It's hard to believe, but yet another year has flown by and the annual celebrations are here again. While some of you may prefer to stay in and avoid the crowds, chaos and drunkenness, there are also plenty of you who look forward to New Year's Eve as the biggest celebration of the year. No matter where you fall in that spectrum, from hermit to party animal or somewhere in between, there are plenty of options to choose from this year and we've got the highlights for a fairly comprehensive run down.
If you're looking for live music, we've got it. DJ's? We have them aplenty. Cover tunes or originals, hotel packages or not, Tulsa has it all covered, so scan ahead for ideas to make your plans and look forward to celebrating the New Year with your friends or someone special.
We might as well start with the main events, right? If live music is what you're looking for, there's probably no more appropriate place than Cain's Ballroom. Usually closed for the holidays, Cain's opens its doors for a special NYE show featuring a Tulsa favorite that couldn't wait to come back to town: Eli Young Band. 2011 saw the band release a new album, land the No. 1 country single of the year with "Crazy Girl" and play to ever growing audiences across the country, including a huge crowd at this year's Tulsa State Fair. The band is back for a special NYE show at the Ballroom with local boys 2 Steps Back opening at 9:30pm. Tickets are still available for $36 at the door.
If you're looking for an overnight blowout, Z104.5 (The Edge) pairs up with the Downtown Hyatt Regency for its annual NYE Party. Packages are available for $289 per couple including deluxe accommodations, party tickets, early arrival, late checkout and a breakfast buffet. Entertainment includes Imzadi in one room, Mid Life Crisis in another, a cigar and martini lounge and a Texas-hold'em tournament hosted by Chuck Stickl for enough to keep you going all night long.
If you're looking for the biggest dance party of the New Year, you only need to look a few blocks over to the IDL Ballroom complex for the 2nd annual Skyy Vodka Crystal Ball. Three rooms (Enso, Electric Circus and IDL Ballroom) host an array of DJs over the course of the night including the PANIC! Crew, Steve Cluck, Jeremy Tomlinson, Darku J and Just Jon for a night full of music and dancing. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple with doors opening at 9pm. VIP tickets are $80 and include heavy hors d'oeuvres catered by The Chalkboard, beginning at 8pm.
If you're looking for live music with friends in a more up close and personal setting, perhaps the best party of the night will be at The Treehouse, where Taddy Porter caps off a busy year with a hometown party. Pilgrim and Desi & Cody open the show, beginning at 9pm and Taddy Porter will carry you into the wee hours of the night. Best of all: you get some great music with great sound and cover is only $7 at the door.
Arrive early, though, because this one will be packed out.
Those may be the biggest parties, but that doesn't necessarily make them the best. New Year's Eve is best spent with friends, and sometimes it's best to hang with our friends in our favorite bands to make the party special. With that in mind, we've got a list of a few of Tulsa's favorites and where they'll be to ring in the New Year.
Fassler Hall -- GoGo Plumbay, Paul Benjaman Band and Panda Resistance join forces for three separate sets, then come together after the midnight hour for the "Mixtape from Hell" jam session. ($10)
Colony -- Whirligig steps up to the stage for a long night of eclectic jams to remind you why the group continues to be a favorite amongst musicians and live music circles ($5)
Mercury Lounge -- It wouldn't be New Year's at The Merc without Pat Cook and Electric Rag Band, would it? Some traditions are best kept in place and this is one of them. ($5)
Red -- Brandon Davis is back from California to catch up with friends and family, so a quick NYE party gig with his cover band, The Sex, is a no-brainer. Last year's gig saw the club (formerly Junkie) at capacity and this year should be no different. ($10)
Downtown Lounge -- PDA is now located in the Dallas area, but still calls Tulsa home, so there's no better place to celebrate than with old friends. He's back for a NYE gig at Downtown Lounge with X-Cal and Brutally Frank opening the show. ($5)
Hunt Club -- Able the Allies as been working hard over the course of the year and even landed one of the best singles on this year's Homegroan CD. The band will mix favorite covers and original tunes for a full night at Hunt Club with a fan base that has been steadily growing. (Free)
Soundpony -- Fear not, the indie crowd is not being overlooked. Soundpony always delivers and NYE is no different. This year the club is stacking the deck with regulars and club favorites DJ Sweet Baby Jayzus, Lizard Police, Guardant and the return of Oilhouse. (Free)
Get Your Dance On
Looking for options for a night of dancing? You can always hit your favorite clubs like Pink, Ivey and Majestic, but here are a few more options.
The Marquee -- "Rave-olution" is an all-ages dance party with a bar for the 21+ crowd and hosts 4 DJs: ECCO, Chemyst, George Priest and Sam Wallace. ($8 guys / $5 ladies)
Gray Snail -- The old favorite on Cherry Street is making sure it's a great night for its crowd by bringing in DJ Demko for a full night of tunes to keep the dance floor busy. ($5)
Living Arts -- The art gallery and collective jumps into the New Years mix with the "NYE Dream World Disco Ball" party, beginning at 9pm. This event features an inflatable "Dream Castle", aerialist performers and music by Gary Robert Strickland Band, as well as projections, dancing and a cash bar to put a different spin on the traditional NYE party. ($25)
Playing Your Favorites
Of course, there are plenty of cover bands out there making sure all your favorite songs get heard to celebrate old memories and create new ones. Here's a rundown on some of the more prominent cover gigs for NYE.
Bobbisox -- Usual Suspects
CJ Maloney's -- Smunty Voje
Fishbonz Tulsa -- Zero Crossing
Fishbonz Owasso -- Octane Blue
Rooster's -- Band Camp
That pretty much covers all the bases for NYE in Tulsa and should find something for everyone. The only thing left for those who are feeling a little more adventurous is a trip to OKC for the annual Flaming Lips New Years Freak-Out. This year it as moved to Coca Cola Events Center for a more intimate setting and the night includes Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, opening act Phantogram and an after-party at The Womb, all for $100. A second show on New Year's night features opener Neon Indian and tickets for both nights can be had for $150 at ticketstorm.com.
Whatever you decide to do, be safe and enjoy the holiday to the fullest! We've got plenty to look forward to in 2012.
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