Hellbat’s got a punk-rock ice cream sundae waiting for you Halloween night. (photo by Tony Kay)

So it’s two days from Halloween. You’ve got a costume. You’ve got the urge to cavort with monsters, demons, and revelers at every level of debauchery known to man. And you want to hear some music. 

Long story short, there are plenty of ways to fill your musical trick-or-treat bag in this neck of the woods. Enclosed, please find some of the most promising and fun live music events in Seattle and the surrounding environs. Read on…If you dare!

Substation (Ballard)
9:00 P.M.
21+, $15

Seattle rock trio Earth have always laid down downtempo heavy rock that sounds like Godzilla when he’s at his most bloodied, just before he rallies and cuts loose with a major blast of atomic fire-breath. If they ain’t issuing ear plugs at the door, make damn sure you bring your own. (Tickets here)

Hellbat, Shower Scum, Proud Dad
Full Tilt Ice Cream (328 15th Ave, Capitol Hill)
7:00 P.M.
All Ages, Free

Only in Seattle could you find a really great free rock show, on Halloween, in an ice cream parlor. Headliners Hellbat celebrate the digital release of Seven Year Itch, their newest long-player, with a set of spastic, funny, infectious punk that sounds like X-Ray Spex meeting Motorhead. Shower Scum, meanwhile, pound out primitive, catchy, humor-heavy punk-pop, and Proud Dad are a fetching, scrappy, affecting low-fi indie pop band.


A Very Marmalade Halloween Special!
High Dive (Freemont)
9:00 P.M.
21+, $7

Marmalade have made themselves a permanent home Thursdays at the High Dive, and for good reason: They’re one seriously cooking improv soul/funk outfit that can lock into a groove, find a hook there, and engage asses to shaking within a two-block radius. (Tickets here)

Halloween Bash with Monsterwatch, Clean Lines, Flesh Produce
Belltown Yacht Club (Belltown)
9:30 P.M.
21+, $10

It would be an oversight of cosmic magnitude for a band named Monsterwatch to NOT play a gig on Halloween night, for God’s sake. And wouldn’t you know it, Seattle’s best art-punk outfit is headlining a stacked bill with support by Clean Lines (a great summit meeting between the New York Dolls and The Replacements, while both bands share a bender) and Flesh Produce, who sound like a demonically-possessed punk band caught in an 8-bit videogame. (Tickets here)


Doom Funk Halloween Part 3: High Pulp, General Mojo’s, Cumbieros
Nectar Lounge (Fremont)
8:30 P.M.
21+, $10 – $50

Two Artist Home faves, space jazz ensemble High Pulp and sunny psych-pop masters General Mojo’s, share the stage with cumbia-rock fusion band Cumbieros. Most eclectic music bill in town on Halloween? Could be. (Tickets here)

Tacocat Halloween with DoNormaal, Sundae Crush
Neumos (Capitol Hill)
8:00 P.M.
21+, $18 – $20

To know Tacocat’s wise-assed, infectious, tartly witty brand of power pop is to love it. DoNormaal’s hip-hop beat poetics and Sundae Crush’s unaffectedly happy, sugar-hooked indie pop open things, once more underscoring my eternal Seattle music show mantra: Get there early. (Tickets here)

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
The Royal Room (Columbia City)
6:00 P.M.
21+, No Cover (musicians compensated by audience donations)

Robert Wiene’s 1919 (!) masterpiece of silent expressionist horror is one ahead-of-its-time work, a fever dream that’s been influencing filmmakers for a century. It’s best experienced with a strong score, and Wayne Horvitz’s avant-jazz ensemble should more than deliver on that front. (Reservations recommended, here)

Halloween Dance Nite: Purple Mane vs. The George Michaels
Alma Mater (Tacoma)
8:00 – 11:30 P.M.
21+, $12 (free admission before 9:00 P.M.)

Even if you share my profound allergy to cover bands, rest assured that Seattle Prince tribute act Purple Mane deserve your attention. Comprised of a bunch of top-flight players including members of Seattle bands Trick Candles and Hotels, Purple Mane throws some serious energy and chops behind their takes on the Purple One’s catalog. (Tickets here)


Halloween! Thou Shall Kill, Spiderface, The Problem, The Aimlows
Darrell’s Tavern (North Seattle/Shoreline)
8:30 P.M.
21+, $7

Thank Heaven (and Hell) that Darrell’s is coughing up a legit—and legitimately scary AF—death metal band for All Hallow’s Eve. Thou Shall Kill possesses everything you could want from a thrash metal outfit: supersonic-speed dual guitars, jackhammer drums, shifting time signatures, and lead growler Dragonis Khan, who sounds like a very pissed-off Orc after a battery-acid gargle. Add in veteran goth/psychobilly/metal beasts Spiderface, some monster riff metal from The Problem, and bellowing beer-sodden old-skool punk courtesy The Aimlows, and you’ve got another show just begging for on-site earplug giveaways at the door. (Venue info here)

Collide-o-Scope Halloween
SIFF Cinema Egyptian (Capitol Hill)
8:00 P.M.
All Ages, $18 – $40

Last but not least, Collide-o-Scope is part performance art, part scavenged found footage, part mind trip, and fully beyond explanation. Drag Performer/LGBTQ Activist Adé A Cônnére will turn in a special musical performance amidst the multi-sensory anarchy. (Tickets here)