You’ve got copious nightclub options for Halloween, but they’re basically all deejays or tribute acts. Let’s sort the candy pile.
If you like electronic music:
Because adult Halloween is basically just an excuse to dress a little crazier, drink a little more, and dance a little harder than on your average Thursday night, it’s no surprise that spooky dance parties abound.
In Durham, we’ve got our evil eye on local beat collective Raund Haus’s “Haus of Horrors” at Motorco (9 p.m., $5). Along with deejays, expect live-hardware jams and even liver emcees, plus a costume contest. But don’t sleep on the party headlined by the deejay V S P R T N at Duke Coffeehouse (9:30 p.m., free) or the ski-masked head-knocker Malaa’s tour stop at The Fruit (10 p.m., $35), with local support from Stephyy and Phrey.
In Raleigh, we’re at least sliding through Imurj’s “La Cueva Halloween Dance Party” (8 p.m., $10), which promises kizomba, bachata, and salsa music as well as cash prizes for dancing and costumes, before heading to Ruby Deluxe’s “Monster Mash” (10 p.m., $5–$20), presented by the Raleigh Queer Venue Initiative and the dance-culture-promoting Saturday Night Project. It’s deejayed by local legend Luxe Posh and “Goth’s favorite dad,” DJ DIES A LOT. Expect drag and go-go dancing performances throughout the evening, too.
For industrial music, head to Raleigh Underground’s “Fallout Shelter” at Legends Nightclub (9 p.m., free–$3) with DJ Steve Halberstadt. Or, for a more contemporary take on sinister drums and synths, check out DSTNY Lifestyle’s “Trap or Treat” at Proof Five Points (9 p.m., $5–$20) with DJ RNB.
Meanwhile, in Chapel Hill … um, well, hope you like bands. [sad airhorn sound]
If you like tribute acts:
Tribute acts spend a lot of time dressing up like other people. For one night a year, on Halloween, they get to be like everyone else. I wonder if they love it or hate it? In any case, the hot ticket for throwback vibes in Chapel Hill is Stardust to Ashes at Cat’s Cradle (8 p.m., $10–$12), where you can dress like Bowie among other people dressed like Bowie, watching people dressed like Bowie play Bowie. I think that sentence broke English.
But we’d also get down at “One More Time” at Durham’s Luna Night Club (9 p.m., $15), a costume party that’s going all in on recreating the props and visuals of Discovery-era Daft Punk.
But really, we’re most stoked on some of the more informal tributes happening around the Triangle, especially “Hardcore Halloween” at Nightlight (8:30 p.m., $5–$15). There, you can pogo to covers of classic punk bands (so stoked to see Crass on the bill) to benefit a local women’s crisis shelter.
There’s some Melvins slipped into the mix, but if that’s not metal enough for you, check for “Hardcore Hank’s Halloween Metal Bash” at Slim’s (9 p.m., $5), where Raleigh metalheads will séance the ‘80s, covering Swedish doom legends Candlemass, fantastical schlock by Ronnie James Dio, and Megadeth’s Rust in Peace.
For more spooky fun with personas and music, check out the “Girls and Ghouls Drag Show” at Local 506 (10:30 p.m., $5)—and speaking of, RuPaul’s Drag Race is at DPAC on Halloween night.
And of course, if you’d rather just make your own tribute band, there’s always Scaryoke at The Pinhook (8 p.m., $5).
Contact arts and culture editor Brian Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You also can come check out a classic soul and funk dance party at Bowbarr. All vinyl, all 45s. With Triangle Soul Society DJs Craig Layabout (that’s me) and Brian Burns. No cover.
DJ Fifi Hifi is at OCSC, too. Also free. Also not mentioned here.
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