A select guide to end-of-the-annum doings compiled by Amber Gibson, Zach Freeman, Mary Munez, Kenneth Preski and Ray Pride. All events take place on December 31, 2013. Critics’ picks are denoted with an asterisk (*).
The special six-course menu tonight features a late 1800s/early 1900s French theme, with dishes like vichyssoise, lobster Thermidor and beef Wellington. There are two seatings, at 5:30pm and 9pm and a vegetarian option is available with seventy-two-hours notice. There will be a champagne toast at midnight and a surprise performance. 1639 South Wabash, (312)360-9500. $125 with $75 wine pairing at 5:30pm. $165 with $85 wine pairing at 9pm.
Enjoy vinyl and victuals with Chef Zoe Schor with either animal or vegetable prix fixe menus. Highlights from both include braised short rib gnocchi, oven-roasted lamb chop, fried manchego cheese and spaghetti squash salad. 1664 North Ada, (773)697-7069. 6:30pm-10pm seatings. $60 for vegetable and $80 for animal menu.
Chow on a Mexican street-food dinner buffet and passed appetizers along with a premium open bar. A midnight champagne toast, DJ and party favors are included. 311 West Chicago, (312)643-3200. 8pm–1:30am. $85. 21+.
Oyster mushroom ragu pumpkin arancini, beef tartare and rustic pasta dishes are just a few options on the menu tonight. Plus, new Pastry Chef Sarah Koechling, formerly of Everest, debuts a new dessert. 1633 North Halsted, (312)867-3888. $70, with $35 wine pairing.
Enjoy Victorian-era cocktails, spirits and passed hors d’oeuvres at this Logan Square cocktail bar. Punch romaine from the decks of the Titanic, cider drawn from a firkin keg and old world wines, madeira, port and fernet will be a few of your drink options. Passed canapés include caviar, oysters, pig trotters, turtle consommé, beef tongue croquettes and a selection of charcuterie. 3143 West Logan, (773)661-2485. 9pm-2am, $175.
Although they’ve only been open since September, Chicago’s first Ameripub will serve classic American fare in a party atmosphere to ring in the new year. Tickets include an open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, midnight champagne toast and party favors. 65 West Kedzie, (312)836-0290. 9pm-2am. $75, $85 at the door.
Ring in 2014 with a special menu by executive chef Chris Pandel. The night starts with a selection of pâtés and mousselines, including pork and duck terrine and whitefish and potato pâté with caviar. The next course consists of pastas like spinach garganelli with black olive crumbs and sunchoke veloute. Choose between a 16oz New York strip, braised beef short ribs, halibut or roasted wild mushrooms for the main course. Plus, new Pastry Chef Sarah Koechling, formerly of Everest, debuts a new dessert. 2152 North Damen, (773)862-5555. $75, with $35 wine pairing.
Shawn Lacy performs live tonight and the regular dinner menu is served, with signatures including bone-in short rib, baby back ribs and the shellfish bar. Premium seating in an elevated booth is available for eight people for $500. 435 North Clark, (312)610-4200.
End your year with an old-fashioned pig roast with some of the restaurant’s favorite accompaniments. A ticket gets you all-you-can-eat pork, bacon and midnight eggs, brisket and debris. Plus, there’s an open bar featuring American whiskey, spirits and craft beers. 1352 West Taylor, (312)929-2528. 9pm-late. $60.
A seafood ice bar and food stations serving diver scallops with shaved black winter truffles, dry-aged strip loin roast and a decadent chocolate display will be set up around the fountain while the Myles Hayes Jazz Band plays. 160 East Pearson, (312)573-5160. 8:30pm, $225.
DMK Burger Bar
Celebrate the greatest hits of the year as the most popular burgers of 2013 are served in slider form, along with boozy milkshakes, fries and tater tots. Dance to DJ Groover Cleveland’s tunes and enjoy an all-night open bar as well. Plus a secret midnight burger will be revealed just in time for the ball drop. 2954 North Sheffield, (773)360-8686. 9pm– late. $75.
The Drawing Room
Enjoy a five-course dinner by newly appointed executive chef Tommy Sheean. Beet tartare, duck confit with ravioli, halibut and chocolate crème brûlée will be on offer. 937 North Rush, (312)266-2694. $85, with $35 drink pairing.
Feast on smoked whole pig, goat, lamb and boar with a five-hour premium drink package. A live DJ and midnight champagne toast complete the evening. 1072 North Milwaukee, (773)772-4322. 8pm-1am, $100, tickets available at thefrontierlive.com.
