Expect saxophonist Duncan McNeill and his band Raise the Vibe to lay down a funky blues and jazz soundtrack to your New Year's evening at the Common Table, where all are welcome. The gracious folks at the pay-as-you-can restaurant are hosting two separate countdowns: one for the kiddos at 9pm and another right before midnight. Dig the music and a cocktail (or five) or call ahead with a reservation and enjoy a four-course meal that includes wine pairings and a glass of bubbly ($60). 6pm, Common Table, 150 NW Oregon Ave.
New Year's Eve Bash at the Summit
Larry and His Flask (and Friends)
Look, if you're really looking to get weird, this high-energy bluegrass-meets-punk show is where you'll want to be. These dudes play every gig like it's their first and last, pouring every last ounce of sweat into their music so that you, the fans, will have no choice but to dance and have a good ole time. We're also curious to see if they can break their crowd-surfing-for-beers record. At Players a couple weeks ago they made it from stage to bar and back again in 43 seconds, with two tall cans in hand. Awesome. Also on the bill are Americana standouts Tom Vanderenvond, WillyTeaTaylor, and some other secret guests. Hell, this a non-brainer at $8 ($12 at the door). Bring cash, 'cause they ain't accepting no plastic at this show. 8pm, Old Stone Church, 157 Northwest Franklin Ave. Advance tickets at Bendticket.com.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School Bash: Mosley Wotta, Eric Tollefson Band
If you find yourself in Bend on a big holiday on which people like to party, you'd be well-served to head to McMenamins Old St. Francis School where there is always something going on for basically any special occasion. For NYE, they've got two rooms of music going, one occupied by the dance-your-ass-off hip-hop funk sounds of Mosley Wotta ($10, in the theater) and the other featuring the rocking sounds of the Eric Tollefson Band, who are playing for free in the Father Luke's Room. 9pm (both shows), McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond St.
Murder on the Menu
There are plenty of concerts and parties on the slate here, but if you're looking to get fancy and creative to bring in the New Year, check out Murder on the Menu, a live interactive dinner theater presentation from Buckboard Murder Mystery. The dinner is at the Deschutes Mountain room (extra bonus for beer fans and those who like to overlook the town). In addition to the much-raved-about dinner show, you'll also enjoy dinner, a champagne toast and dancing to take you right up to midnight. $70/person. 6:30pm-1am, Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room, 901 SW Simpson Ave. Call 541-312-6946 for tickets or visit buckboardmysteries.com.
Empty Space Orchestra, Your Birthday, Oh Sugoi
Bend's own band of sonic masterminds, Empty Space Orchestra, have had a hell of a time with their month-long residency at the Silver Moon, but like all awesome things, this, too, must come to an end. The band's last installment of the residency doubles as a massive New Year's Eve party complete with two opening bands and beer aplenty. First, there's Oh Sugoi, the side project of ESO drummer Lindsey Elias and guitarist Shane Thomas, and then you'll be treated to the danceable sounds of new local act (but comprised of several familiar faces), Your Birthday. Then, as the clock sneaks closer and closer to midnight, expect ESO to get loud and crazy (by which we mean crazier than normal) with a set that should accurately set the tone for a hell of a 2012. If there is a soundtrack to the apocalypse those nutbags are telling us is coming next year, ESO will surely be part of it. Advance $5 tickets at bendticket.com, $7 at the door. 9pm, Silver Moon Brewing Co., 24 NW Greenwood Ave.