One of the biggest live music nights of the year is upon us: The last night of the year, specifically. You'll pay handsomely for the privilege of drinking with strangers while bands play at plenty of places in town (and hey, if that's your thing...), but there are also no shortage of ways to get spend your final moments of 2014 at regular door prices. Here are our picks for the best shows under $20 this NYE.New Year's Eve with Champagne Charlie and Denver Vintage Reggae Society Goosetown Tavern December 31, Free
You Should Go Here If: You're on a limited budget but still want to see some quality live music. Champagne Charlie will provide a mixture of blues, punk and jazz while Denver Vintage Reggae Society will live up to its name with a high energy set of reggae that won't sound like the reggae version of Blueshammer. Also, it's well outside of downtown so when you're ready to take off it won't be as much of a traffic jam.
New Year's Eve at the Hi-Dive w/Bear Antler, Magic Cyclops and The Good Gracious Hi-Dive December 31, $6 You Should Go Here If: A diverse mixture of rock and roll courtesy Bear Antler and comedy-tinged music via Magic Cyclops would make your New Year's Eve more complete more than a conventional show.
cEvin Key (of Skinny Puppy/Download) & Djoto Bar Standard December 31, $10-$20 You Should Go Here If: A night of dark, sometimes heavy, but always danceable electro is what you'd like to hear to usher in the new year.
Marquis New Year's Eve House Party featuring The Epilogues, Eldren, The Photo Atlas, Branded Bandits and Shatterproof Marquis Theater December 31, $10-$20 You Should Go Here If: You'd like to spend your New Year's Eve downtown but also want to catch some quality indie rock rather than with some boots n' cats or Gothic Americana.
Rose Quartz EP release w/Sunboy, Oko Tygra and DJ Fancy Matthew Larimer Lounge December 31, $10 You Should Go Here If: Dream pop seems like a great alternative to a hectic New Year's Eve bar crawl downtown.
Dragondeer w/Turner Jackson, The Crooked Streets and special guest TBA Lost Lake Lounge December 31, $15 You Should Go Here If: You'd like to see one of the most diverse line-ups on offer for New Year's Eve with the bluesy psychedelia of Dragondeer, Turner Jackson's inspired flow and turns of phrase and the soulful gypsy folk of The Crooked Streets.
New Year's Eve with Adam Bodine Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge December 31, $15 You Should Go Here If: The idea of ringing in the new year in a beautiful, classy bar seeing an emotionally-charged, diverse jazz show.
A Tom Collins w/Faceman and Ned Garthe Explosion (December 30) and w/Ned Garthe Explosion, Kitty Crimes and host Adam Cayton-Holland (December 31) Oriental Theater December 30 and 31, $10-$15 / $20 2 day pass You Should Go Here If: A rowdy, spirited night of music from an eclectic line-up is to your taste. A Tom Collins is something like a ragtime band with punk sensibilities. Faceman is imaginative prog without the technique wonk aftertaste. Ned Garthe Explosion is a rowdy garage-psych band with a surrealistic sense of humor. Kitty Crimes is something like a mix of gangsta rap and Peaches. With Adam Cayton-Holland hosting NYE itself, entertainment is guaranteed.
Ian Cooke Mercury Cafe December 31, $20 You Should Go Here If: You'd like to spend your New Year's Eve basking in Ian Cooke's genius baroque pop rather than spend time in a more hectic climate.New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball with Walker Williams Grizzly Rose December 31, $20
You Should Go Here If: A country show with a masquerade theme strikes your fancy. Also, how many places you could go to on New Year's Eve has a mechanical bull that you might even be able to ride?
Reno Divorce w/King Rat, Red Stinger, Tyfoid Mary and The Blackouts Herman's Hideaway December 31, $20 You Should Go Here If: You're into some classic Denver punk and don't want to spend New Year's Eve dodging early weekend warriors downtown or at a dive bar.
Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Wovenhand w/Denver Broncos (December 30) and Munly & The Lupercalians (December 31) Summit Music Hall December 30 and December 31, $17 / $30 for 2 day pass You Should Go Here If: You don't mind being in the heart of downtown on New Year's Eve and want to see the unquestioned giants of Gothic Americana. Though lately Wovenhand has all but become a dark post-punk band that has not lost but has even amped up its emotional intensity.Soul Gloss: New Year's Eve with Lipgloss and Mile High Soul Club Meadowlark Bar December 31, $20
You Should Go Here If: You want to spend New Year's Eve in an intimate environment with legitimately tasteful selections of music from two of Denver's best club DJs, Michael Trundle and Tyler Jacobson.
Otis Taylor Band Dazzle Restaurant & Lounge December 30, $22 You Should Go Here If: You'd like to get warmed up for New Year's Eve with a show from one of America's finest living blues musicians.
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