From the simply intimate to the ludicrously grandiose, from the under-your-nose to the off-the-beaten-path, Montreal once again plays host to a huge array of partays this New Year’s Eve, any one of which just may be just the ticket to ringing in a new year that some sayers of sooth are predicting will be our last. Might as well do it up right this NYE…
Stereo Nightclub has been both listening and dancing gold – in large part due to its internationally renowned sound system with in-floor components – for Montreal clubgoers since its 1999 inception, and it’s embracing that idea as it heralds the coming of the New Year with its “In Gold We Trust” event, featuring D-Formation and ESP. Gold (jewellery, clothing, accessories, etc) is the theme of a night that promises “lots of surprises” and performances. There will be free champagne upon entry, and the first 100 tickets are only $50 when purchased online at the club’s website.
Live venue turned dance club (for New Year’s anyway) Sala Rossa has the goods, or rather The Goods, this December 31. The expansive, long-serving hip-hop/funk/soul/jazz/kitchen sink collective – founded in 2002 by DJs Scott C and Andy Williams – have, between the bunch of them, most of the accumulated Montreal party wisdom of the ages, and will put that experience to good sweaty-boogie use at Sala starting at 10pm. Elevating the vibe will be Moonstarr, The One Tash and DJ Kobal.
Perennially popular, low-key-cool St-Laurent hangout Blizzarts keeps it characteristically chill on the 31st with a party hosted by the omnipresent DL Jones and featuring DJs Jonnie Jungle and Hatchmatik. It’s only a tenner to get in, and they promise “champagne at midnight, no frills, good music and good times”. Easy like that.
Billed as “high school with a happy ending, and it’s queer, senior and couple-friendly too,” Mainline Theatre’s annual New Year’s Eve Slow Dance Party has become a fixture along Saint-Laurent in recent years. For a mere 10 wallflowers, participants can sway to all the slow-dance classics of their youth (whatever era of youth that might be). Individual dances with that person you may have had your eye on can even be reserved on the actual dance cards given out upon entry (and fast songs are played during intermissions so you can shake it off afterward). Dressing up is encouraged but not required, and the stairway to heaven is open as of 9pm.
Massive dance club Circus brings their usual “more is more” approach to their ambitious Odyssey 2012 New Year’s Eve event. Within the Circus complex, trance music will be featured in the Playroom House with DJs Leon Bolier, Jaytech, Heatbeat, Wezz Devall, Omar El Gamal and Hollow Earth. In Xroom it’s American progressive house DJ Tom Stephan, a.k.a. Superchumbo, Étienne Ozborne and Stéfane Lippé. DJ Highestpoint will be spinning techno in the Gallery space, and DJs Geo Bukk, Marc Remillard and Subtone will be warming up the Chill Room with dubstep selections. Pre-sale tix are $60 apiece, or $85 at the door.
It’s, according to them anyway, Montreal’s #1 DJ, Sandy Duperval, at the Sir Winston Churchill Pub – or simply Winnie’s, as the long-running Crescent Street mainstay is affectionately known to its habitués. DJ Duperval will be spinning house and her own mixes, and the $75 ticket (which can be purchased online or at the door) includes open bar from 9pm until 3am, and access to two floors (Winnie’s as well as Karina`s Club Lounge, featuring DJ Danny Boy). The kitchen will be open until 11pm.
Montreal’s foremost martini and live R&B/soul music bar, the Jello Martini Lounge, rings in the New Year with their Glitz and Glamour party, which asks (but doesn’t insist) that partygoers dress-up 1950s Hollywood-style. Prizes will be awarded to the glitziest gal and most glamorous guy. As well, there will be a champagne toast at midnight, treats and snacks throughout, “Jello” shots and much more. Live dance music will be supplied courtesy of Dessy Di Lauro and her orchestra starting at 11pm. Advance tickets are $30, or $45 at the door.
Want to have an affair? Why not make it a Black Tie Affair when Belvedere Vodka presents The Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Celebration 2012 at the endlessly classy, always timeless Time Supperclub. Admission during both supper and nightclub hours is $50 (which doesn’t cover the cost of the meal during dinner hours, which start at 7:30pm). Dinner reservations for must be confirmed by phone in advance at 514-392-9292.
