The year-end holidays are upon us, so Local Spins helps you plan your New Year’s Eve celebrations with a Top 10 list of music-driven bashes to behold.
For many, New Year’s Eve is all about the party – celebrating the arrival of another year, and in this case, another decade.
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For others, it’s definitely about the music.
And West Michigan has a ton of intriguing options to welcome 2020 with musical fireworks.
Here’s Local Spins’ Top 10 List of New Year’s Eve concerts, with a full roster of options in the calendar listing below.
1. Billy Strings at The Intersection – For those without tickets, this show unfortunately has been sold out for months. But it stars a Michigan-bred bluegrass hero whose latest album spent several weeks at the top of Billboard’s bluegrass chart (No. 4 for the year-end chart). He’s an Ionia-raised phenom playing a Michigan homecoming show after selling out venues across the country and his fans will be pumped. Read a Local Spins interview with Billy Strings here. (On the flip side, electronic music/DJ fans can hit up the “Beats & Bubbly 2020” party at Elevation downstairs at The Intersection the same night with Manic Focus, Daily Bread, Flats Stanlie and Fludder starting at 9 p.m., $20 advance, $25 day of show. Info/tickets here.)
2. Pop Evil, Puddle of Mudd playing outdoors for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on Monroe Avenue between Michigan and Lyon streets in downtown Grand Rapids – After years without a ball drop, Townsquare Media Grand Rapids is bringing back the spectacle in a new downtown location with West Michigan hard rock faves Pop Evil headlining the show, and Kansas City alt-rock/alt-metal band Puddle of Mudd also on the bill. The family-friendly event starts at 4 p.m. with the musical stars taking the stage later in the evening. General admission to the party is free. VIP tickets are $65 and include food tickets, access to VIP tents and private, heated bathrooms. Get details and VIP tickets here.
3. New Year’s Eve Ballroom Bashes at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and JW Marriott in Grand Rapids – It’s billed as four parties in two hotels for an “epic” New Year’s Eve. The Imperial Ballroom at Amway leads the way with the “Rat Pack Experience” featuring the jazz of Mary Rademacher, Rick Reuther, Tom Hagen, Cheri Lynn, John Gist and Elgin Vines, but there’s also DJ Dante Cope in the Pantlind Ballroom, Square Pegz and DJ Rich in the Ambassador Ballroom and DJ Keller Shaw in the International Ballroom at JW Marriott. Things get rolling around 8 p.m.; tickets are $50-$65 and available online here. It’s a 21-and-older party.
4. Kalamazoo New Year’s Fest in downtown Kalamazoo – This unusual, annual soiree in downtown Kalamazoo ends with a ball drop but features live music in several locations, including performances by Out of Favor Boys, The Last Gasp Collective, Who Hit John?, Ada LeAnn, Donny Rod Show (Rod Stewart tribute), The Skeletones, Tuba New Year, DJ Monte, Chase Griffin, Hazeltree, Keith Hall Quartet, WMU Brass Quintet and more. The event runs 5:30 p.m. to midnight. Get details about performance locations, a full roster of performers and purchase your $8.50 admission buttons online here. (Buttons are available in the big tent at Bronson Park starting at 3 p.m.)
5. The Nth Power, Desmond Jones and The Mike Dillon Band playing Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids – If it’s funk you’re seeking – and a Crescent City vibe – look no further than New Orleans’ soulful and funky The Nth Power playing Founders Brewing, with help from Grand Rapids’ own jam-band faves Desmond Jones and New Orleans’ Mike Dillon Band. Admission to this 21-and-older bash is $15. Get the lowdown here.
6. The Goddamn Gallows and Saint & The Mongrels at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids – So, you’d rather get a little rowdier in a beloved and cozy West Side watering hole? Then, help pump up the Tip Top Deluxe, which will usher in the New Year with the Americana-punk, gypsy-punk and hobo-core of the West Coast’s mucho-tattooed, stage-crazy Goddamn Gallows, who are bringing along Saint & The Mongrels for this rafter-rattling ride into 2020. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show, with details here.
7. Throwback New Year’s Eve 1992 at SpeakEZ Lounge – Every year, Grand Rapids’ SpeakEZ Lounge does a unique, two-seating set of shows to usher in the New Year. This time around, Scott Patrick Bell and his all-star band will be performing a diverse selection of 1992 top hits and deep cuts, while folks enjoy a special three-course dinner inspired by the early ’90s. It’s $45 for the first seating that starts at 5 p.m.; $65 for the second seating that’s 7:30-9:30 p.m. Get details and reservation information here.
8. The Insiders Tom Petty Tribute Band playing Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo – For classic rock fans in Kalamazoo (who aren’t New Year’s Fest-ing) there’s The Insiders, led by Max Lockwood, which rolls out a long roster of favorites from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. They’ll be “Runnin’ Down a Dream” right into 2020. DJ DuhJuanYay is also on the bill. Tickets are $32 advance, $35 day of show for this 21-and-older party. Details here.
9. AB, SuperDre, DJ Snax, DJ Composition and Auto-Pilot playing “The Original Back to the ’90s Party” at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids – The popular “Back to the ’90s” show presents a special New Year’s Eve edition of the show for the 21-and-older set at The Pyramid Scheme with an impressive roster of DJs presented by The 5ive. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. More information online here. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.
10. Flexadecibel, Baccano and DJ Dean Martian playing the New Year’s Eve Bash at Unruly Brewing in Muskegon – Lakeshore residents can celebrate at Unruly Brewing with the funk of the ever-popular Flexadecibel, plus sets by Baccano and DJ Dean Martian at this 21-and-older affair that kicks off at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Get the lowdown here.
