Where to be when the clock strikes 2018

ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS: While producer/DJ GRiZ performs at U.S. Cellular Center, the Asheville Symphony plays its last concert under the baton of Daniel Meyer next door in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. That New Year’s Eve program includes Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” the first piece Meyer conducted as music director in Asheville. Photo by Michael Morel

“Begin as you mean to go on,” said 19th-century preacher Charles H. Spurgeon. The essence of the quote has evolved from its Baptist origins to something akin to “dress for success,” “fake it till you make it,” and “put your best foot forward.” But it’s not bad advice when choosing where to usher in 2018. With that in mind, here are some suggested philosophical states in which to dwell (with appropriately corresponding entertainment) when the clock strikes midnight.

Events take place on Sunday, Jan. 31. Find more New Year’s Eve happenings in Calendar, Clubland and at mountainx.com.

• Be philharmonic: Asheville Symphony Orchestra brings back its New Year’s Eve Celebration. This year’s concert, at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St., is the final performance with the local symphony for conductor Daniel Meyer. The program includes “Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila, Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with violinist Isabelle Durrenberger, and “Carmina Burana” performed with three solo vocalists and the full Asheville Symphony Chorus. 7:30 p.m. $24-$74 adults/$11-$55 youths. ashevillesymphony.org

• Be a party person: Producer and DJ Grant Kwiecinski, aka GRiZ, performs a two-night run in Asheville. Following on the heels of his GRiZMAS shows, the New Year’s celebration promises to be “ripe with surprises for his dedicated family of funk-loving party people.” A live band set (with guests DJ Craze and The Nth Power) on Saturday, Dec. 30, will be followed by “an unforgettable take on [GRiZ’s] infamous DJ set for night two,” appearances by Ekali and Brasstacks, on Sunday, Dec. 31. Both concerts will be held at U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St. 7 p.m. $45 per night. ticketmaster.com

• Be intentional: Start with a meditational sound-healing bath, add a reflection of the past year, an intention-setting ceremony for the new year and a peace prayer. Then, sing in 2018 with kirtan — devotional chanting — led by Sangita Devi. The evening, held at Odyssey Community School, 90 Zillicoa St., includes ecstatic dance, a tearoom by Dobra Infusion, cacao and chocolate by Silvermoon, and a co-creative altar and art space. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. $30 advance/$35-$50 sliding scale at the door. brownpapertickets.com/event/3183697

TTHREE’S COMPANY: The Digs, pictured, round out a triad of New Year's Eve music offerings, including Jon Stickley Trio and Josh Phillips & Friends, at Isis Music Hall. Photo by Kristen Marie Greene
THREE’S COMPANY: The Digs, pictured, round out a triad of New Year’s Eve music offerings, including Jon Stickley Trio and Josh Phillips & Friends, at Isis Music Hall. Photo by Kristen Marie Greene

• Be wild: Anyone who’s ever attended a Langhorne Slim show knows the Nashville-based troubadour leaves it all on the stage. Slim’s new album, Lost at last (Vol. 1), is more produced than previous efforts but still places its folky heart on its sleeve. The musicians, with guests Mt. Davidson (Twain), Paul Defiglia (The War Eagles and The Avett Brothers), Casey Jane (The Lostines) and others take the stage at The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave., at 9 p.m. $25 advance/$30 day of show. theorangepeel.net

• Be charitable: Rock, soul and funk collective The Travers Brothership, fronted by twin brothers Eric and Kyle Travers, is a fixture at Pisgah Brewing Co., 150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain. The band plays a regular Sunday jam, so it makes sense that it would take the stage on Sunday, Jan. 31. But that particular show offers something more: It raises funds for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, features opening act Urban Soil, and Travers Brothership’s Space Captain Porter — a beer made for the local band by Wise Man Brewing Co. in Winston-Salem — will be on tap for the show. 9:30 p.m., $15.  pisgahbrewing.com

• Be fabulous: “Asheville’s filthiest drag show is back at The Odditorium,” 1045 Haywood Road, says a Facebook invite. Make of that what you will; the show is accompanied by complimentary Champagne. Sideshow, 9-10:30 p.m., drag show at 11 p.m. $15 for ages 18 and older. ashevilleodditorium.com

