This is your guide to catching the best live music throughout both Chicago and the suburbs this New Year's Eve. Ring in 2012 with Alkaline Trio, Big Head Todd, or Cage the Elephant in the city or check out the Old 97's, Freddy Jones Band, Lil Jon and more across the Chicagoland area. Here are thirty ways for you to see live music on 12/31/11 in Chicago...
In The City...
Alkaline Trio (10PM Saturday 12/31 at Metro. 18+, SOLD OUT) - The Brokedowns and All Eyes West open. Features a "Champagne of Beers" toast for those 21 and over. One of the finest punk bands the city has produced returns for a Metro New Year's Eve celebration for the first time since 2006.
Big Gigantic (9:30PM Saturday at the Riviera Theatre. 18+, SOLD OUT) - The Polish Ambassador and LoBounce open. Tickets purchased for The Vic Theatre will be honored so make note of the new venue location at The Riv.
Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven (8PM Saturday at House of Blues. $76, 21+) - The show originally started at 9PM, so note the NEW start time of 8PM (Doors now open at 7PM).
Ghosthouse (10:30PM Saturday at the House of Blues' Back Porch Stage. $10, 21+)
Big James & The Chicago Playboys with Vance Kelly & The Backstreet Candy Lickin' Blues Band (Saturday at 7:30PM at Kingston Mines. $25, 21+) - Evening begins with an acoustic set from Vance Kelly at 7:30PM (Doors open at 7PM). Price includes hats, leis, noisemakers and balloon drop at midnight.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears (9PM Saturday at Double Door. $85-95, 21+) - Soul Summit DJs: Dave Mata, Duke Grip, Sloppy White and more also perform. Ticket price includes hosted bar (draft beer, well drinks, wine, soda and water). Champagne will be available for purchase.
Chicago Afrobeat Project and Sexfist (9PM Saturday at Abbey Pub. $25-65, 21+) - Animate Objects, Van Gordon Martin and Old Shoe also perform.
Cage the Elephant and Company of Thieves (9PM Saturday at Aragon Ballroom. $27, 17+) - Sleeper Agent opens.
Deals Gone Bad (10PM Saturday at Beat Kitchen. $15, 21+) - Chris Murray Combo and DJ Chuck Wren open.
Disappears (10PM Saturday at Empty Bottle. $25, 21+) - Bare Mutants, Outer Minds and DJ Sriracha & Jimmy Hollywood also perform.
James Hunter (10PM Saturday at Mayne Stage. $50-125, 21+)
JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound (10PM Saturday at Schubas. 21+, SOLD OUT)
Jimmy Johnson (Saturday at B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted. 21+) - Call ahead for pricing information.
Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials (11PM Saturday at Buddy Guy's Legends. $25, 21+) - Eddie Taylor, Jr. (9:30PM) and Joanna Connor (6PM) open.
Local H (10PM Saturday at Bottom Lounge. $25, 21+)
Lucky Boys Confusion (8PM Saturday at the Cubby Bear. $23-25, 21+) - Liquid Hot Magma opens.
Material re-Issue (8:30PM Saturday at Reggie's Rock Club. $35-40, 21+) - Hushdrops and Redgrave open. Midnight champagne toast and party favors included. Being billed as the band's "last show ever."
Murder By Death (9:30PM Saturday at Subterranean. $25, 21+) - The Blind Staggers open.
New Year's Eve Party (Saturday at the Green Mill) - Edward Petersen vs. Frank Catalano and the Green Mill All-Stars in a $25 battle of the saxes between 8:30PM and 12:30AM (21+). The $25 includes party favors and a midnight champagne toast. The Sabertooth Organ Quartet continues until 5AM.
The O'Jays (9PM Saturday at the Chicago Theatre. $85-115) - Being billed as "New Year's Eve Love & Laughs," this show also features opening act Arnez J.
Rusko (8PM Saturday at the Congress Theater. $60-110, Over 17) - Sinden and Switch open.
Tributosaurus (10PM Saturday at Martyrs'. $50, 21+) - Tributosaurus becomes Prince.
In The Suburbs...
American English (8PM Saturday 12/31 at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire. $20, 21+) - Hot Rocks opens. Includes champagne toast at midnight and limited party favors throughout the evening.
Freddy Jones Band (8PM Saturday at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn. $50, 21+) - Includes two sets by Freddy Jones Band, full dance floor, complimentary coat check, champagne toast at midnight, party favors, as well as the SideBar and heated tent for lounging, drinking and music breaks. There will be food available from the Wagyu Wagon.
Lil Jon (Saturday in the Rosemont Ballroom at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. $49-109 ) - Includes live casino gambling, silent auction, noisemakers and party favors and a confetti storm. VIP packages featuring a champagne toast and open bar from 9PM to 1AM as well as complimentary parking are also available. Several DJ's will also be performing throughout three rooms.
Old 97's (8:30PM Saturday at the InterContinental Hotel in Rosemont. $75, 21+ ) - The 15th Annual "Rock 'n' Roll Ball" takes place in three seperate halls for the price of one ticket featuring performances by the Old 97's and Cathy Richardson & The Macrodots, cover bands Hairbanger's Ball and Imposter Radio, and DJ Roland. Ticket price includes a four hour open bar and party favors. VIP packages with hotel rooms are also available.
Otis Clay (10PM Saturday at SPACE in Evanston. $25-210, 21+) - VIP packages also available.
Sandy Hacket's Rat Pack Show (Saturday at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora) - Champagne toast and party favors included.
Second City's Dysfunctional Holiday Revue - (9PM Saturday at Pheasant Run in St. Charles. $60, All Ages)
Who's Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band (9PM Saturday at the Westin Chicago Northshore in Wheeling. $75, 21+)