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Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 12:26 pm

Halloween happenings

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The Dirty Ernies perform at the Trading Post Saloon Saturday Oct. 31.


With the holiday landing on Saturday this year, Halloween parties at the bars abound, with private parties happening too. Even public parties at private facilities are shaking, like the scary Sangamo Surf Club out on lonely Lake Springfield hosting the revolting Roxschool. I hardly know where to start to cover them all, but since we somehow got to the lake how about heading towards downtown?

First we’ll stop off at the vexing Curve Inn and check out the ominous Oohs, a frightening band from the standpoint of sheer talent, let alone the brilliant and amazing set list at their disposal. Next, down the street at nefarious Knocker’s (in the County Market shopping center on Sixth Street) wear your irksome urban cowboy outfit for the hot as hell country sounds of Still Kick’n, a runner-up group for the 2009 Best of Springfield cover band award.

From here let’s swing on out to the Capital City Shopping Center and drop in on the shocking and tormented Station at City Nights Theater where Chicago’s Family Groove Company opens the night. The Station, this year’s top vote-getter in the Best Original Band category in BOS tallies, intends to perform as Sly and the Family Stone, in the spirit of the Halloween transformation tradition.

We can detour from our downtown destination at this point and say boo to scare the pants off of the hair-raising Ken Carlyle at the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester. Ask Kenny about his days with the Cadillac Cowboys for a genuine scary story. Now we’re off to see the spine-chilling Cynthia at the eerie East End in Riverton to experience terrifyingly unnatural karaoke. When in costume this would be a great opportunity to slip in some singing with the machine to satisfy closet karaoke tendencies without disclosing our identities. From there we could sneak on out to Dawson at the Blue Moon Saloon and scare ourselves silly with Horrifying Hipbone Sam and his fearful cohorts Country Beast Bruce Baise and Kyle “the Killer” Kieszling.

After all this rural rambling, we’d best hightail it to the big city and blaze across town to Frankie’s 49er where the gruesome Groove Daddies are brewing up a special night with ghastly guests Joe Cooke, Dan Shaughnessy and Greg Deneer. The devilish Dirty Ernies aren’t far away at the Trading Post Saloon and Seven Red is just down the road hanging out at the ominously looming Lime Street Café. Sleepwalker menaces the populace at the blood curdling Blue Grouch while NIL8, Renea and Pound for Pound creep out the patrons holding on at the sinister Black Sheep Café and Pocket Rocket brews up a storm at the cantankerous Keg.

Now we’re ready for the downtown adventure with a suffering stop at Celtic Mist for the sinister Smoothtimes Band, then a vile visit to Bar None to experience the disgustingly dreadful and disturbingly diabolical Damwell Betters as Def Leppard. The resurrected nightmare of Elvis Himselvis and the Halloweeners terrorize the abominable Brewhaus as soon as Rick Dunham finishes in The Rocky Horror Show theater production at the Hoogland.

Broadway Nights returns from the grave and invokes the ghost of F5 past with the new group 808 Live while the malevolent Marly’s Pub uses the supernatural Shinanigans to spellbound the crowd. Then for a really scary end of the evening wander the late-night bars on the Fifth Street Strip where decadent and dangerous DJs direct their evil ways in the form of prerecorded music while sloshed and snockered costumed characters dance and weave in celebration of All Hallow’s Eve.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and horrendous Halloween.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com
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