The Hi-Tone has been in new owner Brian "Skinny" McCabe's hands for just over a year now, and the one-time Newby's manager has proved he's more than capable of keeping up with the old traditions of the Midtown venue. By keeping the big-name metal shows and premiere garage-rock bills that attract the Goner crowd intact, McCabe has done a good job silencing the critics that worried the hip venue would crumble under the hands of new ownership. As an unofficial celebration of overall success, the Hi-Tone will host their annual New Year's Eve show on Thursday, December 31st (imagine that) with locals Dead Soldiers, China Gate, and HEELS all set to perform.
While it was recently announced that the Dead Soldiers counterpart the Memphis Dawls will be taking an indefinite hiatus, the Soldiers are still marching on, with a Daytrotter session recently completed and tour dates coming in 2016. China Gate (featuring Conner Booth of Gimp Teeth) are also starting to gain a local following, representing a new breed of Memphis indie rock alongside bands like Rickie and Aimee, Taylor Loftin, Loser Vision, and Lady LaPanto. Rounding out the show is HEELS (not to be confused with Philadelphia's The Heels), a self-described "drunk folk" band that sits somewhere in between alt-country and pop-punk. HEELS have one EP under their belt — the recently released Even If It's Nothing, It's Something — and the band has received airtime on local radio in between some sporadic local live shows. The show kicks off at 9 p.m., but even if you have plans earlier in the evening, make sure to arrive to secure a good spot for the champagne toast at midnight.