Shows to die for this Halloween

The fall months of September and October not only usher in the cool evenings and sweet smells in the air that have made this my favorite time of year, they also bring with them Halloween, my favorite holiday (next to Thanksgiving where I get to crash many a Thanksgiving dinner).
Halloween is great for many things. Have you ever met anyone who didn’t like Halloween? When you were a kid, it meant trick-or-treating which gave you the justification to go door to door in search of candy. The next morning, my sister and I would pour over our booty and divvy up the good stuff and toss out the lame stuff like floss and toothpaste (you know there was always that house on your block). Growing up it meant finding the most scary and evil looking costume possible and running around wreaking havoc on my neighborhood, thinking I was actually terrorizing people when in reality neighbors would only feign horror to placate my appetite for terror. Now, at 26, I just revel in my pumpkin carving skills and take great pleasure in shopping the Halloween stores for what I consider year-round home decor. But still, there’s so much more to Halloween than even these things.
There are the Halloween parties that have undoubtedly gotten better as the hosts have matured with age. The season also brings about hobbies you forgot you were interested in like watching scary movies, watching shows about hauntings and it also peaks an interest in visiting haunted places (and there are plenty in San Diego), and otherwise immersing yourself in all things dark and wicked — at least for a couple of weeks.
But in addition to good parties and killer pumpkin carvings, there’s a sometimes forgotten and overlooked aspect of the spooky holiday and that’s great live shows. Most music venues in North County put on great little Halloween parties complete with good live bands or deejays and costume contests. And if you haven’t noticed, there always seems to be a colossal breakout of live shows in the days approaching Halloween.
Some shows I’m going to recommend you check out are Cattle Decapitation playing at Che Café in La Jolla on Halloween night. Sure, La Jolla isn’t exactly North County, but dare you venture out of your zip code, swing by this little place to see a killer (maybe literally) show with a great local death metal band that has a new album dropping Jan 2009. If you’re not in the mood for some Cattle Decapitation, then perhaps lollipop rockers All Time Low playing an all-ages show at Soma is more your speed.
If doom and gloom and bright poppy cookie cutter emo are both too extreme, then maybe jump the train over to Solana Beach’s best venue, The Belly Up Tavern. They’re throwing a killer ‘80s Party with ‘80s Heat and Metro producing the tunes for the bash. But if you’re like me and detest the ‘80s and the so-called music that era manufactured, then you could spend your Halloween watching Meatloaf prance around like a bat out of hell on Pechanga’s stage. That’s right: “The Loaf” is back and with a vengeance.
If you’re really feeling adventurous and want to journey outside your area code then the Gaslamp Quarter is going to provide a lifetime of Halloween fun all in one night. The eighth annual Dos Equis XX Monster Bash is touted as the biggest Halloween party in San Diego and will feature a $3,000 cash prize to the best costume, and there will be live music, deejays and of course plenty of drinks. The party will be going down on 7th Avenue between Market and J Street and also on Island Avenue between 6th and 8th. Sorry kids, this Monster Bash is an alcoholic haven so no one under 21 will be allowed to attend. Get your tickets now because this event sells out every year. More information about these shows can be found online.

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