• Be renewed: Urban Dharma, 77 Walnut St., holds a Candlelight Vigil of Release & Renewal, 8:30-10 p.m. “Participants are invited to write on small strips of paper any unresolved issues … resentments, grudges, unhappiness that they want to release and purify. These strips will then be offered into a large singing bowl (which will be sounded 108 times to accompany the 108 singing of the Vajrasattva mantra),” explains an invitation. Open to all. Plan to arrive early. Donations accepted. udharmanc.com

• Be cross-genre: Perhaps Isis Music Hall, 743 Haywood Road, billed its final show of the year as, simply, NYE 2017 because the threesome of bands involved cover too many musical styles to name. Jon Stickley Trio, The Digs and Josh Phillips & Friends together traffic in bluegrass, Americana, folk, funk, soul, jazz and R&B. The quotable Phillips says his band in particular is “here to knock your socks off, so you can put on new socks in 2018. Hope you washed your feet.” 9 p.m., $20 isisasheville.com

• Be funky: Child prodigy-turned-legendary guitarist Eric Gales headlines the festivities at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave. Opening for the Memphis-born blues-rocker is Marvelous Funkshun, a funk, Southern rock, blues, sacred steel, hip-hop and R&B-inspired collective from Winston-Salem. 9 pm, $20 advance/$25 day of show. thegreyeagle.com

• Be part of the send-off: Ben’s Tune Up, 195 Hilliard Ave., will close in January for renovations, so New Year’s Eve serves as a send-off to 2017 and the venue (just temporarily). The original members of Dub Kartel perform at 6 p.m., followed, at 10 p.m., by DJ Oso Rey. Free. benstuneup.com

WHO KNEW?: View the Christmas special of the BBC sci-fi series "Dr. Who," while working on a knitting project at Purl's Yarn Emporium. Image courtesy of BBC America
WHO KNEW?: View the Christmas special of the BBC sci-fi series “Dr. Who” while working on a knitting project at Purl’s Yarn Emporium. Image courtesy of BBC America

• Be crafty: “It’s Nerdy Stitch Night,” claims Purl’s Yarn Emporium, 10 Wall St. The local business hosts a viewing of the “Doctor Who Christmas Special,” along with food and fellowship. “Bring a project to work with, if you want,” says the invite. 6-8 p.m. purlsyarnemporium.com

• Be dancey: Known for his regular “Lose Yourself to Dance” shows, local musician and DJ Marley Carroll ups the ante for an NYE Dance Party at One Stop, 55 College St., 10 p.m.-2 a.m. By donation. avl.mx/4e5

• Be starstruck: B.J. Leiderman, known for his NPR theme music, and his band are currently on sabbatical, but “his alter-ego, BJ the DJ, will be spinning danceable favorites from the sound booth,” says a press release for the White Horse New Year Bash at White Horse Black Mountain, 105-C Montreat Road, Black Mountain. Marcel Anton and his all-star band will headline. 9 p.m., $23 advance/$25 at the door. whitehorseblackmountain.com

• Be soulful: The big surprise about Lenoir-based blues trio J.J. Hips and the Hideaway is the rusty, world-weary, powerhouse vocal coming from singer-drummer Andrew Fultz. It’s worth a stop at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria, 42 Biltmore Ave., to catch the band’s free show. 7:30 p.m. barleystaproom.com

• Be supersonic: Drawing inspiration from the progressive rock of The Mars Volta and Minus The Bear, Asheville-based quintet Galena puts a creative spin on those layered sounds with the rich vocals of Melissa Pasciolla. The collective plays in the new year at The Sly Grog Lounge, 271 Haywood St. 10 p.m., free. slygrog.wordpress.com

• Be thematic: Three floors, three DJs, three balloon drops could be the tagline for the 36th consecutive New Year’s Eve celebration at The Grove House entertainment complex, 11 Grove St. (which includes Club Eleven On Grove, Scandals Nightclub and the Boiler Room). Festivities include eight holiday-themed areas: “Pirates that Stole Christmas,” “Forest of Silver & Gold,” “Old School Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Santa Saloon,” “Holiday Hall,” “Candy Land” and “Ice Palace.” 8 p.m.-3 a.m. $35 ages 18-20/$30 ages 21 and older. Purchase in advance to save $5. thegrovehouse.com

• Be brassy: Global-fusion collective Empire Strikes Brass headlines the NYE Masquerade at New Mountain, 38 French Broad Ave. The party, which includes Supatight and DJ Bowie, will take over all three of the venue’s stages. 9 p.m. $20 advance/$25 day of show. newmountainavl.com


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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