A History of New Year’s Eve Concerts in New York That You Need to Know About

Posted on Wednesday December 27th in

New York City is known as one of the most iconic places to celebrate New Year’s Eve. It’s been 100 years since the first ball drop ever occurred in New York City, and since 1907, the tradition has continued making Time Square the center of our universe with the biggest outdoor party to culminate another trip around the sun. But then you peak into the crevices of this city to find multitudes of music happening in every corner. Some of the best shows in history took place on New Year’s Eve in this music mecca that we call home. Below highlights some of the finest rock ‘n’ roll shows from 1968 to 2016. To be fair, this isn’t a full list, but what you’ll find will make you embrace all the feels. From FOMO, nostalgia, jealousy, happiness… this list of New Year’s Eve shows throughout New York city history absolutely ROCKS.

Now, escape down this EPIC rabbit hole of music history:

1968

  • Deep Purple at Electric Circus

1969

  • Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsy’s at Fillmore East

1970

  • Mountain at Irving Plaza
  • Little Richard at Electric Circus

1975

  • New York Dolls, Barry Manilow at Beacon Theatre

1978

  • XTC and Talking Heads at Beacon Theatre

1980

  • Cyndi Lauper at The Ritz

  • The Heartbreakers at Irving Plaza

1981

    • Joan Jett at The Ritz

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Setlist The Ritz, New York, NY, USA 1981, I Love Rock 'n' Roll

  • Miles Davis at Beacon Theatre

1982

  • Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden

Billy Joel Setlist Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA 1982, The Nylon Curtain

1985

  • Barry Manilow at Radio City Music Hall

1986

  • The Cramps and Beast Boys at The Ritz

1988

  • Hot Tuna at Beacon Theatre
  • The Ramones at Irving Plaza

1990

  • Hot Tuna at The Ritz
  • The Spin Doctors and Blues Travelers at Roseland Ballroom

1991

  • Blues Traveler at Madison Square Garden

1992

  • Blues Traveler at Madison Square Garden
  • Spin Doctos at Beacon Theatre
  • Alice in Chains and Big Audio Dynamite at Roseland Ballroom

1993

  • Janet Jackson at Madison Square Garden
  • Warren Haynes and Blues Traveler at Roseland Ballrom

1994

  • Blues Traveler at Roseland Ballroom

1995

  • Moe. with Screaming Headless Torso’s at Wetland’s Preserve

  • Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Phish at Madison Square Garden – this was Phish’s first New Year’s Eve run at the Madison Square Garden!

1996

  • Gov’t Mule at Wetland’s Preserve

  • Blue Traveler at Madison Square Garden
  • Barenaked Ladies and Paula Cole at Roseland Ballroom

1997

  • Strangefolk at Wetland’s Presever

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden

1998

    • Phish at Madison Square Garden
    • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom – First o

Patti Smith Setlist Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, USA 2016

1999

  • Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden
  • Patti Smith with Grant Hart at Bowery Ballroom

2000

  • Patti Smith  at Bowery Ballroom
  • Buena Vista Social Club at Beacon Theatre
  • Maceo Parker, Soulive, and Sam Kinninger at Irving Plaza

2001

  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • Robert Randolph and the Family Band at Irving Plaza
  • Guided by Voices with The Strokes at The Apollo

2002

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at B.B. King Blues Club

2003

  • Patti Smith with Particle at Bowery Ballroom
  • Gov’t Mule with The Spin Doctors at Beacon Theatre
  • Gavin Degraw at Irving Plaza

2004

  • Wilco and the Flaming Lips at Madison Square Garden-

  • Patti Smith with Drive-By Truckers at Bowery Ballroom
  • String Cheese Incident at Radio City Music Hall
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Peelander-Z at Irving Plaza
  • Eartha Kit at B.B. King Blues Club

2005

  • Trey Anastasio Band, North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes at Madison Square Garden
  • Patti Smith with Brothers Past at Bowery Ballroom
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dr. Dog, The National at Irving Plaza
  • James Brown with The New Deal  at B.B. King Blues Club

2006

  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • Blues Traveler at Beacon Theatre
  • Kudu and Brazilian Girls at Irving Plaza
  • Brothers Past, Chaka Khan, and Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club
  • The Slip at Music Hall of Williamsburg

2007

  • Chris Rock and Jill Scott at Madison Square Garden

Read more at the New York Times

  • Le Savy Fav with Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Infected Mushroom at Webster Hall
  • Gogol Bordello at Terminal 5
  • Dicky Betts and Great Southern with Rebirth Brass Band at B.B. King Blues Club
  • G. Love and Special Sauce at Gramercy Theatre

