New Year's Eve 2013's Best Concerts - Rolling Stone
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New Year’s Eve 2013’s Best Concerts

A coast-to-coast guide to ringing in 2014

Andrew W.K.Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K. performs in London.

Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images

If you don’t plan your New Year’s Eve in advance, there’s a good chance that come midnight, you’ll be sitting alone listening to our Best Songs of 2013 playlist on repeat. But we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of New Year’s Eve’s hottest concerts. So do yourself a favor, and start 2014 off right. From Manhattan’s Times Square to Southern California, here’s a handy guide to the best concerts happening on December 31st. 

Concert: Against Me!
Altar Bar, Pittsburgh, PA
8:30 pm
$42.96 to $161.13
Why go? Punk purveyors turn a 650-capacity venue into one big, New Year’s mosh pit.

Concert: Gregg Allman 
Venue: Florida Theater, Jackson, FL
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $53 to $103
Why go? JJ Grey & Mofro are playing a full opening set before the legendary Greg Allman takes the stage.

Concert: Andrew W.K.
Venue: Irving Plaza, New York City
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $48 to $96
Why go? Andrew W.K. is the self-proclaimed king of partying, and with the venue offering an all-you-can-drink beer special for $40, you’ll be inclined to believe him.

Concert: A$AP Rocky and Wiz Khalifa
Venue: Origin Festival, Ozone Reserve, Perth, Australia
Time: 5pm
Tickets: AUD $160 to $250
Why go? This festival is located in the Ozone nature reserve’s lush gardens, with a view of the Perth city skyline. Also, if you’re looking for another reason to head down under, it’s currently summer in Australia.

Concert: The Avett Brothers
Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $51.70 to 73.70
Why go? The Avett Brothers should bring the Americana ruckus for this  home state show. Make sure not to miss opened act Shovels & Rope, who won Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2013 Americana Music Awards.

Concert: Bassnectar
Venue: The Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $53.50 (Sold Out)
Why go? This is Lorin Ashton’s (a.k.a Bassnectar) third straight year playing the Bridgestone for New Year’s. Ashton has a degree from the University of Santa Cruz in Community Studies, and is a master of mixing music and visuals to foster fraternal vibes.

Concert: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
Venue: Highmark First Night, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 10:45pm
Tickets: $8 to $10, 5 and under free
Why go? This is the civic NYE event in Pittsburgh, which takes over the downtown Cultural District and will also offer a full firework show. Oh, and the funk and soul stylings of a man Rolling Stone called “the best kind of retro act: a fully committed one.”

Concert: Billy Joel
Barclays Center, Brooklyn
$64.50 to $199.50 
Why go? 
If any two acts could turn the Barclays Center into an intimate New Years Eve piano-heavy soiree, it’s Billy Joel and opener Ben Folds Five. Consider this gig a kick-off to Joel’s indefinite Madison Square Garden residency.

Billy Joel

Concert: Zac Brown Band
Venue: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI
Time: 8:30pm
Tickets: $50.35 to $91.20
Why go? Zac Brown Band is neither a country band nor a jam-band, though they’ve got a sound that oscillates easily between the two. Their recent collaboration with Dave Grohl is a good indication of their rock bona fides. 

Concert: Dawes
Venue: Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $75-$125
Why go? Dawes have been on tour for most of 2013 promoting their latest neo-Laurel Canyon effort, Stories Don’t EndThey’ve also kept the creative juices flowing, having just cut a Christmas single with the Killers.

Dawes perform in Nashville.

Concert: Delta Spirit
Venue: Brooklyn Bowl, New York City
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $40
Why go? The Brooklyn Bowl is one of the best clubs in America, and Delta Spirit is booked to open up the New Year with some good old rock and roll. For those looking to let go and dance, there’ll also be a Cults DJ set.

Concert: Diplo
Venue: Surrender, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $77 (women) to $127 (men)
Why go? Surrender is known as one of the best known places for electronic music in the U.S., and Diplo is one of the biggest names in the business, having collaborated with the likes of Justin BieberSnopp DoggBeyoncé, and most recently, Britney Spears.

Concert: The Flaming Lips
Venue: Belly Up Aspen, Aspen, CO
Time: 9:30pm
Tickets: $275 to $675
Why go? From The Terror to Peace Sword, the Flaming Lips have had quite a creative 2013. The Belly Up is a fantastic place for music in one of the States’ preeminent ski towns.

Concert: Gogol Bordello
Venue: Terminal Five, New York City
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $41.75
Why go? Still riding the wave of their latest album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, Gogol Bordello can always be counted on creating an energetic dance party, whisking listeners from the Balkan backwoods to the favelas of Brazil. 

Concert: Gov’t Mule
Venue: Beacon Theatre, New York City
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $80.95 to $107
Why go? The Mule have not only promised three-full sets this NYE, but they’ve also announced a pretty stellar theme: Break on Through to 2014. That’s right, in addition to the epic guitar playing of Warren Haynes, ex-Doors guitarist Robby Krieger will be there to help the band light some fires.

Concert: Calvin Harris
Venue: Hakkasan, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 10pm
Tickets: $150 (women) to $300 (men)
Why go? Former Grammy winner and current nominee Calvin Harris has an exclusive contract with Hakkasan, MGM Grand’s latest in a string of Las Vegas mega-clubs geared towards the electronically inclined. Harris has a penchant for pop as well as EDM, and his last show of 2013 won’t disappoint.

Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello performs in Paris.

