You gave us a fourth consecutive sellout…and everything that gooooes with it. I thank you all!
Hallo’Queen was the best Halloween show we have ever done, and it wasn’t just because we made mincemeat of some very challenging material. We had a lot of help from our friends in I, Pistol as Nirvana. Who knew they would pretty much nail it to the wall like they did? Rick took the stage in a trademark cardigan sweater over a homemade Flipper t-shirt, Cobain approved stubble and whine and channeled the man himself from beyond the grave. Stoops rocks out like the Jaws poster every time he takes a stage, and this night was no different. Legs spread, tattooed feet a-tappin’, neck veins a-poppin’ as he looks up at the mic like it’s a chum spill on the surface of the water and sings his ass off. And John flailed around in true Grohl glorious fashion. A pleasure to watch, and a pleasure to listen to, as the packed room amply affirmed.
We had a lot of help from our friends The Field Effect as Weezer. Unlike many Halloween shows where it seems the bands want to give you an education in the deep cuts of their favorite semi-obscure artist (however worthy that artist usually is, and let’s face it, most don’t get enough recognition. I get it.), we subscribe to the notion of Halloween show as a chance to get a bunch of people into the room to party to a bunch of songs they know and love all the words to by heart. The Field Effect did a superlative job running with this idea, and we all got to pound our fists in the air and sing along to Hash Pipe, Beverly Hills, Buddy Holly, The Sweater Song and many others as they stuck every landing all night long. In the right pair of glasses, Doug cuts an amazing likeness to Rivers Cuomo, and Annie in vampire fangs and white fright contacts was about as hot as the center of the sun while never missing a note. Nick and Adam rumbled and wailed. Just solid, solid work by the whole band.
We had a lot of help from our friends Sidewalk Driver as Spinal Tap. From Tad taking the stage as David St. Hubbins in a cellophane pod that wouldn’t open up, to the little tiny Stonehenge being lowered onto the stage at the end of a broom handle, to the crack band hitting every note, to Tad’s amazingly consistent British accent, these guys and girls are one of the most fun and best bands around at any time of year.
Then there was us. Halloween for us is a chance to give ourselves a month-long master class in some legendary act or another every year. It’s a great way to stay fresh and also to stretch in new ways. For example, our groove quotient went way up after Zombie Michael Jackson last year, and now it’s basically a regular occurrence to see asses shaking when we play. ZMJ is a big part of that. This year I think we really cranked up our vocal harmonizing as a result of having to figure out and nail the opening section of Bohemian Rhapsody alone. Yeah, we did it! And I mean, we really DID it right. When we first sang it and got it right in rehearsal, we gave ourselves the chills, and I’m not too modest to say we actually played the middle part live. Even Queen did never did that! As Adam said, when we got done playing that it was like we kicked a field goal from the fifty yard line, and the room let us know it went through the uprights. I’m going to go ahead and give Adam a shout-out as MVP on this one, for pulling triple duty on guitar and keys and vocals (on Stone Cold Crazy!). Jesse nailed his vocal turn on Don’t Stop Me Now and kept us all dancing all night with his immaculate Roger Taylor drumming. Matt owned the crowd on We Will Rock You while I went back and changed from the catsuit into something even more ridiculous for We Are the Champions. We also played Fat Bottomed Girls, Killer Queen, Tie Your Mother Down (I saw Bouchard as The Spirit singing every word right along with me!), Under Pressure (with David Bowie!) Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Another One Bites the Dust, and some interstitial teases of Flash to keep it moving along.
We had a great deal of help from you, if you were there. Thanks! It is one of our points of pride that we put on one of the premier Halloween parties in Boston, but it’s only a party if people show up. Thanks for showing up and singing along and shaking your fists and shaking your asses and making us and all the bands that night feel special. It was a bed of roses, a pleasure cruise!
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BOSTON’S KINGS OF HALLOWEEN TAKE QUEEN
“CITY IN CHECKMATE” (SAYS KENT BROCKMAN)
The year 2012 seems to be the Year of Mercury. With a new biography, an Angry Birds character and now a movie in the works, there’s more Freddie around today than in the 20 years since Wayne and Garth brought headbanging to the masses.
This Halloween, Boston arena rockers The Lights Out are raising his shiny half-microphone stand scepter skyward – or at least as high as a Fenway ceiling.
Having built a reputation on their stadium-sized shows in small clubs, Queen was their tribute choice, in a Boston Halloween tradition stretching back many years. “In 2009, we bald-wig’d Phil Collins,” said bassist Matt King, who will be playing the part of John Deacon. “In 2010, we bearded Madonna. In 2011 we teamed up with Chef Jasper White to zombie Michael Jackson. But we knew 2012 was going to be Queen before our sequin-gloved hands even touched our instruments….heh.”
The 2012 Hallo’Queen show will fluff up the crowd, with Freddie Mercury stick-on mustaches for all. It will even feature a surprise appearance by a glittery Boston rocker, playing David Bowie.
“The Lights Out are Boston’s Kings of Halloween,” said Dan Millen, the show’s promoter. “Their last three Halloween shows have sold out Church with a line down the block, and have become the center of many a Bostonian’s Halloween party calendar.”
The band threw itself into prepping for this year’s performance, beginning Queen rehearsals as far back as August, between tour dates and writing material for a follow-up album to 2012’s “On Fire.”
Ever obsessed with detail, The Lights Out are putting everything under the magnifying glass for their performance – literally. Guitarist Adam Ritchie, who will be playing Brian May, visited a rare coin shop to purchase a sixpence: the out-of-circulation British coin May uses as a guitar pick. “I asked them if they had something on the more utilitarian side than the rare side, and walked out with a 110-year-old sixpence that plays great and leaves my fingertips dusty with silvery bits of King Edward VII’s head.” said Ritchie.
“We have four solid singers in this band,” said drummer Jesse James, who will be glamming it up as Roger Taylor. “For songs like Bohemian Rhapsody, we isolated and assigned each of the vocal harmonies to its best-fitting band member. Then they all lined up and soccer-kicked me in the balls.”
“Our Halloween shows are like our annual master classes,” said singer Rishava Green, a Berklee-trained musician who will strut around in a Freddie Mercury harlequin cat suit with the chest cut out, preening a rich, velvety coat of untamed man hair.
The Lights Out bring Freddie back to life at Church (69 Kilmarnock Street) on Saturday, October 27, along with Sidewalk Driver as Spinal Tap, The Field Effect as Weezer, and I, Pistol as Nirvana. The show begins at 9:00 p.m., is 21+, $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
For more information, visit the show’s Facebook page, tickets page, The Lights Out website or contact Bianca Rawson at (727) 543-0107 / firstname.lastname@example.org .
ABOUT THE LIGHTS OUT:
The future is looking bright for Boston-based rock quartet THE LIGHTS OUT. Since forming in 2005, the band has showcased at music conferences from CMJ to MidPoint, released two albums and three EPs, placed songs on MTV, appeared in Billboard and sweated out enough High Life to fill the Carrier Dome. The band released its third full-length album, “On Fire,” this summer. For more, visit www.thelightsout.com.