1) Guitar virtuoso Buckethead is bringing his innovative shredding skills to Ace of Spades. He’s known for, among many other odd things, incorporating nunchuck skills into his set. Need we say more? Tickets are $30 in advance, available at Aceofspadessac.com. All ages welcome, doors open at 8:30 p.m.
2) The infamous Lipstick crew is returning to Old Ironsides for a rad indie-rock dance party. DJ sets from Shaun Slaughter, Roger Carpio and Adam Jay, plus a special live set from one of the sickest local bands, Contra. Just $8 in advance, available at Cuffs (2523 J St.). 9 p.m., 21-plus.
3) The Zero Forbidden Goals crew is throwing a Guerrilla Art Party in an alleyway in downtown Sacramento. This doesn’t sound like your average NYE party. There’s sure to be live art, musical performances and who knows what else. Expect the unexpected. Artist Alley, 7th and I streets, 8 p.m. Free, all ages welcome.
4) The folks at Holy Diver are hosting rock royalty on NYE. Hookers and Blow features Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses, Alex Grossi of Quiet Riot, Todd Kerns of Slash, and Johnny Kelly of Danzig and Type O Negative! They’ll be doing a GNR tribute set. Tickets are $16 in advance at Holydiversac.com. 8 p.m., all ages welcome.
5) Rosevillians should for sure hit up Bar 101 to catch local reggae/hip-hop band Two Peace. These guys have shared the stage with some of reggae’s top acts like Katchafire, Morgan Heritage, The Green, Passafire and more. 9 p.m., 21-plus.
6) Dig Fleetwood Mac? Who doesn’t! The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley is hosting one of the best tribute bands out there, Fleetwood Mask, from the Bay Area. It’s a masquerade party, so dress up! General admission tickets are $32 for standing, $52 for seated. Visit Thecenterforthearts.org for more info.
7) Punch Line wants you to laugh your ass off until this damn year is just over already, so they’ve lined up some of their favorite local comics for Sacramento’s Last Laughs like Ngaio Bealum, Kelly Pryce, John Ross, Kiry Shabazz, Mary Van Note and more. Two shows! 7:30 and 10 p.m., with the late show offering a midnight toast and dancing ‘till 2 a.m. Punchlinesac.com for details.
8) Legendary San Francisco hip-hop artist Andre Nickatina is playing The Boardwalk on NYE. Playah K will host. Free champagne toast at midnight! $30 in advance at Boardwalkrocks.com. Doors at 7:30 p.m., 21-plus.
9) Bust out your sailor hats and yacht rock into the New Year at Harlow’s with one of the top cover bands in Northern California, Mustache Harbor. Tickets are $30 in advance, visit Harlows.com. 9 p.m., 21-plus.
10) Just upstairs from Harlow’s, inside MOMO Sacramento, there will be a raging dance party with tunes from Sacramento’s own DJ JB. Over the years, he’s rocked with everyone from DJ Skribble to Chromeo, crushing parties all over the West Coast. 9 p.m., $15 cover, 21-plus. Momosacramento.com for more info.
11) Want to go out on NYE, but not like, out out? Kick back at one of Midtown’s chillest bars, Kupros Craft House, where they’ll have happy hour prices all night, specials on a shot and a draft, and a champagne toast at midnight. Plus, no cover, and two patios! Boom. Night made.
12) Torch Club, a Sacramento staple where you’ll find great live music six nights a week, will host Southern California road warriors GrooveSession to usher in the New Year. They call themselves “movin’ groovin’ music,” and if you seek out their 2015 release California Hurricane, you’ll understand what they mean. 9 p.m., 21-plus, $25 cover.
13) SBL Entertainment is bringing legendary funk/jazz/R&B band WAR to Crest Theatre and tickets start at just $35. Visit Crestsacramento.com for more info. Crest is one of the most beautiful venues in Northern California and would be quite a special room in which to welcome new beginnings.
14) Some of the best bars in Old Sacramento are hosting an epic New Years Eve Bar Crawl. For just $25 you’ll skip the lines and to get into The River City Saloon, Fanny Ann’s, O’Mally’s Irish Pub, Sports Corner and The Other Office. Start with a fireworks show along the waterfront at 9 p.m., end with a bang at the bars. Live music and party favors at certain spots. Hit up Eventbrite for advanced tickets or Facebook.com/oldsacbars for more info.
15) As of press time, a very limited amount of tickets were left to rock in the new year at Thunder Valley with one of the best in the world, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts! There are two shows, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Must be 21-plus to attend, although guests between the ages of 13 and 20 may attend if accompanied by an adult at all time. Hit up Thundervalleyresort.com as soon as possible if you want in.
16) If you’re brave enough to venture down to K Street on NYE, we suggest hitting up District 30, where DJs Oasis and Benji will be throwing a straight up rager with a balloon drop, champagne toast and more. Early bird tickets start at $30 and go up the longer you wait. Visit District30sacramento.com for more info.
17) Folsom Hotel is an awesome saloon in Old Folsom with a lot of history that regularly hosts great live bands. On NYE, local dance rock cover band Lost in Suburbia will be playing. It’s free before 9 p.m., or just $10 after. 21-plus. Facebook.com/folsom.hotelsaloon for more info.
18) Enjoy a soul, zydeco, Cajun and Caribbean stew with musical group Mumbo Gumbo at Davis Odd Fellows Hall. They only sell 225 tickets to this annual event ($50 in advance), so it won’t be overcrowded like most NYE parties. Music and dancing in the Upper Hall, with a more casual setting in the Lower Hall with food, drinks and a big screen TV playing NYE shows from around the globe. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Visit Oddfellowsnewyearseve.eventbrite.com for more info.
**This piece first appeared in print on page 8 of issue #255 (Dec. 18, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018)**