Live flamenco and classical guitarists provide the soundtrack for an intimate candlelit dinner. Start the evening with cheese fondue, followed by lobster, shrimp and beef and finish your meal with flaming chocolate dessert fondue. 340 West Armitage, (773)281-9101. $85 for 5pm, $105 for 7pm and $125 for 10pm, including glasses or bottles of Laurent Perrier champagne.
Families can ring in 2014 with the kids early then the parents can go out on the town. Enjoy a hearty all-you-can-eat Italian butter of starters, salads, pastas, pizza and dessert followed by a countdown to 2014 at 7:59 pm with sparkling wine and grape juice for the kids. Each child receives a goodies bag and special Go Roma gift certificates for 2014. 848 North State, (312)252-9946. 6:30–8pm. $15 for adults, $7.50 for children under 12.
Dine early, with a six-course degustation, or ring in the new year at Chicago’s most impressive fine dining establishment. The second seating includes a champagne reception and passed canapés with Chef Curtis Duffy and the Grace culinary team, followed by a magnificent ten-course tasting menu crafted specially for this celebration and a midnight champagne toast. 652 West Randolph, (312)234-9494. $165 at 5:30pm, $265 for 9pm.
* Graham Elliot
This will be the last dinner service for the two-star Michelin restaurant before they close. A special menu will be served all night from an earlier six-course menu to a second seating with eight courses. The later seating includes a champagne midnight toast, the chance to hang out with Graham Elliot and additional send-off surprises. 217 West Huron, (312)624-9975. $190 with $95 wine pairings, 5:30-7pm. $290 with $125 wine pairings, 8pm-9:30pm.
Live performances by 5Star, Young General and the Band on the main floor and several DJs downstairs will keep this party hopping. Tickets include a champagne greeting and midnight toast, passed hors d’oeuvres and party favors. 351 West Hubbard, (312)321-1351. 8:45pm–1:45 am. $115.
Add a je ne sais quoi to your New Year’s Eve plans by soaking in the sights, sounds and tastes of Paris. In honor of Chef Mindy Segal and Dan Thompson’s recent honeymoon in the City of Light, there will be Parisian-inspired cocktails, sultry sounds of French music and a French menu with lobster bisque, steak frites and tiramisu napoleon. 1747 North Damen, (773)489-1747. 6pm and 6:30pm seatings, $60. 8:30pm and 9pm seatings, $75 with cheese course.
A special prix-fixe menu will be offered alongside the regular dinner selection. Afterwards, move to lower-level club SUB 51 with Lady Gaga’s producer, DJ White Shadow. 51 West Hubbard, (312)828-0051.
Diners will try Chef Tim Havidic’s Salvador Dali menu with some special twists, like “crazy” saffron. This price includes a free cooking class with Havidic in March. 951 West Fulton Market, (312)491-0058. Seatings from 5pm–9pm. $150.
A Sauterne-infused sake cocktail with gold flakes, lobster tails and claws, caviar, soy braised beef bao and taro ice cream tartlets are just a few of the treats awaiting you at this pan-Asian eatery. 1009 North Rush, (312)660-3111. 8pm-2am. $195.
A caviar selection complements exotic seafood, including Brittany blue lobsters, geoduck clams and abalone in an eight-course tasting menu special for the night. 2300 North Lincoln Park West, (773)868-0002. 5pm-10:30pm. $195.
Pick from any dishes on the menu, including several specials, to create your own three-course feast, including an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Specials include Banh Tom Chien, shrimp and yam tempura with chili lime fish sauce, and Tom Hum Xao Sate, lobster and asparagus with sate sauce. Seatings are on the half hour beginning at 5pm. 937 North Rush, (312) 255-0088. $65.
The tenth annual Bootlegger’s Ball promises to be a party of Gatsby-esque proportions. Flappers and martinis pair with a lavish dinner buffet and modern beats to take you back to the Roaring 20s with a twist. 1824 West Division, (773)862-8686. 8pm-12:30am. $75, $85 after December 15.
Guests will experience ten courses with drink pairings from the regular menu, plus some special pizzazz and extras. Bonus: this price includes a class with Chef Richie Farina and Pastry Chef Claire Crenshaw in March in Moto’s underground laboratory. 945 West Fulton Market, (312)491-0058. Seatings from 5pm-9pm. $250, inclusive of tax and gratuity.
Municipal Bar + Dining Company
Two hours of passed appetizers and a four-hour premium open bar from 9pm to 1am, including champagne and music from DJ Stoz. 216 West Ohio, (312)286-2479. $85, tickets available at hastickets.com. 21+.
