Feeling a little frightened? Can’t say we blame you, considering the depressing state of the world these days.
There’s the impending prospect of either a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency (although the former is rapidly becoming more likely than the latter), the always precarious economic situation, and the fact that Vladimir Putin won’t stop shaking his saber over in Russia. Frankly, we could use a drink (or three), not to mention some distractions from all the bad news. Good thing we’re about to enter one of the busiest party seasons of the year: Halloween.
As always, we’ve got the goods on all the best soirees, costume balls, and club parties happening around the Valley between now and October 31. And while most of the biggest parties will be taking place on Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, a variety of affairs and shindigs will also be happening on the big day itself.
Read on for the best places to sport your costume, take home some cash, and engage in some drinking, dancing, and debauching in honor of All Hallows Eve.
Vampire Ball at Club Palazzo
According to both legend and lore (not to mention more than a few Anne Rice novels), vampires are widely considered to be seductive and stylish creatures. So having an ultra-elegant and downright sexy affair like the Vampire Ball on Friday, October 28, inside of infamous goth spot Palazzo seems rather fitting. The 21-and-over event will include alluring entertainment from the artists of Scorpius Dance Theatre and fetish model and performer Perish Dignam. DJs Defense.Mekanizm and Self.Destrukt of Cupcake! will spin goth/industrial sounds starting at midnight, and local band Bella Lune will also perform. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. General admission is $29-$49 and VIP access (which includes early entry, hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar, and other perks) is $49-$80. Elegant costumes and outfits are encouraged.
KUPD’s Big Red Night of the Dead at Talking Stick Resort Arena
The Halloween season will get a double dose of heavy metal and hard rock when Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Sixx:A.M., and As Lions unleash an audio assault inside the arena during KUPD’s annual Halloween concert on Thursday, October 27. Things get going at 6 p.m. Tickets are $36-$56.
Danza de Los Muertos at Crescent Ballroom
Djentrification and DJ Stoneypie will tag team the Crescent Ballroom's sound system on Friday, October 28, and spin everything soul, disco, breaks, and future funk to worldbeat and obscura during this dance-friendly affair that kicks off Halloween weekend. 11 p.m., free.
Authority Zero at Marquee Theatre
The Valley's own Authority Zero returns home for a special Halloween weekend gig on Friday, October 28, which will also feature Nomada, Fayuca, Cordelia, and Moment of Ruin. Doors open at 7 p.m. General admission is $20, balcony seating is $35.
Big Mike’s Evil Carnival at Joe’s Grotto
Metal mayhem will be on tap during Big Mike’s Evil Carnival on Friday, October 28, which will feature eight different bands – including Sectas, Empire of Dezire, 94 Blades, Fatal Malady, and League of Zeroes – a costume contest and other shenanigans. 6 p.m., $10.
Haunted C.A.S.A. Block Party at C.A.S.A. SunBa
The entirety of CASA and a good portion of Sixth Street in Tempe will be encompassed by this enormous two-night celebration that will take place on Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29. Several of C.A.S.A.’s regular DJs – including AJ Slim, Briggs, Matt in the Hat, Jade, and Squared – will be in the mix both evenings and a ton of drinking, dancing and decadence is likely to take place. 4 p.m., free. Early arrival is reccomended.
Haunted Hotel Ball 2016 at The Saguaro
Swanky style will mix with spooky fun during Halloween weekend at the upscale Haunted Hotel Ball, which will offer two straight evenings filled with nightlife thrills, a ritzy vibe, and one of the Valley’s biggest costume contests. Things get going with an opening-night party on Friday, October 28, with a sexy fashion show, the preliminaries of the $2,500 costume contest, various theme rooms, local DJs spinning Top 40 tunes and dance music, and costumed characters and performers. 9 p.m.; general admission is $25-$45, VIP admission is $35-$60. The following day will offer a “Detox Pool Party” from noon until 6 p.m. where attendees can lounge around while partaking in various spa treatments and yoga sessions. Tickets are $15-$25. The main Haunted Hotel Ball kicks off a few hours later at 9 p.m. and will feature the finals of the costume contest, DJs and dancing, live entertainment, and more. General admission is $35-$55, VIP admission is $45-$70. Special packages to all three events are also available for $49-$109.