2008

  • My Morning Jacket at Madison Square Garden

 

  • Blonde Redhead, Islands, Elvis Perkins at Terminal 5
  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • Chuck Berry with Benevento/Russo Duo at B.B. King Blues Club
  • Crystal Casltes at Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • Tiesto at Roseland Ballroom

2009

  • Trey Songz and Mariah Carey at Madison Square Garden
  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • John Medeski with The Word at Terminal 5
  • Q-Tip, Dam Funk and Pimps of Joytime at Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn Bowl’s first New Year’s Eve show
  • MSTRKRFT at Webster Hall
  • Drive-By Truckers at Terminal 5
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Dangerous Muse and Fischerspooner at Irving Plaza
  • theNEWDEAL at B.B. Kings Blues
  • Soulive, Lettuce and Nigel Hall at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Credit: Will Davis of New York Times

  • Paul Van Dyke at Roseland Ballroom

2010

  • The Roots at Brooklyn Bowl

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Patti Smith at Bowery Ballroom
  • The Bloody Beetroots at Webster Hall
  • Gogol Bordello at Teminal 5
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Guided by Voices, Doug Gillard at Irving Plaza
  • theNEWDEAL with Chuck Berry at B.B. King Blues Club

  • Butthole Surfers at Music Hall of Williamsburg

2011

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Patti Smith and R.E.M at Bowery Ballroom
  • NERO at Webster Hall
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre

  • theNEWDEAL with Chuck Berry at B.B. King Blues Club
  • J. Roddy Walston and the Business, Deer Tick, The Dead Confederates at Brooklyn Bowl
  • The Budos Band and Charles Bradley and His Extraordinares at Music Hall of Willisamburg
  • New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men at Roseland Ballroom

2012

    • Phish at Madison Square Garden

 

  • Punch Brothers and Michael Daves at Bowery Ballroom
  • Tommy Trash at Webster Hall
  • Amanda Palmer at Terminal 5
  • Gov’t Mule and Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds at Beacon Theatre
  • Beach Fossils, Blonde Redhead, and Bubbles at Irving Plaza
  • Jay-Z, Coldplay at Barclays Center

  • Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club
  • They Might Be Giants and Moon Hooch at Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • Pretty Lights at Roseland Ballroom

2013

  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • Punch Brothers and Sarah Jarosz at Bowery Ballroom
  • Gogol Bordello and Man Man at Terminal 5

 

  • Gov’t Mule + Drive By Truckers at Beacon Theatre
  • Moon Boots, Free Magic, Jkriv at Irving Plaza
  • Billy Joel and Ben Folds 5 at Barclays Center
  • Harlem Gospel Choir with The Heavy Pets at B.B. King Blues Club
  • Tanlines and Delta Spirit at Brooklyn Bowl
  • Big Gigantic at Roseland Ballroom

2014

  • Rudimental, Skrillex, Diplo, Yellow Claw, A$AP Ferg at Madison Square Garden
  • Rainer Maria and Moss Icon at Bowery Ballroom
  • Gov’t Mule and Miles Kennery at Beacon Theatre
  • Holy Ghost!, Musuem of Love, and That Work at Irving Plaza
  • Elton John at Barclays Center

  • Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club
  • Deer Tick and Washed Out at Brooklyn Bowl

  • The Hold Steady at Music Hall of Williamsburg

2015

  • Phish  at Madison Square Garden
  • Just Blaze, DJ SoulDirty South, JoeElectric, Punanny at Webster Hall
  • Gogol Bordello and Chicano Batman at Terminal 5
  • Gov’t Mule, Larry Campbell, Steve Kimock, Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson at Beacon Theatre
  • Snarky Puppy at Irving Plaza

  • Jimmy Buffet at Barclays Center
  • Harlem Gospel Choir at B.B. King Blues Club
  • Deer Tick and Museum of Love at Brooklyn Bowl
  • They Might be Giants at Music Hall of Wlliamsburg

2016

  • DIIV and Tamaryn at Bowery Ballroom
  • Phish at Madison Square Garden
  • The Lone Below at Bowery Ballroom

  • Gramatik, GRiZ, Jenaux at Webster Hall
  • Gov’t Mule at Beacon Theatre
  • Snarky Puppy at Irving Plaza
  • The New Deal at B.B. King Blues Club
  • Kamasi Washington with The Budos Band and Animal Collective DJ Set

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