New Year’s Eve is many things: the day before New Year’s Day, six days after Christmas, Val Kilmer’s birthday, the end of the fiscal quarter, etc., but it’s mostly just an excuse to party. Like St. Patrick’s Day. Or Cinco de Mayo. Or one’s own birthday. Or Saturday night. And if you’re gonna party, who better to party with than the wild dance-punk greats !!!, such as to close out 2014 at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory?
While originally from Sacramento, !!! have since (mostly) relocated to the Big Apple, and this was a special one-off holiday show at a relatively intimate place for them (QRO venue review) – and at a relatively high ticket price (forty bucks, but still sold out). There are always many, many things to do in New York City on New Year’s Eve (your correspondent pre-gamed by hitting up an early open bar at Baby’s All Right – QRO venue review), but this event was special because no one knows how to party like !!!. The group was at the forefront of the dance-punk movement earlier this century/millennium, and have stayed at that forefront, most recently with last year’s THR!!!ER (QRO review).
It has been a year-and-a-half since that record, and !!! are about to head into the studio to record the follow-up – indeed, singer Nic Offer mentioned that the band would be playing their new stuff (and not to expect the old) just before they head into the studio, for four nights at the even more intimate (read: smaller) Union Pool (QRO venue review), January 7th through 10th. But this was an evening for the band’s full discography & requests (there was no set list).
Though the group didn’t actually get to that many songs, because they’d launch into epic dance jams during each one – not that there was anything wrong with that. The crowd was feeling each and every number, led by the exuberant and inexhaustible Offer, who was busting a move from the get-go to the very end. Even on the final night of December, he was wearing shorts and short-sleeves, because he knew he would be dancing up a storm. He did at one point take a fan’s colorful sport coat and put it on, remarking that if you can wear something better than someone else, it’s your duty to put it on, right? [note: he did promise to return it, and fan did get it back]
!!! playing “Even When the Water’s Cold” live at Knitting Factory on New Year’s Eve ’14:
At midnight (which was relatively early in !!!’s set) the two ladies of opener Prince Rama (QRO photos) came out to help celebrate the New Year, while Knitting Factory gave out champagne. The bartenders were actually instructing fans to get the filled champagne glasses out there, perhaps because the quicker it was drunk, the quicker people would go back to ordering drinks (or maybe they just didn’t want that much glass on the bar). And of course Offer popped a bottle open on stage.
There might have been bigger events happening on New Year’s Eve 2014, like Diplo & Skrillex teaming up at Madison Square Garden (QRO venue review). There might have been hipper events, like the final night ever at Glasslands (QRO venue review). But there wasn’t a better party than with !!!.