There are plenty of good shows before the actual weekend hits, though, including Avi Buffalo, a pair of Cut Copy dates and the 106.7 KBPI Saints & Sinners Halloween Ball. The rest of our picks follow.
106.7 KBPI Saints & Sinners Halloween Ball 1STBANK Center : 6:30 p.m. October 28 Extreme-metal purists can say what they will about Five Finger Death Punch. There's a reason that former Denverite Ivan Moody and company have managed to steadily work their way up to headlining arenas and tours: Their hard-edged, melodic brand of metalcore is powered by equal amounts of scorned vitriol and reflective emotion. As a result, the music resonates deeply with the masses, particularly on tracks like "Over It and Under It," in which Moody does an admirable job of channeling the frustration of having to endure the relentless scrutiny and judgment of detractors. At the same time, on tracks like "The Devil's Own," Moody displays a relatable sense of loss and regret with lines like "It's because of you I'm broken/It's because of you I'm dead inside." The band headlines 106.7 KBPI Saints & Sinners Halloween Ball, which also features HellYeah, Texas Hippie Coalition and Lola Black.
The Afghan Whigs Bluebird Theater : 8:00 p.m. October 29 The Afghan Whigs were based in Cincinnati when they signed to Sub Pop in 1989 as the second non-Pacific Northwest band on the label's roster (the first was the Fluid). Like other Sub Pop bands of the day, the Whigs played raucous live shows, further benefiting from the emotionally raw vocal performances of singer Greg Dulli. By the time of their fourth record, 1993's Gentlemen, the Whigs were writing songs that had as much in common with '60s soul and R&B as they did with those of the Replacements or the Stooges. The unblinking self-examination and honesty found on that album struck a chord with fans, and it has since become a classic of the alternative-rock era. The group disbanded in 2001, then reconvened in 2012 and re-established its reputation as a live band, releasing 2014's Do the Beast to critical acclaim.
Erasure Ogden Theatre : 8:00 p.m. October 28 Erasure is one of those bands whose songs loom larger than the group making them. Vince Clarke and Andy Bell were love-song kings of the '80s, and the synth-pop masterpieces "Oh l'Amour," "Chains of Love" and "A Little Respect" ruled the airwaves at the time, helping to usher the synthesizer into the mainstream as a viable instrument. Before Erasure, Clarke wrote chart-topping hits for his first band, Depeche Mode; later, he formed Yazoo (or Yaz, here in the States) with Alison Moyet. From those early days through his work with Erasure, which is still going strong -- the band has released more than a dozen records since 1986, including this year's The Violet Flame -- Clarke helped shape the sound of electronic music for the masses. Bell's contribution isn't to be overlooked, either: The lead singer has been out since Erasure's inception, a rarity for a frontman who has been making music for nearly three decades. Bell's voice, too, is unmistakably Erasure, at once delivering emotion, drama and pop theatrics. Live, Clarke and Bell share a creative chemistry accentuated by costumes and expert lighting, but it is still that penchant for heartbreaking ballads that makes Erasure one of the best synth-pop bands ever.
The Psychedelic Furs Gothic Theatre : 8:00 p.m. October 29 The Psychedelic Furs formed in 1977 in the wake of the explosion of punk rock in England. By the 1980s, the group had evolved from its earlier musical impulses into a kind of atmospheric, at times brooding, at times celebratory, post-punk band with a broad emotional and sonic palette. The band's 1981 breakthrough album, Talk Talk Talk has become one of the band's classics, but its third album, 1982's Forever Now, yielded the act's first major hit with "Love My Way" and "Pretty In Pink," a reworked version of which appeared on the soundtrack to the John Hughes film of the same name and subsequently made the band international pop stars. Throughout the rest of the '80s, the band enjoyed much success, and its high energy live shows with the charismatic Richard Butler fronting the band proved the group wasn't just a pop band but also a forceful rock and roll outfit with an exuberant spirit. In 1991, the Furs released its final album, World Outside and then split for the rest of the decade but but by 2000, The Butler brothers, Richard and Tim, reformed the Furs and have been touring ever since.
Black Veil Brides Fillmore Auditorium : 6:00 p.m. October 27 Many things define the popular hard rock/metal band Black Veil Brides, depending on whom you ask. For some, it's their distinct appearance of black makeup and paint (decreasing more each year), tight black studded clothing and long hair. For others, it's their inspiration (some might call it a blatant rip-off) drawn from such '80s glam metal acts as KISS, Twisted Sister, and Motley Crue. And for others still it may be the band's supporters, which include such legends as Zakk Wylde, and their insanely devoted fans who have garnered the band an array of Golden God Awards over the past four years. One thing I know for sure is that people love to hate them -- regardless of the awards, the famous fans, and a throw back to a genre of metal that was once highly revered. Love them or hate them, Black Veil Brides are here to stay for a while.