Around here, Halloween takes on the same Bacchanalian quality as Mardi Gras. Streets get closed, clubs get crowded and folks play up the carnival mood by dressing a bit more out than they might for an ordinary Halloween. Hanging in the night air is the sense that something crazy might happen.

No matter where you are, it’s people watching paradise. Thanks to the Roman calendar, Halloween falls on a Friday this year and that means there’s more of an opportunity to cut loose. There are shows scheduled in every corner of the Triangle. DJ sets, metal mayhem, and a terrifyingly astute jazz ensemble scoring a film based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe are just a few of the items on the musical menu from which to choose.

Below is a sampling of what’s going to be out there waiting for you. All shows listed are on Halloween night, except where noted.

“The Fall of the House of Usher”

Live musical accompaniment to the silent film by Jean Epstein, Witherspoon Theater, N.C. State University Campus

Thursday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m.

You can’t ask for a finer ensemble to accompany this film, featuring many of the jazz group Micro-East Collective in their ranks, including Chris Eubank (cello), Dan Hall (drums), John Heitzenrater (bassoon), Claire Hollins (violin), Chuck Johnson (electronics), Carrie Shull (oboe), Christopher Thurston (contrabass), Amy Wilkinson (clarinet), Crowmeat Bob (bass clarinet, guitar, alto sax, composition). Kick off your Halloween’s Eve with this heady visual and sound experience.

Pour House
Smashing Pumkin’ Jam

Nope, it’s not Billy Corrigan and friends, but the annual Pour House get-together; usually reserved as a private party, now open to the public for the first time. No admittance without a costume, so dress it up. Prizes for best costumes and a live party DJ are an incentive to get your freak on.


Halloween Throwdown 2: Intergalactic Boogaloo with DJ.exe, Reed and Cutlass

Visuals by Esotic and Drew

This second annual body-moving night has a hard-line Sci-Fi theme. You’re more likely to see aliens from the Cantina scene in Star Wars mingling with giant space worms than you are to encounter a vampire or werewolf. Lots of eye candy surrounds the dancing and celebration areas, creating an atmosphere of planetary partying. As the organizers say, “Come boogie in your spacesuit!”


STM Music Productions Halloween Bash Unsound with Bandway, Throttlerod, Hand Of Doom and Quintaine Americana
One fistful of thick metallic chords courtesy of bands like Unsound and Richmond, Virginia Metallica hounds Throttlerod, another handful of mischievous fun like redneck rockers Bandway or the “car bashing” hijinks in store, and you’ve got a heavy night lined up.

Raleigh Little Theatre

Schoolhouse Rock Live
Halloween Weekend

Imagine in our present political climate how great it would be to see the “Just a Bill” song performed, this time with a live person dancing around depicting an important piece of legislation. Now you can see all those catchy ditties from the Seventies animated series, brought to life. It’s a little scary to see “Conjunction Junction” again, and, yep, fun for the whole family.

Berkeley Cafe

Rebel Empire presents Havoc 2 with Transdermal, Severe and Outburst, Tommy and Indica

This drum and bass dance free-for-all will test your ability to keep pace with the DJ. Can you contort your body just so, at 165 beats per minute? Lots of folks in attendance here will be able to, so get ready.


Cody Cods, DJs John K., Sal E., Whizpers, Mr. Magic and Heed.

The night promises to be a heady mixture of DJs spinning and live music, all in the spooky confines of the multi-level space known as Ringside.

Joe and Jo’s Downtown

The Ugglians and other surprise local bands

Local rockers the Ugglians will set up for the onslaught of Halloween night, while the bar hosts drink specials like the “Satan’s Bitch,” and the ubiquitous costume contest for some cash. It’s a downtown thing, for sure.

The Edge

Dance party with various DJs

You know how they do it at the Edge, it can be raucous on that dance floor, shaking to the latest hip-hop jams or electronic trances. Feel the heat, when they make it special for the holiday.

Chapel Hill
Local 506

Metal Mania featuring Krusha with Jakt and Chromodos Leave it to 506 to bring the metal to Franklin Street. This bone-crushing night of local area bands features Krusha, originally from Hillsborough, and Jakt, who hail from the metal-head capital of Smithfield.

Go! Studios

Alli with an I, The Scaries, Galaxy Down and The Flaming Caskets

With these rock acts getting together on Halloween, there’s a mix of great punk-poppy goodness, and Alli with an I’s CD release party, with the foreboding sense of the ominous occasion. You’ll have to show up early to learn more about “The Flaming Caskets.”

Cat’s Cradle

Cali Comm Tour with Grouch & Eligh, Lyrics Born, Ugly Duckling, and others

Here’s a hip-hop tour you can sink your fangs into, even if they’re those fake glow-in-the-dark ones. Great soulful lyricists, with the confident delivery of old pros, these are some of the most acclaimed MCs and DJs from the left coast.


Evil Wiener, Evil Schooner and DJ Death

It’s the annual Evil Wiener boo-fest, where Billy Sugarfix propels folks into unknown lands, and this time the guests are locals Schooner, and the platter-spinning exploits of DJ Death, with close ties to the band. EndBlock