Halloween has arrived in NYC, and whether it's stockpiling on pumpkin spice lattes, preparing scary movie watch parties, or filling up the subways with lots of wild costumes, New Yorkers are one of a kind when it comes to celebrating the fall holiday. Like always, the biggest NYC Halloween event is the 46th-annual Village Halloween Parade, which runs from 7 PM-10:30 PM. This year's theme is "Wild Thing!", and in to participate, you must be in costume and arrive at 6th Avenue at Canal St starting at 6:30 PM. There are also VIP options for those who want to skip the lines and march (themed costume required). If you don't feel like leaving the house, the entire parade will be broadcast live on NY1 from 8 – 10 PM.
If you need more Halloween stuff to do, specifically musical things, there are oodles of Halloween-themed shows across the city over the next week. We narrowed our guide down to just the shows we thought were especially notable (including a few non-Halloween-themed shows that just happened to be on October 31). For more this week, check out our daily What’s Going On? posts for more shows, and consult our NYC Show Calendar for even more.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 25
A Place Both Wonderful and Strange, Fuck You, Tammy!, Del Judas, Winkie, ADVENTURE[s], Mevius @ 3 Dollar Bill
Twin Peaks-themed group A Place Both Wonderful and Strange’s “Halloween at the Black Lodge” has become an annual tradition with a host of acts (including one, Fuck You, Tammy!, that was clearly inspired by Chrysta Bell's character in The Return)
Susanne Bartsch's Halloween Ball, Charlene, Mrs. Smith, Mazurbate, Eli Escobar, Amber Valentine, W Jeremy, and more! @ MoMA PS1
“MoMA PS1 and New York legend Susanne Bartsch are teaming up once again for the eighth annual Halloween Ball. Be transported to the infamous Valley of the Dolls, with outrageous live performances, tableaux vivants, DJs, and the most elaborate costumes in the city.” Sold out.
Eli Escobar, Amber Valentine, PAT, Harry Charlesworth @ Elsewhere
While Susanne Bartsch’s Halloween Ball is sold out, the afterparty at Elsewhere is not and features a lot of the same DJs.
Cypress Hill (Haunted Hill) @ PlayStation Theater
Cypress Hlll‘s annual “Haunted Hill” shows are an NYC Halloween tradition where spooky fog machines may be supplemented by other smoke devices.
The Wonder Years, Trash Boat, Future Teens @ Warsaw
The Wonder Years’ annual Halloween Extravaganza tour hits Brooklyn tonight, and as usual, every band will play a proper set and an in-costume cover set, and there will be free candy and a costume contest for the audience. The Wonder Years are doing Limp Bizkit, Trash Boat are doing Oasis, Homesafe are doing Weezer, and Future Teens are doing Carly Rae Jepsen.
The Cityfox Halloween Festival: Lee Burridge, Bedouin, Art Department, Behrouz, DJ Hell, Mathias Kaden, Atish, Stimming, Monolink, WhoMadeWho, Rodriguez Jr., Gui Boratto, and more! @ Avant Gardner
This event at Brooklyn's spacious Avant Gardner features over a dozen DJs and electronic music acts from around the world, with "a sprawling maze of musical stages, interactive rooms and chill-out lounges with surprises along the way." Costumes are encouraged.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 26
4th Annual Halloween Cover show @ Brooklyn Bazaar
Brooklyn Bazaar is shutting its doors at the end of November, but the venue is still putting on lots of fun shows, including this Halloween-themed show featuring numerous bands taking on songs from Blink 182, Judas Priest, Bad Brains, and many others.
Warehouse of Horrors: Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Justin Jay, VNSSA, Dorfex Bos, The Librarian, Concret @ Knockdown Center
Queens' Knockdown Center is hosting this night of EDM/electronic acts, which entails "ethereal performances, bone-chilling experiences, and the alchemical mayhem that can only occur when art, music and the supernatural collide." Among the festivities include three performance stages, art installations, silent disco, and more.
