MusicMusic Features

Flagpole’s Halloween Concert Guide

If there’s one thing you can always count on Athens to provide, it’s blurry, debaucherous Halloween fun. Whether you spend the night downing shots and badly dancing to “Gangnam Style” with that sexy Psy you spotted across the room, bar-hopping past last call with the other 13 Miley Cyruses in your party or raising the dead with your fellow Obamacare vampires, it’s guaranteed to be one to remember—or not.

But all that controlled chaos can’t just happen on its own—it’s gotta be set to live music, right? Thankfully, there’s a whole bloody gob of the stuff going down Halloween night, which this year happens to coincide with UGA’s fall break. That means that even though the holiday falls on a weeknight, you can count on being surrounded by ghouls, goblins and Walter White zombies galore. 

Read on for Flagpole‘s Oct. 31 music picks, including crazy cover bands, haunted dance parties and more. See Calendar for the full week’s music schedule.

Unknown Hinson
Melting Point · 8 p.m. · $15 (w/ UGA ID), $17 (adv.), $20 (door)

The South’s preeminent vampire hillbilly puts on a spooktacular show no matter the time of year. It’s blood icing on the maggot-filled cake that we have him in town on All Hallow’s Eve. See story here.

Yacht Rock Revue Plays Thriller
Georgia Theatre · 8 p.m. · $12

Atlanta’s kings of smooth-sailing cover tunes (think AM-friendly soft rock from the ’70s and ’80s) will don their red leather jackets and wolfman garb and perform the King of Pop’s seminal 1982 LP in its entirety. Dance ’til you drop, but before you do, expect—nay, demand—a bonus encore featuring another set of the group’s pleasure-zone pop.

Heads Will Roll
Stan Mullins Art Studio · 8 p.m. · $10 (adv.), $15 (door)

Not only a chance to see local heavyweights Dead Confederate and The Powder Room rock through originals and covers—though it will be that—Stan Mullins’ Halloween happening on Pulaski Street promises art, DJs and plenty of libations to keep you lubricated. Discounted advance tickets are available at Model Citizen Salon, and all proceeds benefit local nonprofit Community Connection.

The Dream Scene, Cottonmouth, Wild of Night, Rene LeConte, Manny and the Deepthroats, Half Acid, Gyps
40 Watt Club · 9 p.m. · $5

To this bunch of pop weirdos, Halloween is just another day. With experimental synth group Half Acid’s scheduled performance of minimalist composer Terry Riley’s famous drone piece “In C” (a heckuva left-field cover-band choice, if you ask me) standing as the exception, the groups on Thursday’s 40 Watt bill will reportedly perform as their own bad selves.

Kill Paris, Smookie Illson, Will Weber
New Earth Music Hall · 9 p.m. · $15

If it’s bass you’re after, it’s bass ye shall receive at New Earth, where “The Haunted Hall” will feature three of electronic music’s finest laying down scary sounds with ghastly grooves. L.A.-based producer and Skrillex cosign Kill Paris aims to funk up your night, while Smookie (“Spookie”) Illson brings the 808 action. Local dubstep phenom Will Weber opens.

Nairvana, Badmotorfinger, The De Lux Interiors, The Fucking Corndogs
Caledonia Lounge · 9:30 p.m. · $5 (21+), $7 (18–20)

The 1980s and ’90s are alive and well over at the Caledonia, where the four all-star tribute bands listed above will perform the music of Nirvana, Soundgarden, the Cramps and the Minutemen, respectively. Expect dirty tones and deep cuts. Put on your finest flannel and rock the night away. 

RITVALS, Shehehe, DJ Incubus
Max · 10 p.m. · $5

This one’s a no-brainer, so zombies beware. Enjoy blown-out party-time sets of various cover songs courtesy of jock-punks RITVALS and punk-punks Shehehe before grooving to the sultry sounds of DJ Incubus at Athens’ favorite late-late-night watering hole.

The Frequencies, Mother the Car, The Swag Dick Cats, Shades Martel
Flicker Theatre & Bar · 9 p.m. · FREE!

Aside from the Swag Dick Cats, which will play rock and soul oldies blown out and up with garage-rock attitude, there’s no word on whether any of the locals playing Flicker will be doing the covers thing—though each is quite capable of chilling the spine with original material. Mother the Car offers a scary, sexy take on the blues. Newbies the Frequencies and Shades Martel round out the bill.

Nightmare on Hull Street w/ DJ Quincy
The World Famous · 10 p.m. · FREE!

Move your undead body and “Monster Mash” it up to sounds provided by local musician John Swint, who will spin your favorite spooky tunes ’til late.

The Fuck-Ups, DJ Mahogany
Little Kings Shuffle Club · 10 p.m. · FREE!

It ain’t Halloween in Athens without a DJ Mahogany dance party, and this year the bodacious baldie is setting up shop at Little Kings, where he’ll spin hellish jams into the late night. Before his set, enjoy a debaucherous set of GG Allin and the Jabbers covers courtesy of the Fuck-Ups.

Dictatortoctober: Bald Mountain Halloween Finale
Hendershot’s Coffee Bar · 9:30 p.m. · $TBA

The Dictatortots’ October residency at Hendershot’s concludes with a mysterious holiday-themed finale. The band promises to be in “full rock mode,” but still, this one’s for the early risers. Says the band: “We will send you screaming into the night, carefully packing up your laptops and ordering final lattes to go.”

Hear our compilation of Athens’ favorite Halloween jams over on Homedrone.


  • AthFest is Canceled This Year as Coronavirus Spreads

    As the coronavirus continues to spread illness and unease throughout Georgia and the U.S., Athens suffers a significant cultural and economic blow as organizers have announced the cancellation of...
  • Five Acts to See at Ad·Verse Fest

    With an eclectic approach that mines the space between music, visual and performance art, Ad·verse Fest features an exciting, queer-centric lineup of scrappy newcomers and more road-tested acts, many...
  • Shane Parish & Sean Dail

    With the innovative North Carolina band Ahleuchatistas, guitarist Shane Parish pushed the boundaries of the early-’00s math-rock scene by incorporating international influences, as well as a healthy dose of...
  • Ruston Kelly, Valley Queen

    Specializing in a twangy, earnest brand of Americana he famously dubbed “dirt emo” in 2018, singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly made good on the term’s promise last year with the release...