NYE Concerts in the USA


By Zach Schepis

Photo courtesy of remixyourface.

It’s that time of year once again. Bust out the new threads and cocktail dresses and disappear into the bleeding city lights. Pop some champagne and unleash your inner party animal. Remember all of those things you were grateful for this year and make plans for the next one (while simultaneously forgetting most of what will follow).

New Year’s Eve is upon us. There’s always a million overwhelming events and plans to choose from; should you go to your best friend’s disco party or do ice-luge shots with the Russians next door? Go to a bar or host something yourself?

One thing is certain: stay the hell away from Times Square if you know what’s good for you.

Fortunately for us, we have some amazing concerts happening in our own musical backyard–the good ole U-S-of-A. We’ve selected five of our favorites, featuring artists that we love spinning here at BTR.

This list could have easily turned into a gargantuan tome, but we decided to make it a little more digestible. Now you can spend more time pre-gaming and figuring out what to wear.

Some are more budget-able than others, but hey, it’s NYE. Shell out the extra nickel and make it a night worth remembering. Or, in the words of Sublime’s Bradley Nowell: “This ain’t no funky reggae-party, five dollars at the door.”

The Flaming Lips – The Warfield, San Francisco, CA

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

When he’s not dropping acid with Miley Cyrus, Wayne Coyne is melting minds with his psychedelic rollercoaster rockers The Flaming Lips. These guys are seasoned vets when it comes to putting on a show, and their no-holds-barred approach creates experiences you’ll likely never forget. Want to see the band ride along the top of an audience while inside a mystical bubble, or chase a bear across the stage while wearing a pair of oversized hands? Us too.

Railroad Earth – Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Nothing says “America!” more than some old-fashioned bluegrass music. The band even nabbed their name from a Jack Kerouac story, which is usually a telltale sign of a good time (and most likely a drunken time at that). So travel on down south and enjoy Railroad Earth’s unique blend of old-school chicken-pickin’, jazz, blues, and soul. If you’re looking to return to your roots, down some whiskey and grab a dancing partner.

Bob Mould – Metro, Chicago, IL

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

It might be the New Year, but it’s always appropriate to celebrate the ‘90s. Which is why we’ve included Bob Mould, the songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist for the alt-rockers Husker Du. In case you forgot, they’re the guys responsible for inspiring the grunge movement, and influencing artists like Nirvana and the Pixies. No big deal, right? Not for Mould, who has his own solo act that will be raging the Windy City. Go out and enjoy a piece of punk-rock history.

Gov’t Mule – The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The list just wouldn’t be complete without at least one selection from the Big Apple, and who better to ring it in than the mighty Mule? The hard-driving blues rockers have been together for 20 years–a milestone sure to be a commemoration worth attending, even if it weren’t the New Year. With the Allman Brothers finally retired from the road, the legendary band’s former guitarist Warren Haynes will be giving everything he has to Gov’t Mule. Hear him bend lion roars out of his axe in one of NYC’s most beautiful venues.

Flying Lotus – The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Photo courtesy of Jon Elbaz.

Bookending the list with another San Fran pick for all you West-coasters (or ambitious road-trippers), go check out John Coltrane’s musical prodigy-of-a-nephew. Following in the legacy of his musical family, Flying Lotus (or Steven Ellison, if you want to get personal) creates genre-bending electronic music that could quite literally turn you into a puddle on the floor. Plus, if there were anywhere aliens would choose to land during the New Year, this would be the place.

For the best New Year’s Eve concerts abroad, check out the follow-up article on BTR tomorrow.