Party like a rockstar in the south of France underneath the gorgeous chandeliers with a full open premium bar and one of Chicago’s top DJs. General admission also includes passed appetizers by Chef Jared Van Camp, a champagne toast and party favors. 833 West Randolph, (312)432-0500. 9:30pm-2am. $125. 21+
Old Town Pour House
The party here goes from 8pm till 1am including a champagne toast, passed hors d’oeuvres and late-night snacks. Instagram away to see your mug on the live stream party feed. Liquor is not included with admission. 1419 North Wells, (312)477-2800. $40.
Old Town Social
Rocking music by Dirty Darren and a premium open bar are accompanied by passed hors d’oeuvres, a midnight snack, party favors and twenty-three high-definition TVs to watch both the Times Square and Chicago ball drops. 455 West North, (312)266-2277. 9pm-1am. $100. 21+.
Enjoy a traditional French bistro dinner, and chef Doug Psaltis also has some specials up his sleeve, including house-smoked salmon with caviar and potato blinis and a decadent croque en bouche cake for dessert. 59 West Hubbard, (312)595-0800.
Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
A four-course tasting menu includes sea bass tartar, burrata, lobster tortellini, butter-roasted turbot and Italian coconut custard. 437 North Rush, (312)222-0101. $75.
The party here is themed around solid gold and tickets include signature appetizers, live music including Motown and solid gold hits and a midnight champagne toast. Dressing to the theme is encouraged, so bring out the bling. 941 West Randolph, (312)733-9333. 9pm. $65 before December 24, then $85 after. $99 for tables.
Red Door – Manhattans at Midnight
This bacon and bourbon party features a variety of signature “brown” cocktails and Chef Troy Graves from Red Door will cook up passed trays of bacon-wrapped artichokes with romesco, fried oyster and waffles with bacon-infused maple syrup and lobster-pancetta croquettes with pistachio pesto. At midnight, instead of bubbly, bacon-infused barrel-aged Manhattans will be served for a toast. 2118 North Damen, (773)697-7221. 9pm–2am. $100.
Rockit Bar & Grill
The party here includes a premium open bar with Red Bull, passed hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet, champagne toast, party favors and DJ. 22 West Hubbard, (312)645-6000. 8pm-1:30am. $95. 21+.
Rockit Burger Bar
The party here includes a premium open bar with Red Bull, passed hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet, champagne toast, party favors and DJ. 3700 North Clark, (773)645-4400. 8pm-1:30am. $75. 21+.
Choose from an early or later seating to enjoy a five-course menu featuring robata grilled sea bass, shrimp and scallop dumplings, oysters, American wagyu ribeye and butternut crème brulee. 456 North Clark, (312)477-7652. $85 between 5:30pm-7:30pm and $125 between 8pm-10:30pm. Additional $40 for wine pairings.
Chef Doug Psaltis prepares specials including Maine lobster risotto with Piedmont black truffles in addition to his regular menu. 52 West Illinois, (312) 222-1888.
Signature Room at the 95th
Stop by for an early evening three-course dinner or a more extravagant late-night six-course dinner with formal dress, balloon drop and music by NEO Orchestra. Parsnip and white truffle soup, cornmeal crusted tofu and chicken Provençal are just a few course options. 875 North Michigan, (312)787-9596. 9pm-1am, $105 for 5:30pm-6:30pm, $225 for 7:30pm-9pm seating.
A buffet station features the Asian fusion restaurant’s signature dishes and a ticket also includes a premium bar package, midnight champagne toast, guest DJ and more in the private banquet space upstairs. 110 West Illinois, (312)644-0500. 9pm-1am. $125.
A seven-course menu is offered before 7pm, with a couple of extra courses for later seatings. Celery root soup with peekytoe crab agnolotti, roasted and braised wagyu beef, seared scallops with chanterelle mushroom risotto and yuzu panna cotta are just a few of the delectable courses. 1952 North Damen, (773)772-6170. 5pm-7pm, $90 with $45 wine pairing. After 7pm, $110 with $60 pairing.
* Takito Kitchen
Chef David Dworshak serves a special three-course dinner featuring oyster and king crab coctel de mariscos, chile roasted shrimp and chorizo with purple potatoes and grilled ribeye with crispy rice cake and black garlic tamarind glaze. $55, tickets available at takitonye.eventbrite.com.
Tavern on Rush
A decadent meal inspired by nineteenth-century classic French cuisine awaits, along with beautiful holiday decorations, party favors and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Think velvet lobster bisque, a shellfish tower and pan-seared filet mignon topped with foie gras sauce and the menu is à la carte. 1031 North Rush, (312)644-9600.
