Viva Variety!

Boondah Boondah
The Ark Band The Ark Band

Local shows offer many options on New Year’s Eve

By Matt Clevenger

From blues to punk, reggae and even classical, the Dayton music scene offers a live show to suit just about any taste this New Year’s Eve.

For the adventurous, one of the wildest shows in town will be old-school punk rockers Legbone at South Park Tavern in Dayton. Veterans of the local punk scene since the 1990s, the Dayton-based band has toured extensively throughout the Midwest, played the Vans Warp Tour and shared the stage with punk legends the Casualties, so their New Year’s Eve show is sure to be a night to remember (or not remember, whichever you choose). The show starts at 10 p.m. and more information can be found online at or


Those who prefer a little funk, hardcore and metal with their bubbly should consider heading north to see Boondah with Second Rate Citizens and Kolorful Fixx at the Brewery in Troy. Known for their psychedelic blend of groove-heavy guitar riffs, powerful funk bass and Frank Zappa-esque lyrics, Boondah has also toured extensively, and was the first act signed to local label Smiling Handshake Records. The band has already released both a live and their debut studio album Felonious Bologna, and plans to enter the studio to record a new release in early 2011. Doors open at 9 p.m. for their New Year’s Eve show at the Brewery and more information can be found online at or

The Ark Band

On the mellower end of the music spectrum, the area also offers many more laid-back choices for live New Year’s Eve music. One sure bet is Columbus-based reggae group the Ark Band, who will bring their unique mix of original songs and classic island covers to Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs. Formed in 1987 by brothers Terry and Eustace Bobb, the group has developed an international following over the years, opening for a long list of reggae icons including Culture, Burning Spear, Half-Pint, Beres Hammond, Mikey Dread and Israel Vibration. Their New Year’s Eve show starts at 10 p.m. and admission is $5. More information can be found online at or

Bars aren’t the only venues getting in on the New Year’s Eve action, and one of Dayton’s best-known country and classic rock groups, Higgins/Madewell, will be performing at the American Legion post in West Milton, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Catered food will be provided by Jolene Sell of the Brickhouse in West Milton. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Wertz Hardware in West Milton or during any Higgins/Madewell show. More information can be found online at

Other options for live New Year’s music range from delta blues to classical and even swing bands. Top picks for rock include Sick Delicious at Katz Lounge in Kettering, the Scotty Bratcher Band and Blue Moon Soup at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Betty Lane at Stubbies Sports Bar and Grill in Vandalia, Diddley at Jackass Flats in Dayton, White Rabbit at Talegators in Centerville, Skilless Villains at the Trolley Stop in Dayton, Ithika at Bojangles Nightclub in West Carrollton, Shadowlife at Norton’s Bar and Grille in Dayton and EZ Rider at the Little Nashville Bar in Urbana.

Top picks in other genres include the family-friendly Rick James Band, performing at the State Theater in Springfield and 10-piece R&B group Off the Hook at Alex’s on 725 in Miamisburg. The Bob Grey Orchestra will host a night of ballroom dancing at the Manchester Inn in Middletown and “American Idol” season two semi-finalist Frenchie Davis will also be performing at Club Aquarius in Dayton.

Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will also offer a special New Year’s Eve concert, performing several light, Italian-style compositions under the title “Viva Italia!” at the Schuster Center in Dayton. The concert lasts from 8 to 10:30 p.m., and the DPO will also be unveiling their 2011 schedule for the first time that night. Tickets range from $17 to $69, and more information can be found online at

Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at

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