The Soulkeeper, Gerald McClendon, welcomes guests to his Halloween Motown Dance Party at the Venue in Aurora Saturday, Oct. 29. // Courtesy of The Venue

Wicked concert weekend: There’s plenty of music going around for Halloween ’22

The spookiest of holidays looms, but with the tricks and treats falling on a Monday, many venues in the suburbs and Chicago are opting for a weekend of wacky tributes and Halloween parties.

Here’s what we found:

The Ready Freddies channel the spirit of Freddie Mercury for a Queen tribute at The Venue Friday, Oct. 28. // Courtesy of The Venue

The Ready Freddies: This highly skilled band channels the spirit of Freddie Mercury for a female-lead tribute to Queen, headlining a costume party for the first night of The Venue’s Halloween weekend. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $15-$18 (admission increases by $5 at the door) at

Modern Day Romeos brings its fun spin on favorite tunes to Durty Nellie’s for a Halloween party and costume contest Saturday, Oct. 29. // Courtesy of Modern Day Romeos

Durty Nellie’s: Following up last year’s Prom Night theme, Durty Nellie’s is offering two nights of costumed fun this weekend. Friday night, wear your Halloween best for a 21+ costume party with entertainment by 7th heaven. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28; $12. Saturday, the staff will dress as their favorite “Saturday Night Live” characters — and you should, too — for a Halloween bash and costume contest with music from the Modern Day Romeos. $8. 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Durty Nellie’s, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine.

CalicoLoco will play as My Chemical Romance as part of the first night of Golden Dagger’s three nights of Halloween performances. // Courtesy of Vicki Holda

Golden Dagger’s Halloween trio: The Lincoln Park venue pays tribute to the costume season with three nights of bands playing bands. Friday, CalicoLoco headlines as My Chemical Romance, PINKSQUEEZE becomes the Spice Girls and OK Cool hits a set as Jack Black’s School of Rock. Saturday, Modern Nun takes on Joan Jett, Liska plays as No Doubt and The Updowns become Heart. And on Halloween itself, John Perrin’s Band becomes The Ramones, the Jack Fluegel Band plays as Blondie and Uncle Pigeon takes on the music of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble. 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, Oct. 28, 29 and 31, at Golden Dagger, 2447 N. Halsted St., Chicago. $10 for each night.

Punk-infused garage rock band Dead Freddie will take on David Bowie as part of the Montrose Saloon’s Halloweekend. // Courtesy of Nagle Photography

Halloweekend at Montrose Saloon: The Montrose music venue hosts its annual two-night Halloween festival featuring bands from the region paying tribute to some of their favorites. Friday night, Dead Freddie headlines as David Bowie, joined by Phil Angotti as Cheap Trick, Alive Kennedys as the Dead Kennedys, My Biggest Thrills as Mighty Lemon Drops, Sandmen as Morphine and The Hurtin’ Kind as Wilco. Saturday, Forbidden Kingdom headlines as The Who, joined by Trouble Boys as The Replacements, Androgynous Mustache as Pat Benatar, Rachel Drew as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MetroPoly as PJ Harvey and Gordon Frightfoot playing Gordon Lightfoot. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29, at Montrose Saloon, 2933 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. $20 each night, 21 and older.

GMan Tavern: This Wrigleyville hot spot hosts two nights of Halloween happenings. Friday, Now That’s What I Call Halloween features alt-rock covers of ’90s favorites courtesy of Mystik Spiral, Pussy Willow and Weezer Jefferson. Saturday, The Loose Cannons headline a Halloween costume party, featuring Shukin & the Ramblers and Collin Marks. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct 28, ($15) and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, ($10-$12) at GMan Tavern, 3740 N. Clark St., Chicago.

Fletcher Rockwell at FitzGerald’s: The Chicago area’s Americana stalwarts Fletcher Rockwell sling folk-tinged rock as the band presides over FitzGerald’s Halloween celebration, complete with a contest for the best costume at the venue’s Sidebar and patio. Admission is free, but reservations for dinner on the patio are encouraged. 9 p.m. (doors open at 5) Saturday, Oct. 29, at FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn.

Fool House presents Vampires, Witches and Wolves Halloween Party: With choreographed moves to throwback faves, Fool House is a nonstop singalong tribute to the biggest hits of the ’90s. Paired with a costume contest for cash prizes, this party is a place to be. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Joe’s Live, 5441 Park Place, Rosemont. $15-$20 at the door; $50 for a pack of four.

Michael McDermott plays the Park West’s Halloweensteen show this weekend. // Courtesy of Ron Horne

Halloweensteen with Michael McDermott: Chicago favorite Michael McDermott takes to the Park West stage with Denver rock band the Duke Street Kings for an upscale Halloween show full of soul, rock and blues. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago. $30 at

Gerald McClendon’s Halloween Motown Dance Party: The Soulkeeper brings down the house with his smoking take on the classics. 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $15-$20 (admission increases by $5 at the door) at

Illumination 2022: Celebrate in a truly upscale way for a good cause at Illumination 2022, a gala costume ball set in an immersive playground of color, interactive art exhibits, laser light shows, parades and more, all within the Vertiport Chicago Heliport hangars. Musical performances, including Charlie Otto and Kylie Bree of DJ noDJ, will carry dancers late into the evening. And if you’re feeling flush, drop for a helicopter ride around Chicago, leaving from just outside the venue. Donations raised through the event will benefit research fighting Retinal Vasculopathy with Cerebral Leukodystrophy (RVCL), a very rare, genetic condition affecting the central nervous system. 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Vertiport Chicago Heliport, 1339 S. Wood St., Chicago. $150 for general admission, $250 for VIP, $250 for a helicopter tour add-on; sponsor dinner packages and commemorative posters are available.

Out of Context’s Halloween Cover Show: Subterranean Downstairs hosts a Halloween bash featuring artists from the Chicago scene. Members of Latenights., Hardly and Farhampton take on the tunes of Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift, joined by members of Overgrow and Long Gone playing Cartel, Bad Planning as Title Fight, Caving as Say Anything and a mix of covers and originals from Penny Bored. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., Chicago. $13-$15, with 50% of proceeds going to breast cancer research. 17+.

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