The holiday that keeps on giving
By MATT ASHARE  |  November 8, 2006

BUT DID THEY WEAR THE HATS?: Ho-Ag did a great Devo
Anytime Halloween falls on, say, a Tuesday, you can be sure the costume parties will begin the previous Friday, if not earlier. So it seemed that half the crowd who showed up for what amounted to three or four separate Halloween bashes at the Middle East last Tuesday had already had enough of playing dress-up. Me, I was busy just trying to see clearly through my Spider-Man mask. Now I know why he needs that Spidey Sense of his.

The revelry started early if somewhat sluggishly (it was a workday) with “The Honah Lee’s Ladies’ Nightmare,” which featured the dancing girls of Thru the Keyhole Burlesque, Ms. Honah Lee dressed as Ashlee Simpson (the blonde version), and a couple of bands doing what used to be scoffed at in these parts but has now become a tradition for Halloween: morphing into a tribute outfit. Vagiant offered up a tough dose of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; local punk-rocker Sunshine Ward dressed up as Exene Cervenka and did her best to pull together a full set of X tunes with a backing band who didn’t bother dressing up. But the night was young.

As “Ladies’ Nightmare” came to a close, the Mass Ave area in front of the Middle East was overrun by an army of bike messengers who’d just finished some sort of race. Inside, both upstairs and down, the big guns were preparing for a night of remarkably good cover-banding. I missed a few: Paper Thin Stages as Talking Heads and Baker as Huey Lewis and the News upstairs and the Chainletter as the Cure downstairs. But the Appreciation Post outdid themselves by picking a difficult band to begin with — Rocket from the Crypt — and pulling off a flawless set, replete with a horn section, replicas of the skeleton suits RFTC used to wear, and plenty of between-song rock-and-roll preaching. That was downstairs. Upstairs, Piles didn’t really have to dress up to do their Black Sabbath thing, but Harris got creative, putting on police uniforms for their well-practiced set of early Police tunes. Ho-Ag went on to do great Devo, and Taxpayer conveyed the Pixies so effortlessly that I’ve started to wonder whether bands should even bother writing their own songs.

Related: Beat happening, War and peace, Sick leave, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Black Sabbath, Ashlee Simpson, Exene Cervenka,  More more >
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