Halloweekend, the annual celebration in which local bands take turns performing a short set of songs by a famous artist, is back for its 12th year. After haunting The Abbey Pub, it moved on to Martyrs’, and last year, was staged at the Wall To Wall Recording studio just north of downtown. The 2015 version takes place at The High Hat Club on Irving Park Road this Friday, October 30th and Saturday, October 31st. Once again the selection of tributes is eclectic and inspired; ranging from chart-topping acts to groundbreaking rebels who sacrificed commercial success in favor of influencing rock for years to come.
I’m not familiar with everyone at this year’s event (and some Halloweekend bands are one-off projects involving musicians jamming together), so here are a few thumbnail sketches, along with the full schedule
On Friday, Ellis Clark will bring years of experience as a counter-culture recording artist as he honors The Velvet Underground at 11:40 PM. In addition to his solo work, Clark has recorded with Epicycle, Social Act, and The Handcuffs. The Webstirs adroitly mix power pop and off-kilter subject matter on their own releases, and for Halloweekend events in the past, they’ve done a superb job of covering ABBA and Chicago. This year, they're taking on Devo at 11:00 PM. The other sets on Friday are The Fiction Romantics as The Buzzcocks at 10:20 PM; I Lost Control as The Cramps at 9:40 PM; and Josh Lava
as Rufus Wainwright at 9:00 PM.
Phil Angotti is a veteran of the Chicago music scene whose recent CDs have taken an introspective though consistently melodic approach. It’s easy to imagine he’ll do a bang up job on Saturday at 9:40 PM covering The Turtles because the
1960s flow through his veins. At past Halloweekend shows, he’s done The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Bee Gees, and The Doors. Androgynous
Mustache is a collective of musicians who do tribute shows year-round in local clubs, and they’re Halloweekend regulars. This year, they’ll be starting off the festivities on Saturday at 9:00 PM, paying homage to Joan Jett. Roots rock/country swing band Decoy Prayer Meeting is comprised of club scene vets like Eric Chial and Lou Hallwas from The Penthouse Sweets, so they’ll be well-suited to genre-hop over to Echo And The Bunnymen at 11:00 PM. The other two acts on Saturday are Joel Patterson as ZZ Top at 11:40; and Charlie Short as Big Star at 10:20 PM.
Admission each night is $10.