New Year’s Eve listings are updated as frequently as new events can be confirmed–see our Web site at for new information. Call ahead to verify special admission packages and availability.

–Laura Kopen

Rock, Pop, Etc.


Cheap Trick

Star Plaza Theatre

I-65 and U.S. 30, Merrillville, Indiana, 773-734-7266 or 312-559-1212

Concert starts at 10 PM; tickets are $40.

Common Ground

Park West

322 W. Armitage, 773-883-9596

Chicago Sport and Social Club party runs from 8 PM until 2 AM. The ticket price is $80 before December 20 and $95 thereafter, and includes an open bar, dinner buffet, appetizers, and a champagne toast.

Dark Star Orchestra

The Vic

3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212

18-and-over show starts at 9 PM. General admission tickets are $30.

Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie

Old Town School of Folk Music

4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000

The show starts at 7:30 PM featuring zydeco and R&B from Louisiana. Tickets are $125 ($100 for Old Town School members) and include dinner, dance lessons, drinks, party favors, and a champagne toast.

First Night Evanston

locations throughout Evanston, 847-289-4248

Music at 22 indoor sites in Evanston from 6 PM through midnight. Over 60 entertainment acts for children and adults, culminating with the Rhythm Revolution Drummers and aerial experts the Midnight Circus at midnight. Purchase of a button gains admittance to all venues throughout the night; buttons cost $8 before December 14 and $10 thereafter (kids under five admitted free). See Special Events listings or their Web site at for more information.

The Dick Judson Orchestra

Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier

600 E. Grand, 312-595-5441 or 312-595-5446

Dinner dance hosted by Phil Stefani Restaurants features a buffet dinner, champagne toast, and dancing to big band music in the glass-enclosed Crystal Gardens. It’s from 8 PM to 1:30 AM and costs $150, which includes tax, tip, and parking.

Tony Ocean

Mar Lac Banquets

104 S. Marion, Oak Park, 708-848-4636

The singer (and subject of a Reader cover story) performs with his band from 7 PM to 1:30 AM, with a DJ filling out the evening. Tickets are $85 and include hors d’oeuvres, wine, a dinner package with an open bar, party favors, and champagne at midnight, plus a continental breakfast and sweet table.

Rock, Pop, Etc.


Bar Louie

47 W. Polk, 312-347-0000

DJs spin from 9 PM until 2 AM. Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door for an open bar and buffet, a champagne bar, and party favors. There will also be a balloon drop at midnight.

Cubby Bear

1059 W. Addison, 773-327-1662 or 312-559-1212

Domestic Problems performs with Umphrey’s McGee at 10 PM. Tickets are $40.

Elbo Room

2871 N. Lincoln, 773-549-5549

Open bar from 8 PM until close, with music by Chubby Nothin’ & the Bone. $75 ticket price includes party favors and a champagne toast.

Empty Bottle

1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600

Music starts at at 10 PM with Calexico, Giant Sand, and special guests. Tickets are $20 and get you margaritas, champagne, and a 40-ounce malt liquor toast. Advance tickets are available through Ticketweb or the club’s Web site at


6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn, 708-788-2118

Zydeco music at 10 PM with C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band. Doors open at 8 PM for a cajun dinner (jambalaya, cochon du lait, and salad) provided by Tom Cimms catering. Tickets are $80 in advance, $100 the day of the show; price includes party favors, champagne and open bar, and coat check. See for more.

Gunther Murphy’s

1638 W. Belmont, 773-472-5139

Celtic rock band Anish plays after 9 PM (doors open at 8). $15 cover includes a midnight champagne toast.

Hog Head McDunna’s

1505 W. Fullerton, 773-929-0944

“Roaring 20s Party” features music from the 70s, 80s, and 90s along with a 30-pound roast pig, smoked salmon, and oysters on the half shell.

House of Blues

329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000 or 312-559-1212

The lineup on the main stage includes Third Eye Blind, Nina Gordon, and the Jayhawks. Doors open at 7:30 PM, the show starts at 9, and tickets are $150. On the Back Porch Stage, G. Love & Special Sauce headline at 10; tickets are $100, which includes an open bar.


940 W. Weed, 312-337-3486

Mike & Joe perform on a bill with the Nadas at 10 PM. $125 cover includes an open bar, buffet, champagne, and party favors.

Lakeview Links

3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505

Music from 9 PM to 2 AM with Then Again. The cover is $65 in advance, $60 at the door (cash only), and includes domestic bottled beer, well drinks, food, and free pool all night.

Mad Bar

1640 N. Damen, 773-227-2277

French house band Playin’ 4 the City performs with support from DJ Frique. The club is open from 9 PM until 2 AM, and the $100 ticket price includes an open bar, hors d’oeuvres from Zoom Catering, and a champagne toast at midnight. Valet parking will be provided.


