Lizzo, costume contests and the best Halloween concerts in Denver


Ah, Halloween – you glorious bastard of holidays. It’s a day for those of us who want to go to work dressed as Count Dracula or the real housewife of Transylvania without the subsequent emails from HR about proper work attire. But at night, the adult perks don’t really extend to trick-or-treating (neighbors may get upset over a full-grown Dracula going door-to-door for candy).

That’s why concerts are a great option to show off your Halloween spirit. And Denver has plenty of deals this year, both in the run-up to the holidays and, in the case of former Aurora King Soopers cashier Lizzo, on the night itself.

Disney’s mumbo jumbo in concert
Friday 21st October and Saturday 22nd October; 19:30 o’clock
Boettcher Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex
$15 and up

In the 1993 Christmas classic mumbo jumbo, a group of children accidentally awaken a coven of vicious witches, and a joke ensues. The Colorado Symphony will play every note from John Debney’s original score and the entire film will be projected in the hall. The promoters cryptically asked the contestants to stay until the credits rolled, saying, “They’ll be glad they did.” Sounds like a trap.

Maris the Great
Friday, October 28, 7 p.m
The Venue, 1451 Cortez Street
$20 in advance

Denver’s Maris the Great is a gay zombie who murders and dismembers rival bands, some of whom will share the stage with him at what is now his second Halloween show at the venue. At last year’s gig, Lord Maris called AC/DC’s “Tina Turner” and “Bon Scott” through a closet door onto the stage and both performed with his band, the Fagots of Death, who put on an excellent live show. Drag queen Jessica L’Whor hosted the extravaganza with a standup comedy that, had it been any dirtier, would have required a federal tax stamp. L’Whor will be back this year and that alone is worth the price of admission. Denver pop-punk outfit DORK reunite for the occasion, and horror punks America’s Most Haunted and Good Family round out the offerings. It will be uncomfortable, but you won’t want to look the other way. A costume contest is also in the works.

Meow wolf
Kent Washington & Friends, Friday, October 28, 1338 First Street, 8 p.m., $20
The Spookiki Ball, Saturday, October 29, 1338 First Street, 8 p.m., $20
Hallowed Howl, Saturday, October 29, Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 North Clarkson Street, Denver, 7 p.m., $35-89

Meow Wolf is a pretty strange place to start with, so why not spend part of your Halloween weekend there? Born in Santa Fe, the immersive installation has three parties to satisfy your appetite for costumes and dance music. On Friday, October 28, Colorado Springs recording artist Kent Washington III will helm the debut of INTLHAUS, an international hip-hop and R&B series. Also performing are DNA Picasso, LPEEZ, Myell Westcoast, Ivvy Jones, Indigo Jones and DJ sets by DJ Ronin, Hexkitten and KYJU.

And on Saturday, October 29, the House of Flora will host the SpooKiKi Ball, which will celebrate Vogue, a dance created by Black and Latino queer people (and later adopted by Madonna). The House of Flora is a KiKi home in Portland, Oregon that has expanded to Denver. KiKi is a subculture that emerged from the New York ballroom scene, where houses were opened up to provide shelter for LGBTQ kids who were kicked out of their homes. Dance competitions in numerous categories are part of the show.

But that’s not all for October 29: Meow Wolf is also doing the fillmore with funk and deep house. The party, called Hallowed Howl, includes performances by SG Lewis and Folamour.

Halloween party
Friday, October 28, 7 p.m
Herman’s Hideout, 1578 South Broadway
Before All Hallows’ Eve, treat yourself to some metal with the All Ages Halloween Bash at Herman’s Hideaway. As We Rise plays a melodic twist on metal, featuring Hannah Romero’s uplifting vocals over growls, pounding beats and guitar scraps. Also on the bill is Cheyenne, Wyoming trio Fell Harvest, who play doom metal, which it describes as the soundtrack for the end of the world. You’ll also see Blood of Lilith, an all-female Denver metal trio that’s evil, heavy and not silly. A Vintage Future opens the night dressed in his usual steampunk attire. A costume contest is planned, so dress appropriately.

