Patch can't think of a better way to kick off 2012 than with an invigorating night of live music. Don't worry if you don't have a honey to lock lips with at midnight—all you need are your dancing shoes, and you are well on your way to starting off the fresh new year full of possibilities and positive resolutions on the right foot. Below are some of the concerts happening in Santa Cruz County on New Year's Eve this year. It's a tough choice, but it seems like there's something for everyone.
1. will put on one last show for the year, this time a fundraiser to help them keep the lights on. Several artists will be performing, including folk rock diva Nancy Cassidy and multi-instrumentalist Dayan Kai, as well as performances by Steve Uccello, and Michael Gaither. Read more about this concert The show starts at 7 pm. The Corralitos Cultural Center is at 29 Hames Rd, Watsonville.
2. Jalisco Restaurant in Watsonville hosts two Mexican bands: The Titanes and Banda Lobo. The music starts at 10 p.m., but get there early if you want to eat dinner too. Party favors, drink specials, and quality musica mexicana guaranteed. $20 cover charge. Jaliscos Restaurant is at 618 Main Street in Watsonville.
3. Cilantros is the place to go if you're looking to get down on the dance floor. DJ Danny C of KDON will start the music at 9:30 p.m. and the dancing won't stop until 2012. Expect party favors and drink specials. There will be a cover charge, although the amount has not yet been announced. Cilantros is at 1934 Main Street in Watsonville.
The Catalyst in Santa Cruz will be riled up with some homespun bluegrass bands, with The Devil Makes Three headlining and Brothers Comatose opening. Doors open at 7:30, music starts at 8:30. Tickets are $35/adv and $40/door.
5. Eliquate and Gina Rene will also be playing at the Catalyst's Atrium, and there is no cover for this show! The Catalyst is at 1011 Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.
6. The Crepe Place hosts another Santa Cruz-born band, Harry and the Hitmen for this year's New Years Eve Extravaganza. Harry and the Hitmen deliver psychedelic Motown grooves guaranteed to get you boogying down in the intimate front room of The Crepe Place. Tickets are $15/adv and $20/door. The Crepe Place is at 1134 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz.
7. The Rio Theatre celebrates the New Year with Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, who will play new songs from their new album, The Sun Sessions, as well as plenty of classics. Tickets are $27.50/$37.50 in advance, and $32.50/$42.50 on the day of. The Rio Theatre is at 1205 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz.
8. Have little ones who love music too? The 418 Project is hosting an all ages dance party with four uplifting and family-friendly musical acts sure to raise your spirits. Featuring headliner Love Eternal, a six-piece Roots Reggae and Acoustic Rock band, the Mystic Truebudoors who play World and New Age Fusion, plus singer-songwriters Ashley Love and Marya Stark. Admission is $7. The party starts at 8 p.m. and jams out until 1 a.m. on New Years Day. The 418 Project is at 418 Front St., Santa Cruz. Find more info at: www.LoveEternal.org
9. The intimate dance floor at Santa Cruz's favorite little blues club, Moe's Alley, will be boiling over with the energetic drumming of SambaDa. SambaDa is a local afro-brazilian group complete with a hefty percussion section, horns, and a whole lot of dancing. Tickets are $20/adv and $25/door. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the music starts at 9 p.m. Moe’s Alley is at 1535 Commercial Way in midtown Santa Cruz.
10. The DB Walker Band will play at Paradise Beach Grille in Capitola Village this New Year's Eve— a great choice if you're looking for some gourmet grub and a full bar to go with your music craving. The band will begin at 9 p.m. Paradise Beach Grille is at 215 Esplanade in Capitola.
11. Don Quixotes in Felton hosts a New Year's Celebration featuring the Sun Kings, playing a tribute to the Beatles. There will be complimentary champagne at midnight and party favors. Dinner specials include crab enchilada verde with sour cream, rice, and beans, but come early while there's still some left! Tickets are $35/adv and $40/door. Show starts at 9 p.m. Don Quixotes is at 6275 Highway 9 in Felton.
Know of another show we've missed? Share the details in the comments!