3855 N. Lincoln, 773-404-9494 or 312-559-1212

Doors open at 9 PM and Eddie Dixon Grapeshot performs at 10, followed by Ulele at 11:30. DJ Will B Eye spins dub, drum ‘n’ bass, dancehall, and old school funk throughout the night. Tickets are $50, which includes an open bar and buffet and champagne at midnight. See for more.


3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212

Flaming Lips and Hum play at 10 PM (doors open at 9).

The Note

1565 N. Milwaukee, 312-726-4849

Open 8 PM to 4 AM with music by Bumpus, the Ghettobillies, and DJ Tankboy. $65 ticket price includes an open bar and a champagne toast.


4836 N. Clark, 773-243-0200

This Fresh Tracks Music showcase opens at 9 PM with Underwater People, followed by Swinging Lovehammers at 10:15 and Hello Dave at 11:30. Tickets are $70.


3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508

Music starts at 10 PM with an opening band followed by Michael McDermott. Tickets are $25 in advance through the club’s Web site at or $35 the day of the show. Cover includes a champagne toast at midnight.


Irish American Heritage Center

4626 N. Knox, 773-282-7035

Mass convenes in the auditorium at 7 PM; entertainment follows on two floors. Upstairs in the Social Center dinner will be served at 8:30 accompanied by traditional Irish music with Johnny Gleeson, Ted Healy, and Bart McMahon; admission is $45 and includes an open bar, dancing, and a champagne toast. Downstairs in the Fifth Province Pub, Celtic rock band Central Sun plays after 7; cover is $15 and includes hors d’oeuvres, party favors, and a champagne toast.

Blues, Gospel, R&B

Blue Chicago

736 N. Clark, 312-642-6261

Big Time Sarah & the BTS Express play at 9 PM. $20 cover charge includes a champagne toast and party favors, as well as admission to Blue Chicago at 536 N. Clark (see separate listing).

Blue Chicago

536 N. Clark, 312-661-0100

Willie Kent & the Gents play with Patricia Scott at 9 PM. $20 cover charge includes a champagne toast and party favors, as well as admission to Blue Chicago at 736 N. Clark (see separate listing).

Buddy Guy’s Legends

754 S. Wabash, 312-427-1190 or 312-559-1212

Doors open at 5 PM; champagne fountains start flowing after 9. Music provided by Lonnie Brooks and Jimmy Burns; show starts at 9:30. Tickets are $40.

Kingston Mines

2548 N. Halsted, 773-472-2031 or 630-548-9660

Eddy “the Chief” Clearwater performs on the main stage; the north stage will be occupied by Laretha Weathersby and Charlie Love & the Silky Smooth Blues Band. Admission is $50 and includes a “goodie bag” of souvenirs, a balloon drop, and music and dancing until 4 AM.


2513 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2422

Music at 9:30 PM with Jumpin’ Willy Cobbs.


1516 N. Milwaukee, 773-252-1155

Big Sweaty Men play after 10 PM.

Rosa’s Lounge

3420 W. Armitage, 773-342-0452

Melvin Taylor & the Slack Band play from 10 PM to 2 AM. Admission (to be announced on the club’s Web site, includes food, a champagne toast, and party favors.



11 E. Hubbard, 312-642-6805

Dinner concert starts at 7:30 PM, with music by Sam Burckhardt’s Swing Band.

Green Mill

4802 N. Broadway, 773-878-5552

Doors open at 8 PM and the music starts at 9 with Barry Winograd’s Alternative 7 featuring tenor saxophonist Edward Petersen. Prepaid reserved seating is $80 a pop and comes with White Castle slyders, party favors, an open bar, and a champagne toast at midnight. The party ends at 12:30, but the club stays open until 4 AM, charging latecomers a mere $2. The after-hours jam session is hosted by saxophonist Barry Winograd.

Fairmont Hotel

200 N. Columbus, 312-565-6665

Art deco jazz club the Metropole Room features the Spider Saloff Trio from 9 PM to 1 AM. Cover is $50 per person. Or, choose a five-course dinner at Entre Nous with music from Don Bennett. Reservations go for $85 a head.

Pops for Champagne

2934 N. Sheffield, 773-472-1000

Music at 9 PM with the Von Freeman Quartet.

Pops Highwood

214 Green Bay, Highwood, 847-266-1313

Music at 9 PM with Rankinfyle (on the bar side of the club) and dancing with the Judy Roberts Quartet (on the nonsmoking jazz club side). Admission is $25 and $35, respectively. Reservations accepted for the Judy Roberts Quartet only.


Fairmont Hotel

200 N. Columbus, 312-565-6665

Four-course Italian dinner in Primavera restaurant featuring the Primavera Singers. $60 per person.

Orchestra Hall

Chicago Symphony Center

220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3000 or 800-223-7114

Sylvia McNair and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Alan Miller present a program to be announced. After the concert, bands play in four different Symphony Center locations throughout the evening. Ticket prices range from $60 to $310, all of which include an open bar, dessert buffet, and champagne intermission.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Bachtell.