POSTED ON DECEMBER 29, 2010:
Time to Celebrate
Options abound for ringing in the New Year
Christmas: the "most wonderful time of year", or so the song says. Sure, the holiday has its pluses, but with the cold weather, traffic, crowds, annoying relatives and expensive gifts... it can also be a hassle. Fortunately, there's a light at the end of the tunnel -- a little reward for making it through all the "joy" of the season: NEW YEARS EVE!
The last night of the year is always a great one for music - especially in Tulsa. This year is no different and there's something for everyone. There are too many cool events and performances to list, but here's a few of the highlights:
JFJO @ CAINS
One of the most talked about shows this NYE offers a great chance to see a great Tulsa band in a great Tulsa venue. Instead of their usual (and amazing) experimental jazz/jam/rock/freakout, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will treat party-goers to their versions of Beyonce, Madonna and Lady Gaga hits. Also along for the ride: Annie Ellicott, Travis Fite and Costa Stasinopoulos. Tickets are $19 in advance or $25 the day of the show, which starts at 9:15 and is open to anyone 18 and over.
If you want to get dressed up but still dance your way into the New Year, you might want to head to 1st and Detroit. Enso, Electric Circus and the IDL Ballroom are hosting "Crystal Ball 2011: A New Years Eve Masquerade". The fancy flyer invites you to "bring in 2011 with the breathtaking beats of The Panic! Crew, Dilation & Jimm-A... and revel the night away with Steve Cluck." Formal wear and a mask are requested for this 21+ dance off. If you don't happen to have a masquerade mask lying around the house (who really does?), this party hands out the beguilement to paying patrons at the door. Tickets are $15 per person or $20 per couple. VIP packages are $25/person or $40 per couple. Not sure what being a VIP entails, but one can only hope it has something to do with Steve Cluck. Face it folks -- the guy knows how to party!
UNDER THE COVERS
Expect some serious sing-a-longs at the Crowne Plaza "New Years Eve Gala". The downtown hotel has longtime Tulsa rockers Imzadi playing covers in one ballroom and Mid Life Crisis in another, while Brian Lee & friends do their thing in the upper lobby. One ticket gets you in to all three shows. There's even a Texas Hold 'Em tournament early in the evening. Packages with a room, parking and breakfast are a little over $200 per couple. Call the hotel for specifics.
Down the street, the Jazz Depot offers a soulful solution for folks looking to ring in the New Year in style. The Depot's "New Years Eve Jazz Soiree" features Nicole Jackson and The Soultry Sound Band, a DJ and (of course) champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Other downtown highlights include the "O'kie Irish Music" of Cairde na Gael at Arnie's, DJ Sweet Baby Jayzus at the always awesome (and smoke and cover free!) Soundpony and The Zuits at Joe Momma's Pizza (pizza AND a horn section? Yes!).
Away from downtown, Brookside will host a party so big organizers are simply calling it "THE Party." The outdoor bash features a ball drop and confetti at midnight, along with the music of Eric and The Adams and Apollo. The event is free, but a VIP party tent is also available for $75 per person. Any money made goes to the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The party starts at 9pm at 37th and Peoria.
LOVIN', TOUCHIN', SQUEEZIN'
If you're a fan of the band Journey, you're in for a real New Years Eve treat. River Spirit Casino will host Revelation - A Tribute To Journey at the Mystic River Lounge. The group started in Kansas as an 80's influenced rock band called "Joker" and supposedly puts on quite a show. The free show is 21+ and starts at 10pm.
FLAMING LIPS FREAKOUT #4
The show I'm most excited about is in Oklahoma City. For the fourth year in a row, the Cox Convention Center will host the Flaming Lips' "New Years Eve Freakout." In a video on the band's website, singer Wayne Coyne promises "the world's largest mirror ball and balloon drop" and "dangerous laser beams." Last year the Lips played Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon" album in its entirety. This year, they'll perform their own classic album "The Soft Bulletin" from start to finish. Stardeath and White Dwarfs opens the show. Tickets are $10, $20 and $25. VIP tickets are also available.
Back in Tulsa, other shows worth mentioning include: awesome power-poppers Admiral Twin at Magoo's, roots rockers Electric Rag Band at Mercury Lounge and Jenny Labow and Uninvited Guest at McDermott's Grille at Riverwalk. Want to rock a little harder? Check out Chuck Cooley & the Demon Hammers at Backyard Bar. They're playing with a few other bands, including Bad Things, who scared me (in a good way) at the last Freakers Ball.
With all the excitement and intrigue bumping through the city on Dec. 31, there is no reason to stay at home and watch a ball drop hundreds of miles away. Get out on the town, enjoy the night air and bring in the New Year with friends and loved ones. Tulsa's New Year's Eve celebrations get more extravagant with each passing year and you don't want to miss saying goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011.
Whatever you do, please be careful. If you have too much to drink, call the good people at AAA. They're offering their "Tipsy Tow" service again this year, giving free rides home on New Years Eve for partiers in Tulsa, Ardmore, Enid, Lawton, Muskogee and Shawnee. The number to call is 800-AAA-HELP (222-4357).
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