Concert: B.B. King
Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, FL
$86 to $200
Why go? 
B.B. is the King of the blues, and at 88 there’s no telling how many New Year’s Eve shows he has left. He ranks high among Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists, and his solos are still inspiring enough to make you keep those New Year’s resolutions.

Concert: Phil Lesh
Venue: Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA
Time: 8:30pm
Tickets: $150 (Sold Out)
Why go? Part concert venue, part restaurant and bar, Terrapin Crossroads is Phil Lesh’s home turf, so this show is going to be all family vibes, made complete by the personal pictures of Jerry Garcia and the early Grateful Dead lining the wooden bar. 

Concert: Maroon 5
Venue: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 7pm
Tickets: $110.65 to $241.20
Why go? Amid an ocean of sin and over-stimulation, Maroon 5 will be playing two nights of their pop heavy R&B in Las Vegas.

Concert: Miley Cyrus 
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest in Times Square, Manhattan
Why go? 
Though braving Times Square on New Years Eve isn’t for the faint of heart, if anyone could make the trip worth worthwhile it’s Miley — even just for the faint possibility that she’ll swing nude from the Times Square Ball. 

Miley Cyrus performs in Washington, DC.

Concert: Moby
Venue: Fort Mason Festival Pavilion, San Francisco, CA
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $175 to $200
Why go? Moby is playing a DJ set as part of Streets of San Francisco, a giant warehouse dance party featuring an open bar for all guests, top-notch production and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

Concert: Phish
Madison Square Garden, Manhattan
 $75 (Sold Out)        
Why go? 
This is night four of a four-night run at one of the most iconic venues in the most iconic NYE city in the world. It will also be Phish’s thirty-first show at MSG, and considering it’s also their thirtieth anniversary year — and with a new record in the works — they’ll be pulling out all the stops.

Trey Anastasio Phish

Concert: Pitbull
Venue: Waterfront Theatre at American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $71 to $197.35
Why go? The pop-rap superstar will say hello to 2014 in front of a hometown crowd.

Concert: Primus
Venue: Fox Theatre, Oakland, CA
Time: 9:30pm
Tickets: $49.50 to $65
Why go?  Primus is planning on recreating the entire soundtrack from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Les Claypool recently told Rolling Stone that the band’s rendition was “obviously pretty freaked-out [and] a little scarier than the original version.”

Concert: Skrillex
Venue: Shore Thing, Bondi Park, Sydney, Australia
Time: 8pm
Tickets: AUD $138 to $225
Why go? It’s currently festival season in Australia, and Shore Thing is Sydney’s take on the communal end-of-year party. EDM superstar Skrillex will be turning Bondi Beach into his own private dance floor, and to top it off there’s a full line-up of other notable DJs and the promise of fireworks.

Concert: Patti Smith 
Venue: Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Boston, MA
Time: 8:30 pm
Tickets: $39.38
Why go? Poet, political activist and singer-songwriter, Patti Smith has been shaping rock and roll for nearly 40 years, and her New Year’s Eve shows are legendary.

Concert: Britney Spears
Venue: Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV
Time: 10pm
Tickets: $66.50 to $194
Why go? Britney Spears’ two-year residency at Planet Hollywood officially begins December 27, 2013, and her NYE show is night four, new enough to be fresh, old enough to have worked out early jitters. The show, named Britney: Piece of Me, is a mix of Spears’ hits and newer material and has had the star training five hours a day. 

Concert: Thievery Corporation
Venue: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $85 to $170
Why go? The Sea of Dreams is a San Francisco NYE institution, and though the line-up is stacked with electronic acts, it’s Thievery Corporation’s particular brand of beat-heavy world music that’s most likely to presage good vibes for 2014.

Concert: Tiësto
Venue: LIV, Miami, FL
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $400 (Female) to $600 (Male)
Why go? The biggest name in electronic music was a global sensation long before the U.S. jumped on the EDM bandwagon. Though he’s known for his constant touring, the Dutch DJ once told Rolling Stone that, “Every gig has its own character” — so expect something especially giddy for this gig.  

Concert: Vampire Weekend
Venue: The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Lorne, Australia
Time: 10am
Tickets: AUD $306 to $408 (Sold Out)
Why go? Some of the hottest names in music — MGMT, the Roots, Grizzly Bear, White Denim, Solange— have opted to ring in the New Year in warm, Southern Australia, Vampire Weekend chief among them. 

Concert: Willie Nelson & Family
Venue: Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, Austin, TX
Time: 9pm
Tickets: $59.50 to $279
Why go? There’s something great about ringing in the New Year with family, and it’s even better if that family happens to be Willie Nelson’s. 

Willie Nelson

Concert: Pharrell Williams and Afrojack
Fontainebleau, Miami, FL
Why go? 
Miami’s Fontainebleau is a legendary palace of hedonism, and it’s safe to say this is the New Year’s spot to see and be seen. Pharrell has also had a huge year, and his undeniable swagger, combined with Afrojack’s electronic party prowess, is sure to make for one hell of a good time.

Concert: Wu-Year’s Eve ft. Method Man, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah
Venue: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $65 to $99
Why go? Members of Wu-Tang Clan are bringing the ruckus to Cervantes, one of Denver’s premier live music venues. 

Concert: The XX, with Grimes, Four Tet, and more
Venue: Young Turk’s New Years Eve Party, Tulum, Mexico
Time: 8pm
Tickets: $150
Why go? If you happen to be in Mexico this New Year’s, or you were smart enough to plan ahead, you can ring in 2014 by sipping cocktails from coconuts and dancing in the sand to the sultry XX and playful Grimes.


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