Indulge yourself with lobster Thermidor, Miyazaki beef and turbot, along with the regular dinner menu. Live Rat Pack-style jazz gets the dance floor moving and sultry cigarette girls pass out complimentary party favors and snap Polaroid photos. Guests can also have a complimentary caricature sketch drawn by the same artist who painted the Chicago characters on the dining room walls. 350 North State, (312)755-1700. 5pm till late.
Stuff yourself with crab cakes, lobster bisque, filet mignon, lamb chops and portabella mushroom gnocchi from the prix fixe menu beginning at 7pm. A champagne toast and live entertainment are included. 217 North Jefferson, (312)207-1900. $69.95.
Ring in the new year at this black-and-white soirée. Black-and-white bow tie pasta, black truffle crusted sea bass and plenty more truffles pepper the menu. Choose from a three-course option at 5pm or a five-course gala dinner at 7:30pm that continues into the new year. Guests at the second seating are encouraged to wear their favorite mask along with black-and-white attire. The most festive mask wins a magnum of Veuve Clicquot champagne for their table. 330 North Wabash, (312)923-9988. $125 at 5 pm, $180 at 7:30pm.
Dine earlier on a six-course tasting or later for an eight-course feast. Coral caviar will be available for both. 676 North St. Clair, (312)202-0001. $165 at 5pm, $275 at 8:30pm.
Live music from Prairie Ghost and a special four-course dinner tempts guests with choices like duck egg fettuccine, grilled barbeque octopus and wild mushroom risotto with smoked ricotta and candied pumpkin seeds. 1132 West Grand, (312)624-8363. $65.
Matthia Merges’ yakitori-inspired restaurant naturally is going to throw a bonenkai or “forget the year gathering.” This Japanese drinking party is all about forgetting the woes of the past year by consuming lots of alcohol, which at Yusho includes a range of Japanese craft beers, sakes and diverse shochus. It’ll all be paired with delicious food, including king prawn tempura, oyster shrimp paste and coconut slaw and twice fried chicken in a garlic beer sauce. 2853 North Kedzie, (773)904-8558. 6pm and 9pm seatings with midnight toast, $99 and $50 for beverage pairings.
STAGE & SCREEN & STYLE
*11th Annual Greatest Night of Comedy: Cheech & Chong and War: Up in Smoke New Year’s Eve Party
This incomparable comedy duo has been smoking and joking together since the seventies. Their comedy tour has been making the rounds across the country this year and they’re stopping in Chicago for New Year’s Eve as part of the annual “Chicago’s Greatest Night of Comedy” at The Chicago Theatre. This show makes it clear: if these two can still stay up past midnight partying then you have no excuse! The Chicago Theatre, 175 North State Street. (800)745-3000. 8pm, $59.50-$149.50.
Chicago’s 11th Annual Greatest Night of Comedy
Featuring DeRay Davis, Gary Owen, Red Grant and hosted by Donovan. Arie Crown Theatre, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, (312)791-6190. $39.50-$149.50.
The Chimes: A Goblin Story
Yes, this show does start at 4pm on the 31st and will get out before your official New Year’s Eve countdown begins but this classic Charles Dickens tale, performed as a one-man-show by Remy Bumppo artistic director Nick Sandys, is a sort of lesser known sibling to “A Christmas Carol” that centers around the chimes of New Year’s Eve, which makes it a perfect start to your evening. Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 North Lincoln Avenue. (773)404-7336. 4pm, $20.
A night of booze, food and laughs that will leave you happy, maybe a touch hungover, but not at all broke on New Year’s Day! The evening begins with an open bar and buffet, Corn being nearly as renowned for its catering as it is for its comedy. Kick off two sets of sketch, improv and all manner of hilarity—with plenty of opportunities for return trips to the buffet and bar. Top off the comedy with a countdown to midnight and champagne toast and then welcome 2014 with dancing till the wee hours. 4120 North Lincoln. (773)650-1331. Doors open 8pm, show starts at 8:45pm. $100.
Metropolis Ball Chicago
Collaboraction, a groundbreaking Chicago arts organization, along with acclaimed burlesque sensation Angela Eve, cordially invite you to the Metropolis Ball 2013: a decadent and interactive night filled with art, music, dancing, physical theater, fashion and a sexy circus. Set in a surreal panoramic multiple room installation creating Yoshiwara’s House of Sin Cabaret, The Fredersen Tower Speakeasy, Eternal Gardens Pleasure Lounge and the Catacombs Cantina, this will be an elite avant-garde New Year’s Eve experience. The third year running sell-out event “Metropolis Ball” is based around the 1927 film by Fritz Lang. Each loft room will be designed as an interactive set created to represent elements of Metropolis with a plethora of art and video by local artists. Admission, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, champagne toast. Untitled, 111 West Kinzie, (312)880-1511. $75-$300.
