Local Current Blog

It’s our town, everybody scream! October 2019’s spookiest shows in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Kaytee Callahan of Gully Boys at First Avenue's 2019 Best New Bands show. (Emmet Kowler for MPR)

Whether you’re in the mood for a punk show or an evening of jazz, a drag show or a performance that purports to “lift the mortal veil,” October (otherwise known as the 30 days leading up to Halloween) is rich with excuses to leave the house and breathe that crisp fall air. Below are some ways to fill up the calendar with local music, festivals, theater, and more.

We’ll keep updating this post as events are announced; e-mail lmoran@mpr.org with any suggestions!

Oct 12: Oktoberfest at Surly

Surly Brewing, Minneapolis; 12pm – 8pm, free

The Bad Man headlines Surly’s annual day-long, Bier-filled adventure along with deM atlaS, Green/Blue, BadNRad, and more soundtracking the afternoon. VIP tickets and info here.

Oct 23: The Moth StorySLAM: Spooky

Parkway Theater, Minneapolis; 6:30pm

The Moth asks participants to share five minute stories about heart racing moments and bumps in the night — times when “you wish you could call Scooby and the gang.” Tickets and info here.

Oct 23: The Cabooos Costume Contest

The Cabooze, Minneapolis; 9pm, $10, 21+

Local punk band TimIsARocker (Black Rock Matters) hosts a costume extravaganza the week BEFORE halloween. THe Butter Boys and The Very Bad Days will lend their sounds to the evening as well. Tickets and info here.

Oct 24: Stephen Jenkinson and Gregory Hoskins

The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis; 7pm, $40

On the “Nights of Grief and Mystery Tour” theologian Stephen Jenkinson and musician Gregory Hoskins lift the mortal veil with poetry, music, story, and ceremony. “These are nights in which love letters to life are written and read aloud.” Tickets and info here.

Oct 24: Screaming Females

Fine Line, Minneapolis; 8pm, $16 advance $18 day of show, 18+

The DIY punk flag is carried valiantly by Screaming Females. Their Friday show at the Fine Line is supported by country-influenced rockers Dusk. Tickets and info here.

Oct 24 – 27: Teaċ Daṁsa: Loch na hEala (Swan Lake)

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 8 pm and 2 pm, $32-$45

This eerie adaption of Swan Lake by Irish dance-theatre maker Michael Keegan-Dolan is the perfect was to (un)settle into Halloweekend. In the story, the lake is black plastic, the prince is suicidal, and the brutally constructed set is where ancient Irish mythology collides with modern-day Irish life. Tickets and info here.

Oct 24 – Nov 3: Twin Cities Horror Festival

The Southern Theater, Minneapolis; 8 show pass $180, 4 show pass $55

A live performance art festival spanning the two spookiest weeks of the year. This year’s line-up includes, among other things, a one-woman show detailing the life of Mary Shelley, and “live embalming sessions,” which are “spooky-yet-calming ASMR sensory spa morgue makeovers for the whole family.” Tickets and info here.

Oct 25: Skalloween

Turf Club, St. Paul; 8pm, $10 advance $12 day of show, 21+

And a happy Skalloween to you. Four local bands take the Turf stage Friday night: Space Monkey Mafia, Rocksteady Breakfast, The Prizefighters, and Something To Do. Tickets and info here.

Oct 26: Strange Things

First Avenue Mainroom, Minneapolis; 8pm, $18 advance $20 day of show, $40 VIP, 18+

DJ Shannon Blowtorch holds down this Halloweekend drag show featuring performers Raja (winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race) and Meatball (Dragula). Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Rhiannon Giddens

Dakota, Minneapolis; 7pm, $50-$75

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant recipient Rhiannon Giddens spins American folk and nineteenth century traditional music. She has performed at the Obama White House and acted in the TV show “Nashville.” Giddens plays alongside Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi on tambourine. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Goblin Performs Dario Aregento’s ‘Deep Red/Prodondo Rosso’

The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul; 7pm, $25 – $50

Italian progressive rock band Goblin performs the soundtrack of director Dario Argento’s 1975 horror film Deep Red/Prodondo Rosso. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Frogleg Halloween Night Fever

The Hook and Ladder Theater, Minneapolis; 7:30pm, $15 – $18, 21+

Soul/reggae/jazz/funk synthesizers Frogleg swings through the Hook and Ladder for a colorful evening of improvisation-heavy performance. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Monster Mashup

Turf Club, St. Paul; 8pm, $12 – $15, 21+

If you’re looking to both groove and rock out this Halloween, look no further than this series of high-energy sets from Dead Larry (covering the Flaming Lips) and company. Burbillies will perform a “1980s Ass Grass set”; Max Graham & The Fam will perform a “special covers set”; and Dream of the Wild will cover the Grateful Dead and Ween. Tickets and info here

Oct 31: Trick or Freak

Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis; 8pm, $15 – $20, 18+

Minneapolis main-stays come together for an eclectic and danceable evening. Lady Lark headlines with Black Market Brass and special guest Nur-D and Apollo Cobra. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Blimes and Gab & Dave B

Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Minneapolis; 8pm, $17 – $20, 18+

West coast natives Blimes and Gab conjure old school rappers with breezy back and forth and effortless swagger. Co-headliner Dave B blends hip-hop, jazz, and funk melodies into intricate and danceable bops. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Judah & the Lion

Palace Theatre, St. Paul; 8pm, $35 – $50, 18+

Nashville natives make up-tempo bluegrass, electronic, and hip-hop- infused numbers made for jumping up and down. Husband and wife tender folk duo Flora Cash supports. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: Rezz Halloween

The Armory, Minneapolis; 8pm, $40 – $55, 18+

Canadian techno DJ, Rezz, swings through the Armory on her Beyond the Senses Tour. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: That ’70s Show

7th St. Entry, Minneapolis; 8pm, $10 advance $15 day of show, 18+

Jump back into the feel good decade with Minnesota bands channeling classic ’70s acts. Last Import will cover ABBA, Gully Boys take on Devo, and The Shackletons cover The Cars. Opening set from DJ Trophy Knife. Tickets and info here.

Oct 31: First Avenue’s Annual Halloween Party and Costume Contest

First Avenue Mainroom, Minneapolis; 8pm, $10 advance $20 day of show, 18+

Featuring veteran DJs Espada, Mike 2600, and Rowsheen, First Ave’s infamous costume contest offers over $1,000 in cash prizes to the winning fit. Tickets and costume inspo here.