Funkrust Brass Band, The Art Gray Noizz Quintet, Hard Nips, The Yeahtones @ Rubulad
Long-running DIY arts space Rubulad is presenting "The Island of Doctor Moreau!" party which features Funkrust Brass Band, Art Grey Noizz Quintet (ex Lubricated Goat), Hard Nips, WFMU's Dave the Spazz on DJ duty, go-go dancing from Anna Copacabana, and surely all manner of mutant freaks
MONDAY OCTOBER 28
A Costume Dinner Party: Oberhofer @ Esme
Oberhofer is the fourth course at this costumed dinner party. We don't mean that literally...unless zombies are involved.
TUESDAY OCTOBER 29
A Gathering of Witches: Sabbathwitch, Kembra Pfahler, Steph Paynes, Tracy City @ Berlin
These witches, which include Kembra Pfahler (The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black) are "gathering to conjure up some heavy sights and sounds to awaken the ghosts of NYC." Old school East Village vibes expected. Admission: "Pay what you WITCH."
Halloween Cover Show: Nevva (The Ramones), Cindy Cane (The Doors), Looms (Radiohead), Parrot Dream and Hanford Reach (Tom Petty) @ Our Wicked Lady
This Halloween covers show at Our Wicked Lady takes place on the venue's rooftop, with bands taking on classics from Tom Petty, Radiohead, Ramones, and The Doors.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30
Junglepussy @ Superchief Gallery
With creepy new single "Spiders" out just in time for Halloween, Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy should be a perfect choice for Mischief Night. This free show at Ridgewood's Superchief Gallery is presented by Dr. Martens and you can RSVP here.
Sally Can't Dance: Tribute To The Cramps - Jonathan Toubin (DJ Set), DJ Howie Pyro, Michael T (host), Bob Bert, Robert Gordon, Palmyra Delran, Miss Guy, Jason Victor, Dylan Hundley, Karmen Guy, Peter Zaremba, Nat Freedberg (of The Upper Crust), Mike Edison, Stu Spasm, Lynn Von Pang, Andrea, Liz Lamere, Johnny Scuotto @ The Bowery Electric
Monthly party Sally Can't Dance once again pays tribute to NYC psychobilly act The Cramps for Halloween, gathering a skeleton crew of vocalists to sing the band's gravest hits, including Bob Bert (Sonic Youth), Peter Zaremba (The Fleshtones), Stu Spasm, Miss Guy, and more.
Dan Friel, Gold Dime, Droneroom, Nonconnah, Parlor Walls @ Trans-Pecos
Trans-Pecos throws a Halloween Extravaganza tonight with local electronic wiz Dan Friel, local experimental rock bands Gold Dime and Parlor Walls, and drone from Louisville's Droneroom and Tennessee's Nonconnah.
Sleater-Kinney, Joseph Keckler @ Kings Theatre
Sleater-Kinney play their first of two NYC shows behind this year's St. Vincent-produced This Center Won't Hold, with opener Joseph Keckler. It's your only chance to see S-K if you have plans to be trick or treating on Halloween. Get your tickets.
Wolf Eyes, Pharmakon, Home Blitz @ Brooklyn Bazaar
Get in the Mischief Night spirit with this double dose of noise from Wolf Eyes and Pharmakon at the soon-to-close Brooklyn Bazaar (tickets are still available).
THURSDAY OCTOBER 31 (HALLOWEEN NIGHT)
Sleater-Kinney, Joseph Keckler @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Sleater-Kinney play their second consecutive NYC show behind this year's St. Vincent-produced This Center Won't Hold, with returning opener Joseph Keckler. Although this show isn't necessarily Halloween-themed, let's hope they get in the spirit. We're also giving away a pair of tickets.
