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Charlotte concerts to help you ring in the new year

Rock around the clock

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Regardless of where you are, there's something about New Year's Eve that always makes it memorable. I spent one NYE in a hotel room shortly after graduation as I prepared to move to Orlando. I remember covering the Avett Brothers (this year they'll be at Greensboro Coliseum) multiple times for their Charlotte shows over the years. I recall the back and forth walking between the Double Door Inn and Visulite Theatre to cover Simplified and Jamie McLean one year, as well. What makes a concert different, after the band stops to count down to midnight, is wondering what song they're going to choose to bring in the New Year. A crowd favorite? A cover?

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Here's a handful of shows going on around the Charlotte area for New Year's Eve, that will hopefully provide lasting memories for those in attendance:

* New Familiars at the Neighborhood Theatre, 9:30 p.m. (Free)

There was a buzz in the air at the Fillmore recently when Charlotte folk-rock act performed one of its final shows as part of the Levon Helm/The Band benefit concert. Of course, fans were all asking to hear the band's original music one last time, so that wish has been granted. The band plans to play plenty of original music in addition to a handful of cover songs to keep everyone satiated, at least until the reunion rumors get fired up down the road. * The Spongetones at the Double Door Inn, 9:30 p.m. ($12/$15)

For more than 35 years, The Spongetones have been a fixture of the Charlotte music scene. The band's brand of power-pop was heavily influenced by the British invasion — like an American version of the Beatles. Countless times in the venue's 42-year history, The Spongetones have played at the Double Door Inn and caused a line to form around the block. Should make for a nostalgic New Year's Eve.

* AuxiliA, Base of Bass, Green Fiend, HU/LK, Black Fleet at The Milestone, 9 p.m. ($5)

Maybe 2015 wasn't the greatest for you. Maybe you want something dark, heavy and thunderous to knock all of the crap out of your attitude so you can come out on the other side feeling refreshed and ready to tackle 2016 head-on. This is your show. From the growled metal of Auxilia and the double-bassists/double drummers attack of Base of Bass to the screamed stoner metal of Green Fiend and the hardcore style of Hu/lk, it's a night to knock the dust off and clear your head in brutal fashion.

* Overboard III at Snug Harbor, 10 p.m. (Free)

Get there early for this one. It's gonna be a long night, a massive party and no cover charge means it's going to be packed to the gills. Performers include Dreamy D, Foreign Air, Cabron, Blank Ocean, Miami Dice, Animals, Elevator Jay and Rapper Shane. DJs Justin Aswell, Scott Weaver, Ahuf and Strtr will also be spinning tunes, while burlesque performances are also on tap. Jeff Howlett will be on hand to offer tintype portraits, as well. Between the patio out front, the bar out back and the vibes inside, this one's a can't-miss.

* Billy Jonas Concert Experience at McGlohon Theater, 3:30 p.m. ($15)

This family-friendly afternoon event features multi-instrumentalist Billy Jonas and plenty of audience participation. In addition to his acoustic guitar, Jonas can be seen slapping away at a bevy of percussion instruments including barrels, buckets and bells. This is for those people looking for simple fun for the whole family.

* Zomboy at The Fillmore, 9 p.m. ($18)

I've been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime. A lot. Do you know what never fails? Every time I've been to an EDM event of some kind, it's always a massive party. The bass is thumping, everyone's dancing, some are in costume — it's an all-around good time for the masses. Even if the music isn't exactly your thing, the atmosphere of shows like this make it a swirling mass of energy that's tough to ignore.

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