It’s a mighty, mighty weekend—and a long one when extended to all the New Year’s Eve shows. You better not shout, you better not cry… hey, it’s better to shout when Dicky Barrett comes to town with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones for their annual all-ages HomeTown ThrowDown at House of Blues. This year’s bash by Boston’s ska-punk heroes goes down on Friday (with LA’s Aggrolites among openers) and Saturday (including Toronto’s Bedouin Soundclash), plus a Sunday matinee that features Marlborough pre-teen punk openers Color Killer (who just released “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” with a cameo by Santa Barrett). The Bosstones are riding high behind their assured, politically pointed new album While We’re At It, a June release that upholds unity in divided times.
It’s a good weekend to catch other local faves too. Friday brings the jacked-up soul-funk band Bad Rabbits to the Sinclair with rap luminaries STL GLD, while eclectic rock outfit Doom Lover toasts its long-awaited debut album at Brighton Music Hall with opening hip-hop upstarts Oompa and Cliff Notez. Saturday brings folk-rockers the Ballroom Thieves to Royale, while veteran New York rock troubadour Willie Nile plays City Winery and gospel-steeped Southern jam-rockers the North Mississippi Allstars hold service at Brighton Music Hall.
Phish may celebrate New Year’s weekend at New York’s Madison Square Garden these days but another Vermont jam-rock outfit named Twiddle follow a Sunday date at the Paradise Rock Club with a New Year’s Eve bash at House of Blues the next night. Other New Year’s Eve highlights on Monday include the maturing Boston-bred success story Lake Street Dive at the Boch Center Wang Theatre, UK band the Joy Formidable at City Winery (for two shows, the first with string quartet), Boston icon Peter Wolf and his Midnight Travelers at the Cabot in Beverly, funk jammers Turkauz at the Paradise, the rootsy Felice Brothers at Brighton Music Hall, soul-blues duo Dwight and Nicole at the Regattabar with Ali McGuirk, and Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar bringing North African rock to Once Ballroom. And artists from STL GLD to Chadwick Stokes and the Pintos ring in 2019 at Copley Plaza as part of First Night.