Weekend Ideas: October 31, 2014

Bruce Cockburn

Halloween’s full of tricks and treats on the concert scene. Jam-bands really know how to do it up conceptually on Halloween. Take Phish or moe. (doing separate pay-per-view webcasts from Las Vegas this year) or Gov’t Mule, which is about to release a CD/DVD set of its 2008 Orpheum show of Pink Floyd covers. This year, Boston gets a live burst of Umphrey’s McGee, which has spent past Halloweens playing diverse cover mash-ups and donning the odd mask, headlining House of Blues both Friday and Saturday with buds Dopapod. Elsewhere on Friday, it may be a trick to get into Hozier’s sold out Paradise Rock Club show, since a lot of folks would love to hear the brooding Irish troubadour deliver his hit “Take Me To Church.” But the musically and lyrically pointed rapper Brother Ali gets into a resonant flow that nods to Gil Scott-Heron at the Middle East Downstairs the same night too. And among the local bands impersonating more famous acts on Halloween, the most intriguing is a Great Scott bill that includes the Daily Pravda being joined by Ruby Rose Fox to perform the music of Lana Del Ray.

Chrissie Hynde isn’t playing pretend on Halloween. In fact, she hits the Orpheum on Saturday without her longtime vehicle the Pretenders. She’s touring with a new bunch of guys behind her solo debut Stockholm, though Hynde’s been dropping some Pretenders tunes like this one into her sets. Another Ohio-bred option for Saturday, arty indie-pop upstarts Walk the Moon, controls the tide at the Sinclair, while veteran Canadian troubadour Bruce Cockburn rolls into the Somerville Theatre for his first local date in three years.

For a different experience, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys bring their dark, theatrical cabaret-rock to a Day of the Dead celebration at Cuisine en Locale on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. And Patrick Bruel, who’s been called the French Bruce Springsteen, commands the Berklee Performance Center on Sunday. Bruel certainly seems to fit the Springsteen comparison in this video clip, particularly in the crowd’s reaction, as he reworks a David Bowie tune and takes it from there.

Finally, for a Thursday Throwback, with John Zorn on hand next Tuesday for a New England Conservatory student/faculty retrospective of his music at Jordan Hall, here’s a clip of a 2010 show where the wildcat composer/saxophonist conducts Marc Ribot, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen and others.

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