There’s a number of cool options for Friday for those looking for a show to experience. But is there a show that can match the RuPaul Drag Race in terms of fun quotient? It should be quite a way to spend Halloween.
1. Kingdom Choir
The details: Oct. 26, 8 p.m. Duke Chapel, 401 Chapel Drive, Durham. $34 reserved, $25 general admission and $10 Duke students. 919-684-4444, Duke University Box Office or dukeperformances.duke.edu
You might not know this group’s name, but if you were one of the millions of people to watch Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle in 2018, then you certainly heard them. The Kingdom Choir set the soundtrack for the wedding, belting out a soulful version of “Stand By Me” during the ceremony. (They’re the only gospel choir to ever perform at a British royal wedding.)The British gospel choir is now hitting North America to tour intimate venues and churches in 29 cities. In Durham, Duke Chapel is the perfect space to recreate the soaring vocals heard at St. George’s Chapel. The group is known for infusing soul in into contemporary songs (think Beyoncé’s “Halo” and Coldplay’s “Fix You”) as well as performing classics like “Amazing Grace,” and yes, “Stand By Me.”
The details: Oct. 25, 8 p.m. Red Hat Amphitheater, 500 S. McDowell St., Raleigh. Tickets start at $29.50. 919-996-8800 or redhatamphithater.com
Bastille parties like its 1999 throughout “Doom Days.” The band’s latest album is full of escapist songs. The group’s new batch of material was a reaction to the act’s last album, “Wild World.”
“Touring (‘Wild World’) meant singing songs about reacting to the world’s changes every night, and the production that we created around it was a very heightened version of those ideas,” vocalist Dan Smith explained to Billboard. “There was a lot going on. We wanted to make a record that was all about pure hedonism and totally shut off from the problems of your life and the issues of the world.”
3. Sum 41
The details: Oct. 26, 7 p.m. The Ritz, 2820 Industrial Drive, Raleigh. Tickets start at $33.50, 919-424-1400 or ritzraleigh.com
The Canadian band Sum 41 should be lauded for an impressive comeback, returning with its trademark intense pop-punk. Singer-songwriter Deryck Whibley is now sober, having been hospitalized to treat alcohol addiction in 2014. Founding member Dave Baksh, who left the band in 2006, returned for the band’s latest album, “Order in Decline.”
Whibley didn’t want to write a political album but it happened while he was creating “Order.”
“The sort of overall chaos and division and hatred and anger and polarization were coming out of the music,” Whibley explained to New Noise. “I fought it at first, because I didn’t really want to go down that road. I didn’t want to make a political record or any kind of protest record.”
4. Griffin House
The details: Oct. 25, 8 p.m. Motorco, 723 Rigsbee Ave., Durham. Tickets start at $18. 919-901-0875, motorcomusic.com
It’s an “Evening With” show with Griffin House. The singer-songwriter, who has quietly crafted a dozen albums, has more than enough material for a marathon show. Expect quite a few songs from his latest, the moving “Rising Star.” House received a big assist from collaborators Paul Moak (The Blind Boys of Alabama, Mat Kearney) and Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves), who worked on his debut release “No More Crazy Love Songs” in 2001. The new tunes are loose and provocative, just like Griffin’s songs were at the start of his career.
“It was so good to reunite with them and work together again,” House told All Access. “It’s amazing to watch these guys I started out with in the very beginning who are now world class musicians and producers winning Grammys (Musgraves). This album seemed to come together with more grace and ease than records I’ve made in the past, and I think so much of that is attributed to how good the people I got to work with on this record are, and they all just happen to be really good friends too.”
5. RuPaul’s Drag Race
The details: Oct. 31, 8 p.m. Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets start at $55.50. 919-680-2787 or dpacnc.com
It’s easy to see why RuPaul’s Drag Race has been such a popular TV show. Anything goes at the live show. Prepare for an evening of music, comedy and dance.
6. Stiff Little Fingers
The details: Oct. 25, 8 p.m. Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro. The Avengers will open. Tickets start at $25. 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com
As far as old-school punk bands out of the UK go, Stiff Little Fingers hasn’t received the acclaim it deserves in the U.S. “Inflammable Material,” the Irish band’s debut release, is one of the finest punk albums from the late ‘70s. Vocalist-guitarist Jake Burns is at his best when writing about social injustice and how it impacts everyday people. Stiff Little Fingers tends to play quite a bit of songs from its first three albums, and the classic material still holds up.