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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Photograph: Benjamin Etridge

New Year's Eve concerts in NYC: TIme Out's critics' picks

Coldplay + Jay-Z

Click through for more of Time Out's top NYE picks

  1. 2013
  2. 2012

New Year's Eve concerts 2012

See in 2013 to the sound of your favorite band or singer with these top picks for a New Year's Eve concert in NYC. Hot tickets include a Colplay and Jay-Z twofer at new arena the Barclays Center, Phish's annual NYE blowout at Madison Square Garden and rags-to-riches rapper Nas performing on the hallowed Radio City Music Hall stage.


RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve in New York guide


Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Former Dresden Doll and cult pinup Amanda Palmer—who managed to drum up $1.2 million from fans to help fund her latest record, Theatre Is Evil—brings her theatrical spectacle of a show to NYC's foremost campus of culture. Watch a live stream of the concert, starting at 8:30pm on Friday, August 9 RECOMMENDED: Complete Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival coverage

  1. Terminal 5 610 W 56th St, at Eleventh Ave
  2. Fri Aug 9
More info

Anthony da Costa and Friends + Tony Scherr Trio + Tall Tall Trees

  • Price band: 2/4

Twangy, earnest young folk-rocker Anthony da Costa hosts "We Still Exist! A Post-Apocalyptic New Year's Eve" tonight, with pals such as jazz bassist Tony Scherr's killer trio (which includes downtown drum legend Anton Fier), plus locals Tall Tall Trees, who play low-key, rootsy throwbacks that would have found a nice place in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

  1. The Living Room 154 Ludlow St, between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 10002
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Arturo O'Farrill and the O'Farrill Family Band

  • Price band: 3/4

Pianist Arturo O'Farrill, trumpeter Adam O'Farrill and drummer Zack O'Farrill—son and grandsons of Chico O'Farrill, respectively, and Latin-jazz heavyweights in their own right—ring in 2013 with a pair of family-affair sets.

  1. Cornelia Street Café 29 Cornelia St, between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 10014
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

The Bad Plus

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Alt-jazz phenomenon the Bad Plus made its name—and earned itself a few haters—interpreting favorites by Blondie, Nirvana, Black Sabbath and other rock icons. Lately, though, the spotlight has been turned where it should have been all along: on the trio's striking, inventive postbop-gone-pop originals. Still celebrating the release of Made Possible, its latest LP, the band returns to the venerable Village Vanguard, where it has recently established a refreshingly offbeat New Year's Eve tradition.

  1. Village Vanguard 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St
  2. Mon Dec 31 - Sun Jan 6
More info

Blonde Redhead + Beach Fossils + Bubbles

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It's been a couple years since NYC's hyperchic Blonde Redhead has played its adopted hometown, but the identical Pace twins and singer Kazu Makino return tonight with what's sure to be a goosebump-inducing New Year's Eve set of elegant and glacially atmospheric indie rock. In support are Brooklyn's twinkly psych-surf outfit Beach Fossils and the groovily laid-back electropop duo Bubbles.

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

Chris Botti

  • Price band: 2/4

Chris Botti’s popularity is sooo not about his playing that you’d be forgiven for thinking his trumpet skills are lacking. They’re actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti takes over the Blue Note through year's end and beyond; performances tend to sell out early (as New Year's Eve already has, evidently), so call first.

  1. Blue Note 131 W 3rd St, at Sixth Ave
  2. Until Sun Jan 6
More info

Coldplay + Jay-Z

  • Critics choice

Say what you like about Coldplay’s unabashedly anthemic brand of indie rock, but these Londoners have their live shows locked down—all the tightly honed hits delivered with a winning mix of sincerity and stadium bombast. Plus, Jay-Z will join his pals to coheadline the final show and usher in 2013. As New Year’s Eve blowouts go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more high-profile or impressive collaboration.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave
  2. Until Mon May 5
More info

Countdown 2013: New Year's Eve Celebration

  • Price band: 4/4

Pianist Harold Mabern and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander welcome vocalist Vivian Sessoms as Countdown 2013 reaches its festive peak—which ain't the end of the series by a long shot.

