Rock music and Halloween are pretty much the perfect combination — and perhaps that’s why Halloween concerts are famous for their debauchery. Once you have a band and audience in costume, all hell breaks loose. And for music geeks, it’s especially fun to see our favorite bands… dressed as other bands. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen often enough. After the jump, we round up our favorite examples, including everyone from Nirvana to Superchunk to Katy Perry dressed as icons from Elvis to… well, Nirvana.
Nirvana: Kurt Cobain as Barney and Pat Smear as Slash The fact that Nirvana and Guns ‘n Roses were mortal enemies makes this cock rock send-up even more wonderful than it appears at first glance. Also: Kurt as Barney is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Local H as Nirvana We won’t lie and say we were ever big Local H fans, but their “Aneurysm” performance — dressed as Nirvana — only three years after his death is ballsy, to say the least. They’ve also done Halloween shows as Joan Jett and Tom Petty.
Superchunk as The Misfits We don’t know how this happened or when or why, but we are thoroughly convinced by this indie rock-to-horror punk transformation.
Pearl Jam as Devo Amazing: Not only did Pearl Jam dress up in full-on Devo costume for their 2009 Halloween show, but they also performed “Whip It.” You’ve got to see it to believe it.
Katy Perry as Freddie Mercury It’s hard to admit that we like something Katy Perry did. But who can argue with Freddie Mercury?
Deer Tick as The Sex Pistols At a Brooklyn Halloween show last year, mild-mannered indie popsters Deer Tick showed up as their polar opposite: the loud, snotty Sex Pistols. Over 10 years earlier, Shellac and Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow did the same and covered “Anarchy in the UK.”
Rob Thomas as Michael Jackson Last year Thomas, of Matchbox 20 fame, took the stage in full “Thriller” regalia (including a very bad wig) to pay tribute to the King of Pop. He doesn’t have Jackson’s range, to say the least, but it’s a spirited effort.
Tall Firs as The Ramones It’s a shame this video is of such poor quality, because these Ecstatic Peace! folk-rockers sounded great as The Ramones a few Halloweens ago in Brooklyn.
Metallica: James Hetfield as Elvis We’re not sure where exactly this video came from, but it seems like an intimate, little Halloween gathering. Hetfield even busts out a little “Suspicious Minds.”
DJ AM as Daft Punk Think rock stars get to have all the Halloween fun? No way. A few years ago, the late DJ AM stepped up to the decks in an authentic-looking Daft Punk helmet and jacket to spin “Around the World.”