Haejin Park

It’s been a rough and confusing year. And while there’s no promise that 2017 is going to get a whole lot better, you deserve to hit pause for a night and celebrate. New Year’s Eve is, depending on your outlook, either a chance to reflect on what’s past and what’s to come, or a welcome excuse to get sozzled and make out with strangers. Either way, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our rundown of the best New Year’s Eve parties in town, with lots of bands, DJs, and comedy to get you grooving, smiling, and smooching your way into 2017. As the line from that weird “Auld Lang Syne” song we sing ever year goes, “We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet.” Here’s where Portland’s best cups of kindness can be found on December 31.

For even more NYE events check out our full calendar.


RIP 2016

w/DJ Cooky Parker, DJ Callie Danger, DJ Montell Spinozza, DJ Void

Little story for you: On New Year’s Eve 2013, life still held promise, and we naively made our way out to the Eagles Lodge to celebrate our “futures.” My sweet lord, was that a night. The drinks were generous. The man chastising us for dancing with those drinks was resolute. The soul music was obscure, hot, and somehow tinged with an in utero familiarity. It was a memorable enough evening that I hired the DJ, Cooky Parker, to play my wedding, which was also the best. What I’m saying: This is how you want to say goodbye to whatever the hell this was (and maybe, if speculation is true, to the Eagles Lodge as well). DIRK VANDERHART Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne, 8 pm, $15 (or $10 with two canned goods)


Quannum MCs Reunion

w/Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel, Lyrics Born, Lateef, Blossom, Libretto, DJ Wicked

This show marks a reunion for the legendary Bay Area hip-hop collective that you may or may not have heard of: Quannum Projects (previously Solesides Records), which brought together groups like Blackalicious (Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab) and Latyrx (Lyrics Born and Lateef). Portland rapper Libretto is a special guest performer for the evening, as well as Blossom, the neo-soul and reggae songstress behind “Black Magic Woman.” If you’d like to really do it up, you can get a VIP ticket, which includes exclusive access to the Star Theater’s balcony and bar, a champagne pour at midnight, and food provided by Southern Grill Catering. JENNI MOORE Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, 9 pm, $25-45


Soul Vaccination

When the clock strikes midnight tonight, Portlanders will say goodbye not only to 2016, but also Jimmy Mak’s, the Pearl District nightclub and longtime pillar of the local jazz scene. Through all the changes in Portland and the Pearl over the past 20 years, Jimmy Mak’s has been a reliable cultural institution—not to mention a nice place to bop the night away. Soul Vaccination, too, has been watching Portland dance for two decades. The boisterous 12-piece band plays some of the tightest funk, soul, and R&B in town, with a killer horn section and more grooves than an XXL pair of corduroys. On this kind-of-sad and definitely special New Year’s Eve, the two come together, as Soul Vax will play Jimmy Mak’s final party. Your presence tonight is the best way to thank club owner Jimmy Makarounis for all he’s done for Portland over the years. BEN SALMON Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th, 7:30 & 10 pm, $15-25 (sold out)


Lez Stand Up: Lesbian New Year’s Eve!

Here’s an unpopular opinion: I hate New Year’s Eve. HATE IT. I hate those dumb giant 20-whatever sunglasses, I hate that all that trash gets dumped on Times Square, I don’t like feeling obligated to stay up until midnight, and, OH YEAH, I HATE FIREWORKS. For this reason, I generally spend New Year’s Eve in a remote mountain cabin where I can slowly enjoy a beer while reading in a comfy chair as the snow falls outside. This year, though, I feel a tinge of regret about my hermit tradition, because genius queer-friendly comedy troupe Lez Stand Up is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, and—no surprise here—it looks fucking fantastic. Improve the worst night of the year with a little feminist gravitas and delightful jokes from Caitlin Weierhauser, Mel Heywood, Kirsten Kuppenbender, Laura Anne Whitley, and special guest Daniel Martin Austin, plus sketch comedy. EVEN BETTER: This show ends at 10 pm sharp, so you have the option of going to bed early. Party on! MEGAN BURBANK Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis, 8 pm, $10


Ode to Joy: New Year’s Celebration

w/Oregon Symphony, Portland Symphonic Choir

There are alternatives to drinking your face off and grinding your way into 2017. There’s Beethoven, for instance, and the Oregon Symphony will mount his grandest work, the Ninth Symphony, for two performances on December 30 and 31, offering a high-class way to leave the fetid ruin of ’16 behind. The celebration kicks off with big-band renditions arranged by the late Oregon Symphony Pops conductor Norman Leyden to get you in the mood. Then, as midnight approaches, the strains of Ludwig van fill the Schnitzer Concert Hall, as the Symphony tackles his epic work of despair sublimated into humanistic hope. The symphony concludes with the choir singing the triumphant “Ode to Joy” anthem, so if the champagne bottle and the dance floor don’t appeal this New Year’s, the Oregon Symphony has got your back. NED LANNAMANN Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 NW Broadway, 7:30 pm, $45-115, all ages


Jump Jack Sound Machine NYE!

