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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016 12:30 am

New Year’s news

Here Come the Mummies join Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters at Boondocks to celebrate New Year’s Eve on Saturday, Dec. 31.


There’s something about the New Year beginning as the old fades away that requires some introspection and retrospection, along with an inspection of the process of getting from here to there. At least for most folks, this seems to be a time to take stock and make plans for new projects, be they resolutions, revolutions, restitutions or something that doesn’t start with and “r” and end with a “tions.”

That includes mentioning that we lost some bars as venues, gained a few (notably Norb Andy’s and 411), and can say the scene is rolling along at a pretty good clip. Bands come and go, and F5, The Shunpikers and Hipbone Sam all wrap up good, lengthy and successful runs with final shows in the last month of 2016. I’m not sure where the band members will resurface, but I am sure they will. It’s hard to keep a musician away from music for very long. Believe me, I’ve tried.

A good look at our Pub Crawl shows a healthy diversity of working bands and artists spread out among a good variety of venues at various times of the day, as well as days of the week. It could always be better or worse, but overall, I’d say there’s plenty to do most of the time, and plenty more that could be done and likely will, as the future rolls into the present and slips into the past.

Leading up to New Year’s Eve, we have the opposite of last weekend, as everyone seems to be enjoying the idea of NYE on a Saturday night with a week of mid-holiday party time available. Friday looks like a winner, with Dan Potthast of MU330 hitting up Bar None for a big night as the out-of-town entertainment leader. Frank Trompeter leads a group in the stomping grounds of Norb Andy’s, and the spirits there will surely smile in remembrance of the many times Frank graced the friendly confines in the past. The Blue Grouch features the long shining Suns of Circumstance while Kapital Sound rings in the New Year at the Curve Inn.

On the big night before New Year’s Day, First Night Springfield, one of the longest-running First Night events in the country, makes downtown come alive with more than 40 performances taking place on 10 stages. Hosted by the Springfield Area Arts Council and sponsored by many local businesses, Dec. 31, 2016, marks the celebration of 2017 and also three decades of the non-alcoholic, family-friendly, hours-long happening. You can see a full schedule of times, venues and artists at The traditional First Night fireworks display begins at 8 p.m. at Fourth and Capitol, with a special showing promised to celebrate our 30 years of First Nights in Springfield.

Back at the bars, everybody is having something, but The Barrelhead is hosting an original music extravaganza with Sammy and the Punk, Chris Sorenson Project, Stereo Static, Synzu and Blind Social all getting it going on the big night. Boondocks gives us an incredible lineup of perennial “Best of Springfield” winners Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters joining one of the strangest and coolest live acts around, Here Come the Mummies. For other shows out of orbit, check out Purple Stardust floating into Craft Beer Bar with a Bowie/Prince mix, while Jimmy Riemer and Joel Honey get to singing songs out at Danenberger Family Vineyards near New Berlin.

Jacksonville chimes in on New Year’s Day proper with a downtown, all-day party, usually with free food and music at bars with no cover. That sounds like a hullabaloo.

Other than that, not much is going on. Ha ha, and a Happy New Year!

Contact Tom Irwin at

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