Print December 14, 2021

New Year’s Eve 2021 Shows: BandWagon’s Top Picks

by Gabe Allen

Dance 2021 into oblivion with the best shows in

Greeley, Fort Collins, Denver and Boulder


Not too long ago, warm temperatures and plummeting infection rates brought an early-summer wave of optimism to the live music scene. With coronavirus cases rising again, those days are gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dance your face off this New Years Eve. Depending on where you live, you may need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to gain entrance to a venue, but the show must go on. So, get your booster shot or bedazzle your mask, but definitely pop that bubbly, and we’ll see you out on the dance floor.

Here are our top picks (by front range city) of musical celebrations to ring in 2022.

• Greeley •

The Burroughs at the Moxi Theater

Friday, December 31, Doors at 8 p.m., $25-$220

It’s impossible to sit still at a Burroughs concert. The 9-piece self-described “sweaty soul” band plays a manic blend of funk, psychedelic rock and blues that never fails to get the dance floor riled up. Frontman and former pastor, Johnny Burroughs, will trade vocals with hard-hitting drummer Mary Claxton (of Trash Cat) throughout the night. TBA special guests are on the ticket too. 

Runner up: The Yawpers play The Beatles “Live on the Lanes” at 2454 West – *Thursday, Dec 30!

NoCo’s favorite noise makers will pay tribute to the (arguably) greatest pop band of all time for an epic night of cosmic bowling.

• Fort Collins •

Double Trouble: The Lyric New Years Eve Party – The Lyric Cinema

Friday, December 31, 6 p.m., $25-$30, full vaccination or negative COVID test required.

Only at the Lyric would one event combine a costume party, fire dancers, ska and deep house. Performances will include DJ Jimeni, Two Scoops, Boulder-based ska band The Fists of the Proletariat and circus troupe Cirqular. According to the event’s cryptic promotional materials, you should “come dressed as a twin for the apocalypse.” If the world ends at midnight and you want to see how far the rabbit hole of human experience goes before you die, this is the show to attend.

Runner up: Head for the Hills with Woodbelly at the Aggie Theater – Friday, December 31

Fort Collins swing veterans will be joined by the Horsetooth Horns for a raucous night of swing dancing in true western tradition. 

• Boulder •

Crumb’s New Year’s Eve Boulder Bash with Ramakhandra Boulder Theater

Friday, December 31 Doors at 7 p.m., $35-$39.50, full vaccination required

If the Burroughs are the coffee of 2021 front range New Year’s shows, Crumb is the kava. The Boston-born psych band plays tightly-arranged introspective music that provides an excellent soundtrack for swaying in the wind, ruminating on existential questions or generally spacing out. Crumb’s Boulder Bash, including the super unique, harp-based psych soul band Ramakhandra is sure to be a disorienting musical odyssey for the adventurous concert goer.

Runner up: The Crystal Method with GODLAZER at Fox Theatre – Friday, Dec 31

This show might be just as trippy as Crumb, but the energy level will be cranked up past manic abandon. 

• Denver •

My Morning Jacket at Mission Ballroom

Dec 29 (w/ Neal Francis), Dec 30 (w/ Flock Of Dimes) and Dec 31 (with Shannon & The Clams Doors at 8 p.m., $90.50-$139.50, full vaccination required

When you say you’ve shared visions of the cosmos arm-in-arm with hundreds of people, you’re generally referring to one of two things. Either you’ve made a sacred pilgrimage to a holy site, or you’ve seen My Morning Jacket play “One Big Holiday” at the end of a set. The crusty psychedelic americana band fronted by Jim James has been around for more than two decades, but they are off to a fresh start after reuniting and releasing a self-titled album this year. $1 from each ticket will support Conscious Alliance, an organization that is committed to providing food to vulnerable populations across America.

Runner up: De La Soul at Cervantes’ Ballroom – Friday, December 31

We know, we know. It’s sacrilegious to put De La Soul down as a runner up for anything. The legendary emcees will hook up with Cervantes’ and KGNU for a celebration to keep you 3 feet high and rising.