Haunted Hollywood Party at Maya Day & Nightclub
Borgeous will keep the energy level jacked up to 11 as gets rumps bumping inside Maya’s nightclub with his mixes of big room house, progressive, and electro. Naturally, costumes are more than encouraged at the event, which starts at 9 p.m. $20.
Strange and Unusual Halloween Weekend at Dakota
Keep a copy of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased handy when attending the Beetlejuice-inspired party action taking place at Dakota in Scottsdale on Friday, October 28; Saturday, October 29; and Monday, October 31. Each evening will include DJs, dancing, and plenty of luxe libations, not to mention a costume contest for prizes. 8 p.m., free.
Monster’s Block Party at El Hefe & Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
Neighboring Tempe drinkeries El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row will join forces on Saturday, October 29, for a massive block party and rager that will encompass a portion of Sixth Avenue, a 40-foot stage, large LED screens, live entertainment, multiple bars, and eight different local DJs — including Soloman, Deejay Diesel, Benjamin Cutless, Convince, Thomas James, Vince Ramierez, and others — working the decks. 9 p.m., Tickets are $25 general admission, $50 VIP admission.
Halloween Hoedown at Joe’s Grotto
Want to head-bang, bash a pinata, score some prizes, and just rock the eff out? If you answered “yes,” then we suggest hitting up the Halloween Hoedown on Saturday, October 29. A costume contest is promise, as is a loaded lineup of local hard rock and metal bands, such as Hobo Load, St. Madness, the Spider Hole, Bombtrack, and others. 6 p.m., $10.
Wicked Ball at Talking Stick Resort
Want to scope out some of the most elaborate and impressive-looking costumes in the Valley? Or take home some serious scrilla for your expertly designed get-up? Head for Talking Stick on Saturday, October 29, for its annual Halloween affair boasting $10,000 in cash prizes for the winners of its costume contest, which will be emceed by the personalities from Live 101.5’s Morning Mess program and serve as one the highlights of the evening. Meanwhile, renowned DJ/producers Benny Benassi and Cash Cash will be laying down sounds in one of several themed rooms at the ball. 9 p.m., general admission is $50, VIP access is $90.
Ghostball 2016 in Scottsdale
A one-block radius of Scottsdale's entertainment district encompassing Bottled Blonde, Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails, Bevvy, and The Mint will become a partying epicenter filled with costumed revelry and major thrills on Saturday, October 29, during the latest edition of the annual Ghostball. Each spot will feature its own theme and lineup of DJs, costume contests with cash prizes, and brand of nightlife adventure. 7 p.m. See www.eegtickets.com for admission info.
CarnEVIL Freakshow & Block Party at Cobra Arcade Lounge
The parking lot of Cobra and its neighbor Antique Sugar will become a three-ring hullabaloo of activity on Saturday, October 29, featuring performances by Cleodora the Contortionist and Scarlett Elizabeth Xander, spins from DJ Maneone, and other fun. The food trucks for Chi-Town Dogz and Paz Taqueria will be on hand, prizes and giveaways will be handed out, and drink specials will be available. Hip historian Marshall Shore will judge the costume contest, which kicks off at 10 p.m., and the first people through the door after 8 p.m. will receive goody bags. 4 p.m., free.
Undead Rooftop Ball at Lustre Bar
Normally, being perched atop a building while surrounded by a bunch of undead brain-eaters might be cause for alarm. During this zombie-themed soiree on Saturday, October 29, at the Hotel Palomar’s outdoor bar, however, it’ll be cause for celebration. The festivities will include “horrific” libations, a costume contest for prizes, DJs and dancing, and a photo booth. Patrons are asked to “dress to impress,” albeit in zombie fashion. 8 p.m., free.
