Bayou City

10 Surefire Shows In Houston This New Year's Eve

This year New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday, which means amateur night will either be more comical than usual or not that big a deal, really. America’s fourth-largest city is not hurting for live-music options, and lacking a marquee event like last year’s Suffers blowout or city-sponsored B-52’s/Tontons bash (unless you count Rockets/Knicks at Toyota Center), the field is wide open. If these ten shows aren’t your particular glass of champagne, though, our Concert Calendar should have plenty of other options.

House of Blues (December 30 & 31)
Not every Texas country act is capable of burning down the stage with mature songs about adult relationships, which goes a long way toward explaining why the Josh Abbott Band is playing two nights at HOB this weekend instead of one. Already longtime fan favorites in the scene, Abbott’s Lubbock-spawned outfit really outdid themselves on 2015’s Front Row Seat, a difficult, unsparing five-act account of a musician’s divorce from all points of view and all points on the timeline that, independent of the narrative, includes at least two classic JAB singles in “Wasn’t That Drunk” and “Amnesia.”

Continental Club
With any luck, the Allen Oldies Band’s catalog — scores of offbeat, somewhat obscure good-time pop, rock, and soul hits of yesteryear — will still be fresh in their minds from their blowout 20th-anniversary gig last month. Since they’ll be going on at 9:30 p.m. instead of that six-hour marathon, the only real issue that may arise here is what to leave out.

Dosey Doe Big Barn
If you can believe it, Ray Benson’s finishing school for Texas’ finest country and Western Swing musicians will celebrate its 47th year in 2017. The Wheel is about to roll back into the wagon yard for a brief rest as unflappable leader Benson and his honky-tonk pal Dale Watson head out on tour to promote their brand-new album, Write Your Own Songs, so if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them (or you never have), Dosey Doe is a fine place indeed to catch up.

The Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club
A certain type of person wants little more out of a night of live music than a bunch of fiery guitar solos in the Hendrix/SRV mold, over a driving rhythm section that keeps both the dance floor and bar lines packed. Many of those people live around here, and for them, Houston native Alan Haynes and his band of veterans at the Big Easy on New Year’s Eve fit that bill to a T.

One of the city’s most omnivorous musical minds is an ideal guide to a New Year’s experience promising “a mix of festive and upbeat global grooves,” with an appetizer menu to match the multicultural sounds. At the controls is the longtime co-host of KPFT’s Soular Grooves and the artist behind Qingxi, Sun’s acclaimed account of his recent journey to his ancestral homeland of China. You’re safe in his hands; tickets at this link.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray