Boston’s big New Year’s Eve weekend kicks off on Friday with the final show of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ three-night Hometown Throwdown at House of Blues and Kurt Vile & the Violators (whose laconic Wakin on a Pretty Daze was one of my fave albums of 2013) at the Sinclair. It’s been more than a year since Vile (pictured) released his last album, b’lieve i’m goin down, so maybe the Philly —who briefly lived in this town—will have new ideas percolating. And just around the corner in Harvard Square, venerable local singer/songwriter Ellis Paul will also host his annual stand at Club Passim on both Friday and Saturday.
Saturday’s the main New Year’s Eve event, however, with a slew of live music options on the home front. Berklee-born funk outfit Lettuce—whose members’ experiences range from Soulive and John Scofield to Lady Gaga and Britney Spears—return to House of Blues. Pink Talking Fish mines similar territory at the Paradise Rock Club, expanding its tribute hybrid of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish to include a Michael Jackson toast. New Orleans trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis holds court at Scullers Jazz Club with his combo that includes drummer Marvin “Smitty” Smith. The multi-vocalist Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra returns to Arlington’s Regent Theatre with an ambitious program celebrating ’70s Brit-rockers the Who, David Bowie, Queen, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The Somerville Symphony Orkestar brings its self-described “Eastern European funk punk” to comfy Once Ballroom for a swell bill with lively rockers Dirty Bangs and Psychic Dog. Speaking of locals, OldJack are joined by Pale Hands and the Rationales at the Lizard Lounge, making its “Last Saturday” series extra-special in marking the last Saturday of 2016. And standout singer/songwriter Abbie Barrett rocks cozy Atwood’s Tavern with her band on Saturday night—before that room hosts a Sunday gospel brunch with the Revelations, including Jen (Jenny Dee) D’Angora and Andrea Gillis.
Finally, First Night First Day celebrations also rock in Copley Square on Saturday night with local favorites including Air Traffic Controller and Tigerman WOAH and on Sunday with Shun Ng and Ruby Rose Fox. Best of the new year to everyone!