Halloweekend at El Hefe
The Scottsdale version of El Hefe will offer three straight nights of Halloween affairs this weekend, kicking off on Friday, October 28, with "Purge: 2016 Election" party, which riffs on both the horror film series and the current political climate. The following evening, the Day of the Dead-themed "Dia de Los Hefe" party takes place on Saturday, October 29, before the weekend wraps up with a special edition of the Sundays 4-2-10 party that's inspired by Stranger Things. El Hefe's crew of resident DJs — including Thomas James, Convince, Diesel, Benjamin Cutswell, and Squared — will perform throughout the weekend. The Friday and Saturday events start at 8 p.m. while the Sunday celebration begins at 4 p.m. Admission is free to each.
Welcome Hell-oween at Cactus Jack’s
Rock, riffs, and sweet licks will fill Cactus Jack’s during this rowdy affair on Saturday, October 29, which will include performances by local Guns ’N’ Roses tribute act Civil War and AC/DC tribute band AZ/DZ, as well as a costume contest with a cash prize. Hookem’ horns are optional. 8 p.m.; $8 with costume, $10 without. Call 480-753-4733.
Redfoo and the Party Rock Crew’s Halloween Party at Wild Horse Pass
LMFAO singer Redfoo and his cohorts in the Party Rock Crew will bring wild times to Wild Horse Pass over Halloween weekend when they stage an off-the-chain blowout in the Ovations! Live Showroom. The sound system will be pumping a high-energy soundtrack of hip-hop, electro, trap, and dance music courtesy of DJ Dainjazone, Shufflebot, Q the Hype Man, and Redfoo himself. 8 p.m., $25 for balcony seating, $40 for the lower level, and $200 for a four-person table. An after-party featuring DJ Medik follows in the Chrome Nightclub.
Nightmare on Princess Drive: Quarantined at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Hordes of zombies will also converge upon stylish Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in North Scottsdale on Saturday, October 29, to engage in some social rites, imbibing, and merrymaking, as well as all that brain-eating, within the Plaza Bar. The most well-dressed fiends will take home cash during the massive costume contest and a variety of specialty cocktails will be served. 9 p.m., free.
Monster’s Ball at Alwun House
The Alwun House tends to become a hullabaloo of Halloween activities during October, a fact illustrated by both the ginormous decorative tarantula outside and its busy calendar filled with events. The biggest one of the season, however, is the annual Monster’s Ball on Saturday, October 29. Described as a “high-energy art party,” this freak-deaky fete will offer such thrilling entertainment as burlesque theatrics by Romantasy Cabaret, exotic dancing by Rusty the Androgynous Clown, performance art from Katherine Simpson, live jazz from Spooky Kool, DJ Reubot in the mix, and more. 7 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Punk Rock Halloween at Yucca Tap Room
A slew of local bands and musicians will gather at the Yucca Tap on Saturday, October 29, to pay homage to some of the most iconic punk acts of all time, right down to mimicking their music and moves, during the the annual Punk Rock Halloween. The tributes will include PV Casualties as the Misfits, Venomous Pinks as TSOL, Creepsville 666 at One Many Army, HAM as Dead Kenedys, and Krovak as Bad Religion. Chicago-based punk band Voice of Addiction will headline and a mix of costume, booze, and debauchery is promised. 7 p.m., free. Call 480-967-4777.
Grave Mistakes Dance Party at Taste of Tops
A night of “eternal jamnation” will unfold inside Taste of Tops on Saturday, October 29, at an event that certain to have ones of the best soundtracks around, courtesy of DJs like A Claire Slattery, Drew, K-Von. A costume contest and photo booth are planned, a food truck will be available, and plenty of great brews of the artisinal and micro variety will be available. 8 p.m., free.
Power 98.3/101.9’s Hip-Hop Halloween at Rawhide Event Center
A triumvirate of rap superstars — Tech N9ne, 50 Cent, and Trindad — are scheduled to perform at Rawhide on Saturday, October 29, during Valley hip-hop station Power 98.3’s first-ever Halloween extravaganza. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $42 in advance, $45 at the door.
