New York City is arguably the place to be on New Year's Eve…but real insiders know to stay far, far away from the insanity at Times Square. (It's cold and crowded and noisy and there are pickpockets galore.) Instead, courtesy of the team at NYCGo, the city's tourism board, here are some top music picks for the evening…or, if arranged properly, for the whole weekend leading up to the holiday. From classical to jazz to rock, here's a list of performers who will be working on New Year's Eve just for your listening pleasure.
December 17–January 1: Chris Botti at Blue Note
The trumpeter's long run of shows in the Village includes a pair of shows on New Year's Eve. For tickets, visit bluenote.net.
December 28–31: Phish at Madison Square Garden
Trey Anastasio and company are known for epic sets, so don’t be surprised if their New Year’s Eve show extends well into 2013. For tickets, visit thegarden.com.
December 29–31: Punch Brothers at Bowery Ballroom
Led by mandolin player Chris Thile of Nickel Creek, the Punch Brothers have covered Radiohead and jammed with Yo-Yo Ma. This three-night run includes a New Year’s Eve performance. For more information, visit boweryballroom.com.
December 29–31: They Might Be Giants at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn's own They Might Be Giants are set to ring in 2013 onstage in their home borough. For tickets, visit musichallofwilliamsburg.com.
December 30–31: Coldplay at Barclays Center
Chris Martin and company play the new Brooklyn arena for the first time, and the December 31 show is a New Year's Eve co-headline blowout with Jay-Z. For tickets, visit livenation.com.
December 30–31: Gov't Mule at The Beacon Theatre
Warren Haynes and his Allman Brothers-in-arms bring their Southern rock jam show to the Beacon Theatre for New Year's Eve. For tickets, visit beacontheatre.com.
December 31: The Bad Plus at Village Vanguard
This innovative jazz piano trio is known for putting their own distinctive twist on such familiar numbers as Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." For tickets, visit villagevanguard.com.
December 31: Blonde Redhead at Irving Plaza
The ever-innovative Blonde Redhead's most recent album—2010's Penny Sparkle—leans more electronic than their previous work. For tickets, visit irvingplaza.com.
December 31: Maria Stuarda at The Metropolitan Opera
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato performs in the classic opera about Mary, Queen of Scots. For tickets, visit metoperafamily.org.
December 31: Nas at Radio City Music Hall
Known for his evocative freestyles, Queensbridge rapper Nas will perform hits from his sixth number-one album, Life is Good, among many others, on New Year's Eve. For tickets, visit radiocity.com.
December 31: New York Philharmonic Celebrating Marvin Hamlisch at Avery Fisher Hall
The New York Philharmonic spends New Year's Eve performing the music of the legendary composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away this year. For tickets, visit nyphil.org.
December 31: Pretty Lights at Roseland Ballroom
Derek Vincent Smith (a.k.a. Pretty Lights) performs his electronic music at this New Year's Eve celebration, just a short distance from the famous ball drop in Times Square. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.com.