New Year’s Eve at the ComedySportz Theatre
The two-hour 5pm & 7pm New Year’s Eve show includes a full show in the main stage, party favors, a New Year’s countdown and a cider toast with the cast following the performance. 929 West Belmont, (773)549-8080. $25. Night owls might prefer the 10pm show and after-party ($35, includes champagne toast).
New Year’s Eve with “Moulin Rouge”
See “Moulin Rouge” at the Music Box Theatre. Besides viewing the film, there will be live entertainment, audience interaction, party favors and a cash bar along with a post-show champagne toast, dessert and more floorshow. 8pm doors, 9pm floorshow, 930pm Film. Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport, (773)871-6607.
*New Year’s Revolution
Redmoon is known for inventive, experimental and envelope-pushing spectacles. This one-night-only five-hour-long event in Redmoon’s warehouse space promises a truly spectacular and unforgettable New Year’s Eve (along with an open bar). If you’re looking to go stylish while retaining artistic integrity, this is your ticket. Redmoon, 2120 South Jefferson. (312)850-8440 x123. 9pm, $100-$150.
A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel. It’s the ultimate tribute to two of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time by Craig Meyer (Almost Elton John) and Donnie Kehr. Performance includes champagne toast and party favors. 23 East Galena, Aurora. (630) 896-6666. 6pm and 10pm. $55.
The Second City’s Holiday in the Heights
If you’re a suburbanite (or just out in the suburbs for New Year’s Eve) and you’re looking for a taste of the kind of comedy we take for granted within these city limits, this Second City comedy show centered around the holidays is the party event for you. It starts at 10pm and the New Year’s Eve tickets include a glass of champagne, party favors and a balloon drop at midnight. Metropolis Performing Arts Center, 111 West Campbell Street, Arlington Heights. (847)577-2121. 10pm, $50-$60.
*Upstairs at the Everleigh
“Elegant debauchery” is promised by the Everleigh Social Club for this “intimate” party where no cameras are allowed. The camera restriction is in place because though you may choose to dress up as much as you like (black tie preferred), you can also opt to crash the party in lingerie—in fact, after a series of “seductive performances” (the kind the Everleigh Social Club is known for) your New Year’s Eve countdown will be hosted by a group of tastefully nude ladies. Everleigh Social Club, 939 West Randolph. 9pm, $75-$200.
Alejandro Escovedo & The Sensitive Boys at Evanston’s SPACE
Following a brush with death brought on by a severe case of hepatitis-C, Escovedo’s recent recordings have a renewed sense of urgency and exploration, resulting in some of his finest work to date. He seems more eager than ever to express himself, and with an ability to faithfully render versions of influences as disparate as Miles Davis and The Ramones, Escovedo’s uncanny talents continue to unfold despite a career spanning twenty years. He’s perfectly matched on this evening with a venue intimate enough to be comfortable, yet big enough to celebrate Escovedo’s long legacy of lovely songwriting. Evanston’s SPACE, 1245 Chicago, (847)492-8860. 10pm. $65.
Battle of the Saxes: Ed Peterson vs. Eric Schneider at Green Mill
Rest in peace to Von Freeman, who this night at the Green Mill will always belong to, even if he passed in 2012, and graced the New Year’s stage for the final time in 2010. The tradition lives on with Ed Peterson now facing Eric Schneider, both of whom are players of remarkable range and multifaceted talents, pushing each other to the extremes of the saxophone. The Green Mill will forever be a Chicago institution, and regardless of who helms the stage, spending the evening in its hallowed halls is as luxurious now as it was when Al Capone hung there. Green Mill, 4802 North Broadway, (773)878-5552, 8pm. $30. 21+.
