We can't think of a better way to celebrate the new year than to dress up like it's Halloween and spread a little mayhem around town. Mushroomhead will help say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012 this weekend with a potent dose of alternative metal at their annual Old School Christmas Show at Peabody's. Jeffrey Nothing, Waylon, Gravy, Pig Benis, Shmotz, Stitch, Skinny, and L.D. will look back on their two-decade career with a set and costumes that focus on some of their greatest periods, so you can expect songs from their 1995 self-titled debut and 1999's M3. The Cleveland band's latest album, Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children, came out in 2010, and Nothing recently released his debut solo record, so you might hear a few songs from them too. Mushroomhead recently streamed their Milwaukee concert at theravelive.com, and they sounded (and looked, of course) primed for action. Things should get fierce onstage Friday. — Logan Boggs
With Tenafly Viper and Killing It. 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 30. Peabody's. Tickets: $30, $25 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or visit peabodys.com.
Musicals That Rock!
It's no secret that musicals can get over-dramatic and cheesy. That's one reason rock fans steer clear of them. But there have been exceptions over the years, like The Rocky Horror Show, which set the tone for a new and somewhat edgy kind of stage production back in the mid-'70s. Thanks in part to the still-thriving cult-movie version, the musical remains popular onstage too: Chagrin Valley Little Theatre brought it back last summer, and the singers and musicians involved in that production will reunite as the Phantoms this weekend as part of the one-night showcase Musicals That Rock! You'll also hear tunes from the glam-rock freakout Hedwig & the Angry Inch. Cleveland Public Theatre will pull together a crew of some of the city's finest rockers — including members of Pere Ubu and Queue Up — to tell the tale of a young East German boy and his schlong. Come, ring in the new year with fishnets and gender confusion. — Danielle Sills
9 p.m. Friday, December 30. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
It's your fault, Cleveland. If local radio didn't constantly play "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" and fans didn't embrace the group's first performance here in 1999, there's a good chance Trans-Siberian Orchestra wouldn't be the seasonal juggernaut it's become, with two companies crisscrossing North America at the end of each year. Paul O'Neill — the creative mind behind the bombastic mix of Christmas classics, hard-rock histrionics, and rock opera — draws on the amped-up symphonic sounds he hatched 24 years ago with the band Savatage. His vision taps into an audience that finds The Nutcracker too highbrow, preferring instead eye-candy pyrotechnics and a jeans-and-T-shirt aesthetic. For their two shows at the Q on Friday, Trans-Siberian Orchestra will play Christmas Eve and Other Stories in its entirety, followed by excerpts from the upcoming Gutter Ballet and the New York Blues Express, a revamped version of an album O'Neill started writing in the '70s. — John Patrick Gatta
3 and 8 p.m. Friday, December 30. Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets: $29-$56.50; call 888-894-9424 or visit theqarena.com.
Boston has been the center of one of the most active, revered, and durable folk scenes in the country ever since Greenwich Village gave up the crown in the 1960s. Among the icons who have emerged from that region over the past four decades, Catie Curtis is royalty. The Maine native relocated to Boston after college, working the scene for years before recording her debut, 1995's Truth From Lies. Since then, she's gained a rabidly loyal audience, had her songs featured in some of the biggest shows on TV, nabbed a few important awards here and there, and won over the most cynical critics by writing compelling and wonderful songs from a joyful perspective. Curtis released her 11th album, Stretch Limousine on Fire, last summer; it's another stellar example of her clear, shimmering style, this time mixed with a rare melancholy look back at the realities of the passage of time — because that's what queens of folk do at this stage of their careers. — Baker
9 p.m. Saturday, December 31. The Winchester. Tickets: $20; call 216-226-5681 or visit thewinchester.net.
Chimaira Christmas 12
There's a faint jingle in the air and a dying tree on every curb, so it must be time for Chimaira's annual Christmas bash! And it wouldn't be a holiday get-together with Cleveland's favorite metal sons without a little family drama. The band unveiled its sixth album, The Age of Hell, earlier this year — soon after word leaked that longtime drummer Andols Herrick and keyboardist/programmer Chris Spicuzza were leaving the band. And less than a month ago came news that guitarists Matt DeVries and Rob Arnold are also bolting for "personal reasons." However you feel about it (the group's website comment section is filled with venomous reactions), this weekend's Christmas 12 will be your last chance to witness the might and majesty of Chimaira with the guitarists who established their signature groove over the past decade and helped make 2009's The Infection a national hit. All together now: "On the 12th year of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two shredding guitarists ..." — Brian Baker
With Skeletonwitch, Salt the Wound, the World We Knew, and Rogue. 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 30. House of Blues. Tickets: $12-$25; call 216-523-2583 or visit houseofblues.com.
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