New Year’s Eve is typically all about flashy parties with open bars, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options if you’re trying to keep your night a little bit more low-key. Plenty of bands perform around the city and comedians are hitting Philly’s comedy clubs for late-night sets. (If you’re lucky, you might even get tickets to John Oliver’s appearance at the newly opened Met Philadelphia.) Here’s what’s going on around the city on the last night of 2018.
John Oliver at the Met Philadelphia
The Emmy award-winning host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is visiting Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve. While you might not get to ring in 2019 with cocktails and glitter, you’ll definitely get to do so with laughter. Get tickets now, his other three sets at the Met are sold out.
10 p.m. The Met Philadelphia, 858 N. Broad St., $69 to $99, 800-745-3000, themetphilly.com
Japanese Breakfast at Johnny Brenda’s
Japanese Breakfast is playing their last show of the year at Johnny Brenda’s. Given their Philly roots and the busy year the band has had touring and playing festivals after the release of Soft Sounds from Another Planet last year, the show is already sold out.
8 p.m. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., sold out, 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com
A Boogie wit da Hoodie at Franklin Music Hall
The Bronx rapper is releasing his highly anticipated sophomore album, Hoodie SZN, on Dec. 21 with guest features from Tekashi 6ix9ine, Juice WRLD and Offset. Expect a rowdy crowd that will rap along to every word of “Drowning,” his most popular track to date with Kodak Black.
9 p.m. Franklin Music Hall, 421 N. 7th St., $49 to $147, 215-627-1332, bowerypresents.com
The Disco Biscuits at the Fillmore
This Philly jam band that is behind the electronic and rock music festival Camp Bisco plays the Fillmore every year to ring in midnight.
8 p.m. Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St., $65 general admission, 215-309-0150, thefillmorephilly.com
Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center
If classical music is more your thing, you can always head to Verizon Hall, where the Philadelphia Orchestra, helmed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is playing selections from Tchaikovsky, Bernstein, and Strauss.
7:30 p.m. Verizon Hall, 300 S. Broad St., $60 to $135, 215-893-1900, philorch.org
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties at Boot & Saddle
Dan Campbell, the front man of Lansdale pop-punk band the Wonder Years, is taking his side project to the Boot and Saddle, complete with an after-party. The band’s sound is a little more folk indie, though still true to its pop punk roots, for those used to the Wonder Years’ high-energy guitar riffs.
10 p.m. Boot & Saddle, 1131 S. Broad St., sold out, 267-639-4528, bootandsaddlephilly.com
Jon Dore at Helium Comedy Club
Canadian writer and actor Jon Dore is fresh off of his new hour-long stand-up special, Big Questions, Huge Answers With Jon Dore, which premiered on Comedy Central earlier this month. He’s also made a memorable guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother. The late show includes a champagne toast and party favors.
8 and 10:30 p.m. Helium Comedy Club, 2031 Sansom St., $39 to $64, 21 and over (18 with parental supervision), 215-496-9001, heliumcomedy.com
They Might Be Giants at Theatre of Living Arts
Alt rock band They Might Be Giants is at the Theatre of Living Arts on the biggest party night of the year. Jonathan Coulton, a mainstay in the songwriting scene about geek culture, is opening.
8 p.m. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., $38, 215-922-1011, venue.tlaphilly.com
Low Cut Connie at the Trocadero
Philly-based rock band Low Cut Connie is taking the stage in Chinatown to ring in 2019. This 21-and-over show also features plenty of other local bands, including Jersey-based pop rock duo Nalani and Sarina.
9 p.m. Trocadero Theatre, 1003 Arch St., $25 to $35, 215-922-6888, thetroc.com
West Philadelphia Orchestra at Underground Arts
Known for their eclectic blend of musical influences ranging from traditional Balkan music to jazz, the West Philadelphia Orchestra is playing at Underground Arts. Don’t forget your dancing shoes because this group got its start playing Macedonian folk dance songs in 2006.
9 p.m. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., $40, 215-627-1332, undergroundarts.org
Start Making Sense at World Cafe Live
The bad news? You’re never going to see the Talking Heads live again. The good news? Start Making Sense does a pretty darn good job of bringing the legendary rock band’s songs to life. If you’re looking for more of a throwback vibe for your New Year’s Eve, check out this cover band at World Cafe Live.
9 p.m. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., $25 advance, $35 day of, 215-222-1400, worldcafelive.com
Last Laughs at Punch Line Philly
Join some of Philly’s best comics, including Paris Sashay, Phil Hanley, and Helen Hong, for a countdown-to-2019 show at Punch Line.
7:30 and 10 p.m. Punch Line Philly, 33 E. Laurel St., $35 to $47, 215-606-6555, punchlinephilly.com
Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Nine at Chris’ Jazz Cafe
Dance to 20th-century composers with fellow jazz lovers at Chris’ Jazz Cafe — Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Nine are bringing fresh arrangements and high-energy original songs to the club.
7, 9 and 11 p.m. Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St., $30, 215-568-3131, chrisjazzcafe.com