Triangle-Wide, Clubs & Concert Halls—From the trendy to the traditional, family-friendly to grown-ups-only, this New Year's Eve offers a remarkable variety of musical options, no matter where you spend it.
For those enraptured by big bass drops, the Triangle offers plenty of options to welcome 2013. Cry Wolf, or former hardcore vocalist Justin Phillips, headlines Southland Ballroom ($12–$15, 10 p.m.). Elsewhere, Berkeley Cafe's Looped NYE ($6–$10, 8 p.m.) volleys 14 dance acts between two rooms while Revolution Raleigh hosts a "circus-themed" dance party headlined by DJ Wobble Factory at Lincoln Theatre ($10–$15, 9 p.m.). Durham's Pinhook skews more hip-hop with the debut of its new monthly dance extravaganza, This Is Illegal ($7, 10 p.m.), featuring sets from several DJs and Toon and The Real Laww.
For a dressier affair, R&B sophisticates The Foreign Exchange teamed with The Art of Cool project to host New Year's Jazzin' Eve at The Cotton Room ($70–$300, 8 p.m.) with DJ Apple Juice Kid and The Al Strong Quintet. At Cat's Cradle, Orquesta GarDel leads an evening of salsa, including beginner lessons ($25–$30, 9 p.m.), while the Guillo Carias Latin Jazz Trio performs at the Brasa Steak House in Brier Creek.
The annual First Night Raleigh celebration invites an eclectic array of performers, including Americana middle-roaders Delta Rae, steel-drum fusion from Jonathan Scales Fourchestra and classic blues from Cool John Ferguson ($9, the day's events begin at 2 p.m.). In keeping with tradition, The Wusses headline Motorboat New Year's Eve, a soft-rocking revue at Motorco ($12–$18, 9 p.m.), while Mel Melton and The Wicked Mojos top the bill at Papa Mojo's Roadhouse ($20). Mark Holland opens that show at 9:30 p.m.
Lastly, rock fans can find cause for celebration with roots rockers Hank Sinatra and The Debonzo Brothers at Deep South ($7, 7 p.m.), garage surfers Blood Red River at The Cave with ex-Moaner Melissa Swingle (10 p.m.) or The Lollipops at Kings ($8–$10, 9:30 p.m.). This New Year's Eve also marks the end of an era for hard rock fans, who'll get bittersweet last hurrahs at Volume 11 Tavern and DIVEbar, which close Jan. 1. —Bryan C. Reed