Concerts to book now in Melbourne
Six rooms at the Espy are being transformed into an immersive, interactive live music and art experience. The grand old Espy has always been a big supporter of live music, the weirder the better. Heck, it was even home to the largest philanthropic arts donor in Australia, Alfred Felton. So we’re not surprised that the Swell live music and art team have chosen the new and improved Espy as the home. This time around Swell is converting six rooms at the Espy (including rooms usually closed to the public) into six different music and art experiences centred around the concept of “music as medicine”. For those unfamiliar with Swell’s wild live music and art events, we’ll explain: each gig (there are five for this iteration) is a bit like a musical, arty choose-your-own-adventure. For two hours you can wander between the six rooms, where you’ll get up close to the musicians. While we don't want to spoil the experience too much, we can tell you that Swell 4.0 involves sensory deprivation, musical buckets of water, a confession booth and dozens of glowing tealights (among other weird and wonderful things). The line-up for Swell 4.0 includes Hayden Calnin and Nick Acquroff (n.y.c.k), Edd Fisher (of Waxo Paradiso), the General Assembly, Naretha Williams, Loose Tooth, Go Get Mum, David Sauvage (NYC), Hybrid Man, Deep Soulful Sweats and DollFace. Swell 4.0 is the latest in the series of live, site-specific gigs – previous iterations of Swell have taken place inside secret rooms a
We'd be lion if we said that Zoo Twilights wasn't our summer highlight. The concert series kicks off in January and attracts some pretty big names in music. Kicking things off on January 25 will be Client Liason, followed by a very special double headline performance by Briggs and Archie Roach on January 26. International acts including Cat Power, Hanson, the Internet, Rufus Wainwright, Marlon Williams and Aloe Blacc will all be hitting the stage, as well as local heroes Sampa the Great and Remi, Daryl Braithwaite and Ross Wilson, Vera Blue and The Cat Empire. Topping the line-up, of course, are the Zoo's wild residents. All proceeds from the Zoo Twilights summer concert series will be going back towards the zoo's conservation work, including work to save the Eastern Barred Bandicoot from extinction. No Zoo Twilights night is complete without a gourmet picnic – pre-order a hamper with your tickets or check out the Taste of Twilights food zone on the night for street eats from some of Melbourne's best food trucks. Zoo Twilights tickets also include exclusive zoo entry from 5.30-7pm before the show (Zoo Twilights tickets do not include entry to the zoo prior to 5.30pm). See the full line-up with support acts below. Fri Jan 25 – Client Liaison supported by Kira Puru Sat Jan 26 – Briggs and Archie Roach supported by Alice Sky Fri Feb 1 – Sampa the Great and REMI supported by Thando Sat Feb 2 – Daryl Braithwaite and Ross Wilson Fri Feb 8 – Vera Blue supported by Kesma
NGV has brought together a world-first music collaboration, Bach X Reimagined, in response to the current Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds exhibition. Curated by anon., a collaborative creative platform founded by pianist Nicole Tj and violinist Thomas Lo, the music series will run until April 6 during the gallery’s weekly NGV Friday Nights event. Four composers, 18 performing artists and a sound designer will be featured throughout the series, which features re-interpretations of classical music in pop-up performances around the gallery. Every Friday, audiences will witness live performances at 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30pm by some of Australia’s top performing artists. Jazz group Tony Gould & Co, pianists Benjamin & Krishna Martin, baroque performers Laura Vaughan & Co and piano trio anon. are some of the artists that will showcase the magic of Bach across various genres. Composers Tony Gould, Benjamin Martin, Matthew Hindson and Nicholas Buc will present a re-interpretation of the techniques and motifs of Bach, as well. To keep the audiences entertained and the experience immersive, sound designer Marty Hicks will fill in the space between live performances with his soundscapes which engage Bach motifs with modern sound design. A full line-up of artists can be found on the NGV website. Tickets start at $28.
The NGV's Friday Nights series is back for another round, and this time they’re pairing a string of gigs alongside the new Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds. Few things go hand-in-hand like music and art, and NGV Friday Nights’ set-up is the best way to take in the latest NGV exhibition after dark while enjoying the best in local and international acts. This season’s line-up kicks off on December 7 with the line-up boasting some headline electronic artists and DJs including songwriter and producer Andy Bull, Melbourne duo Confidence Man, Sydney's Nicole Millar, record producer Jonti, Australian/Filipino artist Chela plus a special Saturday night DJ set from San Cisco on Saturday, April 6. Check the NGV website for full line-up details. While there, guests can also get amongst the Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden for a fun after-dark frolick. The internationally recognised gin brand has transformed the NGV Garden Restaurant into a space inspired by the words of nendo and MC Escher. Here you can sip on summer fruit cocktails which feature fresh herbs from the NGV Garden.
