50 ways to leave 2009

By JEFF INGLIS  |  December 30, 2009

He moves to the Comedy Connection for an 11 pm show ($35). Or you can check out his protégé, GEORGE HAMM, there at 8:30 pm for $20. 16 Custom House Wharf, Portland | 207.774.5554


On the town

And now we're ready for the big-time parties. The top ten are these. Options include downscale, upscale, and outright ridiculous — but we'll let you figure out which is which by taking them in order of proximity to downtown Portland.

51 WHARF starts with a $15 two-dance-floor, two-DJ extravaganza offering champagne-bottle specials (no complimentary toast at midnight, though). Be warned: there will be a house photographer getting evidence (or alibis) to be posted online afterward. But they really they set the bar high with a $600 (well, $500 plus an 18-percent mandatory gratuity) VIP package, with "expedited VIP entrance," 10 tickets and passes to a Red Bull "VIP party," a private table in the middle of the dance floor on a raised platform(!), private security(!), "velvet rope service" (whatever that is), and a "private hostess," which we'll hope means just a dedicated waitress and not anything more... 51 Wharf St, Portland | 207.774.1151

Over at the OLD PORT TAVERN, there's a DJ dance party with drink specials and a champagne toast. Or go next door to the Mariner's Church for a $10 live rock show with Modus, with party favors and complimentary snacks and champagne. 11 Moulton St, Portland | 207.774.0444

ASYLUM has super-popular '80s cover band The Awesome upstairs at 9 pm, with a light show and a midnight champagne toast. 121 Center St, Portland | $20 | 207.772.8274

PORT CITY MUSIC HALL hosts a pop-rock night for the ages with perennial local faves Rustic Overtones as headliners, backed by Headstart, Gypsy Tailwind, and Gavin Castleton, with projections by VJ Foo. It's $25 at the door and $50 for a VIP ticket (which gets you reserved seating and access to another bar). 504 Congress St, Portland | 207.899.4990

Moving up the road a short piece, we arrive at SPACE GALLERY, whose $50 Icing party features another pop-rock, multi-media, DJ-folk-funk fest with Spencer and the School Spirit Mafia, Matt Rock and Kate Cox, Olas, Frank Turek, Bam Bam, and Pine Haven Collective — plus photos by Jonathan Donnell and videos by David Meiklejohn and David Camlin. 538 Congress St, Portland | 207.828.5600

Down at the EMPIRE DINE AND DANCE, Zach Jones and Kyle Gervais lead the ultimate Clash of the Titans — music of the '80s versus music of the '90s — at 9 pm. 575 Congress St, Portland | $12.50 | 207.879.8988

At BUBBA'S SULKY LOUNGE, DJ Jon hosts an ultra-'80s dance party, starting at 9 pm, complete with 99 Luftballons dropping at midnight, plus a champagne toast and party favors. 92 Portland St, Portland | $10 | 207.828.0549

Now, leaving town and heading a bit north, VENUE will host an 8 pm-to-midnight classic-rock show with Misspent Youth, with champagne and hors d'oeuvres included in the $25 cover ($40 for a couple). 5 Depot St, Freeport | 207.865.1780

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