Sure, if you’re one of those people who’d rather stay home on New Year’s Eve, we understand. You’ve probably had a busy, stressful December.
But if you’d like to go out hang out, with some friends, have something to eat, have a couple of drinks (not too many!) and listen to some music, there are a lot of places to go. Not all of them need a lot of advance planning though it’s always wise to reserve your spot ahead of time on this busy night of the year.
Out in Peninsula at the historic G.A.R. Hall, an all-star band of local players, featuring Roger Hoover on guitar, Rachel Brown on piano, Brent Kirby on drums and David Mayfield on bass, is working on learning each other’s tunes as well as some beloved classics. The evening there features dinner (six menu choices) and the ubiquitous midnight champagne toast. And there will be a dance floor. Doors are at 7:15pm, dinner is served 8pm. Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 day of show.
Fans of jammy party music will love the Freak Drop with popular Cleveland band Tropidelic headlining, and fellow bands from their scene Vibe & Direct, Bumpin’ Uglies and Dutty. It’s an all-ages show, with champagne at midnight for the 21 and overs. Doors are at 8:30, music starts at 9:30pm. Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door.
At Nighttown, two of their three shows are sold out — Sammy DeLeon’s Latin Jazz Ensemble and Cleveland jazz trumpeter Dominick Farinacci — but tickets remain for jazz/pop vocalist Janis Siegel, a member of influential a cappella group Manhattan Transfer at Nighttown. She’ll be performing with her three-piece band starting at 8pm. Tickets are $50.
Cloud Nothings, which began as a bedroom project by Dylan Baldi when he was a student at Case Western Reserve, return in triumph to kick off 2018 at the Beachland Ballroom. It follows a year when the band toured the world on the wing of its fourth studio album Life Without Sound, released in January. They’ll be joined by Half an Animal and Christmas Pets for a show that starts at 8:30pm. Two other local bands, The Village Bicycle and Forager, play in the Tavern. And yes, there’s free champagne at midnight. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
At the House of Blues, you can relive 1969 and the glory that was Led Zeppelin 2, performed by a band also called Led Zeppelin 2 in the Music Hall. Or you can join the “All That Glitters Is Gold” dance party with a DJ in the Foundation room. Both start at 9pm. The former is $20 in advance, $30 at the door. The latter is $40.
Mahall’s in Lakewood is the location of the ’80s-themed From Venus to Valley New Year’s Eve Dance from 9pm-2am. DJs Himiko Gogo & Lectric BB, MC Taysu Nag and VJs Wes Johansen and Evening Son will set the kitsch mood with synth pop. New wave, beach music, girl groups and more. Guests are encouraged to come in appropriate theme attire. It’s $13 in advance, $15 at the door.
Slightly more sedate is New Year’s Even at Blu Jazz + in Akron, where young northeast Ohio pianist Theron Brown and an all-star band featuring local jazz musicians Chris Coles, Tommy Lehman, Dan Wilson, Jordan McBride and Zaire Darden will hold forth for two shows, one at 8pm for the early-to-bed set and one at 10:30pm for the late partyers. The latter features hors d’oeurves, butlered wine and of course that champagne toast. Tickets are $25 for the early show, $65 for the late show.
And finally, for those who like to choose between fancy and funky, there’s “En Tee See’s Grit & Glamour New Year’s Eve” at west side punk/underground headquarters Now That’s Class. There’ll be local bands, including Ma Holos, the Sight, Brainwashed California, Roobydocks, Cotton Ponys and Kill the Hippies, in the bar room and DJs in the show space. Admission includes an open bar with beer and liquor. No mention of a champagne toast. It starts at 10pm; it’s $25 in advance, $30 at the door.