You don’t have to go to a big, fancy New Year’s Eve bash to send off 2022 with a rocking good time. Three of Portland’s smaller music venues on Saturday are hosting local and regional acts that are eager to help you ring in the new year.

A pair of Greater Portland bands will be playing the intimate space of Sun Tiki Studios.

One Hundred Thorns is a quartet of four high school seniors from Gorham. In 2018, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Luc Anthony and guitarist Mason Landré got the idea for the band after some jam sessions while Landré was still learning to play. Four years later, they’ve progressed nicely, and the singles “Lloyd (From The Void)” and “The Benign” both slay.

Vampire Food. Photo by Annabelle Collette

Vampire Food, formed last year, is described as a macabre alt-rock power trio. The band is Brady Rivard on vocals and guitar, Hunter Coleman on drums and James Tedesco on bass.  The seven-song “Crawl” was released earlier this year, and it’s enthralling from the opening track “Shanghai” to the closer “Sticky.” Over the course of these tunes, several of my favorite boxes are checked. Moody female vocals? Yep! Well-written lyrics? Yep! An acoustic guitar-led track? It’s called “Silver Spoon.” Bouncy, up-tempo number? “Living Head Doll.” Absolutely melodic banger that I can’t get enough of? Hello there, “The Great Duke of Hell.”

One Hundred Thorns with Vampire Food
9 p.m. Sun Tiki Studios, 375 Forest Ave., Portland, $10.

Nuclear Bootz. Left to right Zeke Comparetto, Bruce Merson and Jimm Morrissey. Photo courtesy of the artist

The Apohadion stage will feature a range of acts from Maine plus one from just a little farther south.


Nuclear Bootz is the Portland rock band comprised of drummer Bruce Merson, Zeke Comparetto on guitar and lead vocals, and Jimm Morrisey on bass and backing vocals. The band formed in 2011 and released its third album, “Green Velvet,” in 2020. It’s home to blistering gems like “Cheeseburger Girl,” “Steven” and “No Feelings.” Merson told me the band is working on new material with the hopes of recording in 2023.

Hopeless Losers is a lo-fi punk trio out of Peru (the town). They’ll slay you with “Wendigo” and the screamer “Yellow Fever.” Cat TV is a punk band based in Lowell and Boston, Massachusetts, and Verge & Vary is a fairly new experimental guitar and drum duo based in Portland.

Nuclear Bootz, Hopeless Losers, Cat TV, Merge & Vary
8 p.m. The Apohadion Theater, 107 Hanover St., Portland, $12.

Space is hosting a New Year’s party that goes until 2 a.m., so you’re all under strict orders to take a serious pre-going out nap!

Providing the soundtrack for the last night of the year (and first morning of the new one) are deejays Just Milk, Cecil G, Ben Spalding and Madel.


Tara Rook of Just Milk. Photo by Anna Lataille

Just Milk is the electronic music project of Portlander Tara Rook. She produces beat sounds of the synth pop, ethereal trip hop, dark disco and dreamy folk persuasion, and listening to some of her work reminded me of the time I was in a flotation tank, such was the sense of calm that washed over me as I heard tracks like “Ordinary Magic” and “Sometimes Drifting, Often Silent.” Her ambient sound is hypnotic and sometimes accompanied by vocals. I can only imagine what it will sound like at Space!

Space New Year’s Eve Party
9 p.m. Space Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, $15 in advance, $18 day of event, 21-plus.

Should you decide to stay in on New Year’s Eve, you’ll get no judgment from me. But make sure to get out and see some live, local music in 2023. There are hundreds of bands playing on hundreds of stages all over the state, and they’d all love to see you.

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