The Austin Chronicle

https://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2023-12-22/the-best-new-years-eve-concerts-happening-in-austin/

The Best New Year’s Eve Concerts Happening in Austin

Eleven live music options to ring in 2024, from Snail Mail to Gary Clark Jr.

By Carys Anderson, Kevin Curtin, Michael Toland, Raoul Hernandez, Rachel Rascoe, Doug Freeman, and Genevieve Wood, December 22, 2023, Music

Snail Mail, Narrow Head

Mohawk, $42.50

As Snail Mail, guitar wunderkind Lindsey Jordan wowed Matador Records devotees with earnest love songs on her 2018 debut Lush, then bested it with 2021's streamlined, electronic-tinged Valentine. A recent Thurston Moore collaboration – via a Lou Reed cover, no less – officially passed the proverbial indie rock torch. The songwriter gifts us all with a New Year's in Texas, and brings a belated Christmas gift with Lone Star-grown openers Narrow Head and On Being an Angel. The former charges ahead with bulldozer riffs and near-emo vocals, while OBAA imbues dreary lovesickness with an indelible pop sensibility.  – Carys Anderson

The Decline of Hotel Vegas

Hotel Vegas & Volstead, $46.82

According to a 1997 Chronicle feature, the "hoot night" is an Austin invention, conceived by Michael Hall in the Eighties and taking off at the Continental Club, Big Mamou, and the Cannibal Club. Tribute nights where hordes of bands play covers of one artist or genre are now a widespread institution, but no one does it better than Hotel Vegas on NYE, typically employing a year as its theme. The Decline of Hotel Vegas fetes varied Eighties acts like Pixies, Madonna, Motörhead, Hall & Oates, and Violent Femmes, performed by bands including the Riverboat Gamblers, Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band, and Fastball.  – Kevin Curtin

Money Chicha, Superfónicos

Far Out Lounge, $30-$45

What better way to kick off a new year, and kick the old one to the curb, than with a showcase of Austin's hypercreative Latin music scene? Money Chicha headlines with their psychedelicized, guitar-soaked dance music, inspired by the Peruvian sounds of the Sixties and Seventies, while Colombian supergroup Superfónicos shares the celebration with their supercharged funky grooves. Meanwhile, the Farfisa-besotted El Combo Oscuro brings their acid-soaked cumbias, following the swiftly ascending danceable pop/rock of sister trio the Tiarras. Whether you spend time before champagne pops dancing or simply marveling at the musical cornucopia, this show can't lose.  – Michael Toland

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Antone's Nightclub, $80

Two kinds of sets occur at the Tito's stage during ACL Fest: gospel-tent-style communion between live music capitalists, and performances with an impenetrable 10-person-deep ring around the event space. Christone "Kingfish" Ingram manifested the latter in October. Born Jan. 19, 1999, in Clarksdale, Mississippi – the crucible of American blues and the mythical crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil – the guitarist grew his mother Princess Pride's musical legacy as first cousin to country pioneer and longtime Dallas icon Charley Pride. Ingram encored ACL with Live in London, which followed Grammy-winning sophomore LP 662, whose digits ZIP code the Delta.  – Raoul Hernandez

Heaven & Hell Block Party

The Coral Snake & High Noon, $20-$30

Crossing Adam L. Chapa Sr. Street will put you in spiritual purgatory this NYE as these neighboring East Cesar Chavez venues co-throw a Heaven & Hell block party. On the divine side, High Noon hosts the uplifting hip-hop sounds of Deezie Brown and Jake Lloyd's collaborative Geto Gala project, as well as unstoppable sister act the Tiarras, followed by disco DJs. Unearthing the depths of industrial synth at the Coral Snake (formerly home to Long Play Lounge East and Stay Gold), Rona Rougeheart's band SINE headlines alongside collaborator Curse Mackey, followed by DJ 10pmtoclose's darkest dance picks. Don't forget free heaven- and hell-themed tattoos.  – Rachel Rascoe

Gary Clark Jr.

