Coldplay and Jay-Z
Barclays Center; 12/31 at 9 p.m.; 620 Atlantic Ave., nr. Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn; 917-618-6700
Remember their collaboration on “Lost+”? Prepare yourself for a full evening of bass-heavy genre-defiance. And if rap-rock superstar mash-ups aren’t your thing, Coldplay performs solo the night before.
Madison Square Garden; 12/28, 12/29, 12/30 at 7:30 p.m., 12/31 at 8 p.m.; 4 Penn Plaza at 34th St.; 212-465-6741
Phish’s mystifying status as a New Year’s standby in New York solidifies itself more with every passing year, as evidenced by this site devoted solely to a daily breakdown of the show’s afterparties.
The Disco Biscuits
The Theater at Madison Square Garden; 12/31 at 11 p.m.; 4 Penn Plaza, nr. 7th Ave
At the arena’s smaller sibling, jam band the Disco Biscuits will offer their brand of “livetronica” for those who love the synth sound but believe a turntable does not a musician make. Tickets: $69
Nas with Elle Varner
Radio City Music Hall; 12/31 at 9 p.m.; 1260 6th Ave. at 60th St.; 212-247-4777
The rap legend teams up with multifaceted Varner, whose classic soulful sound will likely mesh well with the eighties and nineties samples on Nas’s Life Is Good. If you’re torn between this and Jay-Z’s show with Coldplay, just think back to whom you supported during their 2005 feud.
The Felice Brothers
Mercury Lounge; 12/31 door at 8:30 p.m.; 217 East Houston St., nr. Essex St.; 212-260-4700
The brothers will be promoting their new folk-rock release God Bless You, Amigo, but “Whiskey in My Whiskey” from their self-titled 2008 album may be more appropriate for the holiday at hand. Yellowbirds and Mail the Horse will also perform.
The Bad Plus
Village Vanguard; 12/31 at 9:30 p.m.; 178 7th Avenue South, nr. 212-255-4037
This eclectic jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) is famous for their unexpected covers, from My Funny Valentine to Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” If you can’t make it New Year’s Eve, they’re also playing two shows a day during the first week in January.
They Might Be Giants
Music Hall of Williamsburg; 12/31 doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m.; 66 North 6th St, nr. Kent Ave., Brooklyn; 718-486-5400
The two Johns are now on their fifteenth album of zany alternative rock, and their nasal voices and wry lyrics make us nostalgic for Malcolm in the Middle. The show is sold out, so get creative.
Brooklyn Bowl; 12/31 doors at 8 p.m., show at 10 p.m.; 61 Wythe Ave., nr. N. 11th St., Brooklyn; 718-963-3369
The Brooklyn-based duo is staying close to home for the New Year, and their peppy synth-pop songs are perfect for dancing into 2013. General-admission tickets are sold out, but VIP packages are still available (email email@example.com for pricing).
New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
Cathedral of St John the Divine; 12/31 at 7 p.m.; 1047 Amsterdam Ave., nr. 112th St.
For a serene and meditative year’s end, the Cathedral’s annual orchestral concert, which was started by Leonard Bernstein in 1984, features a candle-lit rendition of Mozart’s Coronation Mass and musical guest Judy Collins.
Dada Land Compound; 12/31 at 8 p.m.; 15 Rewe St., nr. Ivy Hill Rd., Brooklyn
“Never bring your brain to a rave” is the first Rule of Dada. The manic electro house duo has commandeered their very own warehouse in East Williamsburg for New Year’s Eve and christened it Dada Land Compound. Their penchant for Champagne seems especially appropriate for the occasion.
Beacon Theater; 12/30 at 8 p.m., 12/31 at 9 p.m.; 2124 Broadway at 74th St.; 212-465-6500
Originally a side project of the Allman Brothers Band, this dyamic Southern rock group fuses elements of funk and blues. Gov’t Mule shows are famous for including unannounced guest performers, but Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds are definite openers.
Gramercy Theatre; 12/31 at 8:30 p.m.; 127 East 23rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-614-6932
The composer of Mad Men’s haunting theme song brings his jazz-infused electronic hip-hop to the Gramercy Theatre. At $35 a ticket, it’s the most budget-friendly show on our list.
Moby at the Wander by Unicorn Meat NYC
Undisclosed location; 12/31 at 9 p.m.
If the phrase, “Brooklyn warehouse location TBA” doesn’t send you running for the hills, Moby’s D.J. set at the Wander is a sure thing for high-energy dancing until well into the first morning of January. As Moby himself says, “I would stand in line for this.”
Tickets: $75, $125
New York Philharmonic Celebrates Marvin Hamlisch
Avery Fisher Hall; 12/31 at 7:30 p.m.; 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 66th St.; 212-721-6500
EGOTer Marvin Hamlisch, who wrote A Chorus Line and scored everything from The Way We Were to The Informant!, passed away in August of this year. The talent-studded tribute will feature a cast of performers who worked closely with the composer, from Josh Groban to Kelli O’Hara and Raul Esparza.
Jacked New Year’s Eve with Afrojack
Pier 94; 12/31 at 8 p.m.; 711 12th Ave., at 54th St.; 800-677-6278
Fist-pump your way into 2013 with the Netherlands’ most brotastic D.J. Other electro and progressive house sets by R3hab, Shermanology, Quintino, and Bobby Burns make for a full night of pounding bass.
Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra Play Purple Rain
Terminal 5; 12/31 doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m., 610 West 56th St., nr. 11th Ave.; 212-582-6600
Deemed “The Social Media Queen of Rock n’ Roll” by the Huffington Post, Palmer has an award-winning Twitter and married Neil Gaiman in a flash mob. She’ll perform Prince’s iconic album in its entirety, and then follow up with some original songs.
Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 day of event
Irving Plaza; 12/31 at 8 p.m.; 17 Irving Place nr. 15th St.; 212-777-6800
The trio’s complex psychedelic rock will make you appropriately reflective on the last day of the year. Beach Fossils and Gap Dream are openers.
Electronic Dance Music Extravaganza with Armin Van Buuren
Pier 36; 12/31 at 8 p.m.; 299 South St., nr. Montgomery St.
If you can survive a four-hour set by Dutch trance D.J. Van Buuren without your brain melting, you’ll survive anything the new year may bring. Ticket price includes a three-hour open bar.
Mike Stern Band
The Iridium; 12/31 door at 9 p.m., show at 10:30 p.m.; 1650 Broadway, nr. 51st St.; 212-582-2121
The jazz guitarist formerly of Blood, Sweat, and Tears (as well as one of Miles Davis’s ensembles) performs at a venue so close to Times Square you’ll be mailed a special pass to go beyond the barricades and into the chaos. A four-course dinner is included in the ticket price.