A Day on the Green is quite possibly Australia's classiest rock festival. Since 2001 the festival series has been offering punters a far more grown-up festival experience. Each summer ADotG takes over picturesque wineries and estates across the country to host some of the biggest artists in the music biz. In Victoria the wineries that generally host the concerts include Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley, All Saints Estate in Rutherglen and Mt Duneed Estate just outside of Geelong. From December to March the likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bryan Ferry, Florence + the Machine, Billie Eilish, Marlon Williams, John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins, Dan Sultan, Stella Donelly, John Farnham, Daryl Braithwaite, Bachelor Girl, Rodriguez and Xavier Rudd will grace the summer festival line-up. Tickets for all shows are available now.
'Can’t Stop' listening to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers? We have some good news. The highly successful Californian funk rock band are returning to Australia for their first headline tour in over a decade. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers are one of rock’s most enduring bands, with more than 30 years' experience churning out hits like ‘Californication’, ‘Snow’, ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘Scar Tissue’. The band are as known for their devil-may-care antics as they are for their music, with no one able to forget their infamous “sock only” stage outfits. Singer Anthony Kiedis, drummer Chad Smith, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and the Melbourne-born bassist Flea will play at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, February 28. If you live closer to Geelong, the band will also be playing a few days later at Mt Duneed Estate as part of A Day on the Green. Tickets for the band's show at Rod Laver Arena go on sale to the public on Monday, November 26.
Moreland dwellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to musical talent, but no more so than during the annual Brunswick Music Festival when international and local acts party with locals in a celebration of great music. The ever-popular Sydney Road Street Party kickstarts shenanigans on Sunday, March 3, followed by a solid schedule of music and good food in just about every event space Moreland has to offer. Most of the moovin' and groovin' this time around will take place in the Moreland Hotel and Brunswick West’s Estonian House, which will now host music for the first time in years. You can head along to gigs from the likes of Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, the Murlocs, The Necks, Stella Donnelly, Cosmic Psychos and heaps more. There will also be performances during the festival from Bec Sandridge, Thando, the Orbweavers, Loose Tooth and more. Coming in from overseas will be Snail Mail, Flohio and J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. Keep your eyes peeled for a Dolly Parton tribute night, a masquerade ball and a free outdoor concert at Shore Reserve. You’ll also be able to visit the festival hub of The Brunswick Mechanics Institute, across from the Brunswick Town Hall, which will be home to panels, an exhibition, workshops, performances and parties. Some of the program highlights are free, while others require you to fork over a few dollarydoos, but this two-week party is guaranteed to be worth the price of admission.
Yes, those Eagles. The 'Hotel California', 'Lyin' Eyes', 'Desperado', 'Tequila Sunrise', 'Witchy Woman' and 'Take it to the Limit' Eagles are coming to Melbourne for one night only. Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, along with Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, will be playing Rod Laver Arena on March 5. The Eagles are one of the best-selling acts of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums. They were last in Melbourne in 2015 for a smash-hit tour that included Hanging Rock and Hope Estate shows. You ain't getting no younger, so maybe it's time to lighten up while you still can. Tickets are on sale October 15, with presale available October 9.
Imagine, for a moment, that it’s 2003 again. You’re looking at your crush’s MySpace and thinking of what lyric from cool indie band Death Cab for Cutie’s new album Transatlanticism to send them over MSN Messenger. Fast forward to today, five Death Cab releases later, and you’re still enamoured by Ben Gibbard’s emo lyrics and layered, wistful vocals. The band’s ninth studio album, Thank You for Today, was released in August 2018, and to celebrate the release they’ll be headed to Melbourne and playing two shows. Playing Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Death Cab for Cutie will be playing all of their melancholy, emotional pop songs including (we hope) ‘I Will Follow You into the Dark’, ‘Transatlanticism’, ‘Lack of Color’, ‘Soul Meets Body’ and ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’. Due to popular demand the band have announced a second Melbourne show at Arts Centre Melbourne on Thursday, March 7. Tickets are on sale now, so best check the Arts Centre Melbourne website for updates.
Like kimchi tacos or tandoori chicken pizza, sometimes the best things come from mixing two heretofore discrete styles. Play On blends classical music and cutting-edge electronica, creating a surprisingly enthralling musical fusion. This year's series kicks off on March 8 with a string quartet led by violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller playing a selection of other-worldly drone-based works by 12th-century philosopher, composer and saint Hildegard von Bingen. The quartet is also playing American composer Steve Reich's 1988 work for string quartet and tape, ‘Different Trains'. After the quartet, DJ Babicka promises to fill the dance floor with tunes inspired by the first set. The second show on March 15 is a world-first improvised collaboration between classical percussionist Thea Rossen and electronic duo Sleep D. The final show in this series will feature Chinese Australian Guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang, who plays both traditional Chinese folk songs and her own compositions. Afterwards, DJ Adriana (host of PBS FM’s Opalakia) will play everything from boogie to world music. The unconventional concerts aim to showcase up-and-coming musical talent as well as making classical music more accessible to new audiences. Similar events have gone down a storm in New York and Berlin.