Chicago’s 10 Best New Year’s Eve Concerts

Skip the bottle service

Mucca Pazza; photo by Jason Creps

What better way to welcome 2019 than with a dance party? Skip the bars and head to some of Chicago’s best concerts on New Year’s Eve.

Despite her moniker, Fatimah Warner has made a name for herself as a skilled rapper and poet. The Bronzeville native’s sharp storytelling and breezy flow will electrify Thalia Hall on New Year’s Eve. Catch songs from Noname’s latest album, Room 25, crafted over two years on the heels of 2016’s celebrated mixtape, Telefone.
Details: 9 p.m. at Thalia Hall; $40-60

Noname; photo by Chantal Anderson

Guided By Voices
For a band founded in 1983, Guided by Voices shows no signs of slowing down. Rock in the New Year with Robert Pollard and boys from Dayton as they power through decades worth of pioneering indie rock. GBV isn’t content to lean on their past lo-fi, post-punk output—catch new material from their 2018 LP Space Gun as well as tracks from upcoming albums Zeppelin Over China (2019) and Street Party (2020).
Details: 9 p.m. at Bottom Lounge; $50-85

Studio 3730 – NYE 1978 Style
Party like it’s 1978 with a duo of celebrations at Metro and Smartbar. Iconic house dance party Queen! serves up a live performance by Rupaul’s Drag Race alum Shea Couleé, Michael Serafini spinning, and hosting by Lucy Stoole, Jojo Baby and more. Downstairs at Smartbar, Jeff Derringer, Justin Aulis Long and others will pack the dancefloor.
Details: 9 p.m. at Metro; $25-40

Chicago’s newest music venue, Sleeping Village, rings in its first New Year’s Eve with a performance by RJD2. Ramble Jon Krohn, aka RJD2, is a mixmaster best known for his track “A Beautiful Mine” which was used as the theme for Mad Men. The hip-hop DJ and producer will get the countdown crowd jumping from his turntables alongside a live band.
Details: 9 p.m. at Sleeping Village; $45-55

Local H; photo by John Oakes

Local H
Illinois alt-rock darlings Local H continue their tradition of playing on New Year’s Eve, this time at Chop Shop. The two-piece is best known for their 1996 hit “Bound for the Floor,” but they haven’t stopped rocking since then. Stop by to hear their latest single “Innocents” and see the live show that their diehard fans swear by.
Details: 9 p.m. at Chop Shop; $30-35

The Hood Internet
Local duo Aaron Brink and Steve Reidell got Chicago moving to mash-ups of rock, pop and hip-hop in the aughts, à la Girl Talk. A decade later, the Hood Internet has released original material, collaborations, remixes and a 10-year anniversary mixtape. There’s no telling what unlikely artists they will seamlessly blend together on New Year’s Eve, but there’s no doubt the Hood Internet will keep you dancing into 2019.
Details: 9 p.m. at Subterranean; $25

Bully; photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Scream away 2018 with Nashville grunge band Bully. Frontwoman Alicia Bognanno has Chicago roots, having trained as a sound engineer at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio. If distorted guitar, screaming choruses, head-banging and power riffs aren’t cathartic, it’s time to remove your earplugs.
Details: 9 p.m. at Empty Bottle; $25

Windy City Soul Club
Groove into 2019 with the smooth stylings of the Windy City Soul Club. The monthly Empty Bottle dance party is taking over Logan Square Auditorium with its all-vinyl lineup of deep soul cuts and Motown sing-alongs.
Details: 9 p.m. at Logan Square Auditorium; $15-20

Screaming Females

Screaming Females
Scream along to one of the best albums of the year with New Jersey punk trio Screaming Females. Their 2018 LP All At Once is the latest in a string of urgent, alt-rock albums that compel with explosive riffs and frontwoman Marissa Paternoster’s commanding vocals.
Details: 8:30 p.m. at Beat Kitchen; $17

Mucca Pazza
What better way to march out a circus of a year than with a punk rock marching band? Embrace the absurd with Mucca Pazza’s marching band of 30 or so musicians playing everything from saxophones to accordions. Cheer in the new year with the ensemble’s cheerleaders, drumline and unconventional musical stylings.
Details: 10 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $25