If the Mando-pop stars and huge crowds that gather for Taipei’s official New Year’s Eve party tomorrow are not for you, there are plenty of live music concerts and celebrations to be found at bars and restaurants across the capital.
Read on for a list of New Year’s Eve happenings, and a few other ideas for enjoying the countdown fireworks without the bustling crowds. All listed events take place tomorrow. For a rundown of dance music parties, see the Vinyl Word on page 14.
Ween tribute band Skycruiser will be rocking out at Bobwundaye, performing sets both before and after the countdown. DJ Danny Clark will also be on hand to spin house and electronica. Starts at 11pm, admission is NT$200, which includes one drink. 77, Heping E Rd, Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市和平東路三段77號)
In Ximending (西門町), Riverside Live House (河岸留言西門紅樓展演館) hosts a New Year’s party featuring four bands: dance rock group P!SCO, What Century (花世紀), an outfit of 20-year-old pop musicians and indie rock outfits Marshes and Lese Qingnian (樂色青年). Starts at 8:30pm, admission is NT$500. 177 Xining S Rd, Taipei City (台北市西寧南路177號)
Revolver, an expat-run, three-story club, is hosting hip-hop artist LEO37, who will perform with a live band, while DJs Vicar, Two Hands, @llenblow and ZO spin soul, funk, dubstep and reggae. Starts at 10pm, admission is NT$500 (NT$400 in advance, tickets available at venue). 1-2, Roosevelt Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路一段1-2號)
The Riverside Cafe in Gongguan (公館) is celebrating the New Year with an all-star lineup of local jazz guitarists, who are calling themselves the G7 Summit. Starts at 9pm, admission is NT$500, which includes one drink. B1, 2, Ln 244, Roosevelt Rd Sec 3, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路三段244巷2號B1), next to Taipower Building (台電大樓)
The Dong Dong Jazz Quartet (咚咚隆咚鏘爵士四重奏) will be on hand to perform a fusion of blues, jazz and funk at the late-night lounge bar Sappho de Base. Starts at 11pm, admission is NT$500, which includes one drink, B1, 1, Ln 102, Anhe Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市安和路一段102巷1號B1)
Time to break out that tuxedo and party dress: The Village Cafe (村落餐廳), a bar and cafe located at the Taipei Artist Village (台北國際藝術村) that was recently rechristened the TAV Cafe (藝術村餐坊), is hosting a Black and White Ball. Dress code is black tie, or simply black and white attire. Live swing jazz and blues music will be provided by David Chen and the Muddy Basin Ramblers. Starts at 9pm, admission is NT$800, which includes two drinks (free shots from 12:30am to 1:30am). 7 Beiping E Rd, Taipei City (台北市北平東路7號)
A long list of cream-of-the-crop indie bands welcome the New Year tomorrow at The Wall (這牆). Performers include garage rock band The White Eyes (白目樂隊) alt-rock favorites Bearbabes (熊寶貝樂團), indie folk songstress Enno Cheng (鄭宜農), post-rock group Selfkill, emo-art rockers Orangegrass (橙草) and post-punk upstarts Macbeth (馬克白). Later on, the party continues with tunes spun by DJs Hao, Spykee Fat and Windmill (風籟坊) bassist Sky Tai (戴杏芳). Starts at 9pm, admission is NT$500 (NT$400 in advance, tickets available at venue), which includes one drink. B1, 200, Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市羅斯福路四段200號B1)
The basement club Underworld (地下社會), another venerated indie rock hangout, hosts live shows by Varo, an electro-rock band led by veteran female rocker Wan Ting (琬婷) and guitar-noise rock band Forests (森林). Afterwards, the party continues with sets by DJ collective Plastic Cherry Bomb Squad and DJs Floaty and Chema. Party runs from 9pm to 4am, admission is NT$500 before 11:30pm, which includes one drink; NT$500 after 11:30pm, which includes two drinks. B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1)
BARS AND RESTAURANTS
The Brass Monkey is already fully booked for its New Year’s Eve dinner, but there’s plenty of standing room for revelers throughout the evening. Admission is NT$300 for women, who are treated to free drinks until midnight, and NT$450 for men, the price of which includes two drinks. 166 Fuxing N Rd, Taipei City (台北市復興北路166號), tel: (02) 2547-5050
Carnegie’s will be showing fireworks shows from all around the world via live satellite TV feeds. Admission is NT$300 for women, which includes free sparkling wine from 9pm to midnight, and NT$500 for men, which includes two drinks. Those fees are waived for those who come early for dinner of either roast beef or grilled salmon at NT$1,500, which also includes unlimited house wine from 6pm to 9pm. 100, Anhe Rd Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市安和路二段100號), tel: (02) 2325-4433
Italian restaurant Capone’s is offering New Year’s meals ranging from NT$1,480 to NT$1,880. Main course items include roast pork tenderloin, broiled lamb chops and steak with Bearnaise sauce. Its locale in Taipei’s East District (東區) makes it easy to catch a glimpse of the fireworks at Taipei 101. For bar patrons, there will be a minimum charge of NT$700. 312, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段312號), tel: (02) 2773-3782
Popular British-style pub On Tap will also be airing the countdown on big screen TVs, and will hold a prize raffle. Admission is NT$350, which includes two drinks, until 1am (free afterwards). Tables can be reserved at NT$2,000 per each for two hours, which includes a bottle of sparkling wine. 21, Alley 11, Ln 216, Zhongxiao E Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市忠孝東路四段216巷11弄21號), tel: (02) 2741-5365
Sports bar The Tavern is offering a New Year’s dinner buffet from 6pm to 10pm for NT$1,000 per person. 415, Xinyi Rd Sec 4, Taipei City (台北市信義路四段415號), tel: (02) 8789-0892
FIREWORKS FROM AFAR
You can still enjoy the fireworks without watching TV or having to deal with huge crowds — that is, if you’re willing to do a little exercise. Various mountaintop spots around the city offer great views of Taipei 101. Although the following areas have trails that are well-lit in the evening, be careful, especially if it’s raining, take a flashlight and travel with friends.
Xianjiyan Temple (仙跡岩廟) in Jingmei (景美) offers great views from the southern part of the city. Start at the Xianjiyan Hiking Trail (仙跡岩觀山步道), which is on Jingxing Road (景興路) and runs along the hill parallel to Jingmei Street. The trail is a five-minute minute walk from Jingmei MRT Station (景美捷運站).
Various spots in Fuzhoushan Park (福州山公園), located on a hilltop 10 minutes away from Linguang MRT Station (麟光捷運站), have excellent, unobstructed views of eastern Taipei. The trails are lit at night, but keep in mind they are not well-kept in certain sections. Be especially careful on the stairs, which can get very slippery when it rains. An easy to way to get there is to leave Linguang MRT at Exit 1, turn left, and walk along Wolong Street (臥龍街). The entrance is several blocks past Fuyang Street (富陽街).
Some of the most dramatic close-up views of Taipei can be had from Elephant Mountain (象山), part of the Sishou (four beast) Mountain (四獸山) range in Xinyi District (信義區). The start of the trail is on Songren Road (松仁路) near Lane 150 of Xinyi Road (信義路150巷). For a detailed map, visit tinyurl.com/7532dcu.