Despite sound issues, the event soldiered on to celebrate the spookiest holiday.
While Wednesdays aren’t incredibly conducive to late-night spooks and rocking out, that wasn’t going to stop me from hitting up 104.5 The Edge’s Halloween Haunt show at the Cain’s Ballroom. I never miss a chance to kill a few brain cells with some unnecessary headbanging.
Even arriving only 10 minutes after the doors opened, the place was already swarming with monsters, zombies and pop-culture references. With a couple of smiles and wriggling maneuvers through the crowd, I somehow finagled my way to the front and settled in against the barricade for the long wait until the first act.
Next thing I knew, four badass, leather-clad, punk-rock ladies swaggered onto the stage. This was Thunderpussy, and honestly, all I could think for a moment was “aesthetic.” Their hard, driving instrumentals mixed with sassy vocals made for an interesting sound, with some strange dance moves from the lead singer to match.
Unfortunately, the audience didn’t get to hear much out of them. A few songs in, the guitarist started having issues with her audio and they had to stop their set entirely. Obviously annoyed but trying hard to keep things going, the rest of the band worked on fixing the issue while the drummer and bassist entertained the crowd with their functional instruments. They eventually had to cut their set short and only played one more song after giving up. But I did enjoy the little bit that I heard!
Second on stage was the Pope himself, ready to bless and baptize the pit in sweat. I’m only half kidding; the next act was Albert Hammond Jr., and his bassist and guitarist were dressed up as the Pope and a priest, respectively. They definitely got the memo that this was a Halloween show. The first couple of songs were rather funky, but they got much harder as the night progressed. Hammond, the mic-swinging lead singer, seemed like a cool dude who brought a lot of energy to the stage and off of it too, jumping into the crowd for an entire song. At one point, he came over to where I was standing and I bopped with him until he popped back on stage.
As soon as I saw the rustic rug they rolled out for Meg Myers, I knew the mood of the night was going to change. Her performance was one of captivating contrasts. Meg has a powerful voice that she lets loose to amazing effect in the choruses of her songs, but a lot of the time, she sings in a very breathy way. Even through that wispy sound, I could hear the emotion, the anger in her voice.
I had heard two of her songs on the radio before the concert, and she sounded just as good live — if not better — with her emotions translating even better in person. Overall, it was an incredibly powerful performance and a nice change from the more upbeat songs of the previous acts.
Okay, I’m going to keep it real. When The Struts started playing, I completely forgot that I was at a show with multiple acts. That show did not start until they arrived. The Struts brought an incredible amount of energy to the Cain’s stage and rocked the entire building. The lead singer was such a joy to watch, belting out bops and grooving along to the beat, and the instrumentals were everything I want in a rock song: high energy riffs and explosive drops. After a couple of real crowd-pleasers, they invited an excited fan dressed as Freddie Mercury onstage to sing and dance with them. Lisa, the teen they brought up and nicknamed Miss Mercury, trembled as she told them that this was her fifth time seeing them in concert. It was an adorable moment.
Leaving with the bass of the last song still thudding in my chest and some definite hearing damage, I can say that this was one of the best Halloweens I’ve had in a long time.