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Monday, December 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 34.0° F  Fog/Mist
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Your guide to New Year's Eve 2013-14 parties in Madison
End-of-year cheer with music, dancing and good spirits
For more photos, click gallery, above.
Credit:Jeff Dobbs

With the end of 2013 come New Year's Eve parties for toasting the triumphs of the past 12 months. There are also plenty of opportunities to drown your troubles in cocktails, trample them on the dance floor or tune them out during a super-loud guitar jam. Here are 40 fun ways to toss out the year's baggage, ranging from reflective acoustic performances to glitzy parties with champagne and club bangers. See for additional events.


Plan B's New Year's Eve Celebration
Plan B, 8 pm
The LGBT club encourages visitors to don attire worthy of the gods and goddesses for a celebration of drink and dance featuring DJ Amos Smith. A buffet will appear around 1 am, and specials at the bar will keep everyone in a hedonistic mood.

Solid Gold New Year's Eve
Five Nightclub, 6 pm
Expect to see at least a few fabulous getups from the disco era when the LGBT-friendly club kicks off an evening of retro fun with line dancing at 6 pm. Tim Walters will DJ throughout the event, during which attendees can glimpse gorgeous go-go boys and drag queens such as Cee-Cee La Rouge and Symphony Alexander-Love. Welcome 2014 with a champagne toast at midnight, then quash the year's first hunger pangs with a buffet that rolls out at 1 am.

Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
Kiss 2013 goodbye and kiss a stranger hello at this over-the-top shindig where DJs Nick Nice and Mike Carlson present dance hits from a century of music history, in chronological order. The celebration begins with the early jazz of the 1900s to 1920s at 8 pm, with '60s girl groups making an appearance around 9:30 pm. Tunes by contemporary stars like Lady Gaga and Deadmau5 take over at 1 am.

Club Tavern's New Year's Eve Bash
Club Tavern, Middleton, 8:30 pm
Shake your moneymaker all night at this celebration featuring a music and lights show by DJ Clint. Other perks include drink specials, door prizes and a 5 am breakfast buffet. You can even say your ride home was a moose, as Moose, the tavern's head honcho, will offer free transportation for tipsy patrons.

Cardinal Bar's New Year's Eve Party
Cardinal Bar, 9 pm
DJs Chamo, Radish and Wangzoom challenge guests to dance from 9 pm to 6 am with Latin-inspired music and more.

Resolution NYE 2013
Inferno, 9 pm
Exorcise 2013's demons with house and techno beats from three notable Chicago DJs: Robert Armani and Mark and Karl Almaria. Joshua Manion, X the Owl and Aubrey Lee will give dancers a glimpse of Milwaukee's evolving club-music scene.

Natt Spil New Year's Eve
Natt Spil, 10 pm
Begin 2014 in style by seeing what DJs Tolerance and Zukas bring to the cool downtown hangout.

Segredo's Farewell to 2013
Segredo, 10 pm
The Great Gatsby is the theme of this party featuring a balloon drop, confetti and a 5 am breakfast. Dirty Disco Kidz and DJs Billy the Kid, Mad Major Melvin, Ryet and Mr. Jones will inspire dance-floor moves that would make a flapper blush.

The Kissers, DJ AudioMaxx
Great Dane-Hilldale, 9 pm
Tracks from DJ AudioMaxx and live Celtic rock by the Kissers will help the crowd get jiggy.

Merchant's Late-Night New Year's Party
Merchant, 11 pm
Around 11 pm, after the kitchen is done serving dinner, DJs Wes3 and Phil Money hit the decks for a party that goes until sunrise. The accessory of choice will be a handcrafted cocktail from the bar.


Cowgirls and Gangsters
Brink Lounge, 9 pm
Usher in the new year with Aaron Williams & the Hoodoo's gritty, gutsy blues and the Beth Kille Band's country-flavored rock.

JJO Acoustic New Year's Eve
Marriott-West, Middleton, 7 pm
Doors open at 7 pm for this dinner concert, followed by a 9 pm concert of heavy rock by California's Smile Empty Soul, supported by post-grunge act Tantric and alt-rock band Acidic. A lot of the fun will be spontaneous, but tickets must be purchased in advance.

Frequency New Year's Eve Blowout
Frequency, 9 pm
You'll find plenty of testosterone and fist-pumping at this hard-rocking celebration featuring Whisky Pig, Pussy Vulturez, Bereft, Underground Day 1 and the Moguls.

Pooley's New Year's Eve Party
Pooleys, 9 pm
The east-side sports bar features free party favors and an appetizer buffet. Don't be surprised if some glasses get raised before midnight: Super Tuesday start playing their intoxicating blend of dance pop and country rock around 9 pm.

Hody Bar & Grill, Middleton, 9:30 pm
Steep in some '60s and '70s rock from this band of La Follette High School alums.

A Mickey's New Year's Eve
Mickey's Tavern, 10 pm
Fire Retarded and Cribshitter may have inflammatory names, but their rock is explosive in the best possible way. Venus in Furs should draw a crowd with their super-fun fusion of surf-rock and disco.


Nine Thirty Standard
Main Street Pour House, Stoughton, 9 pm
Party with Aretha and Adele as powerhouse vocalist Amy Anderson belts her way through covers of their material, as well as some original songs.

Valerie B. & the Boyz
Knuckle Down Saloon, 9 pm
Though this band tend to play R&B, their frontwoman's gospel and soul roots shine through her meaty vocals, giving the songs an inspirational quality.

Little Margie's Soul Band
Tempest Oyster Bar, 10 pm
A soul act fronted by skillful local jazz singer Alison Margaret, this band tugs at heartstrings with music by Booker T.


