Top Ten Halloween 2014 Concerts – Page 2

Back to Page 1


At every concert Phish has played on Halloween in the past 20 years they’ve covered an album in its entirety and called it their “musical costume.” At first that meant classics: The Beatles, Remain in Light, Quadrophenia, Loaded, Exile on Main Street. Then it meant something less predictable, specifically Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus. And finally it came to mean phucking with phans: they “covered” their “future selves” in 2013 by debuting their 2014 album Fuego (then known as Wingsuit), a left turn nobody saw coming and not all appreciated. The trick and treat of all this is that the selected album is kept secret until the Halloween show, and in recent years it’s been that much more so because of the ever increasing unpredictability of the “musical costume”). 2014’s was as unforeseen as any: Disney’s Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House.

You can watch pro-shot footage of the entire “costume” set above. As you watch keep in mind the following:

  • Halloween kicked-off a three night run for Phish at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, their first shows in Sin City in a decade
  • Phish last played Vegas on Halloween in 1998
  • Phish brought back their (semi-) annual costume contest (with a sweet grand prize: two tickets to each night of Phish’s Miami New Year’s Run, including the sold out New Year’s Eve show”)
  • And the winners are …
  • The vast majority of the 16,800 capacity crowd wore costumes (many dressed as Hunter S. Thompson)
  • The show opened with a pair of apt selections: “Buried Alive” and “Ghost”
  • They also busted out “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars,” a rarely played, uncharacteristically hard rocker
  • It’s the second set that the crowd was waiting for though . . .
  • The stage was stripped of Phish’s gear, and then decorated to look like a graveyard before the second set

  • Zombie dancers and smoke set the scene at the start of the second set, as the band jammed inside a haunted house out of view from the audience (in other words, from the opening notes this was clearly Phish’s most theatrical set to date; a spectacle as much as a concert, though it excelled musically as well)
  • After ten minutes the walls of the haunted house collapsed to reveal the band in ghoulish face paint and white tuxedos
  • Given that Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House is a spoken word and sound effects album, Phish didn’t (couldn’t) “cover” it. Instead they jammed over the recording to render it their own (with arena rock riffing, funk workouts and ambient jams)
  • Note that Phish was close together in a circle, Fishman’s back to the audience (they were playing to each as if in their rehearsal space, not performing for an arena per se)
  • The guitar solo on “The Dogs” and the jamming over “Timber” were among the highlights; as was the climax of “The Birds” and “Martian Monster”
  • As with every Halloween Phish show, the audience received Playbills. In this year’s – available  online here – the band describes Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House as “the heaviest albums of all-time
  • The audience was unusually excited and loud and this show was instantly hailed by many as being among the shortlist highlights of Phish’s entire 30 year career

The above notes are far from all-encompassing (since much of what could be commented adds nothing watching the video doesn’t get across better). More will be said about this show on this site in the future – during the 2014 year in review for instance – but for now it seems more appropriate to shut up and listen. And watch. And listen again. If you want to read more about the show right now visit Jambase for the skinny on the stats (it was “75°F and Partly Cloudy“) and for fan reviews. Solar Garlic’s essay is particularly thoughtful and worth reading.

Phish Setlist

Buried Alive > Ghost
Scent of a Mule
Sample in a Jar
46 Days
Big Black Furry Creature from Mars
Lawn Boy
Saw It Again > Tube
Wolfman’s Brother

The Haunted House
The Very Long Fuse
The Dogs
Your Pet Cat
The Unsafe Bridge
The Chinese Water Torture
The Birds
Martian Monster

Punch You In the Eye > Golden Age > Tweezer -> Heavy Things
Sand -> Tweezer Reprise

Is This What You Wanted


Les Claypool & Co. went all Willy Wonka at the Beacon Theatre, in support of their recently released Primus and The Chocolate Factory album. While in New York City the band also stopped by WNYC’s Greene Space for a similar show and to judge a fan costume contest. Although high quality footage of the Beacon show has yet to surface, Soundcheck is streaming the WNYC performance and it’s as musically and visually absurd and wonderful as you could imagine. Watch the full show here.

As for the Beacon performance, the band went all out with a first set heavy on Primus classics and then tripping through Charlie’s London in the second. But what’s a Wonka show – on Halloween no less – without candy? Thus Primus sold special “Pork Soda Bars” at the Beacon. Only 500 available, made from “dark chocolate with pop rocks and bacon flavor”….

