World/Inferno Friendship Society @ Irving Plaza

NEW YORK, NY—New York City had an unseasonably cold chill in the air that made the night even more unwelcoming to be venturing around in it. But it was off to my very first World/Inferno Friendship Society show during the Halloween season, in which the weekend shows culminated with their annual Hallow-mas show. I had heard many things about their Halloween shows and didn’t know what to expect.

I imagined singer Jack Terricloth holding a séance onstage. Or maybe the inside of Irving Plaza had been transformed into a haunted house to make me so scared I wouldn’t be able to sleep for weeks, or perhaps spirits would be coming out of the woodwork and joining the living for a night of dancing and singing. Whatever the band had in store for fans that night, I was ready and excited.

You could not make a move inside the venue without running into a costumed concert goer. From pirates and zombies to beer wenches to Charlie Chaplin, it was odd to think my way of dressing was considered tame that night. But the most stand-out individual of the night was, of course, Terricloth, who was like a Southern preacher onstage and I think he was fully aware of his supernatural powers.

What the night did come down to was one hell of a show by World/Inferno. I actually had not seen them since 2007 and was so pleased to hear many of the tracks off of Addicted To Bad Ideas: Pete Lorre’s Twentieth Century in their set. They had plenty of material to pull from as The Anarchy And The Ecstasy was released earlier this year. Between songs, Terricloth spent some time chatting with the audience and lamenting about his saddest Halloween, which was spent alone in heartbreak.

There was also mention of the recent activities a few blocks from where we were all situated that night. Terricloth commented that the show was soon to be over due to an 11 p.m. curfew, commenting on the Occupy Wall Street protests. Yet that only led to a handful more songs being played.

To conclude a night where waltzing was encouraged, fans crowd surfer alongside the band. One fan even had the nerve to do a ‘Jesus walk’ and where overall merriment was had, World/Inferno brought out “Pumpkin Time.” This was also when Terricloth shone on stage as one of the last great performers of his kind, singing antics galore and full control over his followers. It was a sight to see with musicians against a spooky orange backdrop and massive skeletons looming behind. Truly, Halloween had begun.