New Yearâs Eve events are always a little bit falsely inflated; theyâre the party equivalent of a real-estate bubble that bursts at about the same time as your liver. The bar parties usually cost at least $10 more than they should, and this places a strange pressure on your evening: You. Must. Have. Fun. Or you have wasted your year and your life.
And so, the endless theming and partitioning of parties—as if we are all rejoining the high-school prom—so that we can enjoy the buoyant weightlessness of feeling foreign to ourselves. It is, in its own way, bliss.
We've gathered together this year's most favored party themes, that we may endure ennui in impolite abandon. And we will not remember when!
Longtime New Orleans spot Acadia will host a New Orleans-style three-course dinner with lobster, crawfish, pumpkin hush puppies, Louisiana speckled trout with squash and, yes, gumbo. Champagne at midnight.
Acadia Bistro, 1303 NE Fremont St., 249-5001, creolapdx.com. 5 pm-close. $65
When the going gets drunk, the French go Cajun. Prix fixe featuring cornmeal crepes with shrimp étouffée or collards maque choux, plus oysters and black peas. Live "jazz à l'américaine" from Crash Parlor.
Suzette Creperie, 3342 SE Belmont St., 546-0892, suzettepdx.com. 6:30 pm-close. $32 Cajun food buffet, champagne toast, and live music from Portland Cajun outfit the New Iberians. âAmerican Quirkâ music to start. Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 232-7505, foe.com. $10 advance at Avalon Antiques, 410 SW Oak St., 224-7156. $15 door. Salsa dancing with live music from Melao de Cuba. Dance lessons available at 9 pm. Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3553 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3231, mississippipizza.com. Doors 8 pm. $12. Three-course Peruvian prix fixe paired with a half-bottle of champagne, plus live Latin-jazzy music. Andina, 1314 NW Glisan St., 228-9535, andinarestaurant.com. Seating 5:30-9:30 pm. $85-$165.
PUT A COVER VERSION ON IT
Pink Floyd tribute band Pigs on the Wing will play Pink Floyd covers. No word on the laser light show or mental breakdowns. Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 360-1450, thetabor.com. 9 pm. $12 advance, $15 door.
Headbangerâs New Yearâs Eve Ball
Weâre pretty sure Deep Purple got nowhere near MTV, but still, an unholy trio of tribute bands: Hellion (Judas Priest), Holy Diver (Dio) and Highway Star (Deep Purple). Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., 233-1700, hawthornetheatre.com. 8:30 pm. $8 advance, $10 door. The Facebook invite to this Journey tribute bandâs event specifically asks for the attention of âmiddle-aged sex addicts.â Jimmy Makâs, 221 NW 10th Ave., 295-6542, jimmymaks.com. 8 pm. $20-$25.
For a minimum of $89, you get: pizza, hors d'oeuvres, and a glass of champagne, plus an '80s tribute band. Ask yourself: Dear God…
If you have an answer, you've hit rock bottom.
Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, 921 SW 6th Ave., 226-1611. 8 pm. $89-$119
PORTLAND VEGAS: THE REVUES
Large is Portlandâs own version of Vegas, a lady Elvis who need never leave the stage. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694, aladdin-theater.com. 7 pm. $50. Honey Owens and Rafael Fauriaâs hipster-house Miracles Club, DJ Beyondaâs soul stew, plus a âmega-jamâ featuring Jeffrey Jerusalem, Brainstorm and members of Sex Life, among other entertainments. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639, holocene.org. 9 pm. $18-$25. Ah, a two-venue dance party (Dig a Pony, Union/Pine) connected by a beer bus that goes a mere five or six blocks. DJs and bands include Cooky Parker, Shy Girls, Nathan Detroit and Freaky Outy. Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine St., unionpine.com. 8 pm. $15 (call 201-3354 for tickets).
THE BURLESQUE THAT IS LIFE
As if the night werenât circus enough, Portland Playhouse promises âgames and odditiesâ amid a cocktail-costume dance party. Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St., 488-5822, portlandplayhouse.org. 8 pm. $45-$55.
Curious Comedy NYE Extravaganza
The troupe promises sketch comedy, improv, standup and acrobatics of some sort, plus mini-vittles and some champagne. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd., 477-9477, curiouscomedy.org. 8 pm. $50-$60. The Never Not Funny host and former Conan OâBrien warm-up comic does a double set. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 643-8669. 7:30 and 10 pm. $25-$52.