*Black Joe Lewis at Metro
Whenever Joe Lewis takes the stage he has a nervy energy, like he’s just as surprised as anyone that his vocal overwhelms the room, in turn trading off a bluesman’s croon for a soul-funk scream. That his guitar squeals with the same manic energy propels his band to feverish heights in a wild attempt to match the hyperactive frenzy, until the group bottoms out to a groove deep enough for a danceable sway. With the impulse to headbang and boogie evenly split between openers Outer Minds and The Numero Group DJs, the evening promises to be perfectly catered to the rock ‘n’ roll tendencies of every listener. Metro, 3730 North Clark, (773)549-4140. 9pm. $60. 18+
*Death at Reggies Rock Club
With MC5, The Stooges and George Clinton already wringing out the Motor City for every creative impulse during the early seventies, I suppose it’s easy to understand why Detroit’s Death didn’t make the mainstream impact their music so clearly deserves. Four decades later and the trio of brothers are on a belated victory lap, bolstered by a Drag City Records reissue of their debut LP, as well as a recently released, powerfully sentimental documentary detailing their story. Original member David Hackney passed and has been replaced by Bobbie Duncan, but Death rocks just as viciously as ever, with riffs as crushing and confrontational as you would expect from the purveyors of early punk. As if their sonic swagger weren’t enough, the bill is supported by three local acts of considerable acclaim in Rabble Rabble, Le Tour and El Mejor. No other New Year’s show offers as much bang for your buck. Reggies Rock Club, 2105 South State, (312)949-0120, 8:30pm. $20. 17+.
Girl Group Chicago at The Hideout
The appeal of girl group pop songs is timeless. Even The Beatles were enamored enough with America’s particular take on the format that they couldn’t help themselves from including a cover of The Cookies’ “Chains” on their first album. Girl Group Chicago’s version of the same tune is admirable as well, and with period costumes in tow, the troupe is even more faithful to the original. Smart move, rounding up dozens of talented women to tackle some of the best songs ever written. Now there’s just the matter of fitting everyone on The Hideout’s tiny stage. The Hideout, 1354 West Wabansia, (773)227-4433. 9pm. $20. 21+.
Jimmy Eat World at House of Blues
That Jimmy Eat World hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their 2001 single “The Middle” still seems like more of a fluke than a calculated effort by the band to make it big. As such, the group has since continued to foster their naturally emotive pop-punk tendencies, much to the delight of their passionate fanbase, hence the high price tag for the evening’s festivities. With the Smoking Popes in tow, the bill is a graceful take on nineties nostalgia for when rock music wasn’t afraid to show that it really cared, perhaps a bit too much for some. House of Blues, 329 North Dearborn, (312)923-2000. 10pm. $100. 21+.
Los Lobos at City Winery
If four decades of doggedly consistent recordings and thousands of performances doesn’t prepare a band to rule the roost at year’s end, nothing else will. Los Lobos will exhibit every manner of expertise and professionalism, with songs genre jumping from pop-rock to Latin to country. It may be true that Los Lobos’ biggest hit was their take on “La Bamba” for the Ritchie Valens biopic of the same name, but their ability to execute traditional tunes should leave listeners with confidence that they’ll be in good hands when the clock strikes twelve. City Winery, 1200 West Randolph, (312)733-9463, 10:30pm. $85.
Mucca Pazza at Double Door
If you’re in search of the biggest band to watch on the biggest night of the year, by sheer numbers alone this thirty-piece rock ‘n’ roll orchestra is your best bet. Arrive wearing just the right costume and when the group inevitably breaks down the barrier between stage and audience, you might just end up joining the troupe. Celebrate with the circus by becoming a member and by the time 2014 comes around, things may never be the same. Double Door, 1572 North Milwaukee, (773)489-3160, 9pm. $25-$28. 21+
*Roky Erickson at Beat Kitchen
As frontman of The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson wrote some of the very first, and very best psychedelic rock songs. That the group existed early enough to spearhead the movement was perhaps to their detriment, as the LSD-frenzied lifestyle took a serious toll on Erickson, a man who is credited with coining the genre’s name. Over the years his solo career has proven to be equally experimental, sometimes fruitful, other times forgetful. No matter the output, his signature vocal remains one of rock ‘n’ roll’s proudest hallmarks, an untethered howl rivaled only by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. To be blunt: this is a bucket-list show, the type of performance where the artist is past their prime but still so revered and relevant as to warrant a rabid fan base. With excellent local garage rock duo White Mystery opening, the hype is justified. Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont, (773)281-4444. 9:30pm. $30. 21+.
Roy Hargrove Quintet at Jazz Showcase
Perhaps contemporary jazz’s premier trumpeter, Hargrove manages to sidestep the traps of an overly smooth delivery by engaging in cross-genre experimentation. With collaborators ranging from Erykah Badu to John Mayer to Herbie Hancock, the elasticity of Hargrove’s playing is clearly in popular demand. No matter the style, Hargrove’s performances always root themselves in the canonical traditions fostered by Wynton Marsalis, making his silky tone more approachable than the free jazz fanfare of many native Chicagoans. His immense talents won’t go to waste, nor will the money spent securing a spot in the room. Jazz Showcase, 806 South Plymouth, (312)360-0234, 11pm. $75. 21+.
