16 places to see live music in Boston on New Year’s Eve

Deer Tick, Oompa, and Twiddle will help welcome us to 2020.

Big Night Live. Aram Boghosian

Looking to kiss goodbye to the decade with the help of live music? From a jam band tribute to some of rock’s most beloved acts to a local hip-hop champion taking the stage in Allston, here’s where to catch 16 of the best concerts on New Year’s Eve.

Atwood’s Tavern

Rootsy jazz and blues trio Sugar Blood Jinx will ring in 2020 with soul, bringing a stomping set to Atwood’s with psych folk trio Margaret & The CoPilots to kick off the evening. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.; Atwood’s Tavern, Cambridge; $15; 21+; with Margaret & The CoPilots; tickets available here)


Big Night Live

Viral rapper Lil Dicky has spent the decade writing college party songs, collaborating with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ariana Grande, and Chris Brown, including his recent environmental anthem, “Earth.” He will headline the first New Year’s Eve celebration at Boston’s newest venue Big Night Live. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m.; Big Night Live, Boston; $102.50; 21+; tickets available here)

Brighton Music Hall

Local country rockers Dalton & the Sheriffs will help Boston celebrate the holiday for the second straight year, bringing their southern fried tunes to Brighton Music Hall. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.; Brighton Music Hall, Boston; $25; 18+; tickets available here)

Club Passim

In a year that saw the release of his 20th album, “The Storyteller’s Suitcase,” Ellis Paul is closing out 2019 with two shows in the cozy quarters of Club Passim. The local songwriter will be joined by fellow local artists Laurie Macallister and Flynn. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Club Passim, Cambridge; $50; all ages; tickets available here)

Copley Square

Boston’s city-wide New Year’s Eve tradition returns with First Night Boston, treating audiences who brave the cold to performances and culture of many kinds. This year’s musical acts include UK pop punks Single By Sunday, Connecticut family band Sons of Levin, and Boston-based pop sister duo Savasha. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 11:45 a.m.; Various venues around Boston; free, all ages; with Liz Bills, GreenLight Jazz Orchestra, Daniel Laurent, and more; more information here)


Great Scott

Roxbury-bred rapper and poet Oompa has had an enormous 2019, from releasing her sophomore album “Cleo” to taking home the Boston Music Award for Live Artist of the Year. She will help Allston put a lid on 2019 with a show at Great Scott along with Lawrence singer-songwriter Kaovanny, Boston funk rapper Milkshaw Benedict, and Berklee soulster Dalaun. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.; Great Scott, Boston; $25; 21+; with Dalaun, Milkshaw Benedict, Kaovanny, DJ Alcide; tickets available here)

House of Blues

Vermont jam band heroes Twiddle have amassed a devoted following in the Northeast and beyond in recent years. To celebrate the end of a huge decade, they will play two consecutive nights in Boston, including New Year’s Eve at House of Blues with brass trio Too Many Zooz. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m.; House of Blues, Boston; $40.50-$50.50; 18+; with Too many Zooz; tickets available here)

Lizard Lounge

Boston southern blues vets Ward Hayden & The Outliers present a special evening dubbed “Mama, Trains, Trucks & Prison,” a celebration of country classics, joined by local folk rockers These Wild Plains at Lizard Lounge. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.; Lizard Lounge, Cambridge; $40; 21+; with These Wild Plains; tickets available here)

Middle East Downstairs

As we move into 2020, take it back to a simpler time when ripped jeans and flannel were the bomb. Saved by the 90s will soundtrack the evening with all of your favorite hits from a decade of yore. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m.; Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge; $25; 21+; tickets available here)



Local producer and DJ Giovanni Zorzi will headline the year-end celebration at O’Brien’s along with New York psych rockers Monograms and Boston darkwave artist Robert Bushinsky. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.; O’Brien’s Pub, Boston; $10; 21+; with Monograms, Robert Bushinsky; tickets available here)

ONCE Ballroom

Local steampunk rock collective Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys will bring their immersive live experience to ONCE Somerville with help from Boston punk noir duo The Devil’s Twins. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.; ONCE Ballroom, Somerville; $10; 18+; with The Devil’s Twins; tickets available here)

The Paradise

Why settle for the tunes of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, or Phish when you can have all three melded together? For one night only, the jammy collective Pink Talking Fish will sprinkle covers from a fourth band into the mix, taking on Beastie Boys for a special New Year’s Eve performance. Opening the evening will be Cape Cod jammers The New Motif. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m.; Paradise Rock Club, Boston; $30; 21+; with The New Motif; tickets available here)


Continuing the legacy of his late elder brother Nat King Cole, Freddy Cole is touring to celebrate Nat’s centennial, with a band that also features his son, Lionel Cole. The band will pay tribute with an evening at Regattabar. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 9:30 p.m.; Regattabar, Cambridge; $95; 21+; tickets available here)


Enter 2020 with a dose of jazz. Barbados-born and Berklee-bred saxophonist Elan Trotman combines Caribbean rhythms and contemporary jazz textures for a soulful salute to some of the greatest horn players. He will play two shows in one night at Scullers to close out 2019. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.; Scullers, Cambridge; $70-$175; all ages; tickets available here)


The Sinclair

Beloved Providence folk rockers Deer Tick will do two consecutive nights at The Sinclairto close out a huge decade for the band. They will be joined by Houston songwriter Robert Ellis for the New Year’s celebration. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.; The Sinclair, Cambridge; $50; 21+; with Robert Ellis; more information here)


If rock and soul in an unassuming Cambridge bar is your kind of way to close out a decade, allow local quartet Lady Lupine to provide the soundtrack. The band will lay down the groove at TOAD in Porter Square. (Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m.; TOAD, Cambridge; free; 21+; more information here)


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on