New Year's Eve Concerts


by staff, 11/30/2010

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It's almost time to bid adieu to 2010—the year that Spain triumphed in exciting World Cup competition, Lady Gaga continued to conquer the pop universe and a survivor of the Chilean mining crisis crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon. How will you celebrate the last 12 months and welcome 2011 this New Year’s Eve? If you don’t plan on fighting the cold while waiting for the ball to drop at the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, you can heat things up at the following concerts. Be sure to buy tickets in advance, as shows will definitely fill up fast.

The Roots
Brooklyn Bowl; 10pm; $85
Long before they stepped into America's television sets as the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots were already groundbreaking hip-hop legends—splicing funk, jazz, rock, rap and soul to create a completely new musical brew. As Fallon viewers have learned, there may not be a better party band on earth. And since New Year's Eve is New York's biggest party, The Roots at the Brooklyn Bowl is pretty much the show to see on NYE.

Guided by Voices
Irving Plaza; 8pm; $86.75
Arguably the most obsessively beloved cult band of all time, Dayton, Ohio's Guided By Voices concluded 20 years of noise-pop perfection with their final show in 2004—or so they led us to believe. To the great joy of the group's rabid fan base, Robert Pollard and the lineup from GBV's early '90s heyday has returned for a slate of shows in 2010, culminating in this can't-miss New Year's Eve blowout at New York's Irving Plaza. It may not be as crowded as Times Square, but it might be just as loud.

Patti Smith and Her Band
Bowery Ballroom; 9pm; $55
The opportunity to see a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and bona-fide music icon in a setting as intimate as the Bowery Ballroom is a rare one indeed. Over three nights (December 29–31), proto-punk poetess and consummate NYC icon Patti Smith graces that stage with her legendary band, in top form after all these years.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Best Buy Theater; 9pm; $55
Despite her amazing pipes, Sharon Jones spent decades on the fringes of the music industry until a special group of Brooklyn musicians began to tease out her seemingly bottomless pool of talent and charisma. The band eventually became the Dap-Kings, and the label, Daptone Records, became an analogue-worshipping funk phenomenon (see Amy Winehouse). The ace band and soulstress lend their warm virtuosity to the Best Buy Theater for an unforgettable NYE party.

Brooklyn Soul New Year’s Eve
The Bell House; 8pm; $30–$40
The funkiest New Year’s Eve show in NYC beckons with none other than James Brown's "Soul Sister Number One," Marva Whitney, and the vintage Detroit soul sounds of Billy Prince of '60s legends The Precisions. R&B vocal quartet The Sweet Divines and their Divine Soul Rhythm Band back both icons, and DJs kick classic 45s well into 2011.

Chuck Berry New Year’s Eve
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill; 8pm; $98 advance, $100 day of show
How better to ring in the New Year than with one of the founders of rock 'n' roll? Check Berry might have penned some of rock's greatest anthems ("Roll Over Beethoven," "Rock and Roll Music," "Johnny B. Goode") in the '50s, but he's remained a consummate showman and guitar soloist ever since.

Happy House New Year’s Eve Celebration
Union Hall; 8pm; $15
Brooklyn's most disco-feverish night makes a short trip across the 'hood to Union Hall to host a corker of a New Year's Eve celebration. The musically polyamorous party trades in classic R&B, brit-pop, synth-excursions and, of course, all shades of disco for a intimate, uninhibited way to ring in 2011.

Drive-By Truckers
Terminal 5; 10pm; $35–$60
The men and women of Drive-By Truckers have done more than anyone to keep Southern rock alive. No Kid Rock-esque caricature, DBT brings a darkly literate ambition to its songs. With a legendary live show and a wealth of new material from their brilliant, assertively rockist The Big To-Do, Drive-Bys are poised to take Terminal 5 down past the Mason-Dixon.

The Bad Plus
Village Vanguard; 9:30pm; $150
The New Year's Eve show during The Bad Plus' six-night Village Vanguard run is bound to be a party. The innovative jazz piano trio is known for putting its own distinctive twist on such familiar numbers as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," and their recent album Never Stop—the first to feature only original material—is no less compelling.

Butthole Surfers
The Music Hall of Williamsburg; 9pm; $60
The Butthole Surfers owe their devoted following to a warped sense of humor, a raucous live show that some find thrilling and others find sickening, and even the occasional hit song ("Pepper" charted in the 1990s). Tonight's concert is bound to be one of the strangest ways you could ring in 2011—complete with ample profanity and obscene video projections. It's definitely not for everyone, but it should be a night to remember.


related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Music Hall of Williamsburg
    66 N 6th St
    Brooklyn – Williamsburg
    NY 11211
  2. 2
    Bowery Ballroom
    6 Delancey St
    Manhattan – Lower East Side
    NY 10002
  3. 3
    The Bell House
    149 7th St
    Brooklyn – Gowanus
    NY 11215
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Bowl
    61 Wythe Ave.
    Brooklyn – Williamsburg
    NY 11249
  2. 5
    Terminal 5
    610 W. 56th St.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  3. 6
    Irving Plaza
    17 Irving Plaza
    Manhattan – Gramercy
    NY 10003
  1. 7
    B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
    237 W. 42nd St.
    Manhattan – Times Square
    NY 10036

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