Best things to do in Melbourne in February
Have you ever wanted to be a part of your own Japanese game show? Well, wonder no more, because Tokosan holds pub trivia, Japanese-style, on the first Wednesday of every month, called Ninja Nite Battle. There are no ninjas, so you'll just have to use your imagination. Instead of flexing your brains, Ninja Nite Battles pits teams against each other in eating competitions, sumo wrestling, human curling (we don't know what this is, but we imagine it is ridiculous and awesome), takoyaki mouth catching (yes, that is catching a hot octopus fritter with your mouth) and many more – all performed while under the safe and calming influence of alcohol. Aside from being extremely fun and potentially embarrassing, you get to win prizes along the way, as well as go up for larger prizes like a $100 dinner for two, bar tabs and merchandise. It is free to participate, but you do have to register each month.
It’s the biggest show of the decade, the show that got people watching television again, the crossover hit that tells human stories in a fantasy world… yada yada yada. You get it. Game of Thrones has finished its eight-season run in 2019, but it doesn’t mean this classic show has been stabbed and left to die (too soon?) The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience is a performance series featuring the show’s Emmy Award-winning composer, Ramin Djawadi. This series has held performances across North America and Europe in the past few years, allowing audiences to relive the show’s biggest musical moments alongside footage from the show. Daa da da-da daa da, da da da... are you ready for it? Tickets go on sale at noon on Friday, August 16. As well as the regular seated tickets, there are a few VIP packages to choose from, including a pre-show Medieval Banquet, butler service, priority entry and, of course, photo opportunities with the (replica) Iron Throne.
Whether you recognise his heartwarming sound from beloved films, know him from his early, politically strident and satirical albums like Sail Away and Good Old Boys, or prefer the 75-year-old’s 21st century releases like Dark Matter, you’ll have been charmed by Randy Newman. The prolific American composer, pianist and singer-songwriter has about as many awards on his mantlepiece (Grammy, Emmy and Recording Academy) and inductions to famed halls (Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) that you could imagine one artist might achieve across a very busy five-decade career. Yet his gentle crooning remains effortlessly relatable and relevant, from musings on US foriegn policy in the 1972 track ‘Political Science’, to the 2017 callout of Russia’s president in ‘Putin’ and, of course, the unforgettable Toy Story theme song ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’. And even if you’re not into politics or Toy Story, Newman’s epic discography includes scores from, well, scores of hugely popular films. You’ll recognise his work in the tear-jerking horse racing flick Seabiscuit, the ’90s animated film A Bug’s Life, 1981 drama Ragtime, George Clooney's football comedy Leatherheads, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and a slew of other cartoons and feature films. We’re looking forward to hearing these tracks and other tongue-in-cheek classics like ‘Birmingham’, ‘Short People’ and ‘Naked Man’ when Newman beguiles fans at Hamer Hall on Sunday, February 2 2020. Tickets are available
With Bohemian Rhapsody the tenth highest grossing film of 2018, it's no surprise that there is still a huge appetite for Queen and their instantly recognisable music. The band have teamed up with American Idol winner Adam Lambert, who has been singing lead vocals since 2012, and they are touring Australia in February 2020. You can expect all of your Queen favourites, including 'We Will Rock You', 'Radio Ga Ga' and 'We Are the Champions'. Original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor asked Lambert to perform with the band after they played a medley with six American Idol finalists in 2012 and were impressed with Lambert's vocal chops and spirit. May said of his sort-of new bandmate: "It's a worthy challenge for us, and I'm sure Adam would meet with Freddie's approval." In the immortal words of Wayne Campbell: I thought we'd go for a little 'Bohemian Rhapsody', gentlemen?
Is there a performer singing today with a more golden voice than Michael Bublé? The crooner channels the smooth sound of the greats of yesteryear like Frank Sinatra and has sold out five world tours. Now he's coming back to Austalia, with shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. And he's not coming alone; Bublé is bringing a 36-piece orchestra with him, so you know you'll be in for a very lush show. Bublé has sold more than 75 million records and has four Grammy awards. He'll be playing Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16, 2020. Tickets go on sale on June 5, with presale tickets available through Telstra on May 30.
