Looking to drop-kick 2020 on its not-so-merry way?
The usual parties, concerts and dressy soirees aren’t going to be the norm, but venues and artists are still cooking up some pretty fantastic alternatives for your celebration needs.
• If you couldn’t snag tickets to Northbrook house artist Kaskade’s New Year’s Eve drive-in show (which is also in California, so that’s another complication), here’s the next best thing: He’s headlining the three-day Abracadabra New Years 2021 music extravaganza. Streaming live on Twitch Wednesday through Friday, the virtual festival features John Legend, Kaskade, Major Lazer, Aloe Blacc, Blond:ish, Jermaine Dupri, Secular Sabbath, Scarlett de la Torre, Stavorz, Tini Gessler, Thandi Draai and many other artists in a 50-plus-hour nonstop concert that includes giveaways, merch and more. The whole deal raises money for the National Independent Venue Association’s #saveourstages fund, so you can start the new year already a few karma points ahead. 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, through 10:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 1; streaming at twitch.tv/abracadabra, but RSVP at abrafest.com.
• The New Philharmonic treats fans to an at-home streaming performance of waltzes, arias, some classical and modern-day pop and movie soundtrack favorites under the direction of Maestro Kirk Muspratt. The concert premieres Thursday, Dec. 31, at 2 p.m., but ticket-buyers can watch it on demand any time through Jan. 3. 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31; $50 per household at atthemac.org.
• You may not be able to sit stageside at Bloomingdale’s Wolfden Brewing, but West suburban guitar-rocker Matthew Shukin — a regular on that stage — is bringing the show to you. Wolfden’s Snug Sessions virtual concert will ease you into your New Year’s Eve celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. streaming on Facebook Live. 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31; free at facebook.com/events/426577075142946/.
• City Winery presents folk-rock superstar Lucinda Williams as she sees if she has moves like Jagger in a full-band tribute streaming from her studio. The “It’s Only Rock and Roll: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones” episode of Williams’ “Lu’s Jukebox” series will feature tunes from throughout the Stones’ catalog, with her own special spin, along with something she’s whipped up to fit the show’s theme. A portion of the ticket sales from the event will benefit City Winery. 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31; $20 for the livestream, but merch bundles are also available at boxoffice.mandolin.com.
• International pop piano virtuoso Reuel takes to the keys for a New Year’s Eve performance of “Keys On Fire,” an exploration of his album releases along with his recent holiday song “First Snow (Prelude),” selections from the “Amelie” soundtrack and a cover of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” (Also, at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 25, fans can catch an encore stream of Reuel’s Dec. 24 holiday performance “First Snow.”) 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31 (with an encore at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 1); free on YouTube (Studios at Fischer), facebook.com/studiosfischer and facebook.com/reuelofficial.
• Ring in the new year with a late-night livestreaming performance by rapper Post Malone. RSVP now for a special presentation of the Bud Light Seltzer Sessions as Lilly Singh and Matt Steffanina host the broadcasts with Post Malone, house legend Steve Aoki, songwriter Saweetie, Latin pop’s Sebastian Yatra and singer/rapper Jack Harlow. The free session — which runs from 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, to 12:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1 — will also feature virtual meet-and-greets with Aoki, Saweetie, Yatra or Harlow and other live giveaways during the event, but guests must be registered at nye.budlight.com. 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31; free at nye.budlight.com.
• Take to your car and warm up your dance moves as Chicago Drive In and SeatGeek Stadium present Julian’s 2020 NYE House Party at the Drive In, a revival of the drive-in concerts that blossomed around Chicago this summer. Julian Jumpin’ Perez hosts the socially distanced evening with special guests Stevie B, Angel, Joe Smooth, Bad Boy Bill, Hula (for the Outhere Brothers), Frankie Hollywood Rodriguez, Tim Spinnin’ Schommer and more on the outdoor stage, leading up to an explosive fireworks display at midnight. Masks are required.
8 p.m. (gates at 7 p.m.) Thursday, Dec. 31, at SeatGeek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview; $175 (plus fees) for general admission per vehicle of up to four, $225 per vehicle for VIP, with passenger add-ons available at eventbrite.com.