One of the joys of living is tradition, and for those of us who grew up in Southern California from 1986 to 1991, Oingo Boingo playing Halloween night at Irvine Meadows was a tradition that roughly 16,000 folks got to take part in. It was a grand party with great music, and I was lucky enough to attend in 1991 before they took a break from it in 1992.
Elfman explained why they stopped in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "It was our design not to be that predictable. To perform on Halloween means doing the audience version of what we're supposed to do." He elaborated his frustration with people's expectations. "If we went up there (on Halloween) and didn't do all the old stuff, people would be just miserable. I get lots of mail (saying), 'See you on Halloween, can't wait to hear "Only a Lad."' Each one cemented my determination not to do it." Being the artist that he is, it wasn't surprsing to see him say, "I don't like to be a trained monkey on stage. It was starting to feel like a Fourth of July Beach Boys' show, and the concept of that makes me really nauseous."
While all things come to an end and his position was understandable, I still feel like something is missing without Oingo Boingo on Halloween, even a couple decades removed. Thanks to Despina838 of YouTube, there are a few complete shows available, and I have selected the 1990 show for your viewing and listening pleasure. Turn it up loud and give yourself room to dance up a sweat.
Setlist: Oingo Boingo, Irvine Meadows, Irvine, CA, 10/25/90
1. Cry of the Vatos 2. Dead Man's Party 3. When the Lights Go Out 4. Dead or Alive 5. Home Again 6. Skin 7. Glory Be 8. Cinderella Undercover 9. Help Me 10. Sweat 11. Out of Control 12. Flesh 'N Blood 13. Grey Matter 14. Long Breakdown 15. Good For Your Soul 16. Elevator Man 17. No One Lives Forever 18. We Close Our Eyes 19. Mama 20. Minnie the Moocher 21. Dream Somehow 22. Not My Slave 23. Stay 24. Who Do You Want to Be? 25. Wild Sex 26. Try to Believe 27. Just Another Day 28. Gratitude 29. Private Life 30. Violent Love 31. No Spill Blood 32. You Really Got Me 33. Little Girls 34. Only a Lad 35. Goodbye, Goodbye