roundhouse and Badnew on Saturday); .shi, Wuzee & Samil, Perchance to Dream, Flooded Kids and Zenith at Harmony Hall on Saturday night; Rabbit Fur and Cody DeWindt on Saturday at 4253 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids.
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