*featured photo courtesy of artist website*
Words by Zach Roumaya and Miles Riddle
In the live music community, there may not be a more important event than the annual New Year’s Eve concert.At every venue, with every genre, and in every city, there are concerts galore! (Because who wouldn’t want to spend their NYE at the best kind of party there is – a concert!) For those of us in the Philadelphia area, every year yields a whole mess of choices.
With Philly being driving distance to many other musical hubs on the east coast and beyond, this winter we have the opportunity to groove into 2016 in almost any fashion.
Our newest contributor Miles and myself put together a short list of our favorite shows for this year’s celebration:
Dark Star Orchestra – 2 nights at the Electric Factory
Celebrated Grateful Dead tribute DSO are back, this time at the Electric Factory for the band’s Cosmic New Year’s run! Previously they’ve held it in New York, stopping in Philadelphia usually a couple of days before NYE, but this year they’re throwing a two-night party in the city of Brotherly Love!
Their New Year’s Eve show is almost always a three-set show. These guys do it big, too! Stop by the E-Factory to get your groove on to some classic Dead tunes. Come out for both nights and that’s 5 sets of Grateful Dead music in two days… think about it.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – The Fillmore Philadelphia
If you don’t make it to the Electric Factory but still want something Dead related, head across town to the newest Philly venue – The Fillmore!
Joe Russo, Tom Hamilton, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger and Dave Dreiwitz have been commanding quite a bit of buzz in the past couple of years with their Grateful Dead tribute, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead aka JRAD.
Known for performing highly original sets that put a modern, jazzy twist on songs performed by the Dead, JRAD is quickly becoming a true force in the jam scene.
JRAD recently announced that they will be halting operations after Valentines’ Day 2016 as well because bassist Drew Dreiwitz has been called back to his original touring band, WEEN!! This may be your last opportunity to catch JRAD for a while.
PhillyBloco – Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore PA
Resident Brazillian/funk band, PhillyBloco, will be ringing in the New Year at the Ardmore Music Hall just minutes outside of the city. Known for their ability to fuse together world music rhythms from Samba to Funk to Reggae with a whole mess of percussion, their high energy act will surely leave you with high spirits in the New Year. PhillyBloco has just as much fun on stage as the audience does dancing to their tunes. They like to improvise and have a good time, so their NYE show should be a dance party full of good vibes!
Papadosio – The Fillmore Silver Springs, MD
Now a widely known act in the jam scene, Asheville, NC jamtronica act Papadosio will take their New Year’s Eve celebration back to Maryland at the Fillmore Silver Springs.
Currently in the midst of a gigantic tour in support of their newest album, Extras In A Movie, Dosio is really honing in on their sound. They performed in Philadelphia last month at the new Fillmore in Fishtown and really got the whole place going. These guys are no strangers to the late night show, so if you’re looking to party hard with some great jams, it’s just a short drive down I95 for a good time.
Gov’t Mule –The Beacon – New York City
Legendary guitarist Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule will seriously throw it down at the Beacon Theater over for two nights this month. Night one will be a regular evening from the southern rock jammers, but the real treat is the 31st. In homage to the legendary Watkins Glen summer jam, this show will be three sets – Grateful Mule, The Allmule Band, and The Mule.
Grateful Mule performing the music of the Grateful Dead, The Allmule Band performing the music of the Allman Brothers Band, and The Mule performing the music of The Band (For those who didn’t get it the first time.)
Each set will have special guests including guitarist Steve Kimock, bassist Lincoln Schleifer, multi-intstrumentalist Larry Campbell, former ABB keyboardist Chuck Leavell and more!
Dopapod/Turkuaz/Kung Fu – The Palladium, Massachusetts
If you’re up north and looking to fill your New Year’s Eve with funk, check out The Balldrop Celebration. Funk powerhouses Turkuaz and Kung Fu will join Boston natives, Dopapod. In the midst of an extensive fall tour, accompanied by The Nth Power, Dopapod has brought the heat to every city they have visited. Dopapod and Kung Fu both recently had tour dates in Philadelphia and they did not disappoint. Their unique progressive rock-meets-funk sound makes for fun dance party to be enjoyed by all. This is not a show you are going to want to miss. If you are in the area, check it out.
Phish – Madison Square Garden, New York
Phish is back in action performing their annual New Year’s Eve run in New York at the Garden. If you struck it rich with their ticket lottery, then you are already prepared for this very anticipated show. After some time away from each other to tour with their respective bands, most notably the insane buzz from Trey Anastasio Band’s recent winter tour, the boys from Vermont are in great form to rock the Garden. Unfortunately, this show is sold out but you may be able to score a ticket from a reseller. If you are a Phan, you know this is where the party will be.
Lotus – 2 Nights in Pittsburgh
The jamtronica juggernaut that is Lotus will be doing a two night New Year’s run in Pittsburgh (A bit of a drive, yes, but worth it.) Lotus shows are always just one big party and I assure you these two will be no exception. With a very successful festival run this past summer, Lotus has solidified what we already know is true; this band knows how to get the funk down! On the first night of this run, Lotus will take the stage at Mr. Smalls Theatre. The New Year’s Eve show will take place at Stage AE. Unfortunately, tickets to these shows are already sold out, so if you have not bought any, a reseller is your best chance.
Get The Led Out – 2 Nights at Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe
Widely known as “The American Led Zeppelin”, Philadelphia-born Led Zeppelin tribute band Get The Led Out, will be doing a two night run at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe. This is the closest one can get to the original Led Zeppelin experience without going back in time. If you are a Zeppelin fan with no New Year’s plans, than this is where you need to be. If for some reason you cannot make these two shows, they will be in Philadelphia at the Electric Factory tomorrow, December 11.