Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Sydney icon-chevron-right The best gigs to see in Sydney this winter

The best gigs to see in Sydney this winter

We've picked out 15 must-see live music events this winter, from Splendour sideshows to local legends on tour

Little Simz face
Photograph: Supplied
Advertising

The cooler climate brings with it a wave of international bands and acts that are heading our way thanks to Byron’s Splendour in the Grass festival. It’s also the best time of the year to catch one-off parties and big names at Sydney Opera House and Carriageworks as part of Vivid’s music line-up. Don’t let the temperature drop stop you from catching this season’s best live music. Here are our picks of the best gigs to see in Sydney from June till August.

RECOMMENDED: The best gigs in Sydney this week.

Winter's best live music

English trio Friendly Fires standing and looking at the camera
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Rock and indie

Friendly Fires

icon-location-pin The Metro Theatre, Sydney
icon-calendar

Friendly Fires rose to prominence at the back end of the last decade thanks to their intoxicating blend of indie and dance, turning guitar anthems into pulsing, jerky freakouts. Now, making a welcome return after a three-year break to work on extra-curricular projects, the English trio are heading to Australia to share their angular riffs, extra synth stabs and more polyrhythms than you can shake a (drum) stick at.

Childish Gambino press image
Photograph: Brandon LeGallez
Music, Rap, hip hop and R&B

Childish Gambino

icon-location-pin Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
icon-calendar

You could almost hear the collective sigh of disappointment around the city when Childish Gambino cancelled his Opera House dates back in October 2018. He promised to return and he’s remained true to his word, coming to Sydney mere days after his headline slot at Splendour. This is arguably the most anticipated gig of the year and because of Donald Glover’s incredible range of projects, it’s impossible to know when (or even if) there’ll ever be another chance to see him performing crowd favourites ‘Redbone’ and ‘This is America’ in the flesh.

Advertising
James Blake face
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Dance and electronic

James Blake

icon-location-pin The Enmore Theatre, Newtown
icon-calendar

Assume Form, James Blake’s fourth album, released earlier this year, demonstrates that as well as being remarkably consistent in the high quality of his work, he’s also forever pushing forward. Never content to rest on his laurels, Blake’s augmented his brand of experimental electronic soul with appearances from alternative flamenco artist Rosalía and further forays deep into hip hop. He also collaborated with Beyoncé on Lemonade and if you’ve been touched by the hand of Queen Bey, you’re clearly doing something right.

KIAN
Photograph: Republic Records
Music, Rap, hip hop and R&B

Kian

icon-location-pin Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst
icon-calendar

Castlemaine teenager Kian might not be a household name yet, but Triple J Unearthed followers will recognise his potential (he won the 2018 title). His best-known song, ‘Waiting’, reached the top 20 in 2018’s Hottest 100, which was the first song he ever wrote at the age of 14. Now aged 16, the Victorian hip-hop and indie-pop singer is using his shining melodies and easy vocals give the impression of an artist fully in control of their destiny – and there’s only one way this kid is heading.

Advertising
Canadian pop band Alvvays members standing together
Photograph: Arden Wray
Music, Rock and indie

Alvvays

icon-location-pin The Metro Theatre, Sydney
icon-calendar

These Google-savvy Canadians hark back to the golden age of DIY indie with spirals of distortion topped by sugar-sweet melodies. What sets them apart from countless other shoegaze revivalists is the quality of their songs – you get the impression they’re a band truly in love with the three minute pop song, from the girl groups of the ’60s all the way to the chart toppers of the present day. You’ll be buried in an avalanche of guitar effects but you’ll also be humming their tunes from Antisocialites for weeks.

Fleetwood Mac crop
Photograph: Supplied
Music, Folk, country and blues

Fleetwood Mac

icon-location-pin Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
icon-calendar

Do you really need an explanation of why you should go and see genuine musical legends Fleetwood Mac? John McVie. Stevie Nicks. Christine McVie. Stevie Nicks. Over 100 million records sold. ‘Go Your Own Way’. ‘The Chain’. ‘Don’t Stop’. ‘Big Love’. We love them. You love them. Your Mum loves them. Your Dad loves them. Everyone loves them. Who cares that the most expensive tickets are as much as a week’s rent? It’s FLEETWOOD MAC.

Navigate your way through the loaded program

Advertising