Liliana's New Year's Eve Party
Liliana's Restaurant, Fitchburg, 5:30 pm
The restaurant will provide a five-course meal, plus free champagne and noisemakers, and the Rand Moore Quartet will serve up fresh jazz all night long. Reservations are required.

Johnny Widdicombe, Virgil Grenia & Denny Williams
Avenue Bar, 6 pm
To wrap up a year of fish fries, the bar treats visitors to sizzling jazz featuring a bass, trumpet and accordion.

Louisianne's New Year's Eve
Louisianne's, Etc., Middleton, 7:30 pm
Johnny Chimes, Al Falaschi and LaCouir Yancey explore Big Easy jazz traditions as the restaurant bids adieu to 2013.

Fountain of Funk
The Fountain, 9 pm
This act performs groovy jazz tunes fueled by a Hammond organ. They pair wonderfully with an old-school cocktail from the bar.

The Rotation
Gray's Tied House, Verona, 9 pm
With a mixture of ska, funk and reggae, this local act knows how to make the dead of winter feel like summertime.

Cash Box Kings
Crystal Corner Bar, 9:30 pm
Achieve catharsis by soaking up this local group's emotion-laden Chicago blues.

The People Brothers Band
Harmony Bar, 9:45 pm
This eight-piece plays R&B, soul and funk with juicy bass lines and lots of heart.


High Noon Saloon, 5:30 pm
Grab the mic at this karaoke event with live accompaniment by the Gomers. Song choices include "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, which can be performed in styles such as reggae and polka.

Dueling Pianos: Josh Dupont vs. Chris Lange
Ivory Room, 8 pm
Two show-stopping pianists face off with tunes chosen by the audience. Song selections often take side-splitting detours into the catalogs of acts like Bon Jovi and Beastie Boys.

Ladies of the '80s, Rock It Science
Ho-Chunk Gaming, 8 pm
This free show has nearly four hours of music from the decade that spawned MTV. Ladies of the '80s honor more than 30 female icons, including Madonna and Dolly Parton. Rock It Science cover tunes by the Bangles, Journey and more.

High Noon Saloon New Year's Eve Party
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
In addition to unearthing tunes from decades past, this evening of tribute acts gives local musicians a chance to portray Guns n' Roses heartthrobs like Axl Rose and the bearded badasses of ZZ Top. Other highlights include a Stone Temple Pilots tribute known as Dead & Bloated and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs tribute Yes Yes Yesses. DJ Lovecraft and the Disc Jockey will spin records when the bands aren't playing.

East Side Club, 9 pm
This quartet entertain the crowd with '70s and '80s fare, including dramatic ditties by Queen.

Cherry Pie
Badger Bowl, 9:15 pm
Cherry Pie take hair-band appreciation to hair-raising heights with classics like Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."


U.S. Bank Eve
Keva Sports Center-Middleton (4-8 pm); Prairie Athletic Club, Olbrich Botanical Gardens (5-8 pm); U.S. Bank Plaza, Monona Terrace (6-10 pm).
Most New Year's Eve parties are for guests age 21 and older, but people younger than that want to celebrate, too. This event is geared toward people way younger — namely, kids, who can usher in 2014 with activities and entertainment at five locations. Props to their parental escorts for not leaving the young'uns at home with a babysitter.

Lou & Peter Berryman
Goodman Community Center, 8 pm
Seeking a booze-free bash? Watch this local folk duo play a humorous, Wisconsin-centric concert to raise money for the community center's programs. Extras include refreshments and door prizes, plus an 11 pm bedtime if you hit the hay right after the show ends.

March of Dimes Benefit with the Gratest Story Ever Told
The Wise, 9 pm
To raise money for charity, a Grateful Dead cover act pay homage to the iconic band's six-hour New Year's Eve show at San Francisco's Winterland Arena.

Young Professionals New Year's Eve
Hilton-Monona Terrace, 9 pm
This party and networking event is also a fundraiser for the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund. The festivities go until 2 am, and DJ Aaron Jai provides tunes throughout the night.

WORT Benefit with the Mustache
Alchemy Cafe, 10 pm
A funk band that list James Brown and Tom Selleck among their influences, the Mustache play from 11 pm to 3 am, pausing at midnight for a complimentary champagne toast.


Claddagh New Year's Eve Bash
Claddagh Irish Pub, Middleton, 5 pm
This celebration starts with traditional Irish music by Kilkenny at 5 pm and continues with selections from DJ Suzie at 8 pm. Ring in 2014 in both Ireland and the U.S. with a complimentary Guinness toast at 6 pm and a champagne toast at midnight.

Come Back In and Essen Haus New Year's Eve Celebration
Come Back In and Essen Haus, 6 pm
Two bars join forces for a six-hour marathon of merrymaking that includes old-world dishes such as schnitzel and sauerkraut. Live at Nine perform at Come Back In around 9 pm as the David Austin Band launch a polka party at Essen Haus. For an extra helping of German culture, toast 2014 with a boot of Deutschland beer.

African Association of Madison New Year's Eve Gala
Sheraton Madison Hotel, 7 pm
This event celebrates people who've made the community stronger in 2013. Dinner begins at 7 pm, and an awards presentation follows. The rest of the night will be devoted to music and dancing, with a champagne toast at midnight.

Red Zone's New Year's Eve Party
Red Zone, 7 pm
A free champagne toast should make the crowd cheer when the clock strikes midnight at the Regent Street sports bar. If that's not enough, there will also be live music by WheelHouse, Falcon and Michael Alexander & Big Whiskey.

Lazy Oaf New Year's Eve Bash
Lazy Oaf Lounge, 8 pm
Local cover band Saturday Morning Cartel perform hits from more than 50 years of pop-music history, including lots of Beatles classics. Be sure to have a cab company's number handy: The bubbly starts flowing at midnight, and the bar has an all-you-can-drink special until 2 am.

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