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10 Best 2012 New Year’s Eve Concerts for Ringing in 2013

New Year
Bobby Bank, WireImage

Going out on New Year’s Eve is a crapshoot. House parties always seem too crowded, while public gatherings are full of let’s-get-crazy-once-a-year amateurs. But you don’t want to just sit at home watching the ball drop on TV, so that leaves one serious option: going to a concert. When leaving the fate of your New Year’s Eve in the hands of a band, you want to make sure it’s going to be a good one. So pick one from our list of the Best 2012 New Year’s Eve Concerts to Ring in 2013, and you’re guaranteed to have an awesome time. Happy New Year!

 

Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Theo Wargo, WireImage

10

Mighty Mighty Bosstones

House of Blues, Boston, Mass.

 

 
There’s something special about spending your New Year’s Eve rocking out with legends from your local scene — especially when said legends are also internationally known rock stars. Boston-based ska-core pioneers the Mighty Mighty Bosstones remain dedicated to their Beantown fans, and this marks the 15th year they’re holding their Hometown Throwdown, a three-night concert extravaganza at the House of Blues that winds down with what is sure to be a wild one on Dec. 31.

 

Blonde Redhead

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

9

Blonde Redhead

Irving Plaza, New York City, N.Y.

 

 
It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a new album by Blonde Redhead — their last one, ‘Penny Sparkle,’ dropped in 2010 — but peeps always seem up for catching the veteran New York indie trio live. And these days, they don’t seem to play the States very often, either, as the NYC show they played back in March was their only non-festival appearance in North America since a brief West Coast tour more than a year-and-a-half ago. None of which matters much to Readhead heads, who really just want to see Kazu, Amedeo and Simone rock out the end of the year.

 

Les Claypool

Karl Walter, Getty Images

8

Primus

The Warfield, San Francisco, Calif.

 

 
New Year’s Eve wouldn’t quite be the same without Les Claypool, the frontman of Primus and an assortment of other bands in a similar eccentric orbit. This year’s Dec. 31 Primus gig — the next entry on our Best 2012 New Year’s Eve Concerts for Ringing in 2013 list — will mark the 22nd annual New Year’s Eve show Claypool has hosted in San Francisco, and it will be the first to feature Primus 3D, a one-of-a-kind concert experience boasting special backdrop screens with 3D visuals and a quadraphonic sound system, creating what ringleader Les promises will be a “really trippy” experience .

 

Skrillex

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

7

Skrillex

The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.

 

 
If for some reason you’re still doubting the popularity of EDM music in 2012 — and really, at this point, you’d have to be somewhat crazy to do so — try this on for size: Skrillex is headlining a NYE concert at the 23,000-capacity Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich., topping a bill also featuring Boys Noize, Flosstradamus, Alvin Risk, D.I.M. and Destructo. That capacity tops Madison Square Garden by nearly 5,000 seats, by the way.

 

Coldplay

Brendon Thorne, Getty Images

6

Coldplay

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

 
The last time New Yorkers had the chance to buy tickets to a Coldplay concert was 2005. Seven years between shows is a long time, but the wait finally ends on Dec. 31, when Coldplay share the stage of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with Jay-Z, the locally born rapper who was involved in all aspects of building the brand-new arena, and who serves as part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team that plays there. 

 

Jane

Jordan Strauss, Getty Images

5

Jane’s Addiction

House of Blues, Atlantic City, N.J.

 

 
Much of Atlantic City, N.J., was decimated when Hurricane Sandy hit the central Jersey shore like a bullseye back in October, but with the casinos open again and Jane’s Addiction rolling into town and ready to rock their way into 2013, now is as good a time as any to visit “America’s Favorite Playground.” Think of it this way: If you lose while gambling, at least you are bringing some much-needed funds back into the community — and there’s no song in the world better to listen to after blowing a bunch of money in the slots than ‘Stop!’

 

Karl Walter, Getty Images

Karl Walter, Getty Images

4

The Black Keys

The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, Nev.

 

 
The Black Keys wrap up a year that saw the garage-rock duo finally graduate from playing sold-out clubs to packing arenas by going back to their roots. On Dec. 31, the road warriors will be in Vegas playing the 1,200 capacity House of Blues, which these days is actually quite the intimate atmosphere to see them in. 

 

My Morning Jacket

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

3

My Morning Jacket

Agganis Arena, Boston, Mass.

 

 
My Morning Jacket are no strangers to throwing big-time bashes on New Year’s Eve — they even played Madison Square Garden back on Dec. 31, 2008. And they’ve gigged at Agganis Arena on the campus of Boston University before, opening a show headlined by Wilco back in 2005. So this one — next up on our list of the Best 2012 New Year’s Eve Concerts for Ringing in 2013 — is unprecedented only in the sense that it’s a combination of factors, an NYE show at Agganis Arena headlined by MMJ. But no matter — we’re sure it’s going to be a stellar one.

 

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Juan Naharro Gimenez, Getty Images

2

Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nev.

 

 
The Chili Peppers ring in 2013 at the relatively intimate Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the same venue that hosted NYE gigs featuring Stevie Wonder on Dec. 31, 2011, and Jay-Z and Coldplay on the last evening of 2010. If you find your way to Sin City but don’t score a ticket, don’t fret: The resort will broadcast the Peppers’ entire performance to the masses on the Vegas strip via digital marquee.

 

Phish

Scott Gries, Getty Images

1

Phish

Madison Square Garden, New York City, N.Y.

 

 
Whether you love Phish or you loathe them — people tend to fall into one camp or the other — there’s no denying that the annual New Year’s Eve concert held in the World’s Most Famous Arena is usually the biggest of them all, in terms of popularity and prestige, if not straight-up attendance. Just like last year, this year’s festivities feature four straight nights of Phish concerts, culminating in a three-set extravaganza on Dec. 31.

 

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