Ring in the new year with a concert and let the onus to entertain fall on the band. A live show guarantees an atmosphere of pure revelry and there’s always the possibility you’ll get a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” once the clock hits midnight. The following concerts are scattered throughout Denver and Boulder, and cover a wide range of genres, from funk to electronic and jazz to bluegrass. As with all New Year’s Eve events, make sure to buy your tickets in advance and drink responsibly.
Where: Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club
Price: $270 to $1,110 ($16 gratuity included per person)
Why go: If you love jazz and are willing to spend a bit more for a one-of-a-kind seated event, then this is the New Year’s Eve show for you. You have the option to kick off your night at Nocturne, or have it be your countdown destination. Reserved tickets for both times will feature Denver’s own Peter Sommer Quintet—Peter Sommer (sax), Shane Endsley (trumpet), Ben Markley (piano), Paul Romaine (drums) and Seth Lewis (bass)—as well as a welcome cocktail and a four-course dinner from Chef Greg Weadick.
Good to know: The seating options are 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Bar seating will also be available for “a la carte” access to the party.
Where: 1st Bank Center, Broomfield
Price: $89 ($108 with fees); $150 for a three-night pass ($183 with fees)
Why go: This three-night New Year’s Eve run marks 25 years since the String Cheese Incident jam band got together for its first show in Crested Butte. The six-person group is known for blending bluegrass, rock, jazz, R&B, and electronic music, as well as extended bouts of improvisation, and these shows will be no exception. SCI’s Colorado roots run deep, so expect a solid showing from fans of all ages.
Good to know: Bluegrass legends Sam Bush and Darol Anger will open for String Cheese on December 28, while pedal steel master Robert Randolph and members of Dumpstaphunk will kick off the show on December 29. After a break on December 30, String Cheese will play three sets on NYE.
Where: Fillmore Auditorium
Price: $70 ($90 with fees)
Why go: New Year’s Eve will mark the last night of STS9’s four-night Denver run. Known for its own brand of live electronica, the five-piece act easily blends EDM, jazz, psychedelic rock, and a world-class light show. Expect a packed house and a dynamic, communal dance party.
Good to know: This show will sell out; Mark Farina opens at 8 p.m.
Where: Ogden Theatre
Price: $50 ($63 with fees)
Why go: Bluegrass act the Infamous Stringdusters won a 2017 Grammy Award for its album Laws of Gravity, and the band’s high-energy live show has only benefited from that success. The quintet recently released Live From Telluride, which showcases its particular brand of boundary-defying string music. Known for extended, improvisational solos and musical virtuosity, the Infamous Stringdusters fall somewhere between a jam band and a traditional string band.
Good to know: Don’t miss opening act Jon Stickley Trio, an instrumental act out of Asheville, North Carolina.
Where: Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
Price: $40 advance, $45 day of (add $9 with fees)
Why go: Billed as “Deaner in the Dumpsta,” this show will combine the weird and varied stylings of Dean Ween and the big-band, jam-funk sound of New Orleans-based Dumpstaphunk. Dean Ween (aka Michael Melchiondo, Jr.) is a founding member of the band Ween, known for its bizarre antics, novel disguises, and incredible originals, which easily move from country to rock. Dumpstaphunk was formed by Ivan Neville and his cousin, Ian Neville, son of Art Neville, of the Meters and Neville Brothers fame. It’s safe to say funk runs in the band’s blood.
Good to know: Phone service is virtually nonexistent inside Cervantes, so make sure to meet up with your crew beforehand.
Where: Cervantes’ Other Side
Price: $37.50 advance, $40 day of, $79 VIP (add $9 with fees)
Why go: This seven-piece act is led by Cory Henry, among the best Hammond B-3 organ players around and known for his role in the band Snarky Puppy. Despite the name, expect more than just funk from this group, which moves easily between blues, soul, R&B, Afrobeat, gospel, and pop, with Henry serving as both sideman and bandleader.
Good to know: The VIP Masterclass + Meet & Greet Experience gets you early entry to the show, a meet-and-greet photo opportunity, commemorative laminate, limited edition journal, and full masterclass led by Cory Henry, which will focus on soloing, writing, and finding your voice as a musician.
Where: Bluebird Theater
Price: $29 ($39 with fees)
Why go: In August, Denver-based quartet Devotchka released The Night Falls Forever, its first studio LP since 2011’s 100 Lovers (Live with the Colorado Symphony came out the following year). The album serves as a continuation of the band’s particular mix of gypsy folk, indie pop, and stadium rock; writing for AllMusic, James Christopher Monger described the band as casting “a wide and eclectic net of sound that evokes Coldplay by way of Beirut.”
Good to know: Go early for Colorado Americana act the Sweet Lillies, which blend covers with original songwriting, weaving deft harmonies throughout. Oh, and that fascinating instrument you’re sure to see DeVotchKa’s Nick Urata playing? It’s a theremin.
Where: Boulder Theater, Boulder
Price: $50 ($62 with service fees)
Why go: Ukrainian frontman Eugene Hütz knows how to command a room, combining his larger-than-life personality with wild costumes and humorous stage antics. The rest of the band—eight members total—add to the drama, cultivating a gypsy-punk sound that can easily sway cabaret or indie-rock. No matter the genre, this show will be fun.
Good to know: Tickets are the same online, over the phone, and at the box office. Detroit five-piece Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas (surf pop-indie rock-R&B soul) will kick things off at 9 p.m.
Where: Globe Hall
Price: $28 ($38.50 with fees); $70 for a three-day pass ($76 with fees)
Why go: Formed in Denver in 1992 and named for frontman Slim Cessna, this seven-piece band plays country rock with punk energy, making for a very rock-and-roll-meets-honky-tonk vibe. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club has a reputation for putting on an outstanding live show, so it’s safe to assume the NYE set will be extraordinary.
Good to know: Globe Hall will begin serving up its Texas-style, wood-fired barbecue beginning at 6 p.m.
Where: Fox Theatre, Boulder
Price: $20 in advance ($27 with fees)
Why go: Boulder-based alt-country band Gasoline Lollipops will perform Tom Petty’s 1994 album, Wildflowers, in its entirety to ring in the new year. The four-piece will add its own brand of electrified folk to what is widely considered Petty’s best album.
Good to know: Colorado Americana acts Grant Farm, helmed by National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant, and the River Arkansas will open the show at 9 p.m.
Where: Colorado Convention Center
Price: $159 ($193 with fees); $398 for a two-day VIP pass
Why go: No Denver-based NYE music lineup would be complete without Decadence, the nation’s largest end-of-the-year music festival. The stacked lineup includes Skrillex, GRiZ, and Bassnectar, to name a few, and is spread out on multiple stages over two days. More than 600,000-square-feet of convention center exhibit halls will be transformed for the event, complete with over-the-top decor and production.
Good to know: If large crowds and loud music aren’t your idea of a good time, this isn’t the show for you. VIP tickets provide access to a separate entrance, elevated viewing decks, private bars, and a lounge with seating.