New Year's Eve concerts and live music in New York

Ring in the new year with these New Year's Eve concerts, featuring annual live-music shows, major-label stars and cutting-edge acts

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Celebrate 2015 to the sound of your favorite band or artist with these top picks of New Year's Eve concerts in NYC. Sing along to "Tiny Dancer" when Elton John plays Barclays Center, or dance the night away with EDM's biggest stars, Diplo and Skrillex, when they takeover Madison Square Garden with their Jack U project. Then continue the night by watching the fireworks or stopping by one of the many New Year's Eve parties around the city.

RECOMMENDED: NYC New Year's Eve guide

New Year's Eve concerts 2014

Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Catch the Trane into the new year as Smoke runs out the calendar with its annual John Coltrane festival. Here, tenorist and Smoke mainstay Eric Alexander and his mentor, veteran pianist Harold Mabern, colead a quartet featuring drum master Louis Hayes (Dec 23–25), followed by a sextet with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxist Vincent Herring (Dec 26 through Jan 1). Note that special prices apply on Dec 31.

  1. Smoke Jazz Club and Lounge 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts
  2. Tue Dec 23 - Thu Jan 1
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The Bad Plus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Once known mainly as the quirky trio that made its name covering rock and pop tunes, the Bad Plus now comes off as an exemplary contemporary jazz combo, by turns cerebral, visceral and disarmingly emotive. Pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King boast a rare magnetism that transcends genre, even when the band undertakes something as challenging as Stravinsky's ballet Rite of Spring (heard on a recent TBP CD) or Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction LP (heard at a recent local live date). Here, the trio digs into its increasingly deep back catalog, fleshed out on another fine 2014 release, Inevitable Western, during a six-night New Year's run.

  1. Village Vanguard 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St
  2. Tue Dec 30 - Sun Jan 4
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Joe Battaglia and the New York Big Band: New Year's Eve Gala

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Escape those Tweetbooking whippersnappers with dinner and dancing in the expansive Art Deco grandeur of the Edison Ballroom. Every ticket includes a four-course meal and the chance to put your knowledge of actual dance steps (steps that have names, dammit) to good use while Joe Battaglia and his brassy crew dole out swing classics. Book a table on the mezzanine for a cheaper ticket.

  1. Edison Ballroom 240 W 47th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Laura Benanti: New Year's Eve

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

The enchanting Laura Benanti has captured Broadway's heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In her New Year's Eve show at 54 Below, she reunites with ace pianist Todd Almond in a new set that promises to start 2015 with a champagne pop of class and effervescence. (Ticket price includes dinner, champagne, tax and tip.)

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Sandra Bernhard Is #blessed

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The Divine Sandra is a mouthy actor, comedian and singer whose best work gives pop culture a big, sloppy kiss, while simultaneously biting it on the lip. She returns for her annual year-capping residency at Joe’s Pub, where's she'll wrap up 2014 with her blend of sentimentality, caustic wit, wistfulness and sarcasm and belt out plenty of tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) rock songs.

  1. Joe's Pub at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette St, between Astor Pl and E 4th St
  2. Fri Dec 26 - Wed Dec 31
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Mykki Blanco + Mr. Twin Sister + Perfect Pussy + Ricky Eat Acid+ Ronald Paris + Sunflower Bean + James K

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Highly entertaining cross-dressing poet, rapper and downtowner Mykki Blanco headlines this high-energy New Year’s Eve gig at the buzzy Baby’s. Blisteringly urgent Syracuse noise-pop crew Perfect Pussy, dreamy disco outfit Mr. Twin Sister, local psych-punks Sunflower Bean and others round out the bill.

  1. Baby's All Right 146 Broadway, at Bedford Ave, 11211
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Dee Dee Bridgewater

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Dee Dee Bridgewater is jazz-vocal royalty, a consummate old-school crooner-belter with a career that stretches back more than 40 years. Her latest studio set, 2010's Grammy-winning Eleanora Fagan (1915–1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee, honored Billie Holiday, so there's a good chance you'll hear some of that classic repertoire during this three-night New Year's run.

  1. Iridium 1650 Broadway, at 51st St
  2. Wed Dec 31 - Fri Jan 2
More info

Charles Busch

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Ever since his 1984 cult smash, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Charles Busch has been working toward the sepia title of First Lady of the American Stage. As an actress, he specializes in loving, hilariously nuanced portraits of defiant yet vulnerable women, in the style of the great film stars of the 1940s. For this New Year's Eve show, he's joined by musical director Tom Judson on the piano.

  1. 54 Below 254 W 54th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave, 10019
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Deer Tick 10

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Rhode Island faves Deer Tick celebrate 10 years of rollicking, Southern-tinged roots and alt-country rock at this ambitious six-nighter, which features full-album covers sets—and a different opener each night—Dec 26 through 30 and a fan-chosen set at the NYE finale.

