The fourth annual Hard Rock Cafe New Year's Eve Guitar Drop and fireworks display has become the go-to event for families interested in engaging in a New Year's party that blends a community aspect with great tunes. The family friendly event will be headlined this year by '90s alternative rock stalwarts Everclear, with guests Eve 6 and Buffalo's own alt-pop outfit the Albrights.

Art Alexakis, the founder, leader and sole remaining original member of Everclear, should serve as an inspiration to anyone who's dabbled with the dark side in their personal life. Alexakis had a troubled youth, was raised in poverty and found himself shuffled from guardian to guardian, in the process, developing a serious drug habit. Despite the odds, Alexakis persevered, aided, no doubt, by the fiery power-pop infused rock he was able to summon with Everclear, whose 1995 album "Sparkle & Fade" is widely held to be a classic of its era.

The free outdoor concert starts at 8 p.m. Monday on Old Falls Street adjacent to the Hard Rock (333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls). Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available in the heated 103.3 FM the Edge party tent. Inside the Hard Rock will be music by eXit! from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call 282-0007 for indoor reservations.

Jeff Miers