W’cked Halloween 2016 at W Scottsdale Hotel
It’s good to be a little bad sometimes. Hence the theme of the W Scottsdale’s Halloween celebration on Saturday, October 29, where attendees are encouraged to give in to their dark sides, embrace alter egos, or just walk on the wild side for an evening. And as the name of the event implies, both The Wizard of Oz and the popular musical Wicked will serve as inspiration as the hotel’s WET Deck will become an amped-up version of the Emerald City. Themed cocktails will be served and guest DJs drop beats all evening. 9 p.m., $40.
HÄXAN at Monarch Theatre
Dark and discordant sounds will fill the Monarch’s second-floor Scarlet Lounge on Saturday, October 29, during the Halloween weekend edition of HÄXAN. German industrial music act Blac Color will offer its first-ever U.S. performance and resident DJs Tristan/Iseult and Plastic Disease will blast darkwave, witch house, okkvlt, and other gloomy dance tracks. 9 p.m., $13.
Dia de los Kaös at The Grid
Gamers are likely to dig the Grid’s Dia de los Kaös party on Saturday, October 29, which will offer joystick-powered thrills, a costume contest for prizes, dancing, midnight pool games, and more. The live music lineup includes performances by Lander, SeismicHitt, Romeo Lizarraga, and others. 8 p.m., free.
Comicon Party at The Mint
After he gets done performing at Power 98.3/101.9’s Hip-Hop Halloween, rap superstar 50 Cent will head to Scottsdale for an appearance at The Mint’s comicon-themed Halloween extravaganza on Saturday, October 29. 8 p.m., tickets are $25.
Halloween de Bizarre at Crescent Ballroom
The inside and outside of the Crescent will be alive with activity on Halloween night when hundreds of revelers gather at the hip destination for drinks, dancing, and other social rites. The trio of Sean Watson, DJ Cormac, and Blossom will be spinning bass-motivated dance tracks in the concert hall while MRCH, the Hi Dreams DJ Colletive, and special guests will perform along Second Avenue, which is being shut down for the occasion. As always, costumes are required for entry into the affair. 7 p.m., $8. Call 602-716-2222.
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Motown on Mondays’ Thriller Halloween Party at Valley Bar
Creatures crawling in search of blood and terrorizing your neighborhood will be getting down inside Valley Bar on All Hallows Eve during Motown on Monday’s Thriller Halloween Party on Monday, October 31. Local soul band Dr. Delicious will perform and resident DJs Tricky T and Pickster One will be in the mix along with special guests Cutso, M2 and DJ Melo. Funk band Dr. Delicious will also perform. 9 p.m., $5.
The Cure vs. The Smiths: Danse Macabre Halloween at The Rebel Lounge
This special edition of the monthly Cure vs. Smiths dance night on Monday, October 31, will include plenty of tracks from both legendary bands, as well as variety of post-punk, New wave, and “unhinged rock 'n' roll.” L.A.-based darkwave band Drab Majesty will also perform. 9 p.m.; $5 in advance, $7 at the door.
Eve of the Dead Costume Party at the Rogue
This shindig on Monday, October 31, will offer everything you could possibly want in a Halloween party including a costume contest, live music from local musicians and bands, entertaining bartenders, drink specials, and even free pizza and nachos. The entertainment start at 7:30 p.m. and will include performances by I Am Hologram, Kevin Doll Band, Painting Fences, Kites and Keys, Angels and Aliens, Symmetry in Chaos, Mansaray Blue-Pony, Kevin Michael Prier and Rockin' Chair. 7 p.m., $5.
Halloween Bash at George & Dragon
Pints and pool won’t be the only distractions afoot at the G&D during its party on Monday, October 31. A costume contest will dole out $300 in cash prizes – $150 for first, $100 for second, and $50 for third – to the three best getups, drink special will be on tap, and the pub’s always colorful staff and regulars will provide the entertainment. 8 p.m., free.