Whether it’s the projected 31 degree temperature or a projected image of Ryan Seacrest, we honestly understand if you’re not huddled somewhere in Times Square for New Year’s Eve. But a night so charged with energy (and alcohol) never has a shortage of excellent rock shows to ring in the new year — and this crop of champagne supernovas are no exception.
My Morning Jacket
Madison Square Garden, New York City
Scruffy and ragged psychedelic riffers My Morning Jacket are trying to bring a little class to their New Year’s Eve fete at Madison Square Garden, imploring their fans come “dressed to tha nines” in tuxedos, ball gowns and hopefully a few monocles.
Ghostface, GZA, Raekwon and the rest of the Wu collective will be on hand to usher in the new year in the city where Method Man shot all those episodes of The Wire. The concert supposedly starts at 8 p.m., but keep in mind this is a hip-hop show, so err on the side of caution and be there promptly by April 2009.
David Cook, Scott Weiland (with Daughtry & Lynyrd Skynyrd)
The Mirage, Las Vegas
We have to guess this antedote to Dick Clark’s wholesome marathon of Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers is, uh, pre-taped, because …
Stone Temple Pilots
Club Nokia, Los Angeles
… Scott Weiland will actually be in L.A., where $78.50 nabs you a ticket to see the reunited STP.
Miley Cyrus, Metro Station, All Time Low, The Academy Is… and Kevin Rudolf
MTV Studios, New York City
Never ones to miss a party, MTV will be throwing their own bash in their Times Square Studios, where bands like The Academy Is… will do their best to drown out Dick Clark’s little party outside. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus will be doing a guerilla performance from inside some lucky fan’s bedroom — which means someone is going to be picking glitter out of their carpet until 2010.
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City
Judging by the amount of exclamation points needed to bill the band’s New Year’s Eve Freakout!!!, it’s safe to assume the Lips’ hometown crowd is in for a night of laser beams, flying saucers, Christmas on Mars and a front row seat as Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots. And that’s just the first set.
Moby, Paul Oakenfold, Benny Benassi, Mark Farina and more
Giant Maximus, Los Angeles
A sexy, audacious, decidedly Los Angeles alternative to watching the ball drop, the third annual Giant Maximus will turn three giant circus tents into an all night dance party. Billed as the “largest 21+ New Year’s Eve Bash” with a potential capacity of 8,500 revelers, Giant Maximus will match electronic music’s heaviest hitters with array of colorful distractions — acrobats, games, carnival rides and a ferris wheel so big you can barely see Moby’s head glistening from below.
Pauwela Cannery, Maui, Hawaii
Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann will be ringing in the New Year long after most of us have passed out drunk — in an glamorous Hawaiian time zone! Kreutzmann will be joined by slide guitarist Papa Mali and members of Bonnie Raitt and Willie Nelson’s bands, along with a phalanx of exotic dancers who promise to help shimmy into 2009. Meanwhile, if you can’t make it to the island, Kreutzmann’s fellow Dead duders Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will be doing New Year’s Eve sets in the jammy birthing ground of San Francisco.
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
Avant-metal superhero Mike Patton’s and his creepy Fantomas will make sure the ball drops slow and menacingly. They’re performing their 2001 set of film soundtrack covers, The Director’s Cut, in its entirety. Good luck getting to sleep in 2009 after hearing their super-satanic version of The Omen theme.
Lil Wayne, Keyshia Cole, T-Pain, Gym Class Heroes
Phillips Arena, Atlanta
Relive all the best memories of 2008 by hearing “A Milli” and “Lollipop” for the 1,000th time.
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Mercury Lounge, New York City
We finally got Chinese Democracy in 2008, and what better way to remember why we gave a shit in the first place than by watching “The Universe’s Greatest Tribute To Gn’R,” Mr. Brownstone, play Guns n’ Roses’ 1987 watershed Appetite For Destruction in its entirety. If they’re a convincing tribute they’ll be waaay too drunk to remember to do the countdown. Meanwhile, if you want a taste of the real deal, Chinese Democracy wheedler Buckethead will be in Seattle catching confetti in his KFC bucket for sure.
The masters of sleaze-metal are back to wish you a happy 1988!