New Year’s concerts in New York City

On New Year’s Eve, most real New Yorkers avoid Times Square like the plague and prefer to not pay twice as much to eat at the same restaurants they can visit the other 364 nights of the year. That leaves concerts as a good option for locals looking for a party. As usual, choices abound, from classic rock legends and jam bands to dance parties and hip-hop. Here are 10 highlights.


Billy Joel

In Billy Joel’s case, absence really did make the heart grow fonder. After blowing everyone away at the 12-12-12 benefit for Superstorm Sandy victims at Madison Square Gardenr, even jaded hipsters are reconsidering his catalog. So it’s fitting that Long Island’s most successful musician kicks off his first tour since 2009 on Long Island’s western end, also known as Brooklyn. (Barclays Center, $64.50 – $199.50)


Andrew W.K.

The self-proclaimed "King of Partying," Andrew W.K. is best known for his 2001 hit, fittingly called "Party Hard." W.K. is also a motivational speaker, club owner and TV personality. For this show, he hosted a contest that gave five fans the chance to join his band. Hopefully they rehearsed. (Irving Plaza, $39.50)


Shabazz Palaces

A Seattle-based duo featuring Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler of Digable Planets, Shabazz Palaces’ 2011 album "Black Up" was a slice of jazzy, avant-garde hip-hop that was one of the year’s most intriguing releases. (Rough Trade NYC, $25)


Mykki Blanco

The alter-ego of performance artist Michael Quattlebaum Jr., female hip-hop artist Mykki Blanco makes you dance and makes you think. Her influences range from Lauryn Hill and Lil’ Kim to Marilyn Manson and GG Allin. (Gramercy Theatre, $29.50)


Chris Botti

Botti is one of the world’s biggest jazz musicians, but he also has one foot firmly planted in the world of pop. He has toured as part of Paul Simon’s and Sting’s bands, and on his own he has tackled classical, Latin, fusion and traditional styles. (Blue Note, $95 – $175)


Winter Galactic

Described as a "journey through space, snow and sound," Winter Galactic is an all-night dance party featuring lights, visuals, special effects and performers including Dada Life, Porter Robinson, W&W and Bassjackers. The show was originally booked at the Izod Center before being moved to NYC. All original tickets will be honored. (Hammerstein Ballroom, 8 p.m., $65-$175)



For the fourth year in a row, Phish will take over Madison Square Garden to ring in the new year. Like the ball drop, Phish’s performances have their own traditions, including lengthy jams, bad dancing and an annual new year’s gag. (MSG, $75)


Gov’t Mule

Jam band fans who like their music a little more bluesy can take the train uptown to catch Gov’t Mule, which is led by Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes. This is the 12th consecutive year the Mule is spending New Year’s in NYC, with each show having its own special theme. (Beacon Theatre, $65- $89.50)


Big Gigantic

Part hip-hop, part electronica, part jazz, Big Gigantic is a duo that adds live drums and saxophone to its DJ sets. It’s known for creating a high-energy party atmosphere, complete with light show and wild stage sets. (Roseland Ballroom, $69)


Jim Jones Revue

Jim Jones Revue plays raw garage rock that takes the music of Jerry Lee Lewis and infuses it with the energy of punk. Anyone longing for the Bowery of the 1970s will feel at home. (Bowery Electric, $40)