The Halloween party is a difficult party to host. Too wild and you wake up with a zombie in your bathtub. Too low-key and you’re sitting on your couch between The Good Witch and an unnervingly realistic Voldemort, counting the minutes until you can ditch the pirate gear and eat your Reese’s in peace.
That’s why we recommend leaving All Hallow's Eve to TJ Kong and the Atomic Bomb. Now in its sixth year, the local rockers’ Halloween Costume Ball Rock 'N Roll Murdershow hits Underground Arts Saturday night with a lineup that includes Satellite Hearts, Pine Barons, Mercury Radio Theater, Ali Wadsworth and Red 40 and the Last Groovement.
We caught up with TJ Kong (a stage name, and a pretty great one at that) for what to expect.
How did you become Halloween party hosts?
We were hand chosen by the people who invented Halloween: the Amish. And we said to each other, “What better way to have a huge party with all the different bands that inspire us and frighten us and turn us on every year?” It’s become a really amazing outlet to be able to play with all these bands, any band we want, no matter what genre. Since it’s Halloween and since it’s our party we can invite anyone to play. There’s been over 30 different bands.
Can you tell us anything about your costumes? We hear the pope might make an appearance.
Yes, the pope might make an appearance. But this isn’t your mama’s pope. And it’s no pope you’d ever see on TV, at least not during daylight hours. This pope is gonna be the biggest, sweatiest, disco party boat pope you ever saw. Word is they call him the “Ayatollah of Rock ‘N Rolla.”
What are some of the best costumes you’ve seen over the years?
I will say that, definitively, the costumes get better every year. Last year Ali Wadsworth came late to the party in the greatest Howard Stern Fartman costume ever. The band Purples came as “Sesame Street” characters a few years back. That was hilarious. One of my favorites ever was a religious friar who actually shaved the top of his head and looked straight out of another time. This year I’m especially excited to see what Red 40 dreams up. She outdoes herself.
Bonus: Atlanta-based craft brewery SweetWater is previewing its Philly launch at Saturday night’s show. Be one of the first 100 attendees to get a free sneak peek of six varieties of beer, a full 48 hours before SweetWater's official Philly debut.