  1. Smoke Jazz Club and Lounge 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

The Fab Faux

  • Price band: 3/4

The Fab Faux, Manhattan's premier Beatles tribute band, gets the sound down pretty well, which is not surprising given its members' considerable chops: Bassist Will Lee has played with all four real Beatles and currently plays with Paul Shaffer on Letterman. This week the band plays five—five!—holiday shows in the run-up to New Year's; NYE has the Fabs playing orchestral Beatles and Rubber Soul in full.

  1. City Winery 155 Varick St, at Vandam St
  2. Sun Dec 30 - Mon Dec 31
More info

The Felice Brothers + Yellowbirds

The Felice Brothers strive for roots-rock authenticity à la Bob Dylan and the Band, and on their latest album, God Bless You, Amigo, they blend trad folk standards with original material. Tonight these highly engaging performers usher in the New Year with the help of Brooklyn's Mail the Horse (Mon 31 only), which serves up retro-leaning riffs and honky-tonk piano.

  1. Mercury Lounge 217 E Houston St, between Essex and Ludlow Sts
  2. Until Wed Oct 29
More info

Manitoba + Sylvain Sylvain + The A-Bones + Daddy Long Legs

  • Price band: 2/4

Handsome Dick Manitoba, a member of NYC glam-punk old-schoolers the Dictators and a perennial downtown fixture, heads up a sure-to-be-raucous New Year's affair. New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain, long-running NYC garage-rock outfit the A-Bones and harp-toting, Dobro-playing local blues wildman Daddy Long Legs set the stage.

  1. The Bowery Electric 327 Bowery, between 2nd and 3rd Sts
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Marc Ribot's Bells at Midnight + Jon Madof's Zion 80

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

In what has become a tradition at the Stone, guitarist Marc Ribot leads his Spiritual Unity combo in a rendition of Albert Ayler's "Bells" to greet the New Year's arrival. Show up early to catch a percolating set by fellow guitarist Jon Madof's new Afro-Jewish jam unit; even paying two admission fees, you're probably shelling out less than you would anywhere else in town.

  1. The Stone Ave C, at 2nd St
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Mediterranean, Balkan and Gypsy New Year's Eve Party

  • Price band: 2/4

The New York Gypsy All-Stars, Emre Yilmaz, DJ Poodlecannon and dancer Kristina Melike help you party your way into 2013.

  1. Drom 85 Ave A, between 5th and 6th Sts
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Nas

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Million-record-selling Queens hip-hop star Nas will set Radio City Hall alight tonight for this New Year's Eve throwdown. Expect plenty of tunes from his tenth album, Life Is Good—a fine return to form, encompassing both funk-fried fury and soulful introspection—and, we hope, a liberal dose of his seminal 1994 album Illmatic and its follow-up, It Was Written. The 39-year-old remains a formidable talent.

  1. Radio City Music Hall 1260 Sixth Ave, at 50th St
  2. Until Mon Jun 23
More info

New Year's Eve Gala with the Mingus Big Band

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

If you're feeling like you better get hit in your soul for the arrival of a fresh year, then there's no better place to do it than in the company of this Mingus ensemble. Don't call it a ghost band; it's a repertory company steeped in the holy spirit and down with the devil blues.

  1. Jazz Standard 116 E 27th St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

New Year's Eve with Holy Ghost! + Midnight Magic

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Brooklyn Bowl rolls into the New Year to the sounds of nu-disco, care of local hotshot DFA-label duo Holy Ghost! and their former tourmates Midnight Magic, a Billyburg-based disco revivalist band. After the bands, DFA's Juan MacLean (a great spinner, by the way) takes over with a DJ set.

  1. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, at North 11th St
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Nick Moran Trio

  • Price band: 1/4

Guitarist Nick Moran heads up a funky trio as part of Bar Next Door's New Year's festivities.

  1. The Bar Next Door (downstairs at La Lanterna di Vittorio) 129 MacDougal St, between 3rd and 4th Sts
  2. Until Fri May 24
More info

Phish

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

The peerless jam band has come back with a vengeance since re-emerging five years ago, and Trey Anastasio & Co. have plotted yet another epic summer tour. The Vermont quartet’s East Coast run includes this trio of gigs at Randalls Island, where they’ve never played before. The shows are sure to feature some new songs from the group’s newly released album, Fuego.

