New Year's in Denver: Things to do that (we sincerely hope) won't suck

Categories: Lists

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We posted this last week, but just in case you were on vacation and missed it, we thought it might be handy to post it again, because, well, tomorrow's New Year's Eve and all, you know? And you might still be in need some ideas on how to ring in the New Year. So have at it, friend! For good measure, we refreshed the post with a new pic of Sound Tribe Sector 9, because, evidently, the one we were using was, like, four year's old and stuff, and we added a link to the various Q&As we did with Leftover Salmon's Vince Herman and archived Q&As with the members of STS9. Oh, and Happy New Year!

Another year is heading out the door, and this guide is packed with options for sending it off in style. For free New Year's Eve fun, you can't beat downtown Denver's annual fireworks display, a bang-up show choreographed to music and offered at both a family-friendly 9 p.m. and again at midnight; RTD will offer free bus and light-rail service to the festivities as well! But there's much, much more to do in Denver and surrounding communities on December 31. We've packaged up entertainment opportunities for some of this city's more ubiquitous types -- hippies, hipsters and outdoors lovers. Find more New Year's events at westword.com/calendar.

A HIPPIE NEW YEAR'S EVE
It's been a great year for hippies in Denver: Phish played several shows at Red Rocks, the medical marijuana industry exploded -- and on New Year's Eve, you can choose from an array of jam-infested options. Among them:

Hot Buttered Rum

Organic newgrass Bay Area jam band Hot Buttered Rum has had a hot, buttered year with the release of its new album, Limbs Akimbo. The act is building up to its New Year's Eve performance at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street, with shows on December 29 (with the Nershi-Law Duo and the Gristle Gals) and December 30 (with WhiteWater Ramble). On the 31st, Hot Buttered Rum will be joined by the Motet. Tickets are $15 to $50, but a pass to all three shows is a mere $65. Call 303-297-1772 or visit www.cervantesmasterpiece.com.

Leftover Salmon

This band has a long and noble Colorado history, having formed when the Left Hand String Band and the Salmon Heads merged into one. That hallowed event allegedly took place on New Year's Eve 1989; for its twenty-year anniversary, the band is returning to its roots and playing two shows at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street. Admission to the December 30 concert is $44.50; the New Year's Eve gig is $56. For more information, visit www.bouldertheater.com or call 303-786-7030. And if you haven't already, be sure to read our Q&A with Leftover's Vince Herman.

Sound Tribe Sector 9

Last year's big jam-band news was Widespread Panic; this year, it's STS9, the five-piece instrumental group hailing from Northern California via Atlanta that sold out Red Rocks earlier this summer. Appropriately, Sector 9 refers to the current era on the Mayan calendar, and the band will bring us all one step closer to whatever the hell is supposed to happen in 2012 on December 30 and 31 when it plays the Wells Fargo Theater in the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street. Tickets to the show on the 30th are $32.50 to $35; New Year's Eve tix will run you $65 to $70. To buy yours, go to www.denverconvention.com. And be sure to check out our Q&As with the various members of STS9.

Yonder Mountain String Band

Another band with close Colorado connections (it formed in Nederland in 1998), Yonder Mountain String Band will play the Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson Street, on New Year's Eve, making that venue the place for hippies to be on the 31st. But the act will also be at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder, on December 29, and at the Fillmore on December 30 for a show with the Wood Brothers, the Travelin' McCourys and Darol Anger; on New Year's Eve, Yonder Mountain will be joined by the Lee Boys and Darol Anger. Considering that single-day tickets start at $56 to $61, multi-day passes are a steal at $86.50 to $117.50; buy them at www.livenation.com.


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