Just because Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year doesn’t mean there’s nowhere to party. Word is there’s a nightmare on Church St. It’s easier to soak up the scares when it’s filtered through songs, so we went out to the graveyard and dug up the best concerts to rattle and rock at. From goth music to cover sets, here are the top 10 Halloween shows worth creeping out of your coffin for.
Tera Melos, Speedy Ortiz, and And The Kids
WHERE: The Sinclair
SPOOK-O-METER: A box of Suspiria-grade aesthetics. Melodic math rock trio Tera Melos return to Cambridge with a lifesize, stuffed hot-dog man in tow. Before they blow your mind, original aesthetic queens Speedy Ortiz will bring poppy rock to life with a hint of grunge after And The Kids get your heart rate up.
Boris, Endon, Mutoid Man
WHERE: Brighton Music Hall
SPOOK-O-METER: A dungeon with dimly lit torches. Japan’s loudest experimental doom metal band returns to the US to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dear. The trio will mix experimentation with distortion, noise, and feedback, with just the right amount of ambient drone mixed in to keep you cozy in the darkness.
Van Railin, Fuzagi, Prince, and Weezer
WHERE: O’Brien’s Pub
SPOOK-O-METER: One late-night monster mash. The 21+ cover set will see members of Aneurysm play Roth-era Van Halen, Ghost of Sailors at Sea 4th covering Fuzagi, Bedtimemagic playing all of Prince’s Purple Rain, and members of Depressors, Kitner, and Now Denial moonlighting as Weezer. Plus there’s free candy for those in costumes.
Warning, and Morne
WHERE: ONCE Somerville
SPOOK-O-METER: A graveyard during witching hour. UK doom metal band Warning will rise from the dead after playing their final show in 2009. Post-traditional doom metal is back, and it will rattle your bones and comfort the buried during a lengthy, highly anticipated set. Don’t be surprised if their feedback haunts you the rest of the night.
Lily Black, Exit Academy, BadGüd, and more
WHERE: Middle East Upstairs
SPOOK-O-METER: A fun-size Snickers bar. While they may not have a creepy vibe, Lily Black and the rest of their friends have prepped themselves to throw a proper Halloween party. The pop punk locals channel early aughts acts like Paramore while donning punk prom getup. Expect similar antics from the friends that join them beforehand.
Glitterki and CupcakKe
WHERE: Middle East Downstairs
SPOOK-O-METER: A rental vagina costume. Hypersexualized comedic verses put CupcakKe on a platform in 2015, and she doesn’t plan on coming down anytime soon. Expect utter chaos in the basement of the venue when her songs get played at full volume, or show up early for a meet and greet at 8 pm.
Grateful Dead, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Lesley Gore
WHERE: Deep Thoughts JP
SPOOK-O-METER: The attic of a four-story haunted house. This free show sees some of Boston’s best covering the radio classics: Deep Thoughts JP’s house band as Grateful Dead; members of Quilt, the Yawns, and Soft Eyes covering Neil Young and Crazy Horse; Steep Leans as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers; and members of Birthing Hips and Blau Blau doing Lesley Gore. It’s a packed house. Plus the costume contest winner gets a $20 gift certificate to the record store.
Helms Alee, Courage Cloak, and Lesser Glow
WHERE: Great Scott
SPOOK-O-METER: A dozen tiny goosebumps. Helms Alee may have beautiful harmonies, but the combination of thick guitars and the occasional guttural yell makes for a shadowy type of heavy rock. When crammed inside the Allston venue, it will all boil over into a witch’s brew you’ll actually want to sip on.
WHERE: House of Blues
SPOOK-O-METER: A skull and a pile of bones. The Latino rap group return to rep Latin, hip-hop slang, and stoned beats like they did long ago. What scares you won’t be their unstoppable vigor, but that their music is as hard-hitting in 2017 as it was back in the ’90s.
A Plus, Aceyalone, Equiptom, Z-man, and True Justice
SPOOK-O-METER: The biggest weed lollipop you’ve ever seen. Come for the rap, stay for the antics when ’90s hip-hop returns with the Souls of Mischief founding member and his crew of pals. The California Harvest Tour has the right amount of pumpkin spice and freshly cut pot to put you in a daze all night long.