Finally! A concert for those who want their classic stoner rock at the same show as their horn-laden garage punk and their droning Goth!
Coachella's got nothing in the way of diversity on this Halloween-eve bill full of Long Beach's finest in disguise. The second-annual installment of a bright idea thought up by Repeater guitarist Rob Wallace, Helloween will see his band playing Joy Division songs, Maritime Academy playing Rocket from the Crypt tunes and Forcefield On rocking Black Sabbath. Last year, Forcefield On tackled Tom Waits, the Valley Arena did up the Misfits, and Repeater—well, they're repeating themselves this year as Manchester's darkest.
Wallace says that last year the idea just came up to have local bands play a somewhat spooky set of covers, and since the show was such a hit—the largest crowd in the oft-crowded club all year, he claims—why not do it again?
Repeater aren't stretching too far as Joy Division. "They're one of our favorite bands and a huge influence on us. Getting to play these songs live is an absolute blast, and we've been looking forward to doing this since we stepped off stage last year," says Wallace. "We're playing some of the songs we played last year, and adding some new ones, as well as a New Order song or two."
Maritime Academy are another band not reaching too far for their sonic disguise. Guitarist and singer Matt Guy exudes excitement, palpable even through an e-mail interview, as he gushes about playing the songs of his San Diego heroes. "I picked Rocket from the Crypt because they were the best band on the planet . . . ever!" he asserts.
"RFTC always put on amazing Halloween shows, and we want to give the crowd at the Prospector a little taste of what that was like. [Their] last show ever was on Halloween. It was one of the best shows I ever saw. We've been [practicing] until our fingers bleed at least twice a week for the last couple of weeks."
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Forcefield On, a comparatively mellow, horn-laced rock band whose bio mentions Elvis Costello and the Flaming Lips, have the longest stretch to make. Plus, as singer/guitarist Jesse Wilder tells us, "Rehearsal is a bitch, with seven members and one living up north right now."
After last year's success doing Rain Dogs and Swordfishtrombones-era Waits, Wilder had the twisted notion to do "Elliot Smith and dress up with a blade through my heart, to ruffle some feathers." But when drummer Brandon Laws called Wilder and suggested they do Sabbath, the dark power of metal compelled the band to abandon the morose and start turning those power chords into horn flourishes. Despite the musical leap and the scheduling hassles, Wilder has "the faith of Satan that we'll rattle the bones of the Prospector."
Helloween, featuring Repeater, Forcefield On and Maritime Academy at the Prospector, 2400 E. 7th St., Long Beach, (562) 438-3839; www.prospectorlongbeach.com. Tues., 10 p.m. $5.