By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
By Kat Bein
By Abel Folgar
By Laurie Charles
Wouldn't it be great if we were all lucky enough to spend New Year's Eve snorting an entire uncut key of White Diamond caviar while guzzling ice-cold magnums of Piper Heidsieck 1907 as if it were Gatorade?
Unfortunately, you've got to be a Kardashian, some guy with a rare and painful (but extremely lucrative) condition that causes him to crap cash, or the Russian heir to a kazillion-dollar oil pipeline to afford that kind of fun. For the rest of us, there's always next year.
Below, you'll find eight ways to party New Year's Eve. Some are probably too pricey for your shallow pockets. But others will fit your budget fine so long as you forgo the liquid-gold aperitif. Enjoy the awesomeness.
Usher. 9 p.m., American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; aaarena.com. Admission costs $29.50 to $353 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Unlike so many other pop Lotharios, Mr. Usher Raymond IV didn't opt for some super-exclusive NYE party attended only by celebs and their imaginary friends. Instead, the R&B star with the rippling abs decided to take his OMG world tour to the American Airlines Arena so he could hang with 19,600 of his closest homies.
Mostly, he'll be hustling the new-ish album, Raymond v. Raymond, which details his mean, messy, and much-blogged-about split from ex-wife Tameka Foster. Although, you can still expect crazy special effects, lots of gratuitous drawer-dropping, and soulful scorchers such as "My Boo" and "Love in This Club."
And finally, all you single ladies and gentlemen planning to steal a vial of Usher's sweat for your devotional shrine... Good luck. After recently getting kicked in the head by a fan named Donnetia Rabb at Madison Square Garden, expect the man's security to be extra tight. It would be a real shame if that face got mangled. It's mofo's moneymaker.
Nicki Minaj. 9 p.m., Mansion, 1235 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-1525; mansionmiami.com. Tickets cost $150 to $5,000 via wantickets.com. Way back in the beginning of 2010, you harbored this strange delusion of spending a pleasure-filled night with the best (lady?) rapper alive, Nicki Minaj. You imagined romping through a semi-private, electric-pink wonderland of gooey cotton candy and warm shag carpet. You imagined trading verses. You imagined getting über-expensive booty shots so you could be exactly like her.
But as the days clicked past and the hits ("Bed Rock," "Massive Attack," "Your Love") piled up and every multi-platinum rapper in the world (Diddy! Drake! Lil Wayne!) revealed his undying love for Ms. Minaj, you lost hope.
Then you heard about her All-Pink Everything New Year's Eve party and it was all you ever dreamed of: cotton candy machines, super-bright shag, Harajuku Barbie dancers with ass prosthetics, and free pink drinks till you puke. Yes, you and Nicki won't be alone. But maybe someday.
Drake. With DJ Irie, Stephan Luke, Phresh, Blaze, Sinatra, and Jacomino. 9 p.m., W South Beach, 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-938-3130; wmiami2011.com. Tickets cost $381.50 to $9,300. Ages 21 and up. If you're debating whether to drop $381.50 in loose change on general admission tickets for Drake's NYE bash, here are a few things to consider:
Pros: All guests will enjoy free drank courtesy of Ciroc Vodka. Then, shortly after midnight, Drizzy will perform a live set of super-hits such as "Miss Me" and "Over" before popping over to WALL for an afterparty. (Wait, there's a catch. Check out the cons.) And finally, if Nicki Minaj happens to go AWOL from Mansion, you might even catch a glimpse of Ms. Harajuku Barbie's gravity-defying ass.
Cons: That aforementioned afterparty at WALL isn't part of the basic bundle. If you want to attend, it's going to cost an additional $325. Do the math and you're down $706.50, not including the cost of taxes, fees, parking, and tipping. So partygoers, you might not be able to afford breakfast cereal for the first two weeks of 2011. But who cares? Make it rain!
Tiesto. 9 p.m., Fontainebleau, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-2000; fontainebleau.com. Tickets cost $450 to $25,000 via fbnye.snaptickets.com. For just $25,000, you and your pookie head posse can reserve the Magnum stage-side table for a night with Dutch electro-DJ Tiesto. What exactly does that money buy you? Mad notoriety, a shit-ton of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, and ten VIP wristbands that figuratively scream, "Happy new year! I'm effin' rich!" If, however, you can't swing the equivalent of a down payment on a house, don't stress, just go for the baller-on-a-budget option: a $450 ticket that gets you in the door, at an open bar from 9 p.m. until midnight, and in a sweet Facebook photo album.
Lloyd. 9 p.m., SoBe Live, 1203 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-725-3353; sobelivesouthbeach.com. Tickets cost $50 to $2,500 via wantickets.com. Why spend New Year's Eve with Lloyd (AKA Young Goldie)? Because he's a world-class lover-man with the ability to make your Serta shake like a Magic Fingers vibrating mattress. (Plus, you've got to do something while you wait for his new album King of Hearts to drop Valentine's Day 2011.) Lloyd will perform radio hits such as "Get it Shawty," "You," and 2010's biggest break-out single, "Bed Rock," a track that confirmed his alliance with the Young Money camp. Should you expect a guest appearance by camp director himself, Lil Wayne? Anything's possible, especially when Young Mula princess Nicki Minaj is partying next door at Mansion. One way or another, expect a lot of rocking — of both bed and dance floor.