By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
You’ve been there, done that. The party hats and noisemakers. The exorbitant dinner seatings. The champagne hoopla as the old year counts down to midnight. It’s like a year’s-end Groundhog Day.
But here are three intriguing New Year’s Eve revelries that break the mold with a musical flourish. And though you still may hear Auld Lang Syne, it’s a good bet it won’t sound the same.
HOT TUNA ELECTRIC: A New Year’s Eve Psychedelic Party
Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale
Hot Tuna, the blues-rock branch of the Jefferson Airplane tribe, has chosen the just-renovated Parker Playhouse for the climax of its 50th anniversary tour.
Since reuniting after a seven-year hiatus in 1986, guitarist-vocalist Jorma Kaukonen, 78, and bassist Jack Casady, 75, have been at it seemingly non-stop, performing as a duo or in various other incarnations with an array of accompanists. Most notable among them was Marty Balin, also of the Airplane and its offshoot Jefferson Starship; and the late Papa John Creach, whose relatively venerable appearance and searing electric violin distinguished the group in its early days and made him something of a minor star.
A scroll through Hot Tuna’s Spotify discography reveals an astonishing testament to the duo’s mettle as road warriors: 140 — 140! — album-length recordings of live concerts, all but a handful of them performed since the turn of the century. Honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2016 Grammys, Kaukonen and Casady are equally accomplished in either acoustic or electrified manifestations. The latter will take the stage with drummer Justin Guip as a power trio for the Fort Lauderdale blast to the past and beyond.
Tickets are $57.50 – $117.50. For tickets and more info, visit parkerplayhouse.com
NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH JONAS BROTHERS
Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Fontainebleau Miami Beach
There may only be 31.5 miles between the Parker Playhouse and the Fontainebleau, but come Dec. 31 that distance will convert to musical light years. While the Fort Lauderdale venue goes ’60s psychedelic for its big Eve celebration, the grand hotel presents a decidedly 2019 Beach-style bash with pop blockbusters the Jonas Brothers headlining an all-ages fanfest on its oceanfront pool deck.
Reuniting after almost a decade, the trio’s reunion this year made them a grown-up boy-band phenomenon — and one that’s shown South Florida a whole lot of love. The Fontainebleau appearance will be the bros’ fourth here since they kicked off their 2019 Happiness Begins Tour in Miami in August.
Packages range from $299 for one general-admission ticket to $50,000 for a stage-front cabana for up to 25 guests. Fifty grand a bit too much? Book a table for just one-tenth the cost. Including premium open bar until midnight, these packages are exclusively for guests 21 and older.
For the younger crowd, there’s an all-ages Family Experience package, for which the resort turns its La Côte oceanfront bistro and its lawn into an extension of the poolside party. Starting at $349 per person, this package includes a buffet dinner and, for those 21 and older, premium open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight. With a better view, the VIP Family Experience package includes reserved seating on the bistro’s upper level, starting at $500 each.
Prices are scheduled to increase closer to the big night. For ticket packages and more info, visit fontainebleau.com/nye
ASHES n WISHES
Dec. 31, noon, to Jan. 1, noon, at an undisclosed location in North Miami Beach
In the immortal words of Monty Python: And now for something completely different. And the difference goes a lot deeper than just the mysterious whereabouts of this 24-hour New Year’s Eve Party-a-Thon. (The site is disclosed after you reserve your ticket.)
While there will be 12 deejays, karaoke and an as-yet-unannounced full slate of live musical performers, the tunes are only part of what makes this a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve celebration. I think it best we let the organizers explain:
“ASHES n WISHES is all about reflection and projection … This event is created for the SOUL purpose of filling a gap and providing YOU with a different choice to party your arse off in a very unique oasis-like garden. This event incorporates a lot of creativity, high-tech visuals, combined with fun games, workshops, activities, as well as a packed entertainment schedule and music line-up….”
At the center of a highly interactive agenda is an Effigy that symbolizes the ASHES n WISHES concept, with 12 fire pits for burning away written-down hang-ups, vices and bad habits from the old year, and the lighting of 12 candles to represent wishes, goals and commitments for the new year.
The all-inclusive and catered event’s offerings include: a barbecue, dinner, breakfast, drinks and cocktails; two large tents that alternate as workshop studios and hang-out lounges; yoga and other workshops; art installations and community mural painting; water sports; acrobats, theatrical acts and stilt walkers; professional percussionists; tattoo artists; massage therapists; performance artists; body and face painting; poi and fire performers; and shuttle service.
As if it wasn’t offbeat enough, there’s the dress code: “Funky Creative Costumes are recommended (EXPRESS YOURSELF)!!!”
Tickets are $200. For tickets (only 500 will be sold) and more info, visit ashesandwishesnye.com
PHOTO: New Year’s Eve with the Jonas Brothers, Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Fontainebleau Miami Beach