Of course, if you prefer to avoid the chaos of Colfax and the downtown crush, you can always head to Boulder, where the Yonder Mountain String Band will display its bluegrass prowess at the Fox Theatre, 1135 13th Street, 303-443-3399, in a New Year's Eve Extravaganza. Should you tire of all that plucking, though, and need a momentary reprieve, the sidewalk outside is always good for people-watching; no doubt the good boys and girls at the University of Colorado will be in the mood for a party that night. It should be a riot! Back in town (Englewood, to be exact), the gorgeous Gothic Theatre, 3263 South Broadway, 303-380-2333, hosts one of the evening's most compelling live offerings, with a double bill from Tarantella, an excellent new local outfit that features members of Slim Cessna's Auto Club and 16 Horsepower, Denver's undisputed prodigal sons. And just up the road, Herman's Hideaway, 1578 South Broadway, 303-777-5840, won't be able to keep its New Millennium Rock Fest, featuring Rubber Planet, the Sad Star Café, Love .45, Mean Old Man and the Good Sirs a secret; the event is capped with a champagne toast at midnight and music into the wee hours. Now, that's a happy new year!
ALL YOU WANNA DO IS DANCE
So it's New Year's Eve, and you've got dance fever. You're not in San Francisco, where it's a good bet you'd see a parade of naked ravers crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight. Nor are you in New York City, where the countdown at Times Square is just the beginning of a long and festive night of fabulous dance parties. Nope. You're in Denver. But that doesn't mean you're without options, especially if your idea of celebrating involves a crowded dance floor, a well-stocked bar and lots of bodies in motion.
Denver's club landscape grows more crowded every day, which means your chances of rubbing elbows with the city's movers and shakers is better than ever. But the influx of nightlife options creates its own small problem: How to choose? Luckily, many of the city's hot spots are nestled in and around LoDo -- which means you'll have time to stop for sushi (try Mori, Sonoda's or Tommy Tsunami's) and Starbucks before kicking into full dance mode. Of course, some clubs have created packages to entice you to stay all evening: Cosmo, at 1526 Market Street, 303-607-9270, is offering one such deal: For $100, clubgoers can enjoy food, a champagne toast, a raffle and games with door prizes, and music from DJs Sik, Double OO and Smiley. For the same price, local after-hours staple Amsterdam (2901 Walnut Street) has paired with new club Pure (2637 Welton) to offer an intriguing bargain called 3 Nights, 2 Clubs, 1 Price: A hundred smackers here will yield passes good for three days' worth of admission -- with no waiting in line -- to both venues. The New Year's weekend lineup makes the deal seem even sweeter: Pete Bones spins at Pure on Friday, December 29; Steve Olivieri appears at Amsterdam, after hours, the following night; and on Sunday, December 31, Matt Gonsola hits Pure, while Wayne Arnold keeps the kiddies up at Amsterdam. Of course, if you like your dancing with a little more spice, try the Spanish Dinner Feast at Sevilla, 1801 Wynkoop, where an admission package includes all the paella you can eat, as well as Latin-flavored dancing that will continue into the night.
Most of the clubs in LoDo are within walking distance from one another, but if you don't relish the thought of hoofing it, why not hire a driver and hit them all? (Better not to risk a run-in with Johnny Law after you've swilled all those Stoli martinis; DUIs are, like, so '90s!) Try The Sanctuary, 2040 Larimer Street, 303-296-2424; Bash, 1902 Blake Street, 303-298-7994; and Market 41, 1941 Market Street, 303-292-5641. While you're downtown, scope out the scene on the 16th Street Mall, then head down to the Golden Triangle, where The Church, 1160 Lincoln, 303-832-352, will be putting its multi-room club space to good use, and where the scene at Vinyl, 1082 Broadway, 303-860-8469, is likely to be fiery hot. After that, you can head north to Soma, at 1915 Broadway in Boulder, 303-938-8600; voted one of the best nightclubs in the country by Mixmag magazine, it's worth the drive.
Of course, you must be prepared to enter these hallowed halls looking your absolute best. What good is New Year's Eve, after all, if it doesn't provide an excuse to get glammed up? If you're running low on partywear, you can spend the morning shopping at some of the area's finer purveyors of club couture: Try Soulflower on South Broadway or any of the vintage stores further down the road. Imi Jimi, Hottie and several other baroque boutiques on 13th Street in Capitol Hill are also good bets. And remember, no matter what they're saying in Vogue these days, you can never go wrong with classic black. But you might want to shower yourself in some glitter, just to be sure.
Has all the excess spending and commercialism of the Christmas season left you with a bad case of the holiday blahs? Get a jump on your New Year's resolutions by engaging in some early do-good activities. For starters, gather up all those unwanted Christmas gifts, search your closets for those clothes you know you'll never wear again, and get all that no-longer-your-decor-style-but-perfectly-good furniture out of the basement. Then call 800-95-TRUCK, and the Salvation Army will stop by and snag your donations off the front porch. Doesn't it make you feel glad all over to know that someone will be putting that hideous (but warm) sweater your Aunt Myrtle knit to good use?