New Year’s Eve Pt. I: The Big Shows

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Tobias Schneider

We’ve rounded up who’ll be playing where as we bid adieu to the first full decade (really? How can that be?) of the 21st century—part I, below, are the biggies. Look for smaller, quirkier options in Part II. 

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings--who gave Celebrate Brooklyn its largest single-show attendance ever this August, with more than 20,000 crowding Prospect Park to hear those horns--will coat the stage at the Best Buy Theater with their trademark Dap-Sweat on December 30 and 31. Note: The Theater Formerly Known As the Nokia is in Times Square. On New Year’s Eve. You’ve been warned. 9PM. Tickets are $55 via Ticketmaster. 

Overachievers The Roots are getting the night off from Jimmy Fallon to rock not one, not two, but three sets at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg (where Questlove is pretty much already the mayor, holding court on the turntables every Thursday night) starting at 10PM. Tickets are $85 through the venue. 

Passion Pit will do two back-to-back shows at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, N.J. on December 30 (with Titus Andronicus) at 8PM and 31 (with Slick Rick!) at 9PM. Tickets start at $43 through the venue. 

Patti Smith and Her Band are doing their end-of-year three-nighter at Bowery Ballroom, a tradition that’s been going since 1998. Starting December 29 (and including December 30, the punk poet’s 64th birthday). Expect Auld Lang Syne at midnight and the odd surprise, like the time she whipped out The Four Tops’ Reach Out (I’ll Be There)—but only if you have a ticket (the shows are sold out).  Check Craigslist if you don’t. 9PM. 

Realistically, you only have so many more chances to see 84-year-old boogie-woogie legend Chuck Berry play his long-running New Year’s Eve show at B.B. King’s. 8PM (from $100), 11PM (from $120).

This will be beautiful: Judy Collins leads a passel of performers in candle-lit song and readings at the Annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. And it’s free. 7PM.

Guided by Voices added a (surprise!) New Year’s Eve show at Irving Plaza, some consolation for those who missed out on Sunday’s Terminal 5 show (which featured a crazypants 10 encores). Tickets start at $72 at 

Let’s hope there’ll be no flying leaps from the upper bleachers when Phish take to Madison Square Garden for their three-night run, starting on December 30 and ending New Year’s Day. The eve show starts at 8PM, the other two at 7:30PM; tickets are $60-70 through MSG.

Terminal 5 rings in 2011 with the Drive-By Truckers and “special guests” (probably not Tom Petty and the heartbreakers, though they opened for the elder band on select dates this summer and a girl can dream). 10PM. At this writing, advance tickets are $35 through Ticketmaster, but that price climbs as high as $60 closer to the date, so get on it now.

How in the tank are Government Mule for New Year’s Eve? Their live album Mulennium was actually recorded on the day in 1999. They re-up the tradition with a return to the Beacon Theatre on December 30 (at 8PM) and 31 (at 9PM). Tickets are $50-$85 at


What I'm listening to: Don’t Fence Me In – David Byrne

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