Happy Halloween dear readers. There’s lots of spooky action going on this weekend, starting tonight when the veil is thinnest. Halloween has evolved to become one of our most beloved if unofficial holidays, and has perhaps even eclipsed New Year’s Eve as the premier party celebration of the year. It’s a great excuse to dress up and get creative; what’s not to like? For a rundown of your Samhain celebration options, read on.
Charlie O’s on Main Street here in the Capital City is starting the party early tonight with a very special early-evening Halloween show. Harold “Fro” Davis will bring his eclectic trio to the back of the barroom for a couple of sets of funky instrumental pyrotechnics. Drummer Andy Suits and bassist Alex Budney round out the trio, whose sound covers a wide variety of genres, but at its core reminds me of Maggot Brain-era Funkadelic. Fro made a big splash in his first appearance at Charlie O’s, and I’d expect the follow up tonight to be well attended starting at 8 p.m., for free.
On Saturday night, my pick of the week happens at O’s when fem indie hip-hop/R&B duo New Fame return to the land beyond the pool tables. These ladies are some of the most standout local artists I’ve seen recently. They are immensely talented and put on an impressive and entertaining show. Highly recommended starting at 9 p.m.
Wanna’ dance? If so, Sweet Melissa’s is the place to be tonight. DJ Toussaint will be providing the soundtrack, and the dude has solid taste in funk, soul, and other classic varieties of danceable music. It’s also the kickoff party for Randy, who is mounting a run for president in 2020. All in all this should be a fun party at ‘Mel’s tonight starting at 9 p.m.
On Saturday night, you can check out the most authentic honky-tonk this side of Lake Champlain when The Starline Rhythm Boys take the black box stage once again at 9 p.m. Expect a nominal cover at the door on weekends at ‘Sweets.
If you’re up for a ride up the County Road outside the Capital proper, you can head to Calais tonight for a Halloween Party at The Whammy Bar, nestled cozily in the back of the Maple Corner Store. Local gal Liz Beatty and her band The Lab Rats will take the diminutive ‘Whammy stage starting at 7 p.m. Liz is one of my favorite new vocalists around these parts; she’s got a dynamite voice and great stage presence. Do yourself a favor and check her act out when you get the chance.
Hopping over to Waterbury Center, Zen Barn on Guptil Road continues to be a premier hotspot in the region. Tonight they’ll continue their collaboration with The Berklee College of Music American Roots Music Program. The weekly series features local, regional and national up-and-comers playing both original and classic material with a rotating cast each week. It’s a unique and cool event that’s free every Thursday night.
On Saturday night, the ‘Zen throws down what may well be the biggest Halloween celebration of the weekend in our region. Live electronica band The Electrolads will throw down their EDM party, complete with the dynamic percussion work of Brandon Klarich, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door, and those and more information can be had at www.zenbarnvt.com.
Finally, if you are looking for something a bit more high end this weekend, look no further than The Barre Opera House on Friday night. Ranky Tanky hail from the low-country islands of South Carolina, and mix those low-country traditions stemming from West African culture to include sounds of gospel, R&B, jazz and funk in their eclectic musical stew. Tickets range from $22-$36 for the 7:30 p.m. performance, and those and more info can be had at www.barreoperahouse.org.
The wraps up this week. Have a safe and happy Halloween, and go see live music!
Ed DuFresne has produced concerts and events (which he prefers to call shows) in and around central and northeastern Vermont since the late ‘90s. He is grateful to live in Montpelier with an exemplary Renaissance man as a housemate.