Danny Elfman Says “Leave Your Kids at Home” for His Halloween Hollywood Bowl Shows

"This is not a kids’ show and this isn’t a family show"

danny elfman hollywood bowl halloween weekend concert live music leave your kids at home
Danny Elfman, photo by Jonathan Williamson

    Sure, Danny Elfman has soundtracked a lot of family-friendly movies in his day, but that doesn’t necessarily means he wants your kids to come to his performances. For his Halloween gigs at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl on October 28th and 29th, the prolific composer has one request: Please, leave your kids at home.

    Elfman recently told Variety that, while his Bowl performances will pull heavily from his epic Coachella set earlier this year, he plans on dedicating more of the set time to his 2021 solo album Big Mess — which is decidedly not G-rated.

    “I just keep saying over and over, leave your kids home. This is not a kids’ show and this isn’t a family show,” Elfman clarified. “This isn’t The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Coachella show had a bit of Nightmare Before Christmas, because that’s part of my own past, and I’m embracing that. But I’m embracing it as just one element in a much bigger context, of which many of the songs and images are not family-friendly, as much of my world isn’t. You know, I’ve got the family side of my world and the not-family side of my world. So I keep begging people that are thinking, ‘Oh, I wanna bring the kids down to the Bowl,’ I say, ‘No, no. Wait till next year.’”


    The musician added that his Bowl performance will be about equally representative of the “three sides” of his career: The blockbuster composer, the dystopian experimental rocker, and the weirdo new wave icon who once fronted Oingo Boingo. Elfman doesn’t just want to protect kids from getting too frightened; he also just doesn’t want them to be bored to sleep by the music they don’t know. But elder fans can look forward to catching Elfman return to the stage with his core rock band, an orchestra, and a choir.

    “[The Bowl setlist] has relatively the same balance as Coachella, but just enhanced,” Elfman went on. In terms of the additional 12 or 14 more songs — something like that — it’s a lot of new (Big Mess) songs that we didn’t do at Coachella, and three more film suites as well. It’s also learning, for this group, a lot of the older songs, and trying to give a new spin on some of those too. There’s a couple of reinventions that will surprise some of the Boingo fans.”

    So while Elfman discourages you from toting your little ones along to his Halloween run, we’re assuming it’s still safe to bring them to the upcoming live-to-film concert stagings of The Nightmare Before Christmas in London this December, during which Phoebe Bridgers will voice Sally. Check ticket availability for this weekend’s LA performances here, and then secure your seats for the London shows here.


    Elfman has also today shared a slightly unsettling music video for “Happy (Boy Harsher Remix),” which appears on the musician’s remix album Bigger. Messier. Check that out below.

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