The Four C Notes help usher out 2021 with two performances at the Marriott Lincolnshire Grand Ballroom for New Year's Eve. // Courtesy of Marriott Lincolnshire

New Year’s concerts: Say ‘so long’ to 2021 with some musical accompaniment

As we celebrate this weekend’s holidays, the new year lies in wait just around the corner. If you don’t already have your plans set, here are some of the big shows in suburban and Chicago venues you can check out as you sip your champagne and toast good health in the year to come.

Note: Things are shifting rapidly with the onset of the omicron COVID variant, so keep an eye on updates and vaccine/mask requirements from the venues.

Update: Hey Nonny’s New Year’s Eve concert and the Lucky Boys Confusion/Hot Alice/The Struggs/Long Gone show at Nellie’s were canceled after press time. Check with the venue or your ticket seller for refunds. Nellie’s announced Tuesday that Wedding Banned would take over the New Year’s Eve show; read on for more information and updates.

New Philharmonic

The New Philharmonic — the McAninch Arts Center’s orchestra in-residence — presents a festive mix of waltzes, arias, light classical, pops and a few fun treats during three performances on the College of DuPage campus. The MAC is also augmenting the three live concerts with a streaming option, which can be viewed live at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, and on demand between 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1, and 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at The McAninch Arts Center, on the College of DuPage campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $67-$77 for live performances; the streaming option is $67. (630) 942-4000 or

The Four C Notes

The Four C Notes faithfully re-create the performances of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (including favorites like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Workin’ My Way Back to You, (Babe)” and many more) for two shows in the Marriott Lincolnshire’s Grand Ballroom on New Year’s Eve. 6 and 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. $60. (847) 634-0200 or

The BoDeans

The chart-topping alt-rock band The BoDeans brings its 30-some-years of hits (including “Good Things,” “Only Love” and the song that made them a national name “Closer to Free”) to the Des Plaines Theatre to ring in the new year with a high-energy performance. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines. $59. (630) 962-7000 or

American English

As we leap into the new year, travel back in time musically with Beatles tribute band American English. The award-winning foursome will take guests on a journey through The Beatles’ catalog, from their poppy origins to the psychedelic faves of their later years. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $37-$50; $25.90-$35 for members. (815) 356-9212 or

Poi Dog Pondering

With close to 40 years of history, the eclectic blend of orchestral, rock and electronic musicians known as Poi Dog Pondering has had a far-reaching influence on the Chicago scene they’ve been a part of since the early ’90s. Catch the expansive band (14 or so rotating members) on the dance floor at SPACE in Evanston with party favors and a champagne toast to ring in the new year. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at Evanston SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston. $85 plus fees. (847) 492-8860 or

The String Cheese Incident

7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. $56.75-$150.50.

Piano Man

Chicago’s Piano Man Band takes to the keys to ring in the new year with the best of Billy Joel and Elton John as a highlight of the Arcada Theatre’s “Good Bye ’21, Hello ’22” NYE Party and Dance. With favors, a champagne toast and an open dance floor, you can dance your way into 2022. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $49.

‘Reflection’ at Metro

“Reflection NYE ’21” presents a full-building event with shows at both Chicago’s Metro and smartbar downstairs, featuring a New Year’s Eve lineup that’ll have fans celebrating into the wee hours of New Year’s Day. Guest hosts Shea Couleé, Valentine Addams and Sheeza Woman present Queen!, a DJ set from Hot Chip, plus music to dance to from DJ Heather, Michael Serafini and Garrett David. Downstairs, smartbar hosts a lineup of resident DJs including Ariel Zetina, Harry Cross, Jeff Derringer, Justin Aulis Long, Phillip Stone, Shaun J. Wright and Sevron. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at Metro and smartbar, both at 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago. $40 in advance, $50 the day of, $55 at the door and $25 for guests entering after 2 a.m.

7th heaven

Two of the Chicago area’s most popular tribute party bands are joining forces for a New Year’s Eve party at The Piazza in Aurora. Spend the evening with 7th heaven and special guest Serendipity while enjoying an open bar from 10 p.m. to midnight and a champagne toast and pizza buffet. Dinner package upgrades are also available for this 21+ event. 9 p.m. (doors open at 6) Friday, Dec. 31, at The Piazza, 85 Executive Drive, Aurora. $100 for single general admission pass; $500-$750 plus fees for four-seat tables; dinner upgrades available. (630) 978-2088 or

Mackey’s NYE

Earthmother and McHenry’s Miles Over Mountains take over Mackey’s Hideout for a high-energy jam session and progressive bluegrass to bring in 2022 with some good vibes. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at Mackey’s Hideout, 2601 S. River Road, McHenry. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. (815) 363-7040 or

The North 41

Martyrs’ hosts Chicago funk-rock favorites The North 41 as they ring in the new year with a little soul. Pop artist Jacob Sigman and hard-rocking Revolt Coda join the party. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. $30 at

Lydia Loveless plays two shows at FitzGerald’s next weekend as she celebrates 2021 on New Year’s Eve and eases into 2022 on New Year’s Day. // Courtesy of Cowtown Chad

Lydia Loveless

Country crooner Lydia Loveless brings all her folksy charm (with a side of punk-rock attitude) to FitzGerald’s for a New Year’s Eve set on the nightclub main stage. Chicago songwriter Andrew Sa tags along, bringing his campy country set to warm up the party. Loveless returns for an encore performance with Todd May and Jay Gasper the next evening, so you can enjoy her again once you’ve recovered from the festivities. 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 31, at FitzGerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. $49. (708) 788-2118 or Her encore performance starts at 8:30 Saturday, Jan. 1, for $20.

Joanna Connor

Head into 2022 with Chicago’s Queen of the Blues Joanna Connor as she shreds on guitar and belts out favorites at The Venue in Aurora. The musical trailblazer will play her faves as guests treat themselves to bites from the Gillerson’s Grubbery Food Truck and enjoy a champagne toast. 10 p.m. (doors open at 8) Friday, Dec. 31, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $20 in advance for general admission, $22 for premium seating; admission increases by $5 at the door. (331) 212-8490 or

Modern Day Romeos

10 p.m. (doors open at 9) Friday, Dec. 31, at Impact Fuel Room, 481 Peterson Road, Libertyville. For ages 21 and older. Tickets start at $15 with VIP and main floor tickets $125 in advance, $5 more the day of the event.

Wedding Banned

Hey Nonny’s New Year’s Eve party was canceled after press time last week, but the show’s headliner Wedding Banned is stepping right down the street to play Nellie’s in Palatine. Revel in some ’80s faves and a champagne toast as you ring in the new year. 10:30 p.m. (doors at 9:30) Friday, Dec. 31, at Nellie’s, 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. $10 for general admission. (847) 358-9150 or

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