I’m not very good at New Year’s Eve — I can never decide what I want to do. And while I’m usually all about commitment, the idea of buying a ticket and seeing out the old/in the new in a single venue is seriously daunting. To make matters worse, there are always at least a dozen shows and parties happening around Asheville that sound too good to pass up, but driving from one to another on the most alcohol-saturated night of the year? No thanks.
This year, I let fate decide. Or circumstance. I met friends for hors d’oeuvres at The Imperial. The plan was to head over to the River Arts District for Hank West’s secret party in the Wedge Building. I hear it verged on epic. But as the night wore on, traffic grew more intimidating and my friends with a warm car decided to call it an early night, I realized the smart thing to do was stay downtown.
What to do? I saw a tweet that Red Honey was playing at Hotel Indigo, so I headed that way. Seeing a show in a hotel is kind of like a mini-staycation (though Hotel Indigo locks its lobby doors at night, so I had to wait for a hotel guest with a keycard to get inside … awkward). The bar was populated by a mix of locals and visitors, and Red Honey performed a high energy blend of originals and covers. “Jolene” was in the mix, as was a gritty post-midnight rendition of “Fight For Your Right to Party.”
Before the noisemakers and champagne flutes were passed out, the band, fronted by Erika Jane Ferraby, brought a number of guests to the stage. Andrew Scotchie (guitar/vocals) and Eliza Hill (drums) of the River Rats sat in on several songs. So did Kip Veno (vocals) of Pleasure Chest. Veno should be awarded a prize for best New Year’s Eve footware: a pair of red and black roach stompers that matched his hat.