Published on December 27th, 2013 | by Katy Evans


A musical guide to First Night: here’s what you’re doing New Year’s Eve

First Night is a grand downtown New Years Eve tradition here in Tacoma, a chance to celebrate, explore, and revel family-friendly style.

Each year on December 31st, notable acts share memorable performances and 2013 is no exception. Here is a handy list of Post Defiance recommendations for the top not-to-miss acts, followed by a slew of honorable mentions that you should also try to fit into the jam-packed evening.

Do not miss:

7 pm – Mirrorgloss at the Duchess of Downtown Stage, 1131 Broadway



A Tacoma four-piece fronted by Tacoma it girls Del Brown and Najamoniq Todd, Mirrorgloss is a rock band with funk and electronic roots. Bass-heavy, infectious, and fearless, Mirrorgloss very good way to start 2014.

8 pm – Barleywine Revue, Pythian Temple, 926 Broadway

Barleywine Revue

Barleywine Revue

Perhaps you, like me,  feel that you’ve had enough heartfelt, bluegrass-tinged folk music to last you through 2014. Well, like me, you would be wrong.

Barleywine Revue may be both heart-felt and bluegrassy, but they’re also exceptionally fun and talented. Give them a listen.

8: 45 pm – Apartment Lights, Tully’s Coffee, 764 Broadway

A Post Defiance favorite, I always recommend catching Grace Sullivan live whenever you have the chance.

Through Apartment Lights, Grace blends her unabashedly expressive and experimental songwriting with her own very special brand of subtle and self-deprecating humor.

9:45 pm – Decision time:

Do you check out the Seattle-based Fly Moon Royalty (Main Stage, 935 Broadway) or Tacoma’s own Wild Berries (Sandford and Sons, 743 Broadway)? Both so good.

Indie R&B duo Fly Moon Royalty released their debut album in 2012 and have been cranking out better and better music ever since. Prolific, innovative, and genre-bending, Fly Moon is one to watch.

Fly Moon Royalty

Fly Moon Royalty

Wild Berries is a bit of a Tacoma supergroup featuring well known Tacoma musicians Alex Tapia, and Taxi Driver’s Nathaniel Dybevik and Gary Kawamura.

Combined with the arresting talents of Chelsea Reed and Aaron Berryhill, this five-piece presents an irresistible update to the classic Tacoma garage sound that must be experienced.

10:30 – and we can’t make this one for you either:

It’s up to you to make the very difficult choice between two excellent singer songwriters: Tacoma’s own Kye Alfred Hillig or the Pennsylvania native Vikesh Kapoor. In a perfect world, they would just play together.

For some of these hard-to-choose double bookings, check the full schedule. Vikesh Kapoor is also playing at 7:45 pm, and a few other noteworthy artists are performing more than one.

11:30 pm – Coconut shell stampede, Main Stage, 935 Broadway

No, it’s not a band, its an excuse to make a glorious noise with coconut shells (like a horse, get it? Year of the Horse?) and possibly break a record.

Other excellent options:

6:45 pm – Baby Gramps

6:30 & 11:15 pm – The Owl Parliament

6:45 & 10:15 pm – Luke Stevens

6:45 & 8:15 pm – Bradford Loomis

8 pm – The Tenants

8:45 pm – Ben Union

9 pm – Kareem Kandi

10 pm – Stephanie Anne Johnson

Whatever your First Night journey, we wish you the best while you and your loved ones ring in 2014. We’d love to hear about your experience – stop back and tell us how First Night went for you.

Happy New Year!



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Follow her @katynicoud.

2 Responses to A musical guide to First Night: here’s what you’re doing New Year’s Eve

  1. Mike Fitz Mike Fitz says:

    Also if you’re in the area looking for a warm-up for your NYE there’s a pretty awesome trivia night at Dorky’s starting at 6:30!

  2. Rize says:

    I digs Fly Moon Royalty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