Primus Setlist

American Life
John the Fisherman
Last Salmon Man
Frizzle Fry
Jilly’s on Smack
My Name Is Mud
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
Over the Electric Grapevine

Primus & the Chocolate Factory
Hello Wonkites
Candy Man
Cheer Up Charlie (Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley cover)
Golden Ticket
Pure Imagination (Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley cover)
Oompa Augustus
Semi-Wondrous Boat Ride
Oompa Violet
I Want It Now (Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley cover)
Oompa Veruca
Oompa TV
Farewell Wonkites

Too Many Puppies (with “Hello Skinny” tease)
Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread
Here Come the Bastards

Gov’t Mule

Mule-O-Ween – the band’s tribute to a different classic rocker every Halloween – saluted Neil Young this year in a big way: a marathon second set featuring selections from across Young’s entire catalog. Of course CSNY hit “Ohio” was included for the crowd at Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre, as were Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” and many of Neil’s signature ’70s songs both with and without Crazy Horse. But they also took on lesser known Young gems from the ’90s like his tribute to Kurt Cobain “Sleeps With Angels” and Pearl Jam fav “Fuckin’ Up.” Of the 29 Neil Young covers – 27 in the second set, two in the encore – just five were previously played by Mule (“Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “Ohio,” “Southern Man,” “Rockin In The Free World” and “Cortez The Killer”). To this end they had some help. Jackie Greene sat in for the entire tribute, “For The Turnstiles” was performed with Danny Louis and Jorgen Carlsson, and “After The Gold Rush” was actually just Louis and Jackie. They switched things up too: “Piece Of Crap” had drummer Matt Abts on guitar and lead vocals while Louis played bass and Jorgen took over drumming responsibilities.

Jambase has collected videos of many of the covers here.

Gov’t Mule Setlist

Thorazine Shuffle
Funny Little Tragedy
Scared To Live
Kind Of Bird
Whisper In Your Soul
Time To Confess

Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Tonight’s The Night (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Revolution Blues (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Heart Of Gold (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
For The Turnstiles (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Scenery (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Crime In The City (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Fuckin’ Up (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Mr Soul (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Sleeps With Angels (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Comes A Time (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
World On A String (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Old Man (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Don’t Let It Bring You Down (Neil Young cover)
Cowgirl In The Sand (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Danger Bird (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Helpless (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Downtown (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
After The Gold Rush (Neil Young cover)
Prime Of Life (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Ohio (Neil Young cover)
Southern Man (Neil Young cover)
Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Down By The River (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Blue Eden (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Rocking In The Free World (Neil Young cover)

Piece Of Crap (Neil Young cover) (live debut)
Cortez The Killer (Neil Young cover) (live debut)

Queens Of The Stone Age

Queens ended their …Like Clockwork tour like kings with a Halloween blowout in Los Angeles. Billed as “The End Of The Road,” The Kills and SuicideGirls also performed and there was a haunted house and costume contest. Dressed as a priest, frontman Josh Homme reunited with ex-QOTSA Nick Oliveri for the encore – their first performance together in a decade. The reunion prompted the revival of four songs, before closing the night with a most apt selection: “A Song for the Dead.” Read more details in the setlist below:

Queens Of The Stone Age Setlist

Keep Your Eyes Peeled (with Jake Shears)
Feel Good Hit of the Summer
The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
My God Is the Sun
Smooth Sailing
If I Had a Tail
Little Sister
Someone’s in the Wolf
The Vampyre of Time and Memory
I Sat by the Ocean
Make It Wit Chu
Regular John
No One Knows
Go With the Flow

You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire (with Nick Oliveri)
Quick and to the Pointless (with Nick Oliveri) (last played 1/11/04)
Auto Pilot (with Nick Oliveri) (last played 2/14/05)
Another Love Song (with Nick Oliveri) (last played 1/11/04)
Gonna Leave You (with Nick Oliveri) (last played 1/11/04)
A Song for the Dead

Umphrey’s McGee

Umphrey’s are masters of the live mash-up, and this Halloween they did not disappoint. First came “Walk This Sweet Funk Emotion” – Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” with James Gang’s “Funk 49.” The second set brought “Give It To Me Mama Jama” – Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” with Rick James’ “Give It To Me Baby.” The highlight of the night however came at the end of the second set: “National Loser Anthem, Tonight,” a mash-up of Radiohead’s “National Anthem,” Beck’s “Loser” and Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight.” The Beastie Boys “Sabotage” with Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” – dubbed “Strangletage” – closed the night. Jambase has lots of fun photos and a more detailed review here. Watch the full set below, or just the pro-shot Radiohead/Beck/ Collins mash-up below that:

