Yeah, we know there’s still one weekend sitting between now and Halloween, but with the holiday falling on a Saturday, there seems to be even more awesome concerts, comedy shows, and other entertainment amenities going on in Milwaukee than usual. So we figured we’d give you some extra notice so you can make your plans and focus on finding the perfect costume. Of the staggering number of things going on, here are Milwaukee Record‘s recommendations of 15 Halloween shows.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30
Phil Williams Benefit with Summertime Dudes, Piles, Towers, and Automatic at Club Garibaldi
As fear-inducing as the prospect of ghosts, zombies, and Frankenstein’s monster (calling the creature Frankenstein is a common mistake!) are, few things are scarier than the real life possibility of getting fucking shot. Unfortunately, Phil Williams was at the wrong place at the wrong time and found himself on the wrong end of the barrel. To help the former Vanguard employee recoup medical expenses and wages lost as a result of the incident, some of his co-workers’ bands will raise some funds for Williams, and Milwaukee listeners will benefit in the process. Glam rock tribute band Summertime Dudes will head a great bill that also includes Piles, Towers, and Automatic.
Halloween Party with Surgeons In Heat, Calliope, and King Eye & The Squirts at Frank’s Power Plant
While any band from the trio is worth your Friday night on their lonesome, all of them globed together is especially tough to pass up. If breezy summer songs from Surgeons’ latest and greatest effort, psyched out jams provided by Calliope, and an early glimpse at Steven Look’s first band since Fable & The World Flat doesn’t entice you, perhaps the promise of “covers and original creep shit all stirred together” will be.
Oozing Wound with Platinum Boys, NO/NO, and Bleach Athletixx at Linneman’s Riverwest Inn
While it’s not Halloween-themed, this show’s (mainly) local lineup is scary good. Supporting Chicago metal band Oozing Wound are Platinum boys, NO/NO, and one of Bleach Athletixx’s first live adaptations.
Antler House with Reckless & Darlene and Heavycritters at Bremen Cafe
For those not in the holiday spirit, Antler House will bring its beautiful brand of emotive folk to Bremen Cafe. Reckless & Darlene and Heavycritters will play in support. As always, this show is free.
Rush-Mor Records Halloween Spin at Blackbird Bar
Fortunately, Rush-Mor’s turn to DJ as part of Blackbird’s “From The Stage To The Booth” series falls on Halloween weekend. With a near-infinite collection of records at their disposal, there’s no telling what Bill and Dan will bring, but we can’t wait to hear it.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
A Nightmare On Center Street with New Age Narcissism, Soul Low, Klassik, Foreign Goods, Mally, and Kweku Collins at Company Brewing
N-A-N has quickly blossomed into the most popular group of creatives in Milwaukee music right now. Stack them atop a formidable totem pole that features Soul Low’s last show before their fall/winter recording hiatus, Klassik, Foreign Goods, Mally, and Kweku Collins, and you’re in for a treat. There’s also a midnight costume contest with a $250 first prize. It’s billed as “A Nightmare On Center Street” but this is a dream lineup for many local listeners.
Ramma Lamma with The Pukes, The Nuclears, and Sheena And The Headbanging Gabba Gabba Babes at Quarters
Respected Milwaukee punks Ramma Lamma and The Pukes will play host to Brooklyn-based The Nuclears. This is more of a good regular show than a Halloween concert. However, all-female Ramones cover outfit Sheena And The Headbanging Gabba Gabba Babes will inject a dash of rowdy holiday flavor into the mix.
Doomtree with LIZZO, Rusty P’s and LMNtlyst at Turner Hall
Doomtree is one of those rare commodities that brings all types of listeners together. The eclectic Minneapolis rap collective has been building a staggering following of late, and has played virtually every big Midwestern festival, ranging from Eaux Claires to Riot Fest. On Halloween, Doomtree will take its material back indoors for a tough-to-miss holiday affair at Turner Hall that also features 88Nine darling LIZZO, as well as LMNOP’s collaborators in the Rusty P’s and LMNtlyst.
Halloween Show at High Dive with Misfits, Rolling Stones, and The Smiths cover bands
In the same way Halloween is the one day each year when it’s acceptable for people to get totally drunk while dressed up like The Milwaukee Lion, the holiday is also the lone night when it’s acceptable (if not encouraged) for bands to play cover songs. During High Dive’s Halloween Cover Show, The Misfits will be covered by members of Trent Fox & The Tenants. The Rolling Stones will be honored by guys from The Midwest Beat, and The Smiths will be covered by members of Failed Mutation.
Vic And Gab (last show) with Testa Rosa at Pabst Theater
In case you haven’t heard, Vic And Gab—the busy indie-pop project fronted by the eponymous siblings Victoriah and Hannah Gabriela Banuelos—is coming to an end. No, not the band…just the band as you know it. After making a name for themselves in Milwaukee and beyond with their infectiously beaming ditties, the project will continue on in a new direction and with a new band name. Say goodbye to Vic And Gab and wish them well with their new project on Halloween with a show at Pabst Theater.
Halloween Spooktacular at ComedySportz
When Jake Kornely moved to Los Angeles that also spelled the end of his annual Halloween Comedy Show, which was essentially the comedy equivalent to a holiday cover show at Circle-A Cafe. In that beloved show’s place, Erik Koconis and company will reprise the costumed character comedy showcase in the Halloween Spooktacular at ComedySportz. Sam Baron, Josh Ballew, Phil Davidson, Jason Hillman, Erik Koconis, Ryan Lowe, Ryan Mason, Tyler Menz, Stacy Pawlowski, Christopher Schmidt, and Jeff Wheatley-Heckman will all dress up and perform all new material. The show begins at 10 p.m.
Haunted by The ’90s Halloween Party at D.I.X.
D.I.X. isn’t just one of the best stops on our recent gay bar crawl, it’s also a fun place all year around. Haunted By The ’90s blends a drag show, music, and host (and our bar crawl guide) Jacob Bach. There’s also something called the “Fat D.I.X. Haunted Tunnel.”
Micah And the Many’s Talking Heads Tribute at The Gig
Two sets of Talking Heads covers. The Gig. Why aren’t you there yet?
Night Of The Creeps featuring Architects Of The Aftermath, Hand Of Doom, and Cannabinol Synapse at Cactus Club
Hand Of Doom is a Black Sabbath tribute band. The other two acts aren’t tribute bands. This is the metalhead Halloween destination for sure.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
Sorry Not Sorry: Halloween Hangover at Riverwest Public House
This marks the third such iteration of Marisa Lange and Addie Blanchard’s Sorry Not Sorry showcase at Riverwest Public House, but the first during daylight hours. Relive the events of one (or some) of the above events with friends and ease back into human activity as Sammy Arechar, Phil Davidson, Matty Field, Bekah Cosgrove, Colin Bowden, and Ozmi Osbourne perform at the 1 p.m. show. There will be free donuts too.