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Live music options for New Year’s Eve in Chicago

The clock’s ticking… time to make plans for New Year’s Eve. With no shortage of live music options happening around town, I thought I’d offer a handful of recommendations:

Echoes of Pompeii (Theater at the Center)
Not Pink Floyd, but as close as it gets. And with a laser light show!


Patti Smith (Park West)
Her versions of “Gloria” and “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” are some of the greatest covers of the 1970s. Smith is a poet and musical force… and Chicago-born, to boot.


High on Fire (Empty Bottle)
Possibly the heaviest New Year’s Eve show. High on Fire threatens to level not just the Empty Bottle, but possibly all of Ukrainian Village


Local H (Loaded Buffalo in Mundelein)
Chicago’s veteran rockers are incapable of delivering a bad show. As safe a bet as you’ll find.

Slim Jim Phantom (Reggies Music Joint)

Stray Cat brings rockabilly to Reggies.


Umphrey’s McGee (Aragon)
Midwestern jam band that sits at the top of the genre.


Suicide Machines (Reggies Rock Club)
90s-era Detroit punk band that rarely plays together anymore. Big, melodic hooks. Should be a fun show.


JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound (Emporium Arcade Bar)
Chicago R&B/soul revivalists promise to work up a sweat.


Lucky Boys Confusion (Double Door)
Long-running suburban pop-punkers always bring a crowd. Plan on a packed room with lots of singalonging.