21 places to see and dance to music this New Year’s Eve

From a Justin Timberlake cover band to a massive funk and soul party, here’s how to ring in 2017 with the joy of live music.

Cambridge, MA -- 03/22//14 -- Dani Chase of Atlanta, GA and Jess Luscher of Providence, RI danced to soul and funk DJ's at the Soulelujah dance party at ZuZu on March 22, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe)
Dani Chase of Atlanta and Jess Luscher of Providence, Rhode Island, at the Soulelujah dance party at ZuZu on March 22, 2014. –Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

This New Year’s Eve, leave the cheap champagne at home, and find yourself a live music soundtrack for your transition into 2017. From Boston’s big room offerings to those of the cozy underground folk clubs, here are more than 20 concerts in the Boston area on December 31.

Pink Talking Fish in the Mirror
Jam band tribute collective Pink Talking Fish will stir Michael Jackson tunes into their New Year’s Eve set, on top of the Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish covers that they typically play. (The Paradise; $28; 7:30 p.m.; 18+; with Jen Durkin & The Bad Horns, Bearly Dead; tickets available here)


Saved By the ‘90s
We may now be 17 years removed from the decade of Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys, but any excuse is a good excuse to party all night with a ‘90s tribute band. (Brighton Music Hall; $25; 8:30 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Boston funk all-star group Lettuce will be joined by special guest Antuwan Stanley of Michigan dance kings Vulfpeck on vocals for a celebratory hometown set. (House of Blues; $35; 7 p.m.; all ages; with TAUK, Jaw Gems; tickets available here)

Diarrhea Planet
Nashville guitar shredders Diarrhea Planet will crank out what’s left of 2016, along with buzzy locals Vundabar. (The Sinclair; $25; 9 p.m.; 21+; with Vundabar; tickets available here)

For those with a gothic edge, darkwave synth project GosT will be at Great Scott starting a dance party of a different kind. (Great Scott; $16; 9 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Somerville Symphony Orkestar
Somerville restaurant and performance space ONCE Ballroom will host local Eastern European-influenced funk punk collective Somerville Symphony Orkestar, plus Cambridge shoegaze rockers Dirty Bangs. (ONCE Ballroom; $20-$25; 8 p.m.; all ages; with Dirty Bangs; tickets available here)

Something Sneaky
O’Brien’s will spend New Year’s Eve like it spends most other nights: with plenty of local rock. South Shore punk group Something Sneaky will head up a bill of fellow Boston bands, and all attendees will receive a free local compilation tape with admission. (O’Brien’s; $10; 8 p.m.; 21+; with Today Junior, The Dazies, Bruvs; tickets available here)


For the big night, Cambridge’s popular weekly funk and soul dance party will take over two different rooms at The Middle East with two different DJs. (Middle East Upstairs and ZuZu; $20; 10 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Timberfakes lead vocalist Ryan Kelley of Jamaica Plain. —Laurie Swope

The Timberfakes
Downstairs at the Middle East, the music of Justin Timberlake will soundtrack the night, but JT won’t actually be performing. Instead, tribute band The Timberfakes will be there to rock your body ‘til the break of day. (Middle East Downstairs; $25; 8 p.m.; 18+; tickets available here)

PK and the Mighty Seven
The local nine-piece funk collective will keep folks moving in the tighter quarters of Middle East Corner to ensure no part of the multi-floor Cambridge venue will be left un-danced-in. (Middle East Corner; $10; 9 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Arlington rock and soul purveyor Oldjack is closing out its 2016 monthly residency at Lizard Lounge with a special New Year’s party featuring some secret special guests. (Lizard Lounge; $10 suggested donation; 8:30 p.m.; 21+; more information here)

Abbie Barrett Band
Atwood’s Tavern will host Abbie Barrett, who was recently nominated for female vocalist of the year and singer/songwriter of the year at the 2016 Boston Music Awards. There will be a “Champagne of Beers” toast at midnight—fitting for any local rocker. (Atwood’s Tavern; $15; 10 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Ellis Paul
For a more mellow mood in the final moments of 2016, check out local folkateer Ellis Paul, who will be performing his final of four sets in two days at the cozy Club Passim. (Club Passim; $50; 10 p.m.; all ages; with Flynn; tickets available here)


Bryan McPherson
Los Angeles Americana punk Bryan McPherson will bring a little bit of righteousness to your holiday with a late-night set at Midway. (Midway Cafe; $10; 8 p.m.; 21+; with Mark Lind, Live Nude Girls, Matt Charette; tickets available here)

Fresh Produce
Good Life’s popular dance party will cap off 2016 with DJ sets from Evaredy, Amadeezy, Knife, and Reel Drama spinning hip-hop, trap, reggae, and party jams. (Good Life; $20; 11 p.m.; 21+; with Evaredy, Amadeezy, Knife, Reel Drama; tickets available here)

First Night Boston
This year’s First Night lineup boasts 14 different bands throughout the course of the day and into the evening. In addition to different art and theater installations, check out sets from North Shore punkgrass group Tigerman WOAH!, local pop rock band Air Traffic Controller, and more. (Various First Night venues; free; 12:30 p.m.; all ages; with Cask Mouse, Kyle Bent, Drunken Logic, more; complete schedule available here)

Muddy Ruckus
Portland, Maine-based Americana duo Muddy Ruckus will have you stomping into 2017 with its infectious Southern-inspired melodies. (Toad; free; 10 p.m.; 21+; more information here)

Some Like It Hott
Lilypad in Inman Square will transform into a futuristic discotheque for the night, featuring four different DJ sets and a performance from local ambient duo Sunshine City. (Lilypad; $20; 9 p.m.; all ages; with DJ Bruno, Matt Mcneill, Byoosik, Paulinnate, Trip Report, Sunshine City; more information here)

The Donkey Show
Oberon’s popular disco theater experience will stay open later than usual for New Year’s Eve, bringing you dancing and divas until 2017 arrives. (Oberon; $45-$95; 9 p.m.; all ages; tickets available here)

Dwight and Nicole
Bluesy duo Dwight and Nicole will deliver its hard-driving vocals and soulful energy to the Cambridge jazz club Regattabar. (Regattabar; $95; 9:30 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)

Soul City
Ten-piece funk and soul band Soul City will ring in 2017 with blaring horns and tight bass lines. Prepare to dance until long after midnight. (Ryles Jazz Club; $59.95; 8 p.m.; 21+; tickets available here)


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