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St, 11211
  2. Fri Dec 26 - Wed Dec 31
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Dig Deeper with Joshie Jo Armstead + Lonnie Lester

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

It’s a good time to be a vintage-soul fan in NYC. In early December, the Daptone label treated us to a three-night bash at the Apollo, and on New Year’s Eve, the kindred spirits at Dig Deeper, whose mission is to help resurrect the careers of obscure golden-era performers, stage the latest in a series of monthly showcases at roomy yet homey Gowanus spot Littlefield. We’re swooning at the thought of catching “Joshie” Jo Armstead, a brilliant septuagenarian singer-crooner who backed Ike and Tina and cowrote with Ashford & Simpson. Indianapolis vet and record-collectors’ fave Lonnie Lester rounds out a sterling bill.

  1. Littlefield 622 DeGraw St, between Third and Fourth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Disclosure + Claude Vonstroke + Dusky + Ten Walls + Kyle Hall + Isaac Tichauer

  • Critics choice

Critics and consumers reached a rare consensus in pegging Disclosure's debut, Settle, as the best dance record of 2013. The British brothers, currently on a massive world tour, have decided to ring in 2015 by bringing their sleek, soulful garage-house tracks to Pier 94. The Disclosure live experience is a guaranteed blowout, so remember, hydrate well and get ready to move.

  1. Pier 94 Hudson River, at 55th St
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Natalie Douglas: New Year's Eve

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Award-winning chanteuse Natalie Douglas returns to the Duplex for her annual two-part New Year’s cabaret show with accompanist Mark Hartman. (Both sets include a champagne toast.)

  1. The Duplex 61 Christopher St , at Seventh Ave South
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Erasure

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

British electropop bastions Erasure take on Terminal 5 for a two-night stand, playing behind the recent The Violet Flame—and throwing in, we're willing to bet, a delicious dose of the old hits ("A Little Respect," "Chains of Love," "Always"). All Hail the Silence and Alex English open Dec 30; Book of Love and Alex English open Dec 31.

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Tue Dec 30 - Wed Dec 31
More info

Goodbye, Glasslands!

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

We can’t tell you exactly who you’ll catch if you shell out for this all-surprises bill, the last night of music at beloved Williamsburg show spot Glasslands. But at least you can tell your friends you were present at the end of an era—Glasslands is currently the final holdout in the now Vice-occupied complex that once housed 285 Kent and Death by Audio. And given the venue’s track record of hosting the finest in indie pop, cutting-edge R&B and connoisseur-friendly electronica, this gig is absolutely worth rolling the dice on.

  1. Glasslands 289 Kent Ave, between South 1st and 2nd Sts, 11249
  2. Wed Dec 31
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The Hold Steady + The So So Glos

  • Critics choice

Expert rock & roll mythologists the Hold Steady bring their tales of nostalgia, listlessness and inebriation to the 'Burg on New Year's Eve. The bar band extraordinaire is riding high from its latest, Teeth Dreams, so expect it to ring in 2015 with a fervent, noisy glory, aided by local DIYers the So So Glos.

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Wed Dec 31
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Holy Ghost! + Museum of Love

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Hook-heavy local electropop duo Holy Ghost! ushers in the New Year with loads of danceable nu-disco.

  1. Irving Plaza 17 Irving Pl, at 15th St
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Jack U

  • Price band: 3/4

If you like to go big on New Year’s Eve, we can’t think of anything bigger than catching two of EDM’s leading rock stars, Mad Decent honcho Diplo and dubstep king Skrillex, when they bring their Jack U project to Madison Square Garden. (Sorry, Phish fans. Better luck next year.)

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza , between 31st and 33rd Sts, 10001
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Elton John and His Band

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

While we reveled in the unexpected delights of his reflective 2013 solo release, The Diving Board, we're sure glad to see Sir Elton ushering in the New Year on Brooklyn's biggest stage: Swoon along to "Tiny Dancer," make juvenile hand gestures to "Crocodile Rock," smile meaningfully at your folks during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." What's not to love?

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Wed Dec 31
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The Mandingo Ambassadors

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Guitarist Mamady Kouyaté formed the Mandingo Ambassadors in Guinea in the late ’60s. Now living in New York, Kouyaté leads a new version of the outfit through funky, festive West African tunes every Wednesday night at Barbès.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave, 11215
  2. Wed Dec 24 - Wed Jan 28
More info

Marilyn Maye: The Biggest Party EVER

  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

Marilyn Maye’s stellar past includes a string of classy RCA albums in the ’60s and a nearly unequaled number of Tonight Show appearances, but this husky-voiced, earthy belter has never sounded better than she does now at the age of 87. Her annual NYE performance at the Met Room is being billed as “The Biggest Party EVER,” which is pretty damned impressive for an octogenarian. The 10pm show includes hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

  1. Metropolitan Room 34 W 22nd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info

Obits + Dead Stars + Tournament

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Obits features Rick Froberg, formerly of well-loved West Coast combos Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, and the band's snotty, soulful brand of art punk is unlikely to disappoint Froberg enthusiasts—or any other New Year's Eve revelers ringing in 2015 at crucial punk/metal spot the Acheron.

  1. The Acheron 57 Waterbury St, at Scholes St
  2. Wed Dec 31
More info


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