Dean Ford performing as Prince. Photo by Douglas Young

Make this Halloween all about live music by catching these costumed performers in action while you dance the night away dressed up as whatever you choose.

Frankly, I didn’t think I was going to be into Halloween this year, but then I scored a Stormtrooper mask at a yard sale a few weeks ago, and now I find myself looking forward to various festivities, including these three shows, happening over the weekend and on Halloween on Monday.

First up, dig, if you will, the picture of you and your pals engaged in a night of Prince tunes.

Dean Ford loves Prince on a molecular level. So much so that he’s been doing a tribute show to His Royal Badness for the past several years around Halloween. Ford and his band, The Beautiful Ones, will be playing the sacred-to-many soundtrack album “Purple Rain” in its entirety at shows in Bar Harbor and Portland. You’ll also hear a melange of big hits and deep album cuts.

At the Criterion Theatre show, Ford said he’ll kick things off with a set of his original tunes before launching into the Prince set. The best costume of the night walks away with $300, so get busy coming up with something epic.

In Portland, the show is being presented by the Speak All Evil Podcast with its hosts Trent Gay, Kevin Kennie, Cat Smith and Dave Gutter serving as emcees. They’ll be judging a costume contest with a first place cash award of $500. Rock band Five of The Eyes will get the music going, then it will be time to go crazy with Prince covers.


8 p.m. Friday. Criterion Theatre, 35 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, $20.
8 p.m. Saturday, Aura, 121 Center St., Portland, $20, 18-plus.

I’ll never forget when Space started throwing its Halloween parties featuring local supergroups performing as famous bands. If memory serves, the very first one was in 2008 and I’ll always remember how much Darien Brahms slayed as David Bowie.

This year is the first since 2019 (thanks, COVID!) that the shindig is happening, and Space sure does have a doozie up its sleeve.

The Blood Caps will be performing as ZZ Top, Fleetwood Mac will be re-created with Jeff Beam and members of Contrapposto, Forget Forget, Grand Hotel and Altered Gee. Beam and his band with members of Grand Hotel will do their thing as The Strokes, and musicians from Heaven’s Cameras and Ossalot will take the stage as R.E.M.

R.E.M. is on my short list of all-time favorite acts and, more importantly, you can’t see them live because they broke up in 2011. With a 15-album legacy, there’s a lot of material to choose from, though I’m hoping for some cuts from the first eight albums. But honestly, hearing any R.E.M. song live will be a treat.

Approximately 99.9% of people who attend these annual Space parties don a costume but, um, no pressure.


Space Halloween
9 p.m. Saturday. Space, 538 Congress St., Portland, $15.

For all of you Halloween purists out there who like to celebrate on the actual holiday, you can do just that at Portland House of Music. Gina Alibrio and the slightly renamed Red Eye Fright Crew will be slinging funk, soul and R&B hits all night long.

Figure out a costume, get your hands on some candy for the sugar high, and then head to downtown Portland for a good time. Alibrio is one of the state’s most compelling vocalists and she’s been drawing a crowd for years with her potent pipes.

The Red Eye Fright Crew presents The Funk of 40,000 Years – A Halloween Special
8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. Portland House of Music, 25 Temple St., Portland, $15 in advance, $20 day of show. 21-plus.

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