The Back Room
Listen to live music by Rickey Rainbow and his Over The Top Band all night long. Get ready to get on your feet and shake, rattle and roll into the New Year. Reservations include late-night snacks and a champagne toast at midnight. 937 North Rush, (312) 751-2433. 9pm. $40 general admission, $120 table for two, $240 table for four.
The Lawrence Arms at Concord Music Hall
The novelty of spending the evening closing down a brand new venue’s first New Year’s Eve can be either wonderfully exciting or painfully awkward depending on the staff’s level of experience. Having local punk trio The Lawrence Arms headline proves that the early reviews have been accurate: Concord Music Hall is run by people passionate about Chicago music with the knowledge and space to execute shows of considerable merit. And besides, with The Lawrence Arms on stage to play in the new year, the show could be held at a gas station and the group would still be deft enough to have the crowd singing and sweating along all night long. Concord Music Hall, 2047 North Milwaukee, (773)570-4000. 7:30pm. $25. 18+.
Zedd at Aragon Ballroom
The biggest, baddest dance party of the night, likely to sell out well in advance thanks to German wunderkind Zedd’s penchant for progressive house, dubstep and just about every other danceable sound he can find. His debut full-length “Clarity” offers a New Year’s Eve EDM outlet for those transfixed by Skrillex and Justice alike. Looking to lose yourself in a crowd of pulsating partiers unwilling to spend the evening sitting on the couch for even one second? Look no further. Aragon Ballroom, 1106 West Lawrence, (773)561-9500. 8pm. $43. 18+.
NIGHTCLUBS & PARTIES
Cirque de Masquerade at Dragonfly Mandarin
Join the folks who believe that “sexy isn’t an option, it’s a requirement” at Dragonfly Mandarin’s Masquerade Party in the West Loop. Two floors of party space hosting a premium bar buffet, midnight champagne toast, confetti explosion, and multiple DJs. Dress to impress. 832 West Randolph, (312)455-1400. 9pm-2am. $40-$1500.
All packages include gourmet buffet, champagne toast, party favors and balloon drop. A four-person VIP table for $500 includes a bottle of premium liquor, one bottle of either Veuve Cliquot or Moet Imperial. A six-person table with two premium bottles of liquor and one bottle of champagne is $700. All individuals will receive the drink wristband as well. 9 West Division, (312)335-1400 or visit DetentionChicago.com 8pm-2am. $20 general admission, $45 Basic package (5) Drinks Wristband.
LiveWire’s New Year’s Body Rockin’ Eve w/ She’s Crafty and Fabulous Ladies Of Fitness
Join She’s Crafty, Chicago’s all-girl Beastie Boys tribute band as they drop the mic, er, ball on 2014. Spandex-clad DJs the Fabulous Ladies of Fitness will open the night with their signature dance party blend of lite rock, soundtrack gems and retro hip-hop/R&B. Then, She’s Craft will bring 2014 in with a roar, and DJ Jenny B will spin the hits until closing time. 3394 West Milwaukee, (773)756-5363. 9pm–2am. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Official Kiss FM, Yelp Chicago, & Chicago Sun-Times NYE Event @ The Palmer House Hilton
Thousands of formally dressed partiers descend on the Palmer House Hilton for this multiple ballroom extravaganza that includes a top shelf cocktail reception, a variety of hors d’oeuvres, specialized martinis, champagne, live casino gambling benefiting Starlight Children’s Foundation, celebrity DJs, live video mixing, midnight confetti storm and table service. Discounted hotel rooms available. 17 East Monroe, (312)697-9107 or visit chicagonye.com. Check in at 8:30pm, begins at 9pm. Early bird special $125.
Odyssey New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise
The Odyssey will feature a special New Year’s Eve menu with chef’s tasting appetizers including shrimp and scallop ceviche, beef tenderloin sliders on brioche toast with horseradish sauce and roasted zucchini with a vegetable and pine nut ratatouille, blue crab and corn bisque, an organic greens salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and tangerine vinaigrette, a filet mignon and lobster duo in a red wine demi-glace with a potato croquet and vegetable bundle, and a sweets table to finish. Odyssey offers a dinner, champagne toast at midnight, entertainment, premium open bar, party favors including streamers, noisemakers, hats and tiaras and a fireworks display. 600 East Grand, (866)305-2469. Board 8:30pm, cruise 9:30pm-12:30am, dockside until 1am. $219.90.
