Concert April 26
As darkness falls on Halloween night every year in Irvington, trick-or-treaters slowly give way to throngs of adults and kids en route to houses on the village’s side streets, a new one each hour, each offering a different treat. No candy is exchanged at these gatherings. Instead, the homeowners – along with their talented friends – provide the crowd with something less tactile but more nourishing than a Twix bar: music.
It’s become an Irvington tradition: groups of friends and neighbors performing rock and roll hits, often in full costume as classic artists like the Cure, Devo or the Talking Heads. On April 26, for the first time, the four main Halloween bands – Lennon + Friends, Wild Thyme, Evil Eckar, and the North Dutcher All-Stars – will move indoors to the Irvington Town Hall Theater for a performance benefitting the Friends of ITHT, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that supports the theater.
Marjorie Rosenfield, the ITHT commissioner producing the “Half Halloween” concert, said the idea came together after a brainstorming meeting with Irvington musician and educator Clifford Mays, who suggested the Halloween bands perform for an ITHT event.
“I thought it was a great idea,” Rosenfield said. “People love the Halloween bands, and it’s a great way to bring the community together for a worthy cause.”
The Irvington Halloween band performances date back to 2012 when Douglas McClure, John Malone and some friends dressed as the Ramones and performed on North Dutcher Street where they live. Since 2014, McClure’s band has continued to perform, only now they are one of four bands playing in Irvington on Halloween night. The bands coordinate so they don’t overlap, allowing visitors to go house-to-house to see the shows.
“Halloween was always big on North Dutcher, and we kept elevating it — upping the decorations, trying to make it big and fun,” McClure said.
While some of the bands do include professional musicians, like Miyuki Furtado and Eric Kaye of McClure’s North Dutcher All-Stars, most of the performers are just community members who love music.
“We’ve got architects, psychologists, veterinarians, teachers, technology professionals — it runs the gamut,” McClure said.
Nonetheless, as people who attend the Halloween night concerts can attest, the quality is nothing short of professional, from stellar performances to eye-popping set designs and effects.
“I’m very lucky with the guys who play in our band,” McClure said. “They are amazing musicians, and make me look very good.”
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume. General admission tickets are $35 (visit: www.irvingtontheater.com). Each ticket comes with two free beers.
Eric Bernstein of Compass in Dobbs Ferry is the presenting sponsor for the series.