Concerts to book now in Melbourne
Every year Melbourne Music Week explores the undercurrent of Melbourne’s vibrant local music scene in some of the city’s most forgotten corners. Throughout the week Melbourne's hefty list of live music venues go into overdrive hosting dozens of artists around the city. The centre of MMW each year is the festival hub, the venue for which changes every year. These hubs aren't just function spaces: previous hubs have included St Paul's Cathedral, the state library, the old Royal Women's Hospital and Queen Victoria Market. In 2018 the MMW festival hub will be at ACMI where Gallery One and Lightwell will be transformed into an immersive live music space and bar. Gracing the line-up this year are tried and true Aussie rockers You Am I, the soulful Renee Geyer and Detroit techno whiz Jeff Mills to name a few. As usual, Melbourne Music Week will kick off with a massive opening night party. This year it’s being curated by Heaps Gay, who have enlisted the likes of Dandrogeny, The Huxleys, the Cocoa Butter Club, Kira Puru and Maribelle to create a whiz-bang party featuring music, dance, drag, installation art and performances. This year the festival will take to the sky on November 23 when bands board the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. Climb on board with DRMNGNOW, Kalala and Soli as they perform intimate shows in the Star's cabins with only hand-held instruments (and no technical gear to fall back on). The avant-garde events continue with a psychedelic music experience in
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.
Melbourne Town Hall won't know what's hit it when You Am I, Gareth Liddiard, Clowns and New War put on a banger of a headline show at the civic building as part of Melbourne Music Week. The performance will be the first time You Am I have performed at the annual music festival, and they're making sure it's one to remember. The band, known for classic Australian rock hits like 'Berlin Chair' and 'Heavy Heart', will be incorporating Town Hall's grand organ into their performance. You'll be blown away (almost literally), with the organ able to push 90,00 cubic feet of air through its 10,000 pipes every minute. The concert will also feature Gareth Liddiard (from the Drones and Tropical Fuck Storm) plus the punky Clowns and New War.
Arnhem Land-born, Melbourne-based rapper and dancer Danzel Baker’s career has skyrocketed in the past few months. Jack Latimore caught up with him for a quick yarn for Time Out. The one-time member of Indigenous dance troupe Djuki Mala scored two spots on the 2017 Triple J Hottest 100 and has played a string of festival gigs (with more lined up). Baker Boy sings in both English and Yolŋu Matha in tracks like ‘Marryuna’, ‘Mr La Di Da Di’ and ‘Cloud 9’. You can expect deadly dance moves from him and his stage brother boys Kian and MC Dallas Woods. He's one of Australia’s fastest rising stars, so if you want to see him rip up the stage at a local live music venue now’s your chance. After his original Melbourne tour dates sold out in less than a week, Baker Boy announced two additional shows on November 18 and 25. You can buy tickets for the extra shows below. Sunday, November 18, Howler (18+). Buy tickets. Sunday, November 25, Northcote Social Club (all ages). Buy tickets.
Most gigs are already pretty dark but this one is taking the mood lighting to the next level. The Toff will be submerged into total darkness when Dark Space Project present an immersive night of psychedelic ambient music with support from Hextape and James Teague. The evening is bound to be extremely trippy, with Dark Space Project creating an improvisational soundscape of guitar, drums, violins, modular synthesizers and loops. Without the ability to see anything you’ll gain a different appreciation of the music, which will build to a crescendo before bringing you out of the dark with a visual display and laser art.
It’s women to the front on Monday, November 19, when three of Melbourne’s most promising musicians take to the festival hub. Ainslie Wills, Gretta Ray and Angie McMahon are playing a triple bill, performing their latest releases at ACMI. Hear the sincere, crystal-clear songs of Ainslie Wills, the bold and sometimes cheeky music of Angie McMahon (her song ‘Pasta’ was written after eating a whole lasagna), and the wunderkind indie-folk tunes of Gretta Ray. The gig will also donate 5 per cent of the night’s proceeds to a charity in honour of the late Scott Hutchison (of Frightened Rabbit).
Renee Geyer leads the line-up as ACMI is turned into a bedazzling discotheque as part of Melbourne Music Week. The ARIA Hall of Fame singer most known for her soulful warbling will headline the event, taking you through 40 years of dance music alongside Kylie Auldist, DJ Jnett and Chelsea Wilson. What’s more is that ACMI will be on a roll – literally – with Foreign Brothers installing a pop-up roller skating rink at the centre. The night is all about celebrating local dance culture from 1975 until now, so expect there to be lots of mirror balls, funky tunes and questionable fashion choices.
Back in 2011, director Gale Edwards and designer Brian Thomson took Puccini’s smash hit La Bohème to the wild cabaret halls and streets of 1930s Berlin. The production was embraced by die-hard romantics, opera fans and newcomers alike, and is back yet again for Opera Australia's Melbourne season. The story, which follows a close-knit group of young, fiercely idealistic bohemians through first love to untimely death. La Bohème inspired Moulin Rouge, Rent and countless adaptations, including this Weimar-set production, starring international opera stars Maija Kovalevska and Yosep Kang alongside local favourites Jane Ede and Christopher Tonkin.
One night, 13 venues. It wouldn’t be Melbourne Music Week without the latest installation of Live Music Safari, a gigantic, free, one-night-only party across some of the city’s top music venues. The event is almost like the White Night of Melbourne’s music scene, with the gigs starting at 3pm Thursday, November 22 and lasting until 5am. Yes, you will want to take Friday off work. Start at Whitehart, where Lord Echo, Strictly Vinyl (the party) and more put on a wild-themed gig. Head to Loop Project Space and Bar for some art with your music – Huntly, Blyolk and Tobacco Rat will play sets alongside a range of video, visual and performance artists. An excellent double whammy of Hexdebt and Dianas will be playing at the Toff, and you can party until the wee hours of the morning over at New Guernica with a line-up that features Chiara Kickdrum, Citizen Maze, Touchwood and more. Visit the Melbourne Music Week website for the full list of Live Music Safari gigs and venues.
The quiet seaside town of Queenscliff will be anything but quiet this November when the annual Queenscliff Music Festival returns. Now in its 22nd year, the annual festival was originally born out of necessity, with locals creating the festival to fill a gap in the region’s tourist season. The line-up for the 2019 Queenscliff Music Festival is chockers with big-name musicians and comedians – we wouldn’t be surprised if the festival sells out for its fifth year. Leading the line-up is Melbourne rock darling Courtney Barnett, country-folk favourite Kasey Chambers, the melancholic voice of the '90s the Whitlams, the hauntingly beautiful tunes of Sarah Blasko and bluesy rockers the Black Sorrows. A highlight of the festival will be the tribute to the late Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, with a 16-piece orchestra honouring the Indigenous musician with a performance of Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow). The local talent continues with the likes of Dan Sultan, Jen Cloher and Ali Barter while the international artists include Bombino, Osaka Monaural and twin brothers Amistat (who are originally from Germany but have been in Melbourne regularly for several years – read more here). In the funny front, the Queenscliff Music Festival will have you cackling thanks to Anne Edmonds, Tom Ballard, Danielle Walker and Corey White. Kids are welcome too, with children’s entertainers, clowns, puppets, roving performers and free carnival rides. Camping, glamping and accommodation options are av