In Melbourne we're spoilt for choice when it comes to live music, whether you're after a big festival sideshow by an international act or an intimate show at a local live music venue. Check out our curated list of gigs coming up in town in our round-up below.
Concerts to book now in Melbourne
What could be better than opera? Maybe opera with matching craft beer? And artisanal cheese? And all in the glorious surrounds of Melbourne's St Paul Cathedral? For one night in April, three opera singers, including Liane Keegan and Carlos E. Bárcenas Ramírez, and concert pianist Stefan Cassomenos will perform some of opera's best-loved arias under the stained-glass windows of St Paul's Cathedral. Better yet, the audience will receive a handpicked beer and cheese pairing for each song. The event bills itself as 'a symphony for the senses', and it looks like a visual, auditory and gastronomic feast. Rev-ale-ation aims to break down barriers and make opera more accessible, as well as elevating craft beer and excellent cheese to their rightful place in the cathedral. The host for the evening is Kirrily Waldhorn – aka The Beer Diva – and she also promises some theatrical surprises along the way.
The Killers have announced a huge tour of Australia and New Zealand in early 2018. The band will be kicking off the tour in New Zealand in April 2018, before landing in Melbourne's Hisense Arena on Friday May 4 and Saturday May 5. The tour is set to promote the band's long-awaited new album Wonderful Wonderful (due out September 22), the first record from the indie rockers since 2012's Battle Born. General public tickets go on sale via Ticketek on Tuesday October 3 at 3pm. All shows on the tour are all ages. If The Killers soundtracked the majority of your teen years When You Were Young (sorry), make sure you get those tickets and get ready for some intense flashbacks of shouting singing "he doesn't look a thing like JEE-SUS".
May swings like a gate when the annual Stonnington Jazz Festival blows into town. Acts including James Morrison (pictured), Swooping Duck, Emma Donovan and the PutBacks, Billy Davis and the Good Lords, James Sherlock and Sorcha Albuquerque, and Dr Judy Bailey will be playing in venues all over Stonnington during the ten-day festival. It's not all art for your ears, either. Mad Jazz 3: Beyond the Thunderdome will come roaring into the Astor Theatre, as the Shaolin Afronauts provide a live score for George Miller's post-apocalyptic classic. Also look out for Jazz in Colour, when three-piece rhythm section Swooping Duck collaborate with designer Lloyd Marsden to mix experimental jazz with colour, shape and light. It will be as interesting for your eyes as for your ears. For the first time, the festival is offering an industry summit for those in the business. The summit will cover everything from recording and releasing music through publicity and marketing, funding, touring and how to make money from your music. Budding jazz performers can learn how to pitch to music labels and how to bypass labels and also how to release independently. Head to the festival's website to nab some tickets.
Can you believe it's been 15 years since Jet's debut album, Get Born? Lead single 'Are You Gonna Be My Girl' launched the band into superstardom, and Get Born sold more than 3.5 million copies in its first year. The band are releasing a never-before-heard album, Get Born: Live at the Forum, which was recorded back in 2004 while Jet were touring Get Born. Other hits on the album include 'Cold Hard Bitch', 'Get Me Outta Here' and 'Rollover DJ'. The live album will be available on vinyl, digital and CD. And Jet will be returning to where it all began, embarking on an Australian tour whose Melbourne leg will include an 18s show at the famous Forum. Fifteen years on, the band are still selling out shows – most recently an electrifying performance at Melbourne Zoo Twilights. Get in quick if you really wanna make them yours.
One of soul music's leading lights, Etta James won six Grammy awards and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during her decades-long career. James was a formative influence on artists from Diana Ross, Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder and The Rolling Stones to Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera, Adele and Amy Winehouse. Vika Bull (of the Black Sorrows) brings Etta James' fascinating story to life through her best-known songs. Expect soulful takes on Tell Mama, Something’s Got A Hold On Me, the heart-rending I’d Rather Go Blind, and of course the titular At Last. At Last: the Etta James Story debuted in Melbourne in 2013 and sold out shows across the UK. It is returning to Arts Centre Melbourne for five days only in June.
Freedom Time is returning to Coburg Velodrome for the second annual winter festival of sound a vision on Saturday June 30. This one-day-only festival will feature a swag of talented musicians, DJs and producers from our party-loving shores and abroad. Wax'o Dystopio alongside labels Butter Sessions and Music From Memory will be hosting three different stages, with the likes of Dopplereffekt, Veronica Vasicka, Dip in The Pool, Joe Claussell and more bringing the rave gauntlet to the dark side of the 'drome. After sundown, LED experts from the John Fish collective will be delivering trippy visuals, plus food from La Paloma and coffee from Alley Tunes will be up for grabs, with more announced soon. Here's the full line-up: Joe ClaussellDopplereffektVeronica VasickaDip In The PoolMichael TurtleKuniyukiTakoJamie TillerWax'o DystopioSleep DSui ZhenIzabelNoise In My HeadPjennéMillúRicciTurner Street SoundCale SextonLauren Hansom
Catch super nice guy and pretty-pop purveyor Vance Joy as he tours to promote his second album, Nation of Two. The singer will be playing Rod Laver Arena for one night only, Saturday September 15. Joy has gone from strength to strength since 'Riptide' (the longest-charting song in Australian history) shot him to global fame. He spent months touring the United States with Taylor Swift, and his new album will launch on February 23. It's probably just as well that law degree at Monash didn't work out. In case you are wondering, the tour and album take their name from a quote from one of Joy's favourite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, in describing a book he was writing: "It was going to show how a pair of lovers in a world gone mad could survive by being loyal only to a nation composed of themselves – a nation of two.” Presale tickets will go on sale on February 19 at 2pm, and general public tickets will go on sale on February 23 at 10am. Brisbane-based indie pop band Cub Sport and Melbourne singer-songwriter Didirri will be the opening acts on the tour.
The Melbourne Festival is a world-renowned celebration of the finest art from across the country and the globe. Melburnians have come to expect some serious talent headlining their festival; past names include New York performance artist Taylor Mac doing a 24-hour popular music spectacular, and legendary Canadian theatremaker Robert Lepage. The 2017 festival was the second under artistic director Jonathan Holloway, and possibly boasted the most ambitious program yet. Relive all the action with our wrap-up of the 10 best things we saw at the Melbourne Festival. The 2018 Melbourne Festival will be held in October.
Bill Murray probably isn't the first person who comes to mind when you think of classical music gigs, but the Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters star has a habit of popping up where you least expect him. Hollywood's always amiable king of comedy recently recorded an album called New Worlds with German-American cellist Jan Vogler and is bringing that collaboration to Jeff's Shed this November. The album is a fusion of European classical music (composers including Ravel, Schubert and Bach) and music from American composers (Gershwin and Bernstein) with spoken word excerpts from American writers (Twain, Hemingway and Whitman). Murray will mostly perform the spoken word parts, but he does sing on a couple of tracks on the album, wrapping his distinctive voice around a few familiar tunes. The collaboration came out of Murray and Vogler's long-standing friendship. They've already performed this rather eccentric show at major halls around the US, including New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall. They will be joined by Chinese-American violinist Mira Wang, and Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez. They'll also play dates in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.