For better or worse, 2001 was an unforgettable time in American Music. With Napster getting stymied in federal court and CD sales still platinum as Justin Timberlake’s frosted tips, the music industry reveled in carefree opulence. As such, forth wave boy-bands hyperventilated teens, Destiny’s Child dominated the charts with “Bootylicious,” nu-metal jumped the shark with Crazy Town and Stain’d, and Britney Spears wore a Burmese python around her neck at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
On New Year’s Eve, Hotel Vegas beams us back to the fresh new millennium with NYE 2001, featuring Austin musicians portraying the year’s biggest stars. Flesh Lights singer/guitarist Max Vandever leads a Blink 182 set, Tinnarose channels Britney Spears, Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band tributes Radiohead, newlyweds Sara Houser (Löwin) and Taylor Wilkins (Otis the Destroyer) bash out the White Stripes, and ridiculously capable Magic Rockers of Texas frontman Jim Campo leads a parade of Nync and Backstreet Boys hits. The Strokes, Daft Punk, Outkast, Interpol, Destiny’s Child, Franz Ferdinand, No Doubt, and the Family Values Tour also get reanimated.
“It’s really about having fun,” Hotel Vegas co-owner Jason McNeely says of the venue’s era-specific NYE shows. “Musicians love it because it’s an opportunity for them to play together with people aren’t usually in bands with.”
McNeely, along with partner Brian Tweedy and marketing/promotions guru Alex Geiser, began the tradition in 2011 at Spider House’s 29th Street Ballroom with a 1977 tribute before moving to Hotel Vegas where they’ve time-machined 1984, 1994, 1968, 1979, 1989, and 1976. McNeely says the immensely popular — and often imitated — events evolved organically.
“We’re able to do this because we have a working relationship with the bands year-round,” he says. “Usually, we’ve already made a decision about the next year. So, after the bands play, we tell them what we’re doing next and they immediately tell us who they want to do.”
Mon., Dec. 31, 7pm