If you’re still anxiously considering whom to kiss at midnight to start 2016 off right, you’re on your own figuring that one out. However, if you’re wondering where to go this New Year’s Eve to get a hefty dose of live music, that’s another story.
Like the year before, Rialto Theatre
(318 E. Congress St.) is throwing a trippy glow-in-the-dark dance party. However, unlike last year’s event, which featured local psych-cumbia band Chicha Dust, this time around the headliners will be local psych-cumbia band XIXA
. Okay, so maybe it’s the same band, featuring Gabriel Sullivan, Brian Lopez and more, but rest assured, joined by DJ Dirtyverbs on the ones and twos, the night should offer plenty to move to. Plus, local artist Daniel Martin Diaz is slotted to decorate the stage with colorful lights to keep those eyeballs engaged. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $10, including party favors and a champagne toast for those 21 and over, on the Rialto Theatre website
. You can also opt for the on-stage VIP experience for $50. The event is all ages.
Across the alley at Rialto’s little red bar, R Bar
, you can spend an intimate evening with Tucson music legend Howe Gelb with Thøger Lund
, who will be on deck to serenade you through two sets. With specialty cocktails, wine and craft beer, you can celebrate while you imbibe right. The R Bar party is included in the price of your Rialto admission ticket. It is a 21 and over event.
For a real change of pace, you can check out the Old Pueblo’s new favorite cover band, Mastodonna
, over at The Flycatcher
(340 E. Sixth St.). That’s right, if you’ve ever wistfully pondered what your favorite Madonna tunes could sound like when done in the ravenous metal styling of Mastodon, you can find out just before the clock strikes midnight. The concert will also feature Tom Heavy & the Party Makers (oh yeah, alright, it’s a shredding Tom Petty cover band) and DJs Bedlam and Clay Steele. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. and it is a 21 and over show. Tickets are $5 and include a free midnight toast.
For a triple dose of local lookers Los Guapos, Fini’s Landing
(5689 N. Swan Road) will be serving up three of their sets, along with prime rib and seafood specials. There to join Latin rockers Los Guapos
in the toast will be Bryan Thomas Parker & Friends, with alternating sets running from 9 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
However, for something more on the jazzy side of things, you can head to the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
(3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.) for trumpeter Rick Braun
’s New Year’s Eve celebration. With guest vocalist Larry Braggs and saxophonists Mindi Abair and Euge Groove, the night will feature smooth jams running from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. For information on pricing, which includes a meal selection, visit the event's website
Back in the heart of downtown, Hotel Congress
(311 E. Congress St.) is throwing a roaring ‘20s shindig with a Whiskey del Bac toast, an absinthe lounge and a photo booth. You can enjoy live performances from blues virtuoso Tom Walbank
, Kings of Pleasure
and burlesque dancer Contessa Oblivian or period music from Katherine Byrne with Jeff Haskell on the keys if you opt to be a VIP for the night. A “Prohibition Disco” featuring DJs Andrew Shuta, Bob Felix and Dan Hernandez will keep the party going until 2 a.m. with the event beginning at 8 p.m. Of course, Congress’ infamous 15-foot taco will be dropped again this year at midnight on the nose. VIP tickets are $125 and general admission run at $25. For advance tickets and more information, visit Hotel Congress' website
. The Prohibition-era party is strictly 21 and over.
For those who still have Star Wars
on the brain, Surly Wench Pub
(424 N. Fourth Ave.) is throwing a Force Awakens
themed dance party with DJs Plastic Disease and E_Rupt
there to take you out of this world and to a galaxy far, far away with some hot beats. Dubbed “The Prom Awakens,” be sure to come to the event in your spacey best, as a Star Wars
prom king and queen will be crowned. A themed stage, countdown, photo booth and drink menu will force you to keep your favorite jedi-laden film in mind all night with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. There is a $10 cover at the door and it is a 21 and over event.
It wouldn’t really be a Tucson New Year’s Eve without a little honky tonk, though, and if you’re of the country persuasion, Club XS
(5851 E. Speedway Blvd.) has just the show for you. Live chansons from Andy Hersey
, The Buckboard Band
, Garry Rust and more will keep the show running from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and can be found online
, along with more information.
Just to be really clear, all of these events take place on NYE proper—Thursday, Dec. 31. Happy New Year, Tucson!