Umphrey’s McGee Setlist

1348 > In The Kitchen
Ocean Billy > 1348
Hajimemashite > Mail Package
Bad Friday
Educated Guess
Walk This Sweet Funk Emotion

The Triple Wide > Tiny Cities Made of Ashes > The Triple Wide
Give It To Me Mama Jama
All In Time > Glory > Ocean Billy
Nothing Too Fancy > All In Time
Puppet String
National Loser Anthem, Tonight


Cass McCombs and The Meat Puppets

Cass McCombs opened Brooklyn’s Rough Trade Halloween double bill with an hour-plus of weird, exploratory jams that culminated with…wait for it...Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” (watch below). Meat Puppets followed with a setlist pulling nearly equally from eight albums, though favoring 1984 classic II, and several covers. Among the highlights were energetic jams on 1989’s “Touchdown King,” 1985’s “Up On The Sun” and a rare performance of 1987’s “Confusion Fog.” Videos of most of the Meat Puppets set can be watched here.

Meat Puppets Setlist

Seal Whales
Comin’ Down
Monkey And The Snake
Touchown King
Seven Spanish Angels (Willie Nelson cover)
Oh, Me
Hey Baby Que Paso (Texas Tornadoes cover)
Up On The Sun
Confusion Fog
I’m A Mindless Idiot
Open Wide
Cathy’s Clown (Everly Brothers cover) > Lake Of Fire
Sloop John B (Beach Boys cover)

Aurora Borealis

Foo Fighters

The Foos celebrated the airing of the Nashville episode of Sonic Highways – their HBO series in which they record a different song for their upcoming album of the same name in a different city each week – by playing an intimate concert at Music City’s Ryman Auditorium that same night. Since it happened to be Halloween they went all out with creepy face makeup, covers and guests. Check out videos – including new song “Congregation”- and the setlist below:

Foo Fighters Setlist

All My Life
I’ll Stick Around
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Cold Day in the Sun
Something From Nothing
Polk Salad Annie (Tony Joe White cover) (with Tony Joe White)
Monkey Wrench
Hey, Johnny Park!
Stiff Competition (Cheap Trick cover)
Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie cover)
Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love (Van Halen cover)
Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
Best of You
For All the Cows
Weenie Beenie
Congregation (live debut)
War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover) (with Zac Brown)


Q: How to follow Phish in Vegas?

A: moe.’s Big Lebowski themed costume concert at near-by Brooklyn Bowl directly after. With special guests Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman (of the Trey Anastasio Band) and Bill Payne (of Little Feat) sitting in the entire night, moe. debuted eight covers and brought back several golden oldies. The show began with a Big Lebowski intro on a video screen that led into opener “Man In Me,” and kept fans guessing what they’d play next the entire night:

moe. Setlist

Big Lebowski Intro> Man In Me (Bob Dylan cover) (live debut)
Awesome Gary > meat. > Water > Hector’s Pillow
Hotel California (The Eagles cover) (last played 4/12/03)
I Am The Walrus (The Beatles cover) (live debut) > Recreational Chemistry > Run Through The Jungle (CCR cover) (live debut)

Looking Out My Backdoor (CCR cover) (live debut)
Oye Como Va (Santana cover) (last played 2/11/03)
Silver Sun > meat.
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (Kenny Rogers cover) (live debut)
Downward Facing Dog
Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles cover) (live debut)
Viva Las Vegas (Elvis cover) (live debut)
Plane Crash

Dead Flowers (Rolling Stones cover)
All The Young Dudes (David Bowie cover) (live debut)


Photo: PERTH CRASHES LA!  POND / Doctopus / Peter Bibby! grab a poster from the merch stand. artist: Kii Arens Art (official)

Like Tame Impala – with whom they share several members – they come from the land down under but play over the top psych rock. Currently in the midst of their first headlining tour throughout America and previewing tracks from their forthcoming sixth album Man, It Feels Like Space Again, attendees at LA’s The Echo on Halloween report a wild show. Cam Avery was dressed as Elvis, and by concert’s end Jay Watson was dressed in nothing but his undies. The crowd in front of the stage moshed relentlessly as the band dipped through their catalog for highlights “Heroic Shart” and the rarely played “Frond.”

A list of other 2014 Halloween Concerts is here.

The Top Ten Halloween Concerts of 2013 are here.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s