Highmark First Night Pittsburgh; Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Stage AE; Spirit Hosts Diane Coffee (Mon., 12/31/18)

"Light-Up Night" takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire.

“Light-Up Night” takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire. photo: Martha Rial.

1) Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 is the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the ‘Burgh, and happening all over the Downtown’s Golden Triangle. Musical highlights include Durand Jones & The Indications (Highmark Stage in the Cultural District, 10:45 p.m.), Chet Vincent + Biirdwatcher (Trust Arts Education Center, 7:30 and 10 p.m.), The Flow Band (Dollar Bank Stage in the Cultural District, 9:30 p.m.) The entertainment and attractions lined up for First Night are amazing: bands, dancers, comedians, acoustic musicians, dance lessons, a glow dance party, caricature artists, puppets, theatrical performances, and fire performers. Oh, and of course, fireworks! Events start at 6 p.m. and go until midnight. See our preview story and visit Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 for details.

Durand Jones & the Indications.

Durand Jones & the Indications.

2) Pigeons Playing Ping Pong helped Pittsburghers to party New Year’s Eve 2016 when they opened for Lotus at Stage AE. This year, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong have the honor of ushering in the New Year as the headliner at Stage AE. Combining funk, rock, and electronica, the band members create feel-good, laid-back tunes in a Grateful-Dead-meets-Sublime kind of way. The result is as unique as their name. They always bring energy to their fans, called “The Flock,” who just can’t get enough. The group formed in 2009 in Baltimore and released its first LP, preposterously titled Funk EP, in 2010. Since then, the album titles have stuck to the P-motif of the band’s name: Psychology in 2014, Pleasure in 2016, and Pizazz in 2017. Even if jam bands aren’t your thing, the subtle island undertones in songs like “Couldn’t We All” may leave you asking the bartender for a little umbrella in your drink. Magic Beans open. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (EC, CM)

3) It’s two floors of fun. Diane Coffee headlines a New Year’s Eve party at Spirit Hall. Born Shaun Fleming, Diane Coffee calls his musical genre “Psychedelic Motown”—and that’s actually a pretty apt description of his eclectic, exuberant style. He released his first album, My Friend Fish, in 2013. His latest release is a single, this year’s “ANIMAL.” He is a former child actor and former touring drummer for the band Foxygen. Lyndsey Morgan Smith, Starship Mantis, and Benji open. Also, in the Spirit Lodge throughout the night, DJs Steph Tsong, Ricky Moslen, and Adam Shuck will spin Jellyfish—a new-wave, Italo-disco, and post-punk dance party. 8:30 p.m. 242 51st St., Lawrenceville. (HM, CM)

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Rick Handler

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