Have you ever been to a New Year's party that you still remembered the next morning—after you woke up with a mouth like a cotton gin and a head full of marbles? Do you want to? You see, Orange County has never been a place to settle for second best when the top spot can be secured with a few waves of oversized checks, and now, what with our meteoric rise to television stardom courtesy of national sweethearts The O.C., Laguna Beach and (all hail) the great Arrested Development, it'd be a downright embarrassment not to be a part of the action. So look out, Times Square, because Orange County New Year's Eve is set to let the ball drop like it's middle-school gym class, except, like the Georgian peach before us, we're dropping the big orange. And really, we should be impressed with a lineup that resurrects a number of bands from what was arguably the quintessential Orange County music scene. Sugar Ray emerges from the mall unscathed and dust-free; the Psychedelic Furs keep warm under the mega-watt spotlight while Lit, Reel Big Fish, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (doesn't everyone love rock & roll?), and the Violent Femmes decide to stay up past 9 just to power chord us to a welcomed death under the glimmer of a million sparkling lights—real and imaginary. A bunch of other bands and more info can be found at www.ocnye.com. Parking is free on a first-come basis, and food and drinks are available at this decidedly adult event. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.
Orange County New Year's Eve at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 740-2000; www.ocnye.com. Sat., 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $74-$150.