This might be as hard to swallow as a gobstopper, but if you wind up marooned at home on Halloween night, it's probably your own damn fault. Maybe because you got stuck with candy-slinging duty or saddled with the kids. It certainly isn't because of a lack of things to do.
Besides the multitude of costumed ragers, masquerade balls, or themed club events planned for Friday, October 31, there's much in the way of live music over Halloweekend, including these half-dozen options.
Authority Zero: When Authority Zero last played Club Red in late May, it was something of a nightmare. Not for the band itself, as the local punk icons offered a strong set, but rather for the venue, which endured plumbing and A/C issues while debuting its new location in Mesa. Five months later, everything's running smoothly in both of its cavernous theaters, and each will see use during Authority Zero's two-stage "Night of the Living Dead" showcase, which also stars Bear Ghost, Bastard Suns, My Life Sentence, and others. Pre-sale tickets are $15. (Club Red, 1308 W. University Drive, Mesa)
MC Chris: It's safe to say that MC Chris digs Halloween, and not just because he has a song named after the holiday. Many of the nerdcore hero's gigs this time of year boasts fans dressed in Star Wars costumes (including Boba Fett, his personal favorite) and other geeky gear, and his latest disc, Foreverrr, is a concept album centering on a haunted mansion and referencing specters, spirits, Wednesday Addams, The Shining, and Ghostbusters. Expect to hear many tracks from the project, as well as favorites like "Fett's Vette" and "Hoodie Ninja," during his Halloween show at Pub Rock, which also includes fellow rappers MC Lars and Spose. Admission is $15 in advance, $18 at the door. (Pub Rock Live, 8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale)
DoneOne: Speaking of Halloween night hip-hop affairs involving masks, local rapper DoneOne of the Society of Invisibles will celebrate the release of Mil Mascaras, his new EP inspired by the lucha libre icon, at the Diamond Lounge. His headlining performance, which includes backup from DJ LES735, will be the centerpiece of an evening of beats and rhymes that also includes TSOI, Central Products, and L.A. female rap artists Gavlyn and Oh Blimey. Cover is $5. (Diamond Lounge, 4132 E. McDowell Road)
Black Veil Brides: If you're a fan of Black Veil Brides, October has been a big bag of treats from the glammy, girl-jeans-wearing hard rockers. Earlier this month, they unveiled a spectacular music video for their single "Heart of Fire" and a hilarious YouTube romp in which vocalist Andy Biersack reads fan-fiction about himself overdramatically, followed by this week's debut of their new studio album, IV. Members of the BVB Army here in the Valley also get the bonus of seeing the band live at Marquee Theatre on Friday during Halloweekend. Advanced tickets are $29. (Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe)
Kissmania: Given enough money and makeup, anyone can pull off a convincing facsimile of KISS for Halloween. Phoenix-based tribute act Kissmania, however, does it better, which is likely why they're endorsed by Gene Simmons. See for yourself during their two-night stint at Casino Arizona on Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1. Admission is $12. (Casino Arizona, 524 N. 92nd St., Scottsdale)
Punk Rock Halloween Bash: Local musicians will also be attempting to look and sound like some legendary rockers, particularly of the punk variety, on November 1 at this free event at Yucca Tap. Bands will each pay tribute to a single iconic act, such as We Might Be Wasted covering Dead Kennedys, PV Casualties making like The Misfits, and The Revenge playing the music of Avail. UK's English Dogs headline. (Yucca Tap Room, 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe)
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