New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year for music. Some of the best memories of my life come from the times I’ve spent with friends and family getting down at a New Year’s Eve show. You can’t beat the atmosphere, the people, or the unbelievable 3 night runs so many of the artists put together. I thought I’d share where I think the top places to be this NYE as well as some clips from some of the great NYE shows of the past.
#1 – String Cheese Incident – Broomfield, CO
The photo above is from one of the greatest shows I’ve ever witnessed. String Cheese at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, CO a couple years back in 2012. Unreal! The atmosphere was amazing and the vibe in Colorado was jubilant. The three night run included an unforgettable light show, guest spots, on stage performances, and the best people in the world all gathered to bring in the new year in the most exhilarating way possible. The three night run ended with a nearly 4 hour long, 3 set show that was truly unforgettable. My favorite part of the show is the “Sweet Emotion” cover towards the end of the first set. I was in another world listening to the reverberations of the bass as the tune echoed through the crowd.
This year promises to be even better! People who have been before have been geared up for this event for months. One of my good friends even organized a trip with over 100 people and took over an entire hotel floor! Go Steve Bannister! The video below from 2012 will rock your world! “Sweet Emotion” is about 20 minutes from the end.
#2 – Umphrey’s Mcgee – Denver, CO
Colorado is the place to be! Broomfield is only a short drive from Denver so you could hypothetically check out part of each band’s run this NYE. I came into my own as a person and passionate music fan during the early 2000′s in Chicago and I’ve attended UM on NYE at least 5 times without counting. They really bring it and you can expect something unique and special every time. They used to do a 3 night run at the Aragon EVERY YEAR much to the delight of Chicagoans, but the story is that the Aragon cancelled on them a couple years back to make way for the Black Keys. Bad move. UM has never been back and they’ve continued producing epic shows each year since. Highlights that I can remember from off the top of my head include UM playing with a full brass band, they brought an entire chorus with them another time, stage performances, and some covers I’ve only gotten to hear them do once.
UM has 4 nights in Denver so hopefully you can get into one of the shows. Here they are they Pageant in 2011, the first year they didn’t play Chicago.
#3 – Widespread Panic – Atlanta, GA
The photo above from December 31st in Charlotte last year pretty much says everything you need to know about how great the 30th and 31st are going to be in Atlanta this year! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen these guys, actually, all the way back to 2011 Summer Camp. But I’ve been in the mood for listening to NYE shows and I came across this from 2005. I immediately knew I had to add this year’s show to the list.
#4 – Sun Stereo – Urbana, IL
Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and I decided to stay closer to home. I’ll be checking out Josh Houchin, Kelly McMorris, and the rest of Sun Stereo rock the Canopy Club. This local band rocked Summer Camp and Hangout Festival last year and will without a doubt be the best show in town come NYE.
Happy New Year’s Everyone!
This year I ended my festival season with a bang by making the trek from MI all the way to Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA for the first ever Lockn’ Music Festival. What I found special about this particular event was the stacked line-up of epic jam mixed in with the idea of making the music never end in a seamless fashion. I was determined to not miss this one.
Luckily I got hooked up with a photo pass and had the time of my life shooting some of the most amazing artists all weekend long. In case you weren’t aware, Lockn’ featured three sets from both Furthur and The String Cheese Incident including special guest appearances and collaborations all weekend long. Widespread Panic, Warren Haynes, Trey Anastasio Band, Zac Brown, John Foggerty, The Black Crowes, and Tedeschi Trucks give you a good sense of what the festival entailed.
What made the festival so amazing for me was the fact that it was the first opportunity I have had to photograph many of these legendary artists. I was definitely one of the happiest souls in the photo pits all weekend long.
My favorite moment of the weekend was when Trey Anastasio came out and performed with Furthur for the first time ever. He helped finish out Casey Jones of Furthur’s rendition of Workingman’s Dead (the entire album) and played other favorites including Scarlet Begonias and Truckin’
I managed to snap some of the best pictures I’ve ever shot. Have a look and get a feel for what Lockn’ was like.