New Year's Eve: 10 Bands Playing Live in S.F. Worth Spending Your Evening With

Categories: Holidays

Windish Agency
The Fresh & Onlys.
Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve is still an option for the night of Dec. 31, since the man himself has lived to rock another year. But if the glow of the television screen isn't gonna provide enough sonic warmth this year, there are thankfully plenty of options to hear and see music performed live, in the flesh, and without lip syncing. Here, in no particular order, are 10 bands playing live on New Year's Eve who are worthy of marking the special occasion.

10. The Fresh & Onlys at Folk Yeah! NYE at Brick & Mortar Music Hall

These S.F. psychedelic garage rockers won over national critics this year, but this hometown gig -- which also features Thee Oh Sees -- should be particularly sweet for the Fresh & Onlys. We expect they'll tease snippets of their next album here before setting off on a February tour.

Andy Batt
MarchFourth Marching Band.
9. MarchFourth Marching Band at Sea of Dreams at Concourse Exhibition Center

This Portland-based brass-forward troupe -- which has toured with No Doubt and backed up Fleetwood Mac and KISS -- takes the pretentious pomp out of a marching formation. Band geeks, these are not. Party ecstasy will be achieved with liberal doses of dancing girls, mismatched costumes and plumage, and even stilt-walkers.

Axe Records
The Impalers.
8. The Impalers at Derrick Herriott's NYE Reggae Hop at Rockit Room

Those looking for rocksteady, reggae, and soul can head to the Richmond District. Led by singer Cindy Chi, the Impalers grew from a ska supergroup of a studio band for the Axe Records label into a tight addition to the live scene.

The Limousines.
7. The Limousines at Disco 2012 at Rickshaw Stop

This is a good chance to catch the local indie-electronic duo behind "Internet Killed the Radio Star" and "Very Busy People" before they dispatch off to Europe to continue touring with Swedish indie rockers the Sounds in early 2012.

6. Primus at Great American Music Hall

Les Claypool and company love to play on New Year's Eve, making this an option that is resoundingly Bay Area in its vibe. Unfortunately, it's already sold out. But the resourceful can always find a way in (i.e., Craigslist or scalpers).

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Rudy Leard
Rudy Leard

Oooh, that's pretty cool. Flashy fireworks are nice, but it's also quite fine to celebrate the start of a new year with a few good tunes. Even right now, days past the first of January, listening to good music is still and always will be fun and entertaining.

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