Best music bets for New Year’s Eve in Chicago
BY SELENA FRAGASSI | For Sun-Times Media December 20, 2013 8:32AM
Flosstradamus at House of Blues in 2009. | Sun-Times file photo
Updated: January 21, 2014 6:17AM
It’s been quite the year in music. We learned what the fox says, got a royal lesson from a New Zealand teenager and almost made twerking our word of the year. So, naturally the best way to celebrate is by attending a concert on the last day of 2013. From a psych rock legend to a David Bowie cover band, these are the true noisemakers this New Year’s Eve in Chicago.
SONS OF THE SILENT AGE
Let’s dance! Since David Bowie has given up touring, the next best thing is a cover supergroup that masters the glam rock icon. Fronted by Chris Connelly (Ministry) and anchored by drummer Matt Walker (Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey), nine elite Chicago musicians will transform this club in Chicago’s Rogers Park community into Studio 54. Craft beer specials and a partnership with the Hilton Orrington/Evanston Hotel sweeten the deal. 9 p.m., Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave. $25. Info: (773) 381-4554; ticketweb.com.
CHEECH & CHONG/WAR
End your year on a, well, high note. The uncensored comedy duo joins forces with the American funk revue on the aptly titled Up in Smoke Tour. Hear hits like “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” and “Low Rider” alongside comedy routines that will be popping more than bottles of champagne. 8 p.m., Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St. $59.50-$149.50. Info: (312) 462-6300; ticketmaster.com.
This Minneapolis emcee is the new face of hip-hop, combining spoken word with rich vocals and freestyle with introspective narratives. Described as “a little Mos Def, a little Dorothy Parker,” Dessa’s last appearance of 2013 caps a year of winsome performances in Chicago, from opening up Riot Fest to packing the lawn at Millennium Park. 10 p.m., Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. $30-$35. Info: (773) 525-2501; lincolnhallchicago.com.
As we scratch our heads over 2014 technological advancements (Amazon drones, really?), it’s nice to know not all disc jockeys sit behind computers. This Slovenian mix master records with live instruments, giving his eclectic compositions both heartbeats and dance beats on songs like “Just Jammin’ ” and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” 8 p.m., Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway. $30.50-$100.50. Info: (312) 341-2310; ticketmaster.com.
If you like the Black Keys and the White Stripes, there’s one man you can thank: Roky Erickson. As the leader of the respected 13th Floor Elevators, the Austin, Texas-based artist helped to usher in the psychedelic rock craze of the 1960s and keeps it alive on this small venue tour. (If you miss him now, he’ll be back in February.) 8:30 p.m., Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave. $30. Info: (773) 281-4444; ticketweb.com.
BLACK JOE LEWIS
This band brings the noise, brings the funk and a whole lot of soul to its grab bag shows. If “revival” is the word for music this decade, this band lets old sounds age gracefully. Go early for Chicago psych warblers Outer Minds. 9 p.m., Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. $60 (in advance). Info: (773) 549-4140; etix.com.
JIMMY EAT WORLD
The pop punk band still has not healed from “Bleed American,” which is good news for us. Go ahead, sing your heart out to “Sweetness.” No one’s watching except those news crews filming their live countdown coverage. 10 p.m., House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St. $100. Info: (312) 923-2000; livenation.com.
A tag team of local electronic whiz kids, which includes Southland native J2K, is threatening to bring back the mosh pit on its latest single, but don’t let it keep you away. The street crunking style of big bass and heavy beats are the real mash-ups you’ll find here. 10 p.m., Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine Ave. $60. Info: (773) 275-6800; etix.com.
There’s even more reason to celebrate the night. This beloved Latino roots rock band is celebrating 40 years. And when it comes time for the toast, you know City Winery will have the best champagne in town. 11 p.m., City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St. $85-$175. Info: (312) 733-9463; citywinery.com/chicago.
Looking for the big beats? Crash the dance hall for Zedd, producer-disc jockey extraordinaire who is best known for producing Lady Gaga. Since he combines dubstep with house and classical music, we have a feeling his night will truly be art pop. 8 p.m., Aragon, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave. $42-$100. Info: (773) 561-9500; clubtix.com.