Every Halloween, Itchy-O provides Denver music lovers with a special kind of trick-or-treat. Starting in 2015, this 57-member music collective, which comprises masked figures, dancers and provocateurs, began celebrating Hallowmass, an annual celebration of death, life and rebirth.
Hallowmass invites congregants to take part in rapture, fueled by percussion-centered electronic performance and sealed with a contribution to a sacramental altar.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a memento of someone in their past, present or future to offer to an altar erected by the ceremonial experts at RitualCravt. The items are then burned in a public RitualCravt All Souls Ceremony on November 2.
The music of Hallowmass is classic Itchy-O: worldly fusion blending a drum corps battery, taiko drummers, electronic guitars and synthesizers, theremin, vocoders and other custom-made sonic devices, and the spectacle reflects the band's global yet otherworldly sound. With Chinese dragons, illuminated puppets and costumed performers that encroach from all sides, an Itchy-O show is certain to erupt into the type of chaos that demands complete surrender from observers.
Hallowmass, usually celebrated on October 31, will be extended to November 1 this year. This reflects "both itchy-O's growth as a collective and the continually expansive congregation of celebrants," says the band's representative, Cory Phare.
Also new for 2019, Itchy-O will welcome in the season of spooks with the release of a new music video for "Saptaloka," the first track from the ensemble's third studio album, Mystic Spy/Psykho Dojo.
The video, directed by Denver-based filmmaker Patrick Hackett and produced by local production house SkyTheory, sets out to embody "a classic cat-and-mouse chase story," where two opposing forces, government and spirituality, antagonize one another.
"The constant struggle between the two is indicative of many of the earthly battles," says Hackett.
Itchy-O Hallowmass, with Magic Sword October 31 and PPL MVR November 1, at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake Street. Tickets are available at Mutiny Information Cafe, City, O' City and online. Entry is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show, and $40 for a two-night pass. Early purchase is encouraged, as Hallowmass is expected to sell out.
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Lauren Antonoff is a Denver native dedicated to telling Colorado stories. She loves all things multi-media, and can often be found tinkering in digital collage. She joined the Westword team in 2019, where she serves as the Audience Engagement Editor — connecting people, ideas, and the stories that matter.