John Oliver is right: New Year’s Eve is “the worst.” In a video circulating this week, the Last Week Tonight host goes all-in on December 31 revelry, saying “its like the death of a pet, you know it’s going to happen but somehow you are never really prepared for how awful it is.”
While Oliver suggests that it’s best to “avoid the whole evening,” sometimes life isn’t that simple. Sometimes you have to go out, even on Amateur Night.
So we’re here to provide quick rundown on the ball-dropping parties around Boston that will likely suck the least, and in some cases, may actually be a good time. From Tigerman WOAH getting rowdy in Milton to trusted new wave dance parties in Cambridge to Bad Rabbits causing a spike in baby births come October 1, here’s how to make the most of New Year’s Eve around Boston.
Of course, this isn’t some definitive list — just the spots we’re most likely to hit up to ring in 2015.
Last time we saw Tigerman WOAH was at the Boston Music Awards, where the band gave the Revere Hotel staff a panic attack and had the set cut short after too much beer was chugged and too many seat cushions were tossed into the air by the drunken crowd. Naturally, the Tigermen will make the most of New Year’s Eve, taking over Steel & Rye‘s 6,800 foot warehouse space for a party with few limitations. Yeah, the ticket price looks steep, but it’s not just a cover — the price includes a dinner prepared by Chef Chris Parsons, including “oyster shucking, a pasta bar, and a carving station, as well as an array of passed snacks and sliders.” There’s also a champagne table, so be sure to bring a rain slicker.
Good Life pretty much parties like it’s New Year’s Eve every night of the year, so it’s no surprise they brought out the big guns for 2014’s grand finale. Get a lean on with legendary Memphis rapper, producer, DJ, and whatever else-er DJ Paul, a founding member of Three 6 Mafia. Opening sets by residents Knife and Amadeezy promise only the finest in dirty south, crunk, trap, based, dipset and “erythang trill.” They might as well turn the upstairs into a hotel because no one crawling out of the downstairs in their right state of mind.
We gave props to Allston Pudding earlier this month for winning Best Music Blog in the 2014 Boston Music Awards (its third win in four years, what) and we’re giving them props again: a free, all-ages New Year’s Eve party in the heart of Allston? That shit would be on point if the only entertainment was Johnny Jerkoff and the Butt Fuck Orchestra, but the Pudding has gone and made it a killer show too, enlisting the musical talents of Bent Shapes, Kid Mountain, and Abadabad. There will be $2 pizza slices, as well. This is probably the best NYE party for those who truly hate NYE parties.
It comes full circle: Bad Rabbits played their first show of 2014 (not counting last New Year’s Eve) at the Paradise for the launch of Do617 back in January, and now Boston’s premier party starters crew throws down another ball-dropping spectacle to ring in ’15. The post-R&B band spent the entire summer on the Warped Tour’s full run, and shows in Boston this year were fairly limited, so you know this will be a nice release of celebratory energy from Dua and the boys. Dillon Cooper and STL GLD provide opening duty — and we’re told a “very special guest” will be announced any day now.
The winner of Best Dance Night in the 2014 BMAs holds court at T.T.’s, its Central Home home of the past decade, with resident Chris Ewen spinning the new wave, ’80s, and electro-pop with additional sets from Ceremony’s DJ Static. Sometimes, even on the craziest of nights, you need something that feels like home, and that’s where Heroes comes in. The “white trash buffet” and extended 3 a.m. closing hour are nice bonuses, the latter ensuring you can avoid the complete and utter disaster the corner of Mass Ave and Brookline Street will be when all the other bars let out at 2 a.m.
As mainstream and all-incompassing as First Night in Boston is and always will be, it’s organizers annually book solid musical guests. This year is no exception as New Jersey indie rock royalty Yo La Tengo serenade the Hynes’ Ballroom B. Be sure to scan through the extensive First Night Boston listings to check out everything that’s going on, but for our money, there are worse ways to ring in the New Year than with Yo La Tengo in a chill environment that leaves the shitshow aspects of NYE out in the streets.