There’s no better way of capping off the year than with a paradox: a night of debauchery that leads into a morning of, “I’ll be better this year.” And there’s not many places better than Philly for the big night. Beyond the fireworks, dinner deals, and continued Chip Kelly groaning, New Year’s is for dancing.
Take a look at our short list of concerts worth checking out this New Year’s Eve and read on for a handful of shows that’ll keep you busy through the weekend.
Thursday, Dec. 31
Dave P. knows a thing or two about throwing a New Year’s Eve bash and his annual Making Time event is back for another Union Transfer blowout. A ticket buys you five hours worth of open bar time and a champagne toast at midnight. Oh yeah, there will be some music too courtesy of Mike Z. & Dave Pak, Rocktits!, and Broadzilla.
Check out the most recent edition of Making Time RADio on WXPN here to get a sense of what to expect.
Show 9 p.m. - 2 a.m., $40-50
Hometown favorites A Sunny Day In Glasgow will ring in another new year at Johnny Brenda’s this week. The show has become a stalwart pick for the holiday, and it’s the only
show Pitchfork recommends
for the last night in 2015 in the City of Brotherly Love. Even better? The familiar shoegaze outfit released their latest album, "Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life Is Loss," a double-disc, last month, so this is basically like a dual-purpose release show and NYE throwdown.
Show 9 p.m., $15
Jazmine Sullivan has had a big year: she performed with Stevie Wonder at City Hall and
released her stellar "Reality Show" album in January. Thankfully the Philly local is keeping it close for New Year’s with a performance at the TLA.
Show 9:30 p.m., $47
Grateful Dead cover band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is just getting started. After forming in 2013, the outfit, (which includes the namesake Further drummer Russo himself, Ween bassist Dave Drewitz, and Tom Hamilton of American Babies) are just now gathering steam. If the Dead Heads’ New Year’s Eve plans say anything, it’s that 2016 is gonna be big.
Doors 9 p.m., $60
Friday, Jan. 1
Drums Like Machine Guns are sticking to their kits, which is to say: noisy. DLMG are a noise band through and through, though they’re committed to bringing some electronic flair to the over-the-top sound. The group arrives at Boot & Saddle for an early show supported by SPT and Collar on Friday. Be warned: this one’s not for the faint of heart.
Doors 4 p.m., Show 5 p.m., $5
Saturday, Jan. 2
Let’s be honest: you’re gonna need more than a single day to nurse that NYE hangover. Saturday morning brunch will do you some good, and an all-vinyl soul set serenading you while you munch is a smooth way of easing into 2016.
Brunch 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., pay as you go
DJ Excel has a lot of experience under his belt: mixtape duties, corporate clients, and a nonstop string of live shows. The guy seems to take Philly’s history of acclaimed deejays seriously, and Excel is quietly joining the ranks himself. On Saturday he’ll kick off his 2016 with a headline set at Coda. Expect a little bit of everything coming out of the speakers, but the dancefloor will stay in constant motion.
Show 11 p.m., $10
Sunday, Jan. 3
Philly’s own Liz De Lise brings her new EP, "To And Fro," out for a hometown crowd on Sunday. The short record is equal parts folk, pop, and psychedelic. Plus, Thought Culture and Darlington will support the main act with early opening sets.
Doors 8 p.m., $7
Lord Narf is part of the awesomely weird Awful Records family, and she fits in perfectly. Her latest album, "SICK," was released without much fanfare in March, but the Atlanta spitter is doing her best to keep it in rotation. The care-free druggy aesthetic is hard to pin down, but that’s how she wants it. Narf arrives at Ortlieb’s for a cheap show on Sunday.
Show 8 p.m., $5