Written by Dave Gil de Rubio, email@example.com Monday, 30 December 2013 00:00
New Year’s Eve and music normally immediately bring to mind Dick Clark’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 live people performing and not pantomiming.
Phish @ Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. 8 p.m. $65. 212-707-3131 www.thegarden.com
The grand-daddy of the jam-band scene and heir apparent to musical forefathers The Grateful Dead returns to play a spate of consecutive dates at Madison Square Garden for the fourth consecutive year. Since following up its four-year break-up by releasing 2009’s Steve Lillywhite-produced Joy, Phish has resumed its road warrior ways. Not only did the foursome stop long enough in 2010 to induct Genesis, Trey Anastasio’s favorite band, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but headlined Bonnaroo in 2012 alongside the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead, taking enough time out to invite Kenny Rogers on stage to play a straightforward version of “The Gambler.” Currently the band are celebrating 30 years together and as such, are getting ready to release the forthcoming Given the band’s reputation as a live act, these tickets are high in-demand items. For those unable to secure duckets, the band is offering live webcasts at LivePhish.com.
Through December 31
Punch Brothers @ Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St., 9 p.m. $25. 866-858-0008 www.boweryballroom.com
Progressive bluegrass, thy name is the Punch Brothers. Led by Nickel Creek mandolinist Chris Thile, the remaining ingredients in this old time music PB sandwich includes members of Leftover Salmon, the Dave Rawlings Machine and the Infamous Stringdusters. Count super-producer T-Bone Burnett as a major fan who put his money where his mouth was and hired the band to provide music for Inside Llewyn Davis, the controversial Coen Brothers film about the early ’60s Greenwich Village folk music scene.
Gov’t Mule @ the Beacon Theatre, 74th Street & Broadway. 8 p.m. $75, $60, $50. 866-858-0008 www.beacontheatre.com
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 doing double duty with the Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule, 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 like Patti Smith, he’s 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 tenth year in a row that the Mule is playing the Beacon on New Year’s Eve and the fact Haynes and company released Shout!, the band’s first album in four years and Blue Note Records debut, earlier this year. (Also appearing on December 31)
Dark Star Orchestra @ The Paramount, 370 New York Ave. 8:30 p.m. $143.50, $73.50, $63, $52.50.
Far more than just a run-of-the-mill Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) goes beyond just doing covers. Since 1997, DSO has taken original sets originally performed by the Dead and played them in their entirety right down to phrasing, arrangements, song order and with specific musical equipment.
With more than 2000 performances under its belt, DSO has gained the kind of credibility that’s found them performing with an impressive array of guest artists whose ranks include Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Vince Welnick. (Also appearing on December 31)
Long Island Philharmonic Annual New Year’s Spectacular @ the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, 720 Northern Blvd.,
7:30 p.m. $88, $73, $58. 516-299-3100 www.tillescenter.org
Led by music director David Stewart Wiley, the Long Island Philharmonic will be classing up the Tilles Center and welcoming in 2014 with this annual performance whose theme this year is a “Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway Situation.” Packed with songs from a variety of musicals including The King and I, Oklahoma!, the Sound of Music and South Pacific, the evening’s festivities also include the involvement of Oscar “Andy” Hammerstein III.
Delta Spirit @ Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave. 9 p.m. $15. 718-963-3369 www.brooklynbowl com
Not to be confused with North Carolina’s Delta Rae, Delta Spirit is instead a Brooklyn-based-by-way-of-California quintet that broke away from its emo roots to go down a path that falls somewhere between indie rock and alt-country. Three full-length albums in, Delta Spirit may best be known for its song “Running,” which was used in The Walking Dead.
Jill Scott @ Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Sixth Ave., 8 p.m. $255, $70. 866-858-0008 www.radiocity.com
Of all the artists to emerge from the ’90s neo-soul scene, Jill Scott has arguably had the greatest success. Not only has Scott become a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter with multi-platinum sales to go with critical and commercial acclaim, but she’s used her spoken-word origins as a springboard into being a published poet and respected actress.
With rumors of two separate studio albums slated for release, concertgoers can expect to hear some new fare as they join Scott in welcoming in 2014.
Mike Epps @ NYCB Theatre @ Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., 10 p.m. $116.50, $84.25. 877-598-8497 www.livenation.com
Mike Epps returns to his stand-up comedy roots when he hits the revolving stage at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury. Following his 1995 breakthrough on Def Comedy Jam, Epps effectively got tapped by Ice Cube to replace Chris Tucker in the Friday franchise and from there, the Indiana native has gone on to play roles in two Hangover movies, The Sopranos, The Boondocks and the Sparkle remake.
Disco Biscuits @The Theater @ Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. 8 p.m. $69.
Back from their four day excursion in the Mexican Riviera, the Disco Biscuits return to grace the stage for a four night run at the Best Buy Theater in Time Square, from Dec. 26 - 29, all leading up to the New Year’s Eve extravaganza inside the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Join Brownie (Marc Brownstein), Barber (Jon Gutwillig), Dr. Fameus (Allen Aucoin) and Aron Magner as they tear the roof off with three full sets of music that is guaranteed to make you leave with a smile plastered on your face and ringing ears.
There won’t be any champagne at this event, but you can certainly expect lasers, balloons, dancing, and of course good vibes. So, bring your ass to the party. — Daniel Offner