Photo Credit: Paul Koudounaris
For many, the phrase “cover band” conjures gloomy imagery: beer-gutted bros playing classic-rock standards in some lifeless dive bar. But even the most snobbish indie musician secretly loves an excuse to get loose, and on Halloween, Athens’ cover-band population rises. Don’t worry—it’s not all Skynyrd and Bon Jovi up in here. This year’s Halloween shows are appropriately Athens-ized.
The party starts Friday, Oct. 28 at the 40 Watt Club with Los Angeles heavy-metal parody act Mac Sabbath. As the group’s name suggests, the band appears as sinister versions of characters from the land of the Golden Arches—like Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar—and performs fast-food-themed versions of Black Sabbath hits. “Iron Man” becomes “Frying Pan”; “Sweet Leaf” turns into “Sweet Beef.”
Over at The Foundry that same evening, Unknown Hinson is back for his annual Halloween-time appearance. The alter ego of North Carolina’s Stuart Daniel Baker, Hinson is known for his hellish hillbilly get-up and infectious, inappropriate country and rockabilly tunes like “Satan in a Thong” and “Baby Let’s Play Rough.” Adult Swim fans will also recognize Hinson as the voice of the lead character on that network’s skewed “Squidbillies.”
Much of the action happens Saturday, Oct. 29. The Wild Rumpus after-party happens at the Georgia Theatre, where Pink Floyd tribute act Pigs on the Wing will perform. Over at Caledonia, members of Manray and Bit Brigade will pay tribute to avant-garde rockers Deerhoof as Heerdoof, while Geezer and Stroke will cover alt-rock heroes Weezer and The Strokes, respectively. At Hendershot’s, Atlanta collective Knee Deep will pay tribute to jazz-funk great Herbie Hancock with a set of his Headhunters-era tunes.
On Halloween night at Go Bar, locals Crunchy will headline a show that also features newbies Hannie and the Slobs—a band that features members of Muuy Biien and The Rodney Kings—and Atlanta’s Death Stuff. No word on specific tribute plans, though you can bet there will be some left-field choices; Crunchy’s Phelan LaVelle says her group will play at least “a couple Marilyn Manson covers.”
There are plenty of options for getting down on Halloween night. Jam band STS9 hits the Georgia Theatre, where the costumery alone should be worth the ticket price; DJ The King spins spooky sounds at Little Kings; and the 40 Watt opens its doors for a holiday-themed “Trap or Treat” set by DJ crew Booty Boyz. Also, Halloween Hop after-parties take over the Caledonia Lounge and The World Famous, and Flicker Theatre & Bar features local bands Boycycle, Blue Blood and Palace Doctor.