They started partying like it was 1999 in, well, 1999, and since then Club Soda’s annual Fluid New Year’s party has only gotten bigger and badder. Your ticket – which ranges from $69 for a basic great time to $174.99 for the Platinum VIP Lounge with bottle service treatment – gets you 20-plus bartenders at nine different bars serving you drinks from 9 pm until 3 am. And best of all, your tips are included with the ticket price. Or maybe bestest of all, guest DJs from New York, Toronto and Montreal will be supplying the hip-hop, reggae and old-school anthems soundtrack to your unforgettable (depending on how hard you hit the open bar) New Year’s Eve.
The always-popular Brutopia brew pub downtown gets even more populist with a live music tribute to the tunes of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen courtesy of the rarely-playing tribute group Tommy Youngsteen & The Million Dollar Band, a tongue-in-cheek ensemble comprised by members and former members of some of Canada’s foremost indie-rock bands, including The Sam Roberts Band, The Stills, The Stars and The Arkells. It’s only ten bills at the door, and that gets you champagne at midnight and what we are assured are “some really awesome party favours.”
Since they weren’t going home on New Year’s Eve, the owners of the beautifully reconditioned Rialto Theatre decided to go big instead, enlisting the services of hometown rock hero Michel Pagliaro (famous for hits like Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy and Rainshowers) as well Beatles tribute band REPLAY The Beatles. “Growing up as a teenager I loved listening to Michel Pagliaro’s music because it reminded me of my favourite band, The Beatles,” says John Oriettas, who performs as Paul McCartney in REPLAY. “So now getting to perform on the same stage and share the bill with Pag is a huge thrill and honour for me and the boys.” DJ Harold will be supplying danceable music throughout a night that’s been dubbed “vintage sounds at a vintage venue”. Your $100 ticket also gets you canapés and champagne all night, and the first 300 tickets will be awarded reserved table seating.
One of the most inviting and iconic rooms in town for either food or music, or preferably both in combination, the Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill downtown will be putting some heat at the feet of New Year’s Eve with a performance by consecutive six-time winner of the Quebec Lys Blues Award for Best Female Artist, Dawn Tyler Watson. Expect lively sets of jazz and blues, along with a three-course meal from the club’s highly-touted kitchen, for your $134.95 ticket.
“The only way to spend New Year’s Eve is either quietly with friends or in a brothel. Otherwise when the evening ends and people pair off, someone is bound to be left in tears.” – W.H. Auden. Nothing like invoking a little poetry in the pursuit of happiness, and DJs Slutsky and Raf K do exactly that in the open invite to their New Year’s Eve party, “which has been an annual wing-ding at the Casa del Popolo for… five, six years now, I can’t remember,” says Slutsky. “Anyway, it’s $10 before midnight and $15 after, with a free glass of champagne-style beverage – from a real oversized bottle! – at midnight. Lots of fun, low-presh, good times.” And you can leave the Kleenex at home.
Brace yourself for the “Train Wreck” New Year’s Eve smash-up at Il Motore. Anticipate out of control indie-rock and indie-tronica all night with DJs Jay Watts, Noah Bick and Compton Chic. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door, and drink specials will help keep your good times from getting derailed. And, for some reason, a free glow stick.
And we’ve saved the biggest for last: the annual Resolution New Year’s dance party at the Bell Centre, this edition of which, please note, takes place on the evening of January 1 and not December 31 (presumably because the two-week run of Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion only has its last performance on the 30, which wouldn’t allow enough time for changeover between events). Resolution 12 boasts four headlining DJs – Axwell (of Swedish House Mafia), Avicii, Gareth Emery and Dash Berlin – all of whom are in the top 15 of DJ Mag’s 2011 Top 100 DJ list. Local support includes DJs Cesar “Bass” Romero, Franco Fabi and Steve Agostino. Remaining tickets are $110.00 and start time is 9 pm.
Guest blogger Jamie O’Meara is a Montreal editor and journalist who covers arts, culture and music. Formerly the editor in chief of Hour Magazine, he is now an editor at Roverarts.com.