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Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 03:43 am

New Year’s Eve reinstated


Daddy$ Money at Celtic Mist Pub on New Year’s Eve.

Remember not so long ago in Now Playing land we discussed the rise of Thanksgiving Eve as the biggest party night connected to a holiday on the calendar? I’m not sure how you feel about that, but if you are at all saddened by this turn of events and would like to see things changed, now is the time to rise to the occasion and do your part in returning New Year’s Eve to its rightful spot as the most popular party night of the year. Call me a conservative traditionalist but I feel we should do our best to place our old festive friend from time immemorial back on top of the celebration heap where it belongs.

Here are a few ideas for you to put our plan into motion, but feel free to go anywhere you please. Just please, get out and kiss somebody at midnight, dance until your feet are sore, drink in moderation during your celebration and of course, listen to some live music somewhere.

First Night must get our attention as our first choice for Springfield fun on the last night of the year. What a gift of a get-together this event really is and how easily do we take it for granted. One of the best ways I’ve found to remind myself of the magnitude and magnificence of this presentation is to ask friends in other cities about their First Night celebrations. Since there are not that many around these days, I always get to revel in the satisfaction of knowing just how good we got it. With a list of performers as long as Lincoln’s legacy, the best way to do this is to purchase your button and just go, resting assured that the entertainment provided is stellar and generally homegrown too. Remember that First Night is a booze-free zone, fine for families and all that, plus if you do want to hit the bars later, time is on your side this evening.

In a wonderful design for living conceived by our city leaders many years ago, nightclubs have the option of staying open until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. This allows for many things, most of which we’d rather not discuss, but scheduling your evening to stretch out the entertainment is the main benefit I’m getting at here. Long held as the best night for live music for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, before the advent of electricity and DJs, the last night of the year still comes off as a terrific night for seeing bands and hearing music played by musicians.

How about experiencing the great Frieda Lee and her trio at Remy’s for a jazz extravaganza of spectacular proportions? Then we have Daddy’$ Money at Celtic Mist Pub, Butch Ramelow at the Blue Grouch, Bill Cobb and Easy Street at the Eagles Club on Ash Street, Ragged Jack at the Riverton Eagles Club, Ala Mode and the Greenview at Chilli Bear’s in Greenview, the Session at Norb Andy’s, White Lightnin’ at Final Four, and Ransom at Boar’s Nest in Athens, just to name a very few of the many music shows happening. Thanks to your efforts we just may have installed New Year’s Eve back into the number one party night of the year.

And lucky us, with this all going on on a Thursday, we still have the whole regular weekend of Friday and Saturday night shows to ring in the new year and get your New Year’s resolution of seeing more live music in 2010 off to a good start. Well why not? Sounds like you’ve enjoyed seeing music played, why not see more?

Here’s wishing everyone out there a wonderful new year full of good times, good cheer and good music.  

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com

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