San Diego has never wanted for Halloween events, annually playing host to Downtown's Monster Bash—a drunken, dignity-free zone with revelers in costumes that frequently leave little to the imagination. But me, I'm more likely to head to one of my favorite dives and catch a great rock show, ideally when the bands play in costume (like The Night Marchers as the Blue Man Group in 2008).
The one show that's at the top of the must-attend list, and likely to sell out, is Rocket from the Crypt's headlining gig at House of Blues. The band's famous for its annual Halloween bashes, the last of which took place in 2006, making this All Hallow's Eve comeback a momentous one. They'll be joined by The Creepy Creeps, Deadbolt, Beehive and the Barracudas, Mrs. Magician and Rob Crow's not-that-good-but-definitely-creepy Devo / Misfits concept "band," Devfits.
Soda Bar will host Thee 4th Annual Halloween Spooktacular, in which local bands play covers sets while dressed as their favorite artists. The roster this year includes Roxy Jones doing a Notorious B.I.G. set, Emerald Rats as Spacemen 3, Bangladesh as Led Zeppelin and Teddy Fantastico as The Misfits.
For a mixture of live music and film, head to The Casbah to catch Spooky VUE: Dead Celebrity, presented by The Visual Underground. Transfer, Low Volts and The Heavy Guilt (as a duo) will perform between screenings of spooky films. Plus, there's a costume contest: Come dressed as your favorite dead celebrity and (possibly) win a prize. Alternately, you have the option of dressing as the celebrity you wish were dead. Have fun with that.
No other holiday is as tied to heavy music as Halloween, so if you seek thunder, make sure to check out Blood Dancer, Coda Reactor and Lord Howler at Tin Can Ale House. But, then again, maybe your idea of a proper Halloween party involves some sexy R&B jams, in which case, your best option is to ride that ghost pony over to Fluxx to see Ginuwine. The options are plentiful, so slap on your corpse paint and have a good time.