Sloppy Jane @ Baby's All Right
Brooklyn's Sloppy Jane have gained a reputation for putting on a killer live show, and there's might not be a better day to witness their theatrics in person than Halloween. Admission is free with RSVP.
The Tits, Sex Pill, Terrorist, Anatomy, Vaxine @ Brooklyn Bazaar
It's a punk Halloween at Brooklyn Bazaar, with Japanese headliners The Tits, along with Texas-based Sexpill, Brooklyn's Vaxine, No Fucker, Terrorist, Fuckin' Lovers, and more.
Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco, Boyfriend @ Brooklyn Bowl
New Orleans-based Big Freedia plays her first of two shows at NYC's Brooklyn Bowl, dubbed "Freedia Fest 6.0," with support from Mykki Blanco and Boyfriend.
Flatbush Zombies @ Brooklyn Steel
With a name like Flatbush Zombies, it's only fitting the NYC-based rap group (and one-third of Beast Coast) play tonight.
Yeasayer, Kalbells, Bay Faction, Chloe MK @ Elsewhere
Brooklyn's Elsewhere is celebrating their second year in business with this anniversary/Halloween party that inhabits every corner of the venue. Yeasayer, who returned this year with Erotic Reruns, headline.
Riceboy Sleeps (Jonsi, Alex Somers, Wordless Music Orchestra) @ Kings Theatre
Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) and Alex Somers are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2009 Riceboy Sleeps album on tour, and they'll be performing the album in full with the 40-piece orchestra/choir Wordless Music Orchestra for "the first and last time."
New York Night Train Halloween Haunted Hop: The Make-Up, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, Protex, Three Brained Robot, Jonathan Toubin @ Knockdown Center
Jonathan Toubin's annual Halloween blowout takes over all of Knockdown Center, with headliners The Make-Up, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, King Khan and Protex, plus bands pretending to be other bands, a Miss Pussycat puppet show, cult horror movies, DJs galore and more. Always a great option.
Dead & Company @ Madison Square Garden
Dead & Company, featuring original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann alongside John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chiment, play their first of two shows at Madison Square Garden as part of their current "Fall Fun Run" tour. After these dates, they'll head back to the area next week for two dates at Nassau Coliseum.
Anti-Flag, Early Riser @ Mercury Lounge
Anti-Flag have been a political punk band for all of their 25+ year career, and while they've usually stayed away from taking direct shots at current presidents, their just-announced anti-Trump LP 20/20 Vision is changing that. Two ripping songs are out from it now, and this small, sold-out, BrooklynVegan-presented show is their first show since the album was announced. You can probably expect to hear some of the new stuff tonight, along with plenty of classics.
The Dickies, The Carvels NYC, Gillian @ The Bowery Electric
Speaking of long-running punk bands, California pop punk pioneers The Dickies -- who did the soundtrack to cult horror film Killer Klowns from Outer Space -- play this special Halloween show at The Bowery Electric.
Beach Fossils, Lionlimb @ The Dance
Newly-opened Manhattan venue The Dance has already booked lots of exciting acts for its initial schedule, the latest of which is Beach Fossils, who really seem to enjoy playing Halloween (and usually really get into the spirit).
Murphy's Law, Pain @ The Kingsland
NYHC vets Murphy's Law played a sweaty, chaotic Halloween show at The Kingsland last year, and they'll do it again in 2019 with support from Maryland's Pain.
Ho99o9, Anika, Yellowtech, Marco Weibel @ Villain
Industrial rap group Ho99o9 (pronounced "horror") are custom made for Halloween shows, and Berlin singer Anika's music is spooky too, in a dubbed-out post-punk kind of way. They both play this Noisey-presented party which is free with RSVP.
World/Inferno Friendship Society @ Warsaw
Punk/folk/klezmer collective World/Inferno Friendship Society are presenting their annual Hallowmas show at Warsaw, which is famous for its elaborate show, pyrotechnics, and surprises. What do they have store this year?
More flyers for some of this week's parties are below.