I want to play a game. Your Halloween social life has been rigged to an industrial grade acetylene torch and suspended above a churning cement mixer in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in deep Brooklyn. There’s still time to save it, but first you have to choose: Do you attend a banging party or a heavy metal séance? A lighthearted covers show or a full-fledged costume contest? Pick more than one and what remains of your pathetic excuse for a weekend plan will incinerate, select none and it will drown in a watery concrete tomb. The choice is yours, but make it quick. The clock is ticking.
5) Panache and Baby’s Halloween, feat. Purling Hiss, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Meatbodies, Tonstartssbandht at 338 Moffat (Unit L)
While more of a CMJ reprise than an out and out Halloween bash, this Panache Booking showcase is sure to offer more than enough melted faces to suffice. Headlined by Philly psyches Purling Hiss and featuring one of our favorite bands of CMJ in Meatbodies, you can be sure that Brooklyn’s garage rock revivalists will be out in full force, but for the rest of us, the $20 ticket option (regular tickets are $15), which comes with a limited edition gift, may be the biggest draw. Halloween is all about surprises, after all.
Friday, doors at 8pm
4) Toxik, Vektor, Blood Feast, Rise To Burn, Surgical Strike, Paralysis at Saint Vitus
Of course, there’s no better place to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve in NYC than Saint Vitus, where the ghouls gather 365 days a year and catacomb chic decor needs no fake cobweb embellishment. Not to content to rest on such laurels, however, Greenpoint’s, and perhaps even Brooklyn as a whole’s, finest has cooked up a killer thrash throwdown headlined by 80s legends Toxik and boasting supporting sets from the likes of Vektor, Blood Feast, and more. If you’re a speedfreak with an unconditional love of leather jackets (and deep down, aren’t we all?), then this one is for you.
Friday, doors at 7:30pm
3) Halloween Extravaganza Part 1: Diarrhea Planet, Hop Along, GirlPool, Desert Sharks, Mitski, Banker$ at Brooklyn Night Bazaar
While by no means a joke band, Diarrhea Planet’s live shows have always thrived on a certain costumey pomp—four-part tapped guitar harmonies, ample guest appearances, shredding from rafters, etc—making them a perfectly raucous fit for the holiday ahead. Brooklyn Night Bazaar hosts the Nashville punk n’ roll kings this time around, patching together another awesome free show thanks in large part to opening sets from Hop Along and Desert Sharks, as well as a $500 costume contest and an all-systems-go light show. If you’re looking to save some money this weekend and still celebrate, then your search ends here.
Friday, doors at 8pm
2) Bang On! NYC Presents: Warehouse of Horrors 2014 feat. Twin Shadow, Break Science, and more
Halloween isn’t just for heshers anymore and no one has embraced that fact like secret warehouse party specialists Bang On! NYC of late. This year’s edition, boasting a haunted house, freakshow, and DJ sets from the likes of Twin Shadow, Break Science, and Zebra Katz, looks to be one of their best yet, provided, of course, that you can find it. Like all Bang On! parties, the specific address remains on a need-to-know basis, but we can tell you that Bushwick’s industrial district will play host, so keep that in mind before you swipe a few of the wallet-denting tickets, which range up to $100 and promise pure, unbridled hedonism.
Friday, doors at 9pm
1) Samhain, Goatwhore, Midnight at Best Buy Theater
If you don’t think Glen Danzig’s little-known post-Misfits project, Samhain, named for the ancient day of the dead from which Halloween has evolved, isn’t the perfect holiday headliner this weekend, then I’m guessing you grew up eating sushi for Thanksgiving. And while I’ll grant Best Buy Theater isn’t the ideal host, what it lacks in atmosphere will surely be made up for by blackened thrashers Goatwhore, who hail from America’s most haunted city in New Orleans and are set to turn in a killer opening shift.
Saturday, doors at 8pm
I Love The ‘90s
Dear Leader (performing as The Neptunes), Delicate Steve (performing as the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Heeney (performing as Weezer), Banned Books (performing as the Pixies), and more at Silent Barn
Suggested Costume: Jerry The Racecar Driver
An Evening With Primus and the Chocolate Factory at the Beacon Theatre
Boo Some Lines
Danny Tenaglia, Rissa Garcia at Output