What were the 1980s without Norwegian heartthrobs A-ha? Apart from having one of the easiest to pun band names, the European synth-pop trio are responsible for one of the most ambitious vocal crescendos with the enduring hit ‘Take on Me’ (don’t pretend like you haven’t tried and failed to sing along). A-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in more than 30 years this summer. The band have two Victorian dates locked into the calendar, including a poptastic stadium show at Margaret Court Arena. They’ll also be performing at winery festival A Day on the Green at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley. The band have announced they will be playing their popular breakthrough album Hunting High and Low in full on their Australian tour, alongside other favourite songs. For those whose A-ha discography is a little dusty, yes, that does mean you’ll be hearing ‘Take on Me’ and ‘The Sun Always Shines on T.V.’. Joining A-ha will be Rick Astley, who Gen X know as a hit-maker and Gen Y know as the inspiration behind one of the best internet pranks of the noughties. Astley had the last laugh, however, with the popularity of Rick-rolling introducing the musician to a new audience. And to wrap up the 1980s time warp, the A Day on the Green show will also include Pseudo Echo (as well as Sydney band I Know Leopard, whose band members were barely out of nappies during most of the ‘80s). Visit the website for more information and to buy tickets.---------Just kidding – you can find out
Get ready to rock-iddly-ock Melbourne. The most famous (read: to our knowledge, only) Ned Flanders-inspired heavy metal band is coming to town. Put simply, Okilly Dokilly is five men dressed up as The Simpsons’ character Ned Flanders playing “nedal” (Ned metal) music. Their dedication to their craft goes beyond just wearing pink collared shirts and green pullovers too. Each band member has a Ned name (Head Ned, Bed Ned, Dread Ned, Shred Ned and Zed Ned) and the lyrics in their songs are largely made up of Ned Flanders quotes. Take their single ‘White Wine Spritzer’ for example, which literally just features pounding riffs and the lyrics ‘ah hell, give me a white wine spritzer’ (a quote from season ten episode ‘Viva Ned Flanders). Debbie downers stay at home. If, perish the thought, Okilly Dokilly started as a joke then it’s certainly escalated beyond that. The band now have two Flan-tastic albums under their belt (Howdilly Doodilly and Howdilly Twodilly), have toured internationally and have appeared on the BBC, Time, Esquire and even had the film clip for ‘White Wine Spritzer’ featured on the The Simpsons itself. If you want to hear Okilly Dokilly live Melbourinos, head along to the Corner Hotel on Saturday, February 15. Tickets are on sale now.
The 5K Foam Fest is set to return Down Under for a foamy summer fun run. Last year’s debut brought in over 30,000 athletes and adventure seekers so you can bet your bottom dollar this year’s will top that with an even bigger schedule. The five-kilometer fun run is made up of 22 exhilarating obstacles including the world’s largest inflatable water slide, bouncy castles, mud pits, cargo climb and 70,000 cubic metres of natural foam. Up to 5,000 participants will descend on each location daily, kicking off on Saturday, November 30 at St Anne’s Vineyard in Myrniong. The event will tour nationally visiting Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide before rounding out in Canberra. For us lucky Melburnians, Victoria will host the event twice when it stops in at Wandin Park Estate in the Yarra Valley from February 15 to 16. This is the perfect summer event to enjoy with your friends or family, with a free kids zone, tasty food and drink vendors, a thirst-quenching beer garden and an on-site DJ spinning tunes to transform the fun run into one big electronic dance party. Get in early to save a buck with early bird ticket specials. Visit the website for more information and to register.
His gift is his song, and this one's for you. Elton John is coming to Australia as part of his three-year (!) Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and he is performing at several wineries as part of A Day on the Green as well as a huge stadium show at Hanging (Crocodile) Rock. The tour is just as epic as you'd expect from Elton John, with more than 300 shows across five continents. You can expect all the hits you know and love from the seasoned performer, including 'Tiny Dancer', 'Sad Songs', 'I'm Still Standing' and maybe even 'Candle in the Wind'. As Saturday night's all right for performing, John's biggest shows in Victoria will be on Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26 at Hanging Rock. Also on the Saturday theme, he's playing AAMI Park on February 22. He's also playing Mt Duneed Estate on December 7 and Rochword Wines on January 31 and February 1. Don't let the sun go down on 2020 without seeing one of pop music's living legends.
On Saturday, February 29, Beer Fest returns to the sunny grounds of Catani Gardens in St Kilda. Punters will be able to taste over 300 different kinds of small-batch craft beers, ciders, cocktails and wines throughout the day. As drinking works up quite the appetite, the Beer Fest team will also be bringing in a bunch of street food traders to keep you full. The complete line-up of beer and food trucks will be released soon. Beer Fest is all about getting to know the brewers themselves with a host of masterclasses, live demonstrations, tastings and one-on-one experiences happening throughout the event. For the 2020 event, Beer Fest is collaborating with Art Vs Science, Burnley Brewing and CryerMalt for a limited edition Summer Session Ale. It will only be available at Beer Fest. Tickets will go on sale soon (at the last festival they were set at a very reasonable $27).
More things to do in Melbourne this month
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