2017 in review: My top 10 gigs

10. Lior & The Australian Youth Orchestra ‘Compassion’ – Recital Centre – 11 July

Incredible arrangements, Lior’s beautiful voice, one of Melbourne’s finest venues – an outstanding culmination.

9. Marlon Williams – Curtin Bandroom – 14 March

The first time in a long time and the debut of a swag of new songs – this was the hottest gig of the year, but Marlon never disappoints.

8. LCD Soundsystem – MCA – 26 July

One to tick off the wish list! Watching LCD build songs live is something to behold.

7. Sia – AAMI Park – 30 November

Art installation meets dancing theatre with some of the best modern pop songs going around. This was totally different to any pop show I’ve seen.


6. Maggie Rogers – Forum Theatre – 23 July

This caught me off guard – such a captivating new artist with material to back the hype. Despite seeing several seasoned bands the same week (thanks Splendour), this came out on top.

5. City Calm Down – Shimmerlands Festival – 5 February

Melbourne Uni in the pouring rain (I’m talking torrential) – City Calm Down played anyway in a spectacularly atmospheric fashion. Thanks for not getting electrocuted.

4. Feist – Forum Theatre – 1 December

Enchanting, musically striking and funny, Feist delivered a lengthy stand out. Album Pleasure in its entirety was a treat and her “guitar boss” moments were superb!


3. Aurora – Recital Centre – 31 January

Aurora’s vocal performance was flawless and she entranced the room with stunning music, whimsical banter and cool projections.

2. Making Gravy – Sidney Myer Music Bowl – 16 December

A solid lineup contributed to a damn fine night of tunes: Meg Mac vocally blowing us away, Gang of Youths giving one of the most expressive and fervent performances I’ve seen, and Paul Kelly dishing out the classics like he was Santa.


1. Paul McCartney – AAMI Park – 5 December

This show deserves every superlative. The songs are all classics, the singalongs amazing, the tributes heartfelt and the energy and character of 75 year old Paul almost unbelievable. The set list speaks for itself – so many Beatles tunes for what might be a once in a lifetime musical opportunity!



2016 in review: Top gigs and albums of the year

My Top 10 gigs of 2016


10. Band of Horses – Forum – 24 July

Rounding out my list is one from my 16 in 2016 hopefuls. Always a favourite, Band of Horses played a super fun show with a wicked set list.

9. Matt Corby – Palais – May

I expected this show to be good, but was really surprised at how entrancing the tunes were. It was a strange, but consequently very memorable, show. Corby was simultaneously engaging (that voice) but entirely switched off from the crowd.

8. Jordie Lane – Gaso – 18 March

Every show Jordie does is tops. This one stood out as the first showcasing his awesome Gassellland songs and the ditching of the hat – a new era 😛

7. Lianne La Havas – Howler – 8 December

This show was just Lianne and a guitar and it was perfect. She is such a charismatic performer, loves the crowd and engages like few others can.


6. Brian Wilson – 3 April

This show was great for the sheer brilliance of its set list. Brian left his performance peak behind him a long, long time ago, but with a huge band and fellow Beach Boy Al Jardine at his side, a performance of 38 (!) classics was still damn impressive. Pop music has a lot to thank him for.


5. Coldplay – Etihad – 9 December

It has to land in the list, but putting it any higher is just unfair given what monumental amounts of money went into this show. Coldplay are the stadium band of this generation and there was so much going on in this performance – runways, hidden stages, confetti explosions, fireworks, lasers, a glowing crowd… oh, and a few tunskis – it’s impossible to forget it.

4. Montaigne – Corner – 13 October

I could possibly throw Montaigne into the list twice, she’s that good live (and the twitchy-light-fest of ‘In the Dark’ at Howler was super rad), but I’ll stick with the best I saw her in 2016. Riding high on her debut and Aria noms, this was a set brimming with confidence, stellar dance moves and that amazing voice. Montaigne will be one of those “remember when she still played club shows…” kind of acts.

3. Kate Miller-Heidke and TSO – Odeon Theatre – 18 January

An interstate sojourn for a gig  right back at the start of the year. The entirety of this gig was great, but I could rate it so highly on Kate’s performance of ‘Where?’ from The Rabbits alone. Wow. Always fun and engaging, Kate’s songs lend themselves super well to an orchestra and the TSO did them serious justice.


2. Bon Iver – Sydney Opera House – 29 May

A year ago I put together a list of 16 acts I wanted to see in 2016, which included two or three big calls. One of them – Bon Iver – actually happened and I was damn stoked about it. Not only that, it was my first concert at the Sydney Opera House. The show was experimental, clever and beautiful, a kind unlike anything else I’ve seen.


1. Leon Bridges – Forum – 19 July

Every now and then there’s a show where everything aligns – the atmosphere and act colliding in a performance that just stands out from the rest. Leon Bridges is