Live music has long been a popular pick for ringing in the New Year, and this year’s offerings deliver a plethora of compelling events. Here’s a look at some noteworthy options happening around the state:
Dec. 29-31: Bella’s Bartok
Bella’s Bartok, an Amherst, Massachusetts-based band known for its raucous and theatrical live shows, returns to Vermont in advance of a much-anticipated new album, scheduled for release this spring. Bella’s Bartok performs the following shows:
— 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29 at Zenbarn, Waterbury Center (Moon Hollow opens). Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show; call 802-244-8134 or go online to www.zenbarnvt.com
— 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 30-31 at the Stone Church, Brattleboro (Bella Bartok’s fifth annual Strange Ones Ball). Consider the Source opens on Dec. 30; The DiTrani Brothers open on Dec. 31. Tickets are $30 for Dec. 30, $40 for Dec. 31, $60 for both nights (all ages); call 802-416-0420 or go online to stonechurchvt.com
Dec. 31: Cappadonna & Inspectah Deck
Veteran hip-hop artists Cappadonna and Inspectah Deck of legendary rap group Wu Tang Clan.
Cappadonna & Inspectah Deck perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at Zenbarn, Waterbury Center. Tickets are $80 in advance, $ 90 day of show (age 21 and older; includes food and champagne toast); call 802-244-8134 or go online to www.zenbarnvt.com
Dec. 31: Highlight
Highlight, Burlington’s official New Year’s Eve celebration, returns for its fifth straight year with a full in-person affair after last year’s “hybrid happening.”
Live music includes “The Spirit of NYE,” which boasts an impressive lineup at the ECHO Center that includes national artists like Guerilla Toss and rocker King Tuff — aka Brattleboro native, Kyle Thomas — along with standout Vermont bands Rough Francis, Thus Love, and Dari Bay.
At the Unitarian Universalist Church, lauded Burlington blues-soul-pop group Dwight + Nicole host “Play the Future,” for “an inspired series of collaborations” with Burlington artists Ali McGuirk, DJ Fattie B., Mikahely and Jeh Kulu. That follows a set by composer and cellist extraordinaire Zoe Keating.
And Waterfront Park features a stellar pre-fireworks lineup that includes the All Night Boogie Band, Barika, Ivamae and Kat Wright and her band performing a tribute to Bonnie Raitt.
Highlight, Burlington (presented by Burlington City Arts and Signal Kitchen). All-access buttons are $12 (free for age 5 and younger); for information, go online to highlight.community
Dec. 31: Zach Nugent’s Dead Set
Burlington-based singer and guitarist Zach Nugent gathers an all-star cast — including Kat Wright, Sunshine Garcia Becker (Further), Scott Guberman (Phil Lesh & Friends), Bob Wagner and the Indomitable Horns — to recreate the Grateful Dead’s 1982 New Year’s Eve show at Oakland Auditorium.
Zach Nugent’s Dead Set performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at Higher Ground Ballroom, S. Burlington. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 day of show (all ages); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com
Dec. 31: First Night North
Now in its 30th year, First Night North — Vermont’s longest continuous New Year’s Eve performing arts festival — returns to a live, in-person format after virtual events in 2020 and 2021. This year’s family friendly soiree features such musical artists as Kotoko Brass and Patti Casey in addition to longtime favorites like Bob and Sarah Amos, Tritium Well and the Kingdom All Stars.
First Night North, St. Johnsbury (presented by Catamount Arts), is 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. For information, call 802-748-2600 or go online to www.catamountarts.org or www.firstnightnorth.org
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