Caught! of robots
Friday, October 28, 7 p.m
Hi-Dive, 7 South Broadway

Caught! by Robots consists of just a human musician, JBOT, and a series of robots that he has built and perfected over the years. The band plays a very heavy brand of Grindcore and it’s a lot of fun to see live. CBR is currently on its Funeral for the Human Race Tour because if we learned anything from it I robot, these machines don’t like the meaty guys. Axeslasher and Valiomierda open.

Motown Halloween Dance Party
Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m
Roots Music Project Warehouse, 4747 Pearl Street, Boulder

Add a little soul to your Halloween weekend at Roots Music Project, Boulder’s non-profit music incubation program that helps working musicians hone their craft and further their art. The concert features Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (A Motown Stax Revue), a seven-piece band performing the sounds of Motown and Stax Records, both legendary record labels in soul music. Enjoy songs like Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and Barry Gordy’s “Do You Love Me?” The show is suitable for all ages and participants are encouraged to dress up, dance and sing along. A cash register will be on site.

Wildly beautiful orchestra
Halloween festival

Saturday, October 29 at 3 p.m
Downtown Lowry, 200 Quebec Street
Halloween show
Sunday, October 30, 4 p.m
Enigma Bazaar, 4923 West 38th Street

The Wild Beautiful Orchestra plays two shows over Halloween weekend. The first, a Halloween festival at Lowry Town Hall, is aimed at families, with trick-or-treating and music by The nightmare before Christmas, mumbo jumbo and stranger things, among other scary songs. Sunday’s event at the Enigma Bazaar is geared more towards adults, but children are welcome when accompanied by a parent.

Halloween cover show
Saturday, October 29, 7 p.m
Hi-Dive, 7 South Broadway

It’s Halloween, so even the bands are dressing up. Join musicians exploring the music of Motörhead, Green Day, the Ramones and Oasis. A costume contest, Halloween prom and ’90s dance party make for a night to remember.

vision video
Monday, October 31, 9 p.m
Headquarters, 60 South Broadway
Halloween is considered a goth holiday in a way, so why not spend it with a goth band? Hailing from Athens, Georgia, Vision Video plays a style of post-punk heavily indebted to The Cure but with touches of Smiths, Joy Division and other new wave bands that hit the airwaves in the early ’80s. It’s dance music for people who are too depressed to dance – after all, there are millions of us. The show also features local death goth/death rock/protest/post-punk operator Red Wing Black Bird, known for playing a show at Philip K. Dick’s grave in Fort Morgan. His record with ten songs To Klaus for comfort linked the current state of the world to Dick’s vision of a dystopian world. Also on the program are WitchHands, a goth and death rock band from Colorado Springs with d-beat rhythms, melodic synths, grinding guitars and lyrics that range from mournful poetry to nihilistic fury. Rounding out the lineup are Denver’s Radio Scarlet; the members don’t see themselves as goth or punk but somewhere in the middle, which is quite a punk move.

Monday, October 31, 8 p.m
Ball Arena, 1000 Chopper Circle
$69 and up

Celebrate Halloween with one of the biggest stars on the planet right now. Rapper, singer and flautist Lizzo released Special, her fourth studio album of the year. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as she told her stunned audience at the Fillmore last year that she once worked as a cashier at King Soopers while living in Aurora for a year. Most recently, Lizzo drew much admiration (and ire from the likes of Jenna Ellis) when the Library of Congress invited her to play James Madison’s rare crystal flute.

Nightmare on 13th Street
Monday, October 31, 8 p.m
Your mother’s house at 608 East 13th Street

For the EDM fans, Abyssal Cartel is hosting an evening of dubstep and bass music at Your Mom’s House. Featured cast members include Zygon, DEEP STATE, Massive Trackz, Leelo Dubz, FVJIWARA and Duble N. The winner of the night’s costume contest will receive a fancy water-holding backpack called the Hydropack because it’s Colorado.


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