  1. Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave), between 31st and 33rd Sts
  2. Until Sun Jul 13
Buy tickets

Pretty Lights

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Producer Derek Vincent Smith, better known as Pretty Lights, mixes so many flavors—Portishead atmospherics, early-’90s rave, gangsta rap and big beat, to name a handful—it’s a little like eating 20 different types of candy all at once. At this fternoon show—moved from Rough Trade NYC—Smith celebrates his new double album, A Color Map of the Sun.

  1. Roseland Ballroom 239 W 52nd St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Dec 7
More info

Punch Brothers

  • Critics choice

Spend the run-up to New Year's Eve, the big night itself or, hell, all three evenings in the company of newgrass prodigy and songwriting genius Chris Thile and his Punch Brothers: five dapper, sophisticated young men who definitely know how to pace an evening's revelries.

  1. Bowery Ballroom 6 Delancey St, between Bowery and Chrystie St
  2. Until Tue Dec 31
Buy tickets

Rachel Potter + The Vanity Belles

  • Price band: 2/4

Broadway starlet Rachel Potter, currently appearing as the Mistress in Evita, goes country on her debut EP, Live the Dream, and tonight picks up the tempo for a New Year's party.

  1. Hill Country Live 30 W 26th St, between Broadway and Sixth Ave
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Raya Brass Band

  • Price band: 2/4

Raya Brass Band specializes in the music of northern Greece, the southern Balkans and the Romany people. Tonight the groovesome group helps you ring in 2013.

  1. Barbès 376 9th St, at Sixth Ave
  2. Until Sat Oct 12
More info

Reverend Vince Anderson and His Love Choir

  • Price band: 1/4

Somewhere between Wesley Willis and Tammy Faye Messner is the Reverend Vince Anderson, a self-styled "dirty gospel" musician with a gravelly voice and a penchant for lightning-fast organ playing. If you're looking for a raucous, ridiculous (and cheap) way to ring in the New Year, we suggest you snap up your ten-buck ticket now.

  1. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, at Meeker Ave
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Ring in the Swing: A New Year's Dance Party

  • Price band: 4/4

Greet 2013 as it comes creeping down 59th Street, through the big, beautiful windows of Lincoln Center's swanky Allen Room, as you dance the night away to the strains of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra.

  1. The Allen Room (at Frederick P. Rose Hall) 33 W 60th St, at Broadway
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

RJD2

  • Price band: 2/4

Ring in 2013 with an evening of lush groovescapes courtesy of unpredictable beatsmith RJD2 and ’80s-obsessed synth wrangler Com Truise.

  1. Gramercy Theatre 127 E 23rd St, between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Spirit Family Reunion + Christopher Paul Stelling + Thick Wild

Rabble-rousing Brooklyn folkies Spirit Family Reunion deliver foot-stomping, throaty, joyful songs at this LES NYE party.

  1. Pianos 158 Ludlow St, between Rivington and Stanton Sts
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

T Blues Band + Michael Powers

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Singer-guitarist Michael Powers behaves like he has a Delta hellhound on his trail. We’re not so sure that’s the case, but the gritty soul on his record Prodigal Son befits a cat who apprenticed with James Cotton.

  1. Terra Blues 149 Bleecker St, between La Guardia Pl and Thompson St
  2. Until Mon Nov 25
More info

They Might Be Giants

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Whether your year was good or bad, it's tough to imagine a band that can either amplify your joy or pull you up from the doldrums with the sure-fire versatility and personality of TMBG. (Of course, if you've not got your New Year's Eve tickets lined up already, knowing what you're missing won't improve matters—in which case, forget we said anything.)

  1. Music Hall of Williamsburg 66 North 6th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

Wynton Marsalis Meets Vince Giordano

  • Price band: 4/4

We get it: Wynton Marsalis is a superstar, Dizzy's is a pretty intimate space, and New Year's Eve in one of New York's tonier jazz clubs ought to command a premium price. Still, if you ask us, charging this much to catch Marsalis, Vince Giordano and their bandmates re-creating Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens hits a blue note of a whole ’nuther kind.

  1. Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola (at Frederick P. Rose Hall) 33 W 60th St, at Broadway
  2. Until Mon Dec 31
More info

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