Champagne, drag shows and DJs 

Toasting New Year’s Eve music events, from country to rap

New Year’s Eve! It’s seven years after “party like it’s 1999,” but NYE is still the best excuse to party all year round. Indianapolis will be abuzz; we’ve got everything from classy downtown shindigs to wine-tastings to a band performing called “Whiskeytits.” So, if you’re all alone and miserable this New Year’s Eve, don’t come crying to us.

Most events include perks such as party favors and midnight champagne toasts, so check out clubs’ Web sites to find out exact details, and don’t forget, New Year’s parties tend to sell out, so think seriously about buying in advance and arriving early. Plus — and I know it sounds like a broken record, but still bears repeating — if you’re going to be drinking, either have someone who can drive you home or make sure you’ve got a place to sober up. (There’s a reason so many events have hotel rooms as part of the bargain!)

Ready? Let’s go to press!

The big kahuna of all New Year’s events — and I’m not saying this just because NUVO is co-sponsoring — is the Rock ’N’ Roll Ball at the Hyatt Regency downtown (1 S. Capital Ave.). Virgin Millionaires headline, along with Indy bands such as Carl Storie, Stereo Deluxe, X-Ray Roger Jimmy and DJ Brian Jackson. Add in a comedy stage with Scott Long and you’ve got four full stages, a fantasy casino and a 20,000-balloon drop at midnight. You’ll be paying for the fun; general admission starts at $39 and runs the gamut to $419 for a four-course dinner and overnight room for two. More info can be found at or Festivities start at 8 p.m.

Too highfalutin’ for you? Then try the Melody Inn (3826 N. Illinois St.) for a special Sunday New Year’s Edition of Punk Rock Night, presented by longtime punk rock guru Greg Brenner. This is the seventh year of the Mel’s New Year’s event, and it sells out virtually every year. “In years past, we’ve smashed glass balls on the floor to celebrate the new year, so you can expect a few tricks up our sleeves,” Brenner says. “It’s always a rowdy but well-behaved crowd. This year it’s mostly rock ’n’ roll, with some punk mixed in.” Ten bucks gets you Drunko, DV, Whiskeytits and Salvation! (the band formerly known as Angelville). Visit or for more information.

Over at Talbott Street (2145 N. Talbott St.), DJ Logan and what they’re billing as “first class drag shows” will hit the stage. Given that Talbott Street’s weekly output already includes some pretty high-class drag shows featuring the Ladies of Legend, you can imagine where that’s gonna go. Co-owner Vivian Farris tells me it’ll involve bringing the Ladies of Legend to the mainstage for a far more extensive use of Talbott Street’s elaborate audio-visual system than usual. (Extensive, you ask? Two words for you: confetti cannons.) Not to mention something you probably won’t see anywhere else that night: “We have an opera singer coming in to do a number after midnight,” Farris says.

Check out for all the details. (And while you’re making your weekend plans, don’t forget that Talbott Street is kicking things off early, bringing in world-renowned New York DJ Escape Saturday, Dec. 30.)

Or you can always go the slightly more sedate route for Big Car’s Bohemian New Year’s Eve Party (1043 Virginia Ave.). As opposed to the other events mentioned above, it’s all-ages, and includes an eclectic blend of sounds ranging from electronica to country. Events include a wide array of bands (such as Sea Crowns, Odawas, The Philosophy, The Send Program, Kaiton Slusher, Amtrak, Adam Kuhn, Jared Birden’s Rosebuds and The Innate) and a hands-on art installation. All proceeds go to benefit Big Car’s volunteer nonprofit art organization. Admission is $12 per person, $20 for a pair. Festivities start at 8:30 p.m. and run ’til they’re done.

The Jazz Kitchen features the always-reliable Cynthia Layne, whose New Year’s shows have sold out for the last few years now. Tickets: $25 per person, with 8 p.m. as the latest arrival time. Go to

Over at the Vogue, go for the red carpet treatment at their Hollywood New Year’s Eve party. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. Events include a cash balloon drop, prizes for those best dressed and fire twirlers. (Really, nothing improves a party quite like pyromania.) Check out for more information.

The Hyatt won’t be the only place hoppin’ downtown, either. The Slippery Noodle will feature the Tony Cheesebourough Band and the DeVilles; cost is likely to be $25, though some plans still hinge on the Colts game schedule. Check out as the new year approaches for up-to-date details.

A little bit north, at the Rathskeller, Sam King, the Flying Toasters and the Woomblies will provide entertainment starting at 6 p.m. Ticket price ($50 in advance, $55 day of event) includes hors d’oeuvres and midnight champagne. More details at

For a slightly more country-fried approach to ringing in 2007, check out Stables Nightclub (6125 Southeastern Ave.), featuring Bigg Country and Poplar Ridge, not to mention both dinner and breakfast for those sticking around long enough. Doors open at 6 p.m., $30 in advance, $35 at the door, for more info.

Also on the country front, 8 Seconds Saloon (111 N. Lynhurst Drive) presents WFMS DJ JD Cannon and performances by the Blue River Band starting at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $15 per person and go up for hotel rooms and the dinner buffet. More info is at They’ll also be holding a reunion of the Tremors hip-hop nightclub, complete with all-night rock and old-school rap DJ. For more info on that front, call 317-486-1569.

Or take the Emerald Isle approach, when Siochain performs at Fionn MacCool’s (8211 E. 116th St.), starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 each and include a bottle of wine. More info at

For a more house and techno-themed night, Therapy Nightclub & Lounge (605 E. Market St.) features an all-night slate of some of Indianapolis’ most well-known DJs, playing both solo and versus sets. Performers include Seth Nichols, Brandon Kaye, Adam Jay, DJ Shiva, Joe Tyra, Doba, Organix and Wesley Clay. Cover is $10. More info at

For the aesthetically-refined palate, Chateau Thomas Winery’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (6291 Cambridge Way, Plainfield) offers an evening of wine-tasting (starting at 6:30 p.m.), a four-course dinner and the music of Hook, Line & Sinker, capped off with a shuttle to and from the Hampton Inn and breakfast New Year’s day. Cost is $299 per couple, $249 single, reservations required. More details at

The Night Deposit Band performs at Drifty’s Sports Pub (2362 E. Stop 11 Road) starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Visit for more details.
The Tom Martin Band performs at Outside Inn (corner of Post Road and Pendleton Pike) at 9 p.m.

LemonWheel performs live at Thai One On (7508 Beechwood Center, Avon) starting at 9 p.m. $85 gets you dinner for two from the extensive Thai menu; $45 for a single person. More info at

More events will no doubt emerge as Dec. 31 draws closer, so keep an eye on the show schedules in the next few issues of NUVO for any late-breaking additions.

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