w/Chanti Darling, Natasha Kmeto, DJ Sappho, DJ Perfect Health, DJ Nasty Tasha

The NYE edition of Jump Jack Sound Machine, North Mississippi’s lively new dance night, is going to be a wonderful treat. Led by star-powered Chanticleer Trü, Chanti Darling, along with electronic producer/vocalist Natasha Kmeto, will ring in 2017 like no one else in town: with a modern brand of disco-soul, fabulously flamboyant backup dancers, and a vibrant, infectious energy. In addition to the headlining act, there are four DJs on the ticket who will get you moving. Sounds will focus on vocal melodies, spinning at the intersection of disco, house, break, and tech—all the genres that have defined dance the most. The super-inclusive dance night, hosted by local drag queen Shitney Houston, will also feature a photo booth with snaps by Eric Sellers. Probably best to get those head shots in before the night gets too crackin’, since, as always, sweating is encouraged. JM Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $22.50 adv, $25 door


Sleeping Beauties, Bombay Beach, Mope Grooves, Cool Schmool

If you’re looking to steer clear of over-inflated entry fees and still have a rip-roaring good time this New Year’s Eve, Turn! Turn! Turn! is the place to be. The cozy Northeast Portland record store/vintage outpost that moonlights as a cafe and bar is cramming some of Portland’s best rock outfits onto their corner stage and dialing the amps up to 11. Arrive early for Cool Schmool, the up-and-coming slacker pop and punk trio who wear their Bratmobile-influence on their sleeves, and who were responsible for one of the year’s best local releases in their debut EP, Catchy Not Sketchy. Stick around for Sleeping Beauties; the basement-lurking rock group comprised of members of the Hunches, Eat Skull, and The Hospitals play a frantic blend of garage punk and knotty pop music that’s sure to get your body twisting and leave your ears ringing well past the midnight countdown and into the new year. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth, $6


Amy Amy Amy: A New Year’s Eve of Class, Sass, and Soul

Too often, New Year’s Eve is a time when you find yourself feeling obligated to dance to music you don’t know or like. Which is why the Secret Society’s New Year’s Eve showcase, Amy Amy Amy, is a very good idea. The only songs allowed on the setlist were all written, performed, or recorded by the late, talented-to-a-fault Amy Winehouse, and they’ll be sung by Moorea Masa, Karyn Ann, Miss Michael Jodell, and Erin Wallace with backing from the Way Downs. Put on your biggest hair and your swoopiest black eyeliner in tribute to the beloved soul singer’s painful, beautiful work. MB The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell, 9 pm, $25 adv, $30 door


The Caleb Klauder Country Band’s Rhinestone Bash

As tempting as it is to spend the next four years pretending that everyone and everything outside of America’s cities don’t exist, there’s a giant problem with that coping strategy: We’d lose a lot of great music. Great music like the old-school honky-tonk bluegrass of the Caleb Klauder Country Band, which—though fronted by Portland’s own Klauder, a member of Foghorn Stringband and a regular fixture at Pickathon—has deep-down roots in the reddest of American traditions. American music belongs to all of us, though, and tonight Klauder’s masterful guitar, mandolin, and vocals—sometimes plaintive, other times uplifting—should provide plenty of excuses to both dance and drink. Almost as importantly, though, this countrified night out should also remind us of a couple of things we’d do well to remember: that America’s musical roots are one of the things that’ll tie us all together in the coming year, and also? Not everything about America is terrible! ERIK HENRIKSEN The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 9 pm, $15 adv $20 door


Dance Hard, Kiss Soft

w/DJ Maxx Bass, DJ Lamar LeRoy

Sometimes it’s nice to dress up all fancy, sip champagne, and ring in the New Year in classic style—but other times? It just feels more “right” to drink likker, dance with wild abandon, and make out with whomever falls into your orbit. If you’re searching for the latter on New Year’s Eve, you very well may want to hop over to Dig A Pony for their Dance Hard, Kiss Soft NYE celebration. Featuring the booty-shaking spins of DJs Maxx Bass (of Booty Bassment fame) and Lamar LeRoy (from the super popular YGB dance night), you can expect a hot, sweaty night of soul, R&B, funk, rap, disco, and other strong musical contenders from the ass-wagglin’ genre. But don’t worry! The basics will be there as well, such as champagne toasts, a mirror ball, the countdown to midnight, and plenty of random soft smoochies. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Dig A Pony, 736 SE Grand, 8 pm, $15


The Parson Red Heads Perform Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever

w/the Replacements, Josh White

Every New Year’s Eve, Portland’s Parson Red Heads descend on the White Eagle to play a formative and beloved record from cover to cover. Last year the folk-rock trio tackled David Bowie’s monolithic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars mere weeks before the glam icon’s death. This year they’ll perform the entirety of Tom Petty’s 1989 classic Full Moon Fever, which features hits like “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and my personal favorite, “Yer So Bad.” Though these songs are probably some of the most overplayed at barbecues and karaoke bars nationwide, they’re also comfy and familiar, the musical equivalent of a steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese. Letting go of another year can be difficult, as we’re forced to acknowledge the passage of time and our own frail mortality, but with the Parson Red Heads’ tender and uplifting Americana spin on these Petty classics, tonight will allow for a soft landing into 2017. Bonus! The Replacements, featuring members of Poison Beaches, Divers, and Dovecotes, will play all of the Replacements’ 1985 landmark Tim, while Josh White tackles Buddy Holly’s 1958 self-titled album. CIARA DOLAN White Eagle, 836 N Russell, 9 pm, $10 adv, $12 door


