Folks in Charleston love to make a big to-do out of Halloween — especially in the bars and clubs. This year, with Halloween falling conveniently on a Saturday, local revelers and music lovers have plenty of celebratory mini-concerts and parties to choose from around town.
We might suggest that every band play a rendition of the late Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s 1962 novelty tune “Monster Mash” — a rave-up containing all the right ghoulish ingredients: spooky settings, scary creatures, vampires, graveyards, zombies, werewolves, and mad scientists. At the very least, they should attempt a version of “I Want Candy” by The Strangeloves (and redone by Bow Wow Wow).
Listed below are some of the stand-out rock ‘n’ roll shows among many happening in and around town on Sat. Oct. 31. Check ’em out and have a great time.
The local party band — comprised of lead singers Jason Gantt and Miranda Jordan, synth man Jim Hall, drummer Jim Ratcliffe, bassist/singer Jeff Calafiore, guitarst J.R. Getches, and guests — play “only the ’80s” at the Windjammer at 9 p.m. These guys previously spent time in such popular bar bands as Joy Ride, MacDaddy, and The Foxy Mondays, and they’re experienced and mature enough to remember the actual 1980s and the cheesiest hard-rock pop and new-wave hits of the era. Maybe they’ll try “Oh Yeah” by Yello (remember the music in the credits of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?). Cover is $5. (myspace.com/buellerband)
The King Street Grille — James Island
The Folly Road King Street Grille welcomes Charleston’s own funky and glossy tribute to the King of Pop — The Thrillers. The lineup features vocalist Christopher Hyatt (pictured), keyboardist Roddrick Simmons, guitarist Andy Greenberg, bassist Ben Bennett, and special guests. “We’re the most incredible party you’ve ever been to see,” they say. From Off the Wall and early Jackson 5 material to the most recent Jacko hits, local devotees should expect a slew of faves. (myspace.com/thethrillersband)
Charleston Beer Works
The amusingly snotty local rock/metal party band Dante’s Camaro (featuring radio personality and City Paper columnist Jack Hunter on guitar) performs the King Street watering hole’s Halloween bash. Dante’s Camaro crank a “maniacal menagerie of mangled metal” late in the evening. There’ll be a costume contest, prizes and giveaways, and a variety of guitar-buzz hits (shout out for “Halloween” by The Misfits). (myspace.com/dantescamaro)
Exchange Park Fairgrounds
The annual Coastal Carolina Fair’s concert series at the Lakefront Stage mini-amphitheater continues with a performance by Georgia-born, Nashville-based contemporary country act Lady Antebellum on Halloween night. Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood handle a mix of classic country, vintage R&B and soul, and ’70s-style singer-songwriter stuff on their self-titled debut album. Their latest single is titled “Need You Now.” Their look and style are far from frightening, but there’s always something amusingly creepy about hanging out at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds. (ladyantebellum.com)
Billed as “The Pretty Lights Halloween Party,” the festive, all-ages dance night of electronic music at the Farm — a venue sure to have its share of costumed freaks — features Derek Vincent Smith, the self-described producer behind Fort Collins, Colo., electronic act Pretty Lights. He returns to Charleston with drummer Cory Eberhard in support of a new double disc titled Filling Up the City Skies. With electro-groove acts Half Color and Midnight Ace. Admission is $25. Show time is 8 p.m. (prettylightsmusic.com)
The Pour House
The veteran Athens, Ga., rock band Bloodkin host “Bloodkin’s Family Gospel Halloween Show” with support from Dead and Disorderly (featuring Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent) and local roots-rock band Guilt Ridden Troubadour. Singer-guitarist Daniel Hutchens and lead guitarist Eric Carter have been at the center of Georgia’s rock scene for two decades, and they’ll be ready to showcase tunes from a soon-to-be-released album titled Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again. Cover is $10 and show time is 9 p.m. (bloodkin.net)
Megan Jean & The Klay Family Band w/ DJ Rocky Horror
The Tin Roof
Local combo Megan Jean & The Klay Family Band (featuring guest drummer Tommy Hamer) will play “a variety of creepy dance covers” during what they call the Beetlejuice Halloween Party. Local DJ Rocky Horror will spin all night (on-and-off). There’s a cash prize for the best Beetlejuice-inspired costume (based on the 1988 Tim Burton flick, starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, and Geena Davis). Cover is $10. The cinematic-themed mayhem starts at 9 p.m. (meganjean.net)
The Fire Apes
Art’s Bar & Grill
Local power-pop/alt-rock quartet The Fire Apes look too dapper on stage to cause any heebie-jeebies, but they’re willing to attempt some of the most obscure or complicated British Invasion or ’70s pop hits is downright scary. Singer/guitarist John Seymour, guitarist Jeff Bateman, bassist Dave Stewart, drummer Tommy Hamer (who’ll split his night between the Tin Roof and Art’s), and a few special guests will mix a pile of new original rock tunes with their lengthy list of covers. Music starts at 10 p.m. No cover. (thefireapes.com)
Jason & The Juggernauts
In the heart of the Park Circle scene, up-and-coming local surfabilly trio (with superhuman powers) Jason & The Juggernauts — singer/guitarist Jason Brachman, bassist Kyle Unterreiner, trapsman Brett Unterreiner — headline the Vampire & Fangbanger Ball. The party features Tru Blood cocktails, shot specials, and a costume contest. Moan and groan for a few Ventures, Dick Dale, and Cramps tunes. No cover. 9 p.m. (myspace.com/juggernautscharleston)
Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ — Sullivan’s Island
The Atlanta-based rock band — singer/guitarist Lee Haraway, pedal steel player/bassist Will Haraway, guitarist/dobro-player Jon Harris, and drummer Richard Proctor — concludes a two-night stint on Sullivan’s with a full rendition of grunge legend Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind — including the hits “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “In Bloom,” “Come as You Are,” “Lithium,” “Polly,” and “On a Plain.” It’s another installment of the Home Team Album Showcase — a first for the Sullivan’s Island location. 10 p.m. Admission is $5. (sundogs.net)
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