Spooky season was alive as ever this past hectic Halloweekend! New Paltz has always taken the beloved holiday as a chance to spread the love of music and bring people together. With a total of six shows, everyone in town had a chance to catch some local live acts while celebrating the holiday.
The weekend kicked off with three shows on Friday, Oct. 28, a busy yet incessantly fun night that was packed out with people ready to begin their festivities. The earliest show of the night had music beginning at 8 p.m., where house venue RadioShack hosted their Halloween event, “Spooky Shack,” with a four-band bill and a $5 cover. In the spirit of Halloween, the groups all went as famous, established bands and dressed up in hilarious costumes. Consisting of bands Wrong Coast, No Momentum, 7 on Pump 1 and The Mile Run, they had covered the bands FIDLAR, Fall Out Boy, Nirvana and Death Grips, respectively. When The Mile Run took the stage for the last set of the night as Death Grips, they came out donning inflatable suits of SpongeBob and Patrick, blowing the house down. This even attracted the attention of popular music reviewer Anthony Fantano, who reposted the chaotic Death Grips set on his Instagram.
Following this show was the Snug Harbor Halloween Party, where doors opened at 9 p.m. On the bar’s bill were local bands Ramona Lane, Alliteration and Kingston Kane and they had taken the same approach: come out in themed costumes for their sets. Ramona Lane went as the Spice Girls and Alliteration as variations of Spider-Man, playing lots of fun covers and originals. Local photographer Cameron Devogel, also known as “Cool Ranch Cam,” did photo and video for the event, documenting all the exhilaration and spooky spirit.
The finale of the first day of Halloweekend took place at local bar and billiard house Bacchus, where the Grand Artists Guild held their Dante’s Inferno benefit drag show. This event had music provided by DJ Dookz, with doors opening at 10 p.m. A dress code was encouraged based on the theme of angels and demons, giving Halloweeners one final chance to show off their costumes on Friday night. The $10 cover for the event was used to benefit local artist Daniel Blake for their upcoming top surgery as well, providing a purpose for the celebration beyond the holiday and the music.
Saturday, Oct. 29 was also one to remember, as the town came together again for another show later in the day. As the night approached, the crowd moved their way back to Snug Harbor, where New Paltz-based jam band Kale played along with fellow horn-led funk band What? and chilled-out alternative band Kablamo! Once the music began at 10 p.m., the bar was packed with people all happy to be celebrating Halloween with some great tunes as the soundtrack for the night. For the spirit of the holiday, the bands played many covers, pleasing the audience with 2013 alternative songs from Kablamo! and 2000s throwbacks that What? jammed. Kale took an electronic approach to their set, giving way to keyboards and synths to round out the soundscape. As the night unfolded, there was such a large amount of people that the entry had to be capped at one point, highlighting the immense popularity of the show.
The final night of Halloweekend, Sunday Oct. 30, had a daytime show at house venue The Mouse Trap, where doors opened at 2 p.m. and music began at 3 p.m. This show, aptly named the Monster Mash, had a four-band bill with the acts Loverboy Harry, Brickhead, The 3 Skins and Baby Teeth. For Brickhead, this was their debut performance and showed off their well-rehearsed set. On the last day before Halloween itself, showgoers had their chance to show off their costumes and celebrate before the start of the week and the return of school and work.
Halloween and New Paltz have always been synonymous with good times, great music and nights to remember — this past Halloweekend established that. From the pictures and people’s testimony to prove it, the value of these fun outings that New Paltzians have cannot be understated.