Here's my selected guide to some of the hippest "Auld Lang Syne" events taking place Saturday. (See our Gusto listings for more.)
Have fun, be safe and let's make sure 2012 rocks!
Nietzsche's (248 Allen St.) has the coolest bill for the jam-band lover on New Year's Eve, with a "gathering" featuring Aqueous, the Albrights, Andrew J. Reimer's Country Punk Extravaganza, Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Megan Calahan, at 8 p.m. and carrying on until early next year. Noisemakers are optional, but open ears, hearts and minds are a must.
While in Allentown, head across the street to Duke's Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.), for the club's NYE shindig, which will feature a host of our hottest DJs, MCs and electronic music savants, plus complimentary hors d'oeuvres, a champagne fountain and a midnight toast. It starts at 9 p.m., and will feature sets from Drop D, Anubus, Charlie the Butcher & Shuteyes, Arehouse, Bearskinrug, Beta and Medison.
Over at Merge (439 Delaware Ave.), Dotsun Moon will conjure a cozy, chilled-out, lounge groove with several sets of "new songs and loved ones," interspersed with offerings from DJ Sam Plur -- playing the likes of Pet Shop Boys, M83, Zola Jesus and Depeche Mode -- at 9 p.m. It's free.
It is by this point a well-established tradition to spend New Year's Eve with the always warm and welcoming Lance Diamond and his band. After a hiatus, the man is returning to the Elmwood Lounge (522 Elmwood Ave.) for the Lance Diamond Show New Year's Eve Party, beginning at 11 p.m.
If you're heading north, or you're already in Niagara Falls, then the annual Hard Rock Cafe New Year's Eve Guitar Drop is a must-do. This year, the Wailers will break out the reggae and invoke the spirit of Bob Marley, following an opening set from More Than Me, beginning at 8 p.m. The outdoor show, held on Old Falls Street, adjacent to the Hard Rock Cafe, is a free all-ages event, and will be followed by the yearly "Guitar Drop," during which a 10-foot illuminated Gibson guitar will fall more than 120 feet at the stroke of midnight.
Feel like braving the border? Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ont., overlooking the falls, is presenting a killer lineup of bands, in addition to fireworks. The free show starts at 7:30 p.m. and will feature sets from Simple Plan, Our Lady Peace, the Sheepdogs, Keshia Chante and Stephanie McIlroy. Learn more through niagaraparks.com.
Speaking of Canada, the Lowest of The Low will celebrate New Year's Eve in what singer Ron Hawkins has referred to as his "adopted hometown" of Buffalo, at the Town Ballroom (681 Main St.). The Low will perform immediately following the Sabres game, which will be broadcast on the big screen in the front-of-house bar and lounge. Doors for the 21-and-over gig will open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $42 (box office, Tickets.com).