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16 Of Our Favorite Events In Chicago This NYE Week

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 28, 2015 3:16PM

Diarrhea Planet plays 2 shows at Lincoln Hall this week, including a NYE set. Photo by Wrenne Evans

This week we say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016. There are so many ways to ring in the new year on Thursday, plus plenty of events to keep you busy the rest of the week.


CAT-BINGO: Ham-Bingo turns Cat-Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s on Monday as they raise money for Harmony House for Cats. A $15 donation gets you one set of bingo cards good for ten games. 8 to 10 p.m. Adults only.

CHILTON'S BIRTHDAY BASH: Celebrate Alex Chilton’s birthday at the Empty Bottle with their 11th annual bash. See local bands and artists cover songs from the prolific songwriter over his career in The Box Tops, Big Star and his solo work. 9 p.m. Free.


STORYSLAM: Hear tales of joy at The Moth Chicago StorySlam at Mayne Stage on Tuesday. Guests can prepare a five-minute story about an experience that brought them utter delight, or a time they were able to provide it for someone else. Stories begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 or $16.

TALENT SHOW: It’s well known that the staff at the Hideout has many talents beyond slinging drinks, and on Tuesday at 8 p.m., they’ll show off at the Hideout Staff Talent Show. In fact, many of our favorite artists, like Neko Case, have worked at the venue at some point during their career. $5.

STAND UP COMEDY: Comedian Ron Funches comes to Zanies for stand up sets at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. He’s known for his role as Shelly on NBC's Undateable and is a regular on Comedy Central’s Kroll Show. Tickets are $30.


TWO NIGHTS OF AWESOME ROCK BANDS: We’ve long raved about the virtues of the multiple guitar driven party machine that is Diarrhea Planet, and have gone so far to pose the question asking if they’re the best live band on the planet right now. (The answer is probably yes.) So we would be recommending their Wednesday and Thursday shows at Lincoln Hall based on their explosive live performances alone. Throw in labelmates Jeff the Brotherhood—who released two excellent albums this year, one of which (Global Chakra Rhythms) showed the band making a huge leap forward in their psychedelic heavy pop sound—and these are can’t miss shows. Tickets are $25 Wednesday, $35 Thursday, or $50 for a two-show pass.


Chi-Town Rising Facebook

We’ve already told you about some of our favorite shows ringing in the new year, including Reaction, Local H at Cubby Bear, Ministry at Concord, The Promise Ring at Metro, and even Lil Jon at Studio Paris. Here we’ve got a few more choice events to help you bring in 2016 with a bang.

CHI-TOWN RISING: The city’s first ever Riverwalk celebration Chi-Town Rising kicks off at 7 p.m. Hosted by Mario Lopez, performers will include Chicago, American Authors, The O’My’s, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound and many more before the star rises on a new year at midnight. Tickets start at $119. Yeah, kinda pricy for an event that appeared to be free at the outset.

CERISE ROOFTOP: Just a block away from the riverfront celebration is the Timeless NYE party at the Virgin Hotel. Sasha Grey, Britt Daniel (Spoon) and Bob Mould are among the celebrity DJ’s on the Cerise rooftop bar. Tickets are $200 and include an all-inclusive experience with premium cocktails and the chef’s culinary creations. 8 p.m.

HARD ROCK HOTEL: The Hard Rock Hotel party includes three events in one with a pre-party at Sound Bar on Wednesday and post-party at Hard Rock Cafe. This official Chicago Playboy NYE party includes live DJs, a performance from cover band No Alternative and a Masquerade-themed Lounge hosted by Playboy Playmates Beth Williams and Carly Lauren. 9 p.m. Tickets start at $135.

JOHN HANCOCK 360 CHICAGO: Ring in the new year at the top of the city with 360 Chicago, the 94th floor observatory in the John Hancock Center. Their NYE event beginning at 8 p.m. includes a live DJ, champagne toast, rides on TILT and the best views of the city’s fireworks display. Tickets are $35.

NAVY PIER VIP: Want a front row seat for fireworks in Chicago but don’t wanna shell out exorbitant Chi-Town Rising prices? Head to DMK Burger Bar and Fish Bar at Navy Pier. They’re offering $60 tickets for an evening of unmatched views of the skyline and midnight fireworks along with eats and drinks. 9 p.m.

NEO-FUTARIUM: Spend the “Neo-Year” with the Neofuturists for their Too Much Light New Year’s Eve Party & Performance. Their long-running improv show includes a pre-show reception beginning at 9:30 p.m. with Poems While You Wait and catering from Acre and Metropolitan Brewery. Performance begins at 11 p.m. Tickets are $50.

DOUBLE DOOR: It’s a multi-level party starring the one and only Har Mar Superstar at Double Door. Other bands playing include White Mystery and Absolutely Not along with a litany of DJs and performances hosted by Lucy Stoole downstairs at Door No. 3. Tickets start at $22.

DEBONAIR: Two floors means two parties at Debonair. Goth & New Wave fans can get down with the NEO party downstairs while Resident DJ Ryan Paradise spins party dance, new house and EDM on the main floor. Tickets start at $50 and include a buffet and drinks. 10 p.m.


BRUNCH (IF YOU CAN HANDLE IT): What’s better than someone else doing the cooking after a night of drinking? The Florentine has options whether you’re hungover or feeling healthy. Get the Hurts So Good Burger or Fried Chicken and Waffles if you overdid it the night before, or opt for the Baby Kale Smoothie if you’re up and at em and ready for the gym. Check out the whole menu on their website.

DIPLO: Not ready for the party to end? Head out to Studio Paris for a set from musician/DJ/producer Diplo at 9 p.m. Tickets start at $75, but you can get a WinterLIFT pass that gets you access to Studio Paris shows all winter long for $100.