Halloween may have come and gone a few days ago but don’t tell that to the hundreds of people who turned out Friday night to see the legendary Detroit Heavy Metal Horror show known as Halloween.
One of the most iconic and sensational bands to ever rise out of the shadowy undercurrents of the Detroit music scene, their over the top stage show oozes everything about Halloween that we love.
With an immense and intricate stage set transforming the Diesel Concert Lounge into a crypt/graveyard/mausoleum/dungeon that rivals even the largest of epic stage acts from Alice Cooper, King Diamond and even Iron Maiden, Halloween performed a nearly two-hour set that encompassed their 30 year history dating all the way back to their 1985 debut release of Don’t Metal with Evil.
A macabre birthday party celebration that brought a veritable who’s who of the Detroit rock scene pouring in to the Diesel Concert Lounge, the stage was set for a spectacular night of Detroit rock and roll as only the Motor City can produce. Words can hardly do justice to describe theÂ immersive environment that Halloween has produced out of their own pocket, on their own terms, standing on their own two feet to deliver a metal show worthy of any large venue.
With multiple costumes changes, leering ghouls peering out in to the crowd, a drum riser perched atop a stone wall, glowing jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, instruments of torture and a band of talented musicians that all coalesced together to present a true rock and roll show, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Every piece of the set was built and constructed by the band themselves decades ago and added on to piece by piece since then. Using their own money, sweat, labor and passion for heavy metal, they’ve developed a rabid cult following that rivals any act on a major label. I’ve seen larger acts with less production values and quality on bigger stages with a full-fledged support staff to make it happen.
The highly rated and well received local opening acts of Banned From H.E.L.L. and Banned From E.A.R.T.H, both Black Sabbath tribute bands with different lineups, opened and closed the night around the Halloween set. The former lineup performs songs from Black Sabbath Dio era, while the latter concentrates on the Ozzy years. One of the hardest working tribute bands in the Detroit area, both versions have received considerable notice and accolades from the music and press community in the region.
This is Detroit, and this is how we rock.
Interview with singer and founder Brian Thomas about Halloween: The Heavy Metal Horror Show
Halloween imagery by Thom Seling
Halloween imagery by Mick McDonald