Say Hello To 2017 With Live Music

Catch Garland Jeffreys at Joe's Pub this New Year's Eve
Catch Garland Jeffreys at Joe’s Pub this New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is an evening of high expectations. Mention music and that immediately brings to mind Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and as much lip-synching as you can stand. So rather than put yourself through watching the ball drop, the following are a number of live entertainment options that involve real people performing and not pantomiming.

December 28

Phish @ Madison Square Garden, NYC

4 Pennsylvania Plaza  
212-707-3131 •
8 p.m. Dec. 28, 29, 30 and 31. $80, $70.

Phish returns to resume a multi-date residency tradition that dates back a number of years. Ever since the granddaddy of the jam-band scene and heir apparent to musical forefathers The Grateful Dead followed up a four-year break-up by releasing 2009’s Steve Lillywhite-produced Joy, Phish has resumed its road warrior ways, stopping long enough to release this year’s Bob Ezrin-produced Big Boat, having played more than 31 shows to date at Madison Square Garden dating back to December 1994.

December 29

The Lone Bellow @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

6 Delancey St.
866-858-0008 •
10 p.m. $30 (Dec. 29 & 30); $40 (Dec. 31).

One of the more impressive acts to emerge from the hipster environs of Brooklyn is the Lone Bellow. The alt-country threesome made a decent splash thanks to its 2013 self-titled debut. These 11 songs served as an outlet for guitar playing singer-songwriter Zach Williams, whose life had been rocked by an accident his wife had that left her temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. While she’s thankfully recovered, the emotional fragility of the experience found Williams penning gems like “Two Sides of Lonely,” “You Never Need Nobody” and “Tree to Grow.” The trio spent 2016 transplanting to Nashville and readying the follow-up to their 2015 sophomore bow Then Came the Morning for a 2017 release.

December 30

Gov’t Mule @ the Beacon Theatre, NYC

74th Street & Broadway
866-858-0008 •
8 p.m. Dec. 30 and 31. $90, $75.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Warren Haynes has inherited the mantle of “the hardest working man in show business” from James Brown. In addition to having done double duty with the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule for 20 years and founded/runs the Evil Teen imprint, he’s carved out some time for a solo career. The man is a true road dog (the Mule played its 1,000th performance back in ’04) and has established the tradition of playing an end-of-year set of gigs at the Beacon that’s become a favorite pastime for members of Jam Band Nation. Upping the ante this time around is the fact that this is the 12th year in a row that the Mule is playing the Beacon on New Year’s Eve and the fact Haynes will be heading out on the road as part of an all-star crew commemorating The Band’s Last Waltz in early 2017. 

December 31

Garland Jeffreys @ Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, NYC

425 Lafayette St. 
212-239-6200 •
7 p.m. $50.

A stalwart of the late 1970s/early 1980s era of rock and roll-inspired singer-songwriters whose ranks included Ian Hunter, Lou Reed and Graham Parker, Garland Jeffreys always had a gift for writing songs about race and social injustice steeped in the sounds of rock, R&B and reggae. In the past three years, Jeffreys has been on quite a roll starting with 2011’s most-excellent The King of In Between and 2013’s equally stellar Truth Serum. The Brooklyn native will be leaving it all on stage thanks to a killer combination of a stellar live show and an intimate venue. The upcoming year promises to be a big one with a documentary and new album on the horizon.

Guided By Voices @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

66 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn 
212-486-5400 •
With The Moles. 9 p.m. $65 adv. $70 DOS

Thanks to albums like 1994’s Bee Thousand and 1995’s Alien Lanes, Guided By Voices (GBV) has solidified its place in the pantheon of hipster godheads. The creative heart is former schoolteacher Robert Pollard, whose prolific pen has found him registering upwards of 2,000 songs with BMI. With 22 albums, 24 solo records and countless side projects under his belt, Pollard has put together a new band line-up, which he’ll be trotting out at Ground Zero for the ironic. 

Bush @ The Paramount, Huntington

370 New York Ave. 
631-673-7300 •
With The Kickback. 10 p.m. $220 through $54.50.

Those looking to fulfill their yearning for third-level neo-grunge best make their way out to Huntington, where Gavin Rossdale will be holding court. While Bush were broken up from 2003 to 2010, Rossdale got the group back together and subsequently recorded a pair of records, with the most recent being 2014’s Man On the Run


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