Believe it or not, Baby New Year is getting ready to cry out again. 2009 is coming to a close and 2010 is eminent; and although we've yet to get through Christmas, it's also time to start planning your New Year's Eve celebration.
Every year there are almost too many options to mention, but we know how our Urban Tulsa readers like to celebrate, so we do our best to shuffle through the options and help point you in the right direction.
As always, my main focus is music, music and more music. Fortunately, this year there are many options and even more venues sharing plans early this year. If you're ready to get out, but don't know exactly what to do, just read on.
If you're looking for a big name or nationally-known artist to share your New Year's with, you've got a couple of options. It's just a matter of what you're looking for.
First and foremost is blues legend B.B. King at Mabee Center with John Fannell opening. At this point, King is the undisputed elder-statesman of the blues and the man everyone looks up to, including Eric Clapton and U2. The man is more than 80 years old and still mesmerizing audiences with his stellar playing.
If you haven't seen him before, or even if you have, this could be one of your last opportunities before he hangs up Lucille and takes a breather. Tickets are steep ($49.50, $71, $82 and $113 for VIP), but arguably worth it for the opportunity to see a living legend. The show starts at 8p and should be out in time for you to do your midnight toast with friends at another location of your choice.
On the flip side of the coin -- and the opposite side of town -- Osage Event Center hosts Gallagher to help you laugh in the New Year. Big comedy, a big mess (yes, watermelons will undoubtedly fly) and an opportunity to literally "ring" in the New Year with a jackpot in Million Dollar Elm Casino are all on the agenda.
If you're looking for celebrate in true Tulsa style, with hometown heroes, you're in luck as well.
Probably the most promising show of the night, at least for the alternative, indie and modern jazz crowds, is Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey at Eclipse. Yes, JFJO returns to the scene of many early crimes and makes what will likely be its last appearance at The Eclipse to ring in 2010.
The Panda Resistance opens the show, JZFJO rages on into the night and you can almost guarantee there will be a few surprises in store. How can there not when JFJO is in town and hanging out in such a small venue for New Year's Eve? Tickets are $20, but get them early, because it will undoubtedly sell out.
At the Jazz Hall of Fame, smooth jazz fans can chill out with Grady Nichols and his special guest Krista Branch (from American Idol).
Local statesman of jazz, Earl Clark opens with his group Spectrum and it will be a night of "sax to the max." Music starts at 8pm and tickets are $70, but include a buffet, champagne toast, cash bar and party favors as you ring in the New Year in one of the classiest venues in town.
Long time staples of the Tulsa music scene and country swing masters in their own right, the Round-Up Boys headline a smoke-free "Honky Tonk New Years Eve" at The Rose Bowl on legendary Route 66 (7419 E. 11th St.). Tickets are $15 and include the standard champagne toast. You know it'll be a true night of country, however, when concessions options include black-eyed peas and cornbread.
Flytrap Music Hall: How can you go wrong with Sam and the Stylees? It's nearly impossible, especially if you love reggae and you're hanging with one of Tulsa's favorite and most crowd-friendly bands. This one's a no-brainer, folks.
Mercury Lounge: If Mercury is known for one thing, it's roots rock and honky tonk. This year is no different as Josh Martin and his crew brings in a couple of local favorites, Electric Rag Band and Brandon Clark Band ring it in right.
Arnie's: This is consistently the place to go if you're looking for good, authentic Irish music. It's only appropriate, then, that house band Cairde na Gael should do the honors for 2010. Don't be surprised if a few friends from Larkin or any of our other Celtic friends show up.
Downtown Lounge: This will be the place to chill with your friends and be able to talk, yet still catch a cool band on occasion. New Year's Eve brings Brian Parton to the Lounge as he returns to action.
Soundpony: Main Street's indie icon plays it safe for new Years by providing a no-cover party haven with DJ Sweet Baby Jayzus. Yeah, this kid's got game and is one of the local up and comers, so get your dance groove on.
CJ Moloney's: If covers are your game and you're looking for a party, a stop in Broken Arrow might keep you out of traffic and out of trouble. Plus, ABoT nominee for "Best Party Cover Band" and "Best Live Performance", Smunty Voje rocks the house.
Of course, there are more options for New Year's Eve. If you just want to laugh, make plans to stop at The Loony Bin for a comedy gig. The 7pm show has just a $12.50 cover, but the 10pm show will include your standard midnight hoopla and cover is $25. Cowboy Bill headlines with feature comedienne Valerie Storm and a pair of openers.
There are always hotel options, but the most-high profile overnight party I've found yet is the Mix96 party hosted by UTW friend and compatriot Ben Sumner. Food, party favors, and obligatory champagne toast are all here, along with live music from Admiral Twin. Tickets for the party are $60, or an overnight option with breakfast and late checkout is available for $269 per couple.
Finally, if you're feeling really adventurous, the biggest gig in the state has to be Flaming Lips' "New Years Freak Out" at the Cox Convention Center in OKC. Stardeath and White Dwarfs open, The Lips headline and play material from Embryoic and once midnight hits and the balloons drop, they'll launch in to a full cover of Dark Side of the Moon. More details on that show to follow next week.
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