It’s Halloweentime here in Chicago and the music scene is all about celebrating. We’re in a bit of an odd spot this year, celebration-wise, with Halloween falling on a Wednesday night. Some venues are holding their Halloween bashes on the evening of the 31st, while others are gearing up for a weekend of live music that will scare the candy corn out of you. Either way, we’ve got a roundup of the best musically-inspired Halloween happenings around town.
All events are limited to partiers 21 and older unless otherwise noted.
SATURDAY, OCT. 27
It’s a long-standing Halloween traditional for local acts to cover notable musicians, even dressing up like the band’s members. The Abbey Pub in Avondale keeps the tradition alive and with a slew of artist switcharoos: Indigo Sun as Daft Punk (performing Discovery in its entirety), Gurg as Michael Jackson, Janis & Friends as Stevie Wonder, Afternoon Moon as Pink Floyd and Pete Jive and Juice Digits as The Grateful Dead. The show kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 but you can save two bucks by sporting a costume.
Buddy Guy’s Legends in the downtown area always gets in the season by decking out the venue in spooky decor. Their official Halloween party features a costume contest and music by Chicago’s own NuBlue Band, whose style is too funky to be considered just blues music. NuBlue headlines at 11 p.m. Randy Johnson opens at 9:30 p.m. and Gerry Hunt plays a free acoustic set from 6-8 p.m. Cover is $20.
Halloween in Wrigleyville can only mean two things: over-the-top costumes and ‘80s cover music. One of Chicago’s favorite cover bands 16 Candles will be hitting the stage at the Cubby Bear, while the venue will be hosting a costume contest with a grand prize of two Apple Vacation tickets to Mexico. Tickets are just $10.
Another local Halloween cover concert plays at the Double Door in Wicker Park on Saturday. The Last Vegas will be performing as Billy Idol, AM Taxi as The Replacements, Hessler as Iron Maiden, Ryan Powers as Tom Petty, Blackbox as Social Distortion, The Sweeps as Beck and Panther Style as the Cult. Get there by 8:30 p.m. for the start of the show. Tickets are $12.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31
South African rappers and party-beat-makers Die Antwoord have some crazy fashion stylings, so you won’t feel out of place should you choose to dress in costume for their concert at Logan Square’s Congress Theater. Tickets are $27 and the show is at 8 p.m. You only have to be 17 years old to get in.
Beats Antique’s worldy melodies and spontaneous belly dancing is all you’ll need for an especially dance-worthy Halloween. They play Lincoln Park’s Park West starting at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and you must be 18 or older to get in.
Gov’t Mule (featuring members of the Allman Brothers) celebrate the fifth year of their fun Halloween show tradition. The group has tricks up its sleeve for this year’s ghoulish jam, but you’ll have to get to the Riviera Theater in Uptown to see what they are. Tickets are $28 and available to anyone 18 years or older. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. on Halloween.
What better a release date for a band called Creepy Band than the creepiest and eeriest day of the year. Complete with church organ melodies Creepy Band’s tunes are inspired by the soundtracks of all your horror classics. Check them out at Subterranean, showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 and $5 if you wear your costume out.