The leaves are turning, the sky is graying, and there's a chill in the air. Fall is upon us, and that means Halloween. The celebration of all things spooky and macabre carries a slightly different meaning for everyone. Depending on age (alcohol consumption), finances (how elaborate you make your costume), and religious preference (does Jesus condone his chief nemesis' favorite holiday?), the week surrounding the night of ghouls and goblins varies greatly. Some will take their children trick-or-treating. Others will stay home to pass out candy. For night owls, a myriad of entertainment options ensues over the course of October's last week. Costume parties (the invitation-only Brady celebration), costume balls, haunted houses (Hex House on Main Street, Castle in Muskogee, Psycho Path in Sperry), church alternatives (Guts' proselytizing, real world Nightmare), and of course, music events.
For some, choosing from a plethora of Halloween-themed concerts is first on the list. Virtually every venue in Tulsa no doubt hosts a Halloween event at some point in the next week; Goth dance parties abound, Blank Slate features a big indie rock blow-out on Halloween night, and Cain's continues the long-running annual Freaker's Ball. Across the city, bands compete for the most irreverent and original costumes while patrons do the same.
It's a good way to ring in the cold weather. Halloween, in many ways, acts as the final nail in summer's coffin. Sunshine and warmth are no longer welcomed; gray skies and chilly wind take over for the next three months, sweaters and heaters are front and center. The mood changes, and Halloween is kinda that turning point.
It's a fun holiday, especially for fans of local music. And kicking off the festivities just a little early this year is the 8th annual Murderfest, an all-ages, all-day music festival on Saturday from 2-10pm at the Otherside (69th and Lewis).
The festival has evolved during the years into the city's largest Halloween music event, outselling Freaker's Ball and becoming a must-attend for fans of punk and hardcore. One of the secrets of its success is that it's adamantly all-ages; it caters to the rather large local fan base of non-drinking age high school and college students who aren't always included in the town's music happenings.
Promoter and Murderfest mastermind Matt Lip (aka Matt Stevens) sees it as an opportunity for kids to hang out in a safe place where they can have fun with friends and music away from their parents.
"Initially, I wanted to have a Halloween show where these bands would play and everyone would dress up and go to the show, instead of going to a party or something that their parents might be at," Lip said. "We wanted to give them a show of their own, the high school kids, and it's still more for that demo."
Lip's aware that, though the emphasis is on minors, the festival's dark moniker could obviously raise red flags with more concerned parents.
"The name kinda sounds crazy, 'Murderfest', but we're just trying to have fun with it," he explained. "We're doing a thing, a radio spot on The Edge.
It's kinda like a movie trailer. A phone rings, a girl goes 'Hello?' and there's a guy on the other end who says 'M is for Murder' and she's like 'What?!' and then a bunch of screams and the commercial kicks in."
Lip assures that it's all in good fun. In that same spirit, he debuts a haunted walk-through this year, so the festival doubles as a haunted house. Additionally, there will be a skate demo to kick off the event before the 30 scheduled bands begin to play.
The two stages feature a who's who of local punk and hardcore acts, with established bands intermingling with young upstarts.
"There are a few really young bands, kids around 14 years old, who are just starting out, and we're letting 'em open up," Lip said.
Some of the top-billed names scheduled to play are First Lady Assassins, Enlow, Sworn Against, Mercy Street, Hospice and Streetlight Fight. That's just a fraction of the sonic assault awaiting each eager patron; it'll be a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment, and fans of the genre will no doubt be in heaven.
Tickets are $12 in advance (okctickets.com, Starship, and myspace.com/fatlipshows) and $15 at the door. The show has a history of selling out, so advance purchase is advised.
Time Warp One More Time
No matter what kind of shows we've got going on in town, when it's haunting season, you've got to make room for a live Horror experience - Rocky Horror, that is.
Say what you want, and then leave your preconceptions and uptight self at the door. Yes, it's a musical and yes, it will forever be tied to Meatloaf and the cult-classic movie, but you can't beat Rocky Horror live and in person.
This is the fourth year's run for The Rocky Horror Show at the PAC's Williams Theater, and for good reason. Every year we think Chad Oliverson (as Dr. Frank-n-Furter) and the cast have outdone themselves and every year we're proven wrong. This isn't Mama Mia or Movin' Out and a bunch of Abba or Billy Joel tunes wound down to entertain the baby-boomers. It's one of the funniest adventures of the year, synched with a real-time, rock & roll soundtrack and live band.
Yes, it's a little cheesy; it's also boisterous, bawdy, and one of the funniest shows of the year, but you've only got one more weekend to check it out. If at all possible, you'll want to grab tickets for the finale this Saturday night, October 25, as it's always a blowout, but any show will do.
Do yourself a favor and stop for a couple drinks to loosen up beforehand, enjoy the show, and then hit the clubs for your favorite band afterwards. You can't go wrong with Rocky. And you can thank him after the show.
The week leading up to what many see as the Devil's holiday gets a swift kick in the pants in the form of a decidedly un-Halloween show on Thursday at the Spiritbank Events Center. Steven Curtis Chapman and Michael W. Smith will be soft-rockin' for God starting at 8pm. Elsewhere on the 23rd, we've got some footstompin' red dirt at Bob's (Cain's 2nd stage) in the form of Back Porch Mary, Brandon Clark Band, and the Turnpike Troubadours. At the Soundpony, The Way it Was, Jor Dan and The Moss will no doubt be very, very loud. And at Plan B, you've got Tulsa's own Fergie in the form of Lega C (still carries the classiest MySpace quote in Tulsa: "She doesn't swallow...she spits").
On Friday the 24th, we've got a little Keith Anderson action at the Cain's, My Shaky Jane at the Soundpony, some Ian Moore at Blank Slate, and some modern rock at the Convention Center. It's Staind, Seether and Papa Roach all in one room. I'll be skipping that in favor of Dredg at the Marquee and/or Bloody Ol' Mule at Mercury Lounge.
For Saturday, of course, the aforementioned Murderfest is happening all day at the Otherside, but if hardcore isn't your bag, check out the Filla CD release party at the Pinkeye (with openers Kawnar and HipHopotamus). For the indie geeks, Callupsie, El Paso Hot Button, Chinese Stars and Gravity Propulsion System are at the Marquee. Bugs Henderson is at Exit 6c, Jackson Taylor Band plays Mercury Lounge, and Musee Mecanique serenades the Soundpony (along with the highly entertaining Pilgrim).
Sunday is a night of three huge acts. Janet Jackson at the BOK Center, Stone Temple Pilots at the SpiritBank Event Center, and Cross Canadian Ragweed at Cain's. Take your pick.
Hawthorne Heights, Emery and Color Fred accomplish the difficult feat of screaming and emoting simultaneously (at the Otherside) on Monday the 27th. Cross Canadian Ragweed is back for a second round at Cain's, and DJ Moody hosts Moody Mondays at Capella's.
For Tuesday, Cain's has Chiodos, Silverstein, Escape the Fate, Alesana, and A Skylit Drive. Soundpony has the provocatively dubbed USA is a Monster, and of course Capella's finds the good ol' boys from My Solstice playing their Tuesday night campfire special.
The big one on Wednesday is Carrie Underwood at the BOK. Good luck finding tickets. For the hippies: Sound Tribe Sector 9 plays its psychotropic brand of jam (at Cain's, of course). Imperative Reaction is at The Marquee, and Tartufi is at Soundpony.
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