The Best New Year’s Eve Performances Ever


Hands up if you’ve ever wished you were somewhere else on New Year’s Eve.

Yep, that’s a lot of hands. What is it about this one stupid night that induces such an overwhelming sense of fomo in all of us? Who honestly cares where you are when the clock strikes midnight on December 31? Well, heaps of us. But I’m here to tell you that the reason for your distress is misguided. You shouldn’t be worrying that you’re missing out on a better party, because the best parties happened at least 15 years ago. Some of you may not have even been born when Kurt Cobain took the stage in ’93 and counted in the new year with some of the luckiest humans on the planet. Anyway, I digress. Point is, the best is behind all of us. No NYE will ever be as good as the shows listed below, and that’s just the way it is.

Nirvana, December 31, 1993, Oakland

Ouch. This one really hurts. It has a counting Kurt, balloons, and an epic Grohl solo. Nirvana rang in 1994 to a sold out Alameda County Coliseum Arena, three months after releasing In Utero. Another three months on from this performance, Cobain was found dead. The things one might give to have been in that room that night.

White Stripes, December 31, 2003, Chicago

2003 was the year of Elephant, the White Stripes fourth album. On it was a little song called “Seven Nation Army”. You might have heard of it. But have you heard it played seconds after a New Year’s Eve countdown, to a backdrop of red and white balloons and a mosh pit that could rival RATM’s? You’re about to. Also, P.S, just going to ignore the whole Wayne Coyne situation. He wasn’t a self-kicking dead horse back then.

Bruce Springsteen – December 31, 1980, Nassau Coliseum

Whoever was at Springsteen’s famous four-hour, 38-song gig that started on December 31, 1980, and ended hours later in 1981, I salute you. You have lived a life much richer than most of us could ever dream of. This concert was actually so historical that it was released 35 years later as a live album, Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980. Live out your fantasies of having The Boss count you down at around the 1:20 mark.

Beastie Boys, December 31, 1987, New York

If you want to kiss goodbye to the next few hours of your life, YouTube all the MTV New Year’s Eve Specials from the 80’s and 90’s. How come everything was so much realer then? Honestly, society seemed lawless. This performance, at MTV’s 1986 New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n Roll Bash, is looser than an old pair of elastic waisted sweats. Though the Beastie Boys didn’t ring in the New Year on stage, they fought for their right to party and won.

Darude –  December 31, 2016  Finland

Okay, wait, hold the laughter, I’m being totally serious. This one only happened last year, so where the hell were you? I’ve never seen a party like this in my life. Look at those fireworks, and that mass of jovial bobbing heads. Look how much fun they are sharing together. Enough to bring tears to the eyes.

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