Witch Mountain

w/Ice Queens, Bitch’n

Look, I’m not gonna tell you what genre of music you should use to soundtrack the ass end of 2016, but know this: Tonight, DOOM is on the menu at Bunk Bar. And I’m not talking about a new Wipers-themed sandwich, but in fact Portland’s god- parents of doom metal, the mighty Witch Mountain. For two decades, drummer Nate Carson and guitarist Rob Wrong have piloted this band through a slo-mo minefield of subterranean riffs and spine-shuddering rhythms, all the while showcasing just how tricky (and beautiful) it is to play heavy metal at a snail’s pace. A couple of years ago, Witch Mountain added not-so-secret weapon Kayla Dixon to its arsenal, giving the band a massive voice and a dynamic presence to prowl the front of the stage. Headbangers: Here’s your chance to start off 2017 with a gloriously sore neck. BEN SALMON Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water, 9:30 pm, $10/p>


New Year’s Eve Northwest 

w/Omarion, I$$A, DJ Gigahurtz, DJ Juggernaut, BNick, DubbLife

It’s not every day you can be in the same room as one of the leads of the classic 2004 film You Got Served. Today is that day, and you shouldn’t pass up the chance to see Omarion, who’s actually a legitimate star and your host for the evening. The massive event center will have two dance floors, seven bars, four different DJs, 2,400 roses, and a whole bunch of dressed-up folks bringing in the New Year in style. A $65 ticket will get you in the door (or $100 for you and your partner), but we recommend gathering seven of your friends to plop down $1850 dollars for limo service, express entry to the event, access to all the VIP areas, champagne, and bottle of liquor in a lounge with Omarion. You can never have too much Omarion. DOUG BROWN TAO Center, 631 NE Grand, 9 pm, $65 general admission ($100 for couples, with VIP options)


Moving Pictures, Crazy Train

Nothing rings in a new year like Canadian progressive rock, which is why going to see local Rush tribute band Moving Pictures is your only sensible option this evening, or indeed any evening. Watch!—as someone else plays Alex Lifeson’s demanding guitar solos. Witness!— a guy you’ve never heard of hitting those Geddy Lee high notes and holding down those busy bass lines. Behold!—as a drummer that’s not Neil Peart reproduces his incredibly technical drum patterns. This is not only going to be a showcase of fierce instrumental prowess by some incredible local musicians, but judging by Rush’s largely male fanbase, it’s probably going to be the surest way to avoid all of that pesky New Year’s Eve kissing. The only real question that remains is: What song does a Rush tribute band play at midnight? “Tom Sawyer”? “The Spirit of Radio”? “Closer to the Heart”? My vote’s for the “2112” suite, but with the lyrics altered so that it’s “2017.” (Editor’s note: Rush does not actually sing the words “2112” at anytime during “2112.”) Ozzy Osbourne tribute band Crazy Train also plays tonight to help you go off the rails. NL Rock Hard PDX, 13639 SE Powell, 8 pm, $15


New Year’s Squeeze

w/The Last Artful, Dodgr, Dylan Stark, DJ Kiffo. DJ Rymes, DJ Bruxton

After a pretty wild “All Hallows Squeeze” in October, Main Squeeze Portland and Holocene have recruited ultra-talented Portland emcee the Last Artful, Dodgr to up the ante and be both the host and headliner for its NYE party. DJs will bump a relentless mix of hip-hop, house, disco, and club music all night, in addition to sickening sets from Stark and Dodgr. Come wearing your best black-and-white attire with “a splash of gold,” getchu a snap memory of the night in the photo booth, and definitely make sure to grab a special “Champagne Squeeze” cocktail. And since it’s likely to get pretty packed and humid inside, there had better be a special slushy in store! JM Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8 pm, $17 adv, $20 door


Fruition

w/Hillstomp

For years, the five folks in Fruition have been some of the region’s most reliable road warriors, spending as much time gigging in other towns as they do at home in Portland. All that hard work is paying off: Artistically, Fruition just keeps getting better and better, blending string-band bluegrass, rustic roots-rock, Northwest soul, and a sharp pop sensibility into a particularly likable brand of Americana. The group’s 2016 album Labor of Love is packed with honeyed harmonies and pitch-perfect performances to fill your head. Commercially speaking, Fruition’s relentless tour schedule has resulted in a large and loyal fan base, which is why this local band can play not one, not two, but three nights at the Wonder Ballroom to close out the year. On the final night—New Year’s Eve—they’ll play two sets, including one themed “50 Years Later, the Songs of ’67.” Far out, man. BS Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 8 pm, $29.50 adv, $35 door