PLUS: Steve Everett & Friends, Bradley Rhodes playing Listening Room in downtown Grand Rapids – Just looking for a quiet night of singer-songwriter charm? North Carolina native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Steve Everett has earned album of the year nominations from the Independent Music Awards, and he’ll be playing the new Listening Room as he tours behind his new album, “Honest Graft.” Bradley Rhodes joins him for this New Year’s Eve show that starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and available online here.
PLUS 2: New Year’s Eve at The B.O.B. and Resolution Ball 2020 at 20 Monroe Live in downtown Grand Rapids – These adjoining venues host giant parties, with The B.O.B. featuring entertainment by DJs Matt B, Greg Knott, Steve Swift, Peanut Butter Paul and Mark Witz on several floors and much more ($50, details here), and 20 Monroe Live unfurling its annual “Resolution Ball” with a champagne reception and all sorts of goodies ($50-$100, information here).
PLUS 3: Death of Disco New Year’s Eve Party at New Holland’s Knickerbocker in Grand Rapids — So DJ Todd Ernst says the idea behind this is to reflect the time period of 1979 to 1980 when “disco died.” DiscoBrunch will play a disco revival set from 9 p.m. to midnight, with DJ Rick “Rockin” Oxygenn taking over at midnight to play remixes and mash-ups of ’80s hair-band hits. Details here.
MORE SHOWS (FROM DEC. 30 through NEW YEAR’S DAY)
Monday, Dec. 30
BassBin: Gettoblaster, Billy’s Lounge
Drew Phoria, Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
John Shea, Rockwell Republic
Dueling Pianos, Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven (Dec. 30-31)
RATT/Quiet Riot, Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant
Tuesday, Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve)
SOLD OUT Billy Strings, The Intersection
Pop Evil, Puddle of Mudd, Monroe Avenue between Michigan and and Lyon Street, downtown Grand Rapids
Manic Focus/Daily Bread/Flats Stanlie/Fludder, Elevation @ The Intersection
Bradley Rhodes/Steve Everett & Friends, Listening Room @ Studio Park
The Nth Power/The Mike Dillon Band/Desmond Jones, Founders Brewing Company
Original Back to the 90s Party, The Pyramid Scheme
The Goddamn Gallows/Saint and the Mongrels, Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
Laurentian Tides/Let It Rot/Marilla, Mulligan’s Pub
Resolution Ball 2020, 20 Monroe Live
Opera Grand Rapids, “The Roaring 2020 New Year’s Eve Party,” Betty Van Andel Opera Center
Blue Jay Bridge, Flanagan’s Irish Pub
The Blue Pines, Wheelhouse
DiscoBrunch/DJ Rick Oxegynn, New Holland Brewing’s The Knickerbocker
Walt Gutowski & the Bridge Street Trio, Fratelli’s Kitchen & Bar
In The Blue, Zoko 822
John Shea Trio, JW Marriott
Mary Rademacher Reed/Rick Reuther/Tom Hagen/Cheri Lynn/John Gist/Elgin Vines: The Rat Pack Experience, Imperial Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Double Wide Ride, Twisted Bull
Sonimanic, Log Cabin Lounge
Bari Lee Band, Back Forty Saloon
On Edge, Lake Michigan Sports Bar, Standale
Loosely Tight, Nick Fink’s, Comstock Park
JGJ, Bostwick Lake Inn, Rockford
OTC, Woody’s Press Box, Wyoming
Swing Operation, 18th Amendment Spirits Co., Muskegon
The Barley Saints (2 p.m.)/Flexadecibel/Baccano/Dean Martian (9 p.m.), Unruly Brewing, Muskegon
The New Standard, Dee-Lite Restaurant & Bar, Grand Haven
Saving Rhonda, The Kirby House, Grand Haven
Dirty Mitten Band, Grand Armory Brewing, Grand Haven
Dueling Pianos, Odd Side Ales, Grand Haven (Dec. 30-31)
Tim Johnson/Big Daddy, Porto Bello, Grand Haven
DJ: Rhythm of the Night, New Holland Brewing’s Pub on 8th, Holland
Van Dyke Revue Band: New Year’s Eve Bash, Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant, Holland
Delilah DeWylde, Hops at 84 East, Holland
Olivia & the Aquatic Troupe, Great Legs Winery Brewery Distillery, Holland
Wally Michaels (piano), Salt of the Earth, Fennville
Rockshop, Wicks Park Bar & Grille, Saugatuck
Crossroads (2-6 p.m.)/Lava Rock (7-10 p.m.)/Brena (11 p.m.-4 a.m.), Gun Lake Casino, Wayland
Project 90, The Music Factory, Battle Creek
The Love Revival Orchestra, Firekeepers Casino & Hotel, Battle Creek
Kalamazoo New Year’s Fest, Various Artists and Locations, downtown Kalamazoo
The Insiders (Tom Petty tribute)/DJ Duhjuanyay, Bell’s Eccentric Café, Kalamazoo
Kyle Jennings, Louie’s Trophy House, Kalamazoo
The Mainstays, The Union Cabaret & Grille, Kalamazoo
The Erly Band, Acorn Theater, Three Oaks
Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers: Puttin’ on the Ritz New Year’s Eve, Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, Manistee
In The Blue, The Cabbage Shed, Elberta
Wednesday, Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day)
Fred Knapp & Friends, The Old Goat
Tom Hagen Trio featuring Rick Reuther, Noto’s, Cascade
Thursday, Jan. 2
Morgan Wallen/Jon Langston/Ashland Craft, 20 Monroe Live
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