Official Agenda by Chicago Reader & Chicago Sun-Times NYE Event @ The JW Marriott Chicago
This party benefitting the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation features multiple ballrooms of entertainment, a top-shelf cocktail reception, a variety of hors d’oeuvres, pasta bar, custom martinis, premium champagne, online raffle benefiting Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, celebrity DJs, live cover band, live video mixing, midnight confetti storm and table service. Discounted hotel rooms available. 151 West Adams, (312)697-9107. chicagonewyearsparty.com. Check in at 8:30pm. Begins at 9pm. Early bird special $125.
Party Like A Celebrity at Enclave Chicago
Celebrate NYE with celebrities, musicians and DJs with three parties at Enclave. This party includes two floors of entertainment, a top-shelf cocktail reception, a dessert bar, specialized martinis, premium champagne, bottle service and live video mixing. Included in the ticket price is a pre-party and post-party. Nearby discounted hotel rooms at $159/night. 220 West Chicago, (312)697-9107. Check in at 8:30pm; begins at 9pm. Early bird $69.
All packages include gourmet buffet, champagne toast, party favors and balloon drop. A four-person VIP table for $500 includes a bottle of premium liquor, one bottle of Moet Imperial. A six-person table with two premium bottles of liquor and one bottle of champagne is $700. All individuals will receive the drink wristband as well. 316 West Erie, (312)642-2400 or visit PatronsChicago.com $20 general admission $45 Basic Package (5) Drinks Wristband.
Playboy 60th Anniversary NYE Celebration @ The Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Includes multiple rooms of entertainment, a top shelf cocktail reception, a buffet of hors d’oeuvres, specialized martinis, premium champagne, VIP table service, live music and live video mixing. Included in the ticket price is a pre-party and post-party. Hotel rooms at $189 a night. 230 North Michigan, (312)697-9107. Check in at 8:30pm; begins at 9pm. Early bird special $150.
All packages include gourmet buffet, champagne toast, party favors & balloon drop. A four-person VIP table for $500 includes a bottle of premium liquor, one bottle of either Veuve Cliquot or Moet Imperial. A six-person table with two premium bottles of liquor and one bottle of champagne is $700. 5 West Division, (312)672-2298 $20 General Admission $30 Basic Package.
Rock Around The Clock until 4am at The Hard Rock Café
This party includes two floors of entertainment, a top-shelf cocktail reception, a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and pasta bar, specialized martinis, premium champagne, bottle service, live DJ entertainment and live video mixing. Included in the ticket price is a pre-party and post-party. Hotel rooms at $159 a night. 63 West Ontario, (312)697-9107. Check in at 8:30pm. 9pm-4am. Early bird $80.
Roof Masquerade NYE Bash
The Masquerade-themed party features a premium open bar with brands including Belvedere, Patron, 10 Cane and Makers Mark. Guests will dance the night away to the sounds of DJ Freeman who will spin throughout the evening on the rooftop lounge that offers 360-degree views of Chicago’s famous skyline. Additionally, if guests purchase tickets or table packages to ROOF’s NYE party or have a booked reservation in State and Lake Chicago Tavern they will receive fourteen-percent off their room rate for New Year’s Eve at the Wit Hotel Chicago. 201 North State, 27th floor, (312)239-9502. 9:30pm-2am. $163.25.
Spirit of Chicago New Year’s Eve Family Lunch Cruise
During the day, Spirit of Chicago will offer a New Year’s Eve family lunch cruise. Aboard, guests will be treated to a plentiful lunch buffet, DJ entertainment, New Year’s Eve party favors and a special countdown to Noon. 600 East Grand, (866)305-2469. Board 11am, Cruise 11:30am-1:30pm. Prices starting at $44.90, forty-percent off for children.
Spirit of Chicago New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner and Cruise
Spirit of Chicago’s festive, four-story ship offers a dinner, champagne toast at midnight, entertainment, premium open bar, party favors including streamers, noisemakers, hats and tiaras and a fireworks display. 600 East Grand, (866)305-2469. Board 8:30pm, cruise 9:30-12:30am, dockside until 1am. Prices starting at $219.
The Hyatt Chicago Mag Mile
This extravaganza includes multiple rooms of entertainment, a top-shelf cocktail reception, a buffet of hors d’oeuvres, bubbly all night, live music by a cover band and overstaffed bartenders ready to pour ’em. Included in ticket price is a pre-party and post-party. Hotel rooms are $159 a night. 633 North St Clair, (312)697-9107. Check in 8:30pm, event begins at 9pm. Tickets $125+.