Do you know where you’ll be when the clock strikes 12 and 2017 comes to a close? Are you looking for an experience gift for the music lover on your holiday list? Whether you’re into Willie Nelson or a wild night of dancing, here are our top picks for New Year’s Eve in Austin.
Austin’s New Year at Auditorium Shores. Pop quiz: Where in town can you celebrate the end of 2017 to the sounds of not one, or two, but four Austin360 Artist of the Month alums? Latin funk powerhouse Brownout takes top billing at this family-friendly (and alcohol-free) bash. Soul dynamo Tomar and the FCs, fierce full-band hip-hop act Magna Carda and indie pop breakout Mobley will all put in sets. Also on the bill are singer-songwriter Ian Moore, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Jane Ellen Bryant and many more great local artists. If your New Year’s resolution is to spend more time listening to Austin bands, this party is just the ticket. Free. 3 to 10 p.m. 900 W. Riverside Drive. austinsnewyear.com. — D.S.S.
Willie Nelson & Family New Year at ACL Live. This one’s too big for a single night. After Nelson began playing New Year’s Eve at this marquee downtown venue (where his statue presides out front) when it opened in 2011, the event quickly grew into a two-night and now three-night affair. His sister Bobbie has always been in the band on piano, but this year it’s an even broader family affair: Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson open all three shows with their Promise of the Real and Particle Kid bands, respectively. The focus is fitting given this fall’s release of “Willie Nelson and the Boys,” which featured Willie, Lukas and Micah joining voices on a dozen country classics. $99-$157. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 9 p.m. Sunday (with Blackberry Smoke added to the bill). 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com. — P.B.
Grupo Fantasma and Capyac at Empire. Oh, you’re into dancing? Austin’s world class cumbia ensemble has the hip-switching grooves to make you move. Electro funk duo Capyac spent the year destroying dance floors around the country. Capyac served pancakes on stage at their Austin City Limits Music Festival set this year, so who knows what they’ll cook up for New Year’s Eve? Superfónicos, Trouble in the Streets and Continental Drift will also play the two-stage bash. $31.56-$43.56. 8 p.m. doors. 606 E. Seventh St. empireatx.com. — D.S.S.
Doyle Bramhall II, Emily Gimble, Lou Ann Barton at Antone’s. Bramhall left Austin for Los Angeles many years ago, but he’s still so connected to the city that any trip home is a celebration. Last year’s “Rich Man,” his first album in 15 years, included the song “November,” a tribute to his late father, one of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s close friends and writing partners. Helping to spark the countdown party will be two of Austin’s best female blues acts spanning a couple of generations, with Barton representing vintage Antone’s history and Gimble proving that younger singers can still get the blues big-time. DJ Mahealani spins records upstairs after Bramhall’s set, with complimentary breakfast tacos. $75. 9 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.
NYE 1976 at Hotel Vegas. Each year, club owner Jason McNeely leads the artists who play his eastside dive on a journey back in time. This year the club will embody the spirit of 1976 with members of Sweet Spirit and Digital Wild playing the Bee Gees, Leo Rondeau and Mike & the Moonpies flying like the Eagles, and Moving Panoramas taking on Blondie. The evening also includes tributes to the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Abba, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and many more. 7 p.m. 1502 E. Sixth St. texashotelvegas.com. — D.S.S.
Rock the Brazos NYE with Rob Thomas at Brazos Hall. The Matchbox Twenty singer heads up the latest iteration of this downtown bash with host Taylor Kitsch of “Friday Night Lights” fame, magician/mentalist Phoenix and the African Children’s Choir. All proceeds benefit Music For Life, the nonprofit that sponsors the choir. $200-$275 (includes dinner). 7:30 p.m. 204 E. Fourth St. rockthebrazos.com. — P.B.
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s. Like Willie & Family, this one’s a three-nighter. Blues-rock/R&B guitar great Vaughan, B3 organ master Flanigin and drummer Rains often play Friday-Saturday stands at this classic South Congress joint, and they’ll hold it over for a third night with New Year’s Eve falling on Sunday this year. There’s no room where these guys are more at home, as evidenced by the live album they recorded here that was released this fall. Tickets to the Sunday bash are $44, with Friday-Saturday admission $15. 10:30 p.m. 2008 S. Congress Ave. cboys.com. — P.B.
Body Rock ATX Moon Masquerade at Sahara Lounge. Every month for nearly eight years, DJ Chorizo Funk and Chaka and Qi Dada from Riders Against the Storm have been hosting this monthly throwdown, and they gather at their old eastside haunt to ring in the new year. The party is essentially the temple of “Booty Sweat,” and the hosts invite you to dance away any toxins you built up during 2017 and start the new year on a good foot. $15-$20. 9 p.m. doors. 1413 Webberville Road. facebook.com/bodyrockatx. — D.S.S.
John Inmon Group featuring Jaimee Harris honor Jimmy LaFave at Threadgill’s North. Austin songwriter LaFave received a memorable tribute at the Paramount a few days before his death in May, and many of the sentiments still linger at year’s end. To toast him again, his longtime guitarist Inmon and band will be joined by singer Harris, who kicked off that Paramount show. The $75 admission includes dinner, which begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by the music at 9:30 p.m. 6416 N. Lamar Blvd. threadgills.com. — P.B.
MORE NEW YEAR’S EVE SHOWS
Chromeo DJ Set at Emo’s
Bob Schneider at Paramount Theatre
Ghostland Observatory’s New Year’s Eve 2017: A Space Oddity at Mohawk
Golden Dawn Arkestra, Holy Wave at Barracuda
Peterson Brothers, Tomar & the FCs at Continental Club
Party for the People with Summer Salt, Ghost Wolves, Big Bill, more at Spider House Ballroom
Declan McKenna at Stubb’s indoor
Silent Disglo at Scoot Inn
NYE Reset with Henry + the Invisibles, Bishops, more at Parish
Keep it Quiet 2017 at Fair Market with DJ Mel
Saved by the Ball with Go Fever, Gentlemen Rogues, more at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Deadeye (Grateful Dead tribute) at One-2-One Bar
Heart Byrne (Talking Heads tribute) at 3Ten
Reggae Ball with the Mau Mau Chaplains at Flamingo Cantina
Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys at Geraldine’s
Carolyn Wonderland at Saxon Pub
Headbanger’s Glitter Ball at Indian Roller
Eastern Sea and friends at Friends & Allies Brewing
Goblin King’s NYE Ball at Elysium
Dirty Charley and Pals at Beerland
Gary P. Nunn at Poodie’s Hilltop Tavern
Ramsay Midwood at Sam’s Town Point
Alvin Crow at Broken Spoke
Donn & the Station Masters at Donn’s Depot
Flowtribe at Lamberts