ACL Live at the Moody Theater, $99-$175

2023 proved a busy year for native shredder Gary Clark Jr. Austin blues' SRV successor, the homegrown guitarist anticipated his Feb. 15 birthday by appearing in a Super Bowl commercial for Workday. In April, he contributed "Down Home Blues" to Sweetwater, a movie about the first African American contracted in the NBA. That same month, he guested at Willie Nelson's 90th birthday bash at the Hollywood Bowl. In May, Clark traded licks with Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall's Jeff Beck tribute. Then, in September, he revisited Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, where he broke out nationally in 2010. Rust never sleeps.  – Raoul Hernandez

The UFO Club, DAIISTAR

The 13th Floor, $33

For waves of crunch, distortion, and candy-coated fuzz, catch recently reunited garage rockers UFO Club at the ever-trippy 13th Floor. Formed of Black Angels guitarist Christian Bland and Night Beats founder Lee Blackwell, the joint endeavor elaborates upon their respective projects' neo-psychedelic excellence. After a nearly decadelong hiatus, the side project celebrated the reissue of their wonderfully spaced-out 2012 debut at Levitation 2022. Austin quartet DAIISTAR ride their breakout noise pop into the new year, while Philly-based trip-hop duo Lovelorn and 7-inch vinyl spinner DJ Hollywood Jones round out the lineup.  – Genevieve Wood

Josh Abbott Band, Angel White

Haute Spot, $45-$175

Even as Josh Abbott Band has become a quintessential Texas country act over the past decade, the Lubbock eightpiece continues to evolve in ways that defy expectations. The Panhandle bandleader scrapped the initial follow-up to 2020's The Highway Kind, instead recording the more personal but still hard-driving songs on upcoming seventh LP Somewhere Down the Road, due out in January. Dallas songwriter Angel White, who slayed ACL Fest in October, brings the party-down country soul sound of his highly anticipated debut to open, along with impressive young local country kicker Braedon Barnhill.  – Doug Freeman

Body Rock ATX: Computer Love

Sahara Lounge, $20-$40

Get a head start on sweat-breaking New Year's resolutions at Body Rock ATX's equally hedonistic and rejuvenative dance party. Channeling the community-centric energy of hip-hop's early block parties, emcee couple Chaka and Qi Dada (aka Riders Against the Storm) command the mic, while genre-mixing mainstay DJ Chorizo Funk keeps energy high behind the turntables. With legends like Erykah Badu, Prince, and Michael Jackson in heavy rotation, the 13-years-running trio returns to their Sahara Lounge home base for their first New Year's celebration in three years. Consider leaving uncomfortable high heels at home, as dance battles, Soul Train Lines, and games of Double Dutch are prone to break out.  – Genevieve Wood

Tomar & the FCs

Continental Club, $33

For their part, Tomar & the FCs framed the pandemic with an endurance recognized by their community. Third and best full-length, Rise Above, a Stax-like soul classic out of not Muscle Shoals, Alabama, but Austin, Texas, dropped January 2020. Performing where and when possible, including their now annual appearances at the nearly half-century-old Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, the hard-funking sextet promoted the singularly local release despite once-in-a-100-years circumstances. Sweet reward arrived this February at the Austin Music Awards when the group won Best R&B and gritty Tomar Williams took home Best Vocalist.  – Raoul Hernandez

Hard Proof, Good Looks

Radio/East, $24.54

Hard Proof dishes their incomparable world funk to ring in the new year at one of the best new hangs, Radio/East. Now in their 15th year, the Hard Proof collective has boasted members from some of the grooviest outfits in town, ranging from Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears to Ocote Soul Sounds to the Echocentrics, and unloads an Afrobeat-inspired, horn-blasted jam. The smooth jazz fusion of Mockjaw sets the NYE scene, with San Gabriel and Good Looks rounding out the Austin-sourced lineup.  – Doug Freeman

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