Y’all ready for a wild weekend? This weekend, you can give yourself a punk rock fright at Punk Rock Halloween Bash and Monster Midway, wage war at MagicFest Phoenix, or celebrate Halloween in the most unconventional way during Anarchy Bike Bar Crawl. For more things to do, visit
‘Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now’
The visual landscapes at local museums change several times a year, bringing fresh exhibits and ideas. Over at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale, they’ll be celebrating a new exhibition called “Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s – Now” during their free Fall Opening. It takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 25. Expect plenty of intriguing conversation in the galleries and the line for the cash bar.
This opening will be your first chance to see the exhibit, which includes artists working in urban and natural settings to explore “the power of place to address issues of social, environmental, and personal transformation.” The exhibit includes works by several artists based in Arizona, including Saskia Jordá and Beth Ames Swartz, who plan to be there Friday night. Artists Ana Teresa Fernández, Maria Hupfield, and Antonia Wright are also scheduled to attend. Lynn Trimble
Punk Rock Halloween Bash and Monster Midway
Horror and punk rock go together like PB&J, or whatever the weirdest condiments happen to be. Celebrate this most ghastly union with the eighth annual Punk Rock Halloween Bash and Monster Midway. A slew of local/regional bands celebrate Halloween with covers of iconic punk bands (spooky or otherwise). Across the two-night event, witness Ham transform into The Ramones, Sanitation Squad channel Bad Religion, Fascist Pigs become Suicidal Tendencies, and other once-in-a-lifetime musical marriages. It’s an event so promising it’s practically terrifying.
The free bash runs from roughly 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 at Yucca Tap Room, 29 West Southern Avenue in Tempe. There’s also a costume contest, Triple Dot food truck, and heaps of vendors with merch and other goodies. Chris Coplan
Grab your Sword of Sinew and Steel and prepare for battle. MagicFest Phoenix is a rare chance to engage in limited grand prix play for Magic: The Gathering players of all skill levels. If you can’t handle high-level players bashing you with a Simic Flash deck, try some side events or spend some time in the “Combat Zone” (even the “safe” options sound mostly mortifying).
The battle begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 25, and rages on through Sunday, October 27, at the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 North Third Street. Chris Coplan
World Gay Rodeo Finals
Maybe the Suns and Diamondbacks can’t quite do it, but there’s still some championships to be won in the Valley. This year, the 33rd annual World Gay Rodeo Finals, part of the International Gay Rodeo Association, takes place live from Scottsdale. Here, 20 of the best male and female riders will compete in a series of events, from standard team roping and bull riding to “camp events” like goat dressing, in which two competitors attempt to slap britches on a goat. God bless the rodeo circuit.
The championships begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, and continue through through Sunday, October 27, at WestWorld, 16601 North Pima Road in Scottsdale. Tickets run $10-15. Chirs Coplan
Oasis Classic Car Show
Not everyone has the means to drive a cherry 1967 Lincoln Continental or obliterate stop signs with a 1971 Pontiac T-37. But why spend an absurd amount of money when you can live through those who do at the Oasis Classic Car Show. Here, motor-heads of all ages can check out a slew of souped-up cars, trucks, and motorbikes, from rat rods and GTOs to lowriders and Camaros (plus a Nova or two). If you’re less inclined to stare longingly at cars you can’t have, indulge in the raffle, Halloween costume contest, culinary offerings, and live music. Beep beep, y’all.
This totally free event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 26, at Westgate, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard in Glendale. Chris Coplan
Anarchy Bike Bar Crawl
If you’re an anarchist punk looking to celebrate Halloween outside the usual offerings, keep your edge while having a good time with the Halloween Anarchy Bike Bar Crawl. Grab your coolest bike (fixie or otherwise) and head to Rage Cycles for a raucous show by Tempe’s Upsuck. From there, put the pedal to the metal for a bar crawl featuring a costume contest, giveaways, and food and booze specials. And don’t forget to wear your “radical-punk inspired costume,” or you’ll likely get egged.
The journey begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 26, at Rage Cycles, 6411 East Thomas Road in Scottsdale. Chris Coplan
EDGE Happy Hour
Sound art isn’t just the adorable way your favorite toddler bangs on the kitchen pots and pans like she’s a rock star. It’s also a creative take on sound and improvisation, best exemplified by those who use more sophisticated tools like experimental sound performance software, modular synthesizers, sample recordings, and their own instrumental creations.
Sound artists Chris Piraino, Tony Obr, and Mark Venti are performing at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 West Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. It’s part of the venue’s EDGE Happy Hour series, which includes free performances in the lobby overlooking Tempe Town Lake. Drink specials and small bites round out the casual performance. Lynn Trimble
Onstage at CB Live
Brian Posehn is a stand-up comedian, and an excellent one. (Fire up his hilarious 2017 album 25x2 and you’re certain to agree.) He’s also a diehard nerd and metal geek who has written Deadpool comics and episodes of Metalocalypse, appeared in a Red Fang music video and episodes of Big Bang Theory, and jokes about Star Wars and cock-rock tropes in his routines.
Posehn cracks about his interests in his new memoir Forever Nerdy: Living My Dorky Dreams and Staying Metal, where he recounts a childhood spent rocking out to KISS and obsessing over Dungeons & Dragons. Expect him to do the same onstage at CB Live, 21001 North Tatum Boulevard, during two sets on Saturday, October 26. Performances are at 7 and 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $25. Benjamin Leatherman
Community members celebrating Dia de los Muertos will gather at Steele Indian School Park, 300 East Indian School Road, from 1 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 27. That’s when Cultural Coalition, created by Mesa artists Carmen and Zarco Guerrero, is presenting a robust lineup of arts and culture offerings designed to connect families to their cultural traditions and heritage.
Their Mikiztli festival includes live music, dance, and storytelling, including masked performances. Expect plenty of hands-on activities for children, plus an artist Mercado featuring works by local creatives, and a candlelight closing complete with a procession to honor the lives of loved ones who’ve died. Lynn Trimble
Lots of movies are scarier than 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods. Drew Goddard’s directorial debut is as much about jump-scares as it is an exploration of genre tropes (and inventive pot jokes). But few horror films pair so well with food — unless you wanna eat BBQ and watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is seizing on Cabin’s magic with a “beer dinner.” Viewers can enjoy the film with Dogfish Head brews alongside “tasty eats inspired by the film.” Will there be some werewolf pie or various finger (from a giant omnipotent monster) foods?
The special screening happens at 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 27, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1140 East Baseline Road in Tempe. Chris Coplan
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Who says Halloween is fun for just homo sapiens? Even if your Fido can’t eat a Hershey bar, there are still chances to dress your pup and parade them around for other dog owners. But the annual Howl-o-Ween is about more than showing off our canine companions. There are also food trucks, a mobile adoption (‘cause one dog is great, but four are better), and the debut of “The Big Dog Show,” an installation of 20 eight-foot dog statues set to stick around through November. You’d be a doggone fool to miss out.
Howl-o-Ween is set for noon on Sunday, October 27, at Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 West Culver Street. Attendance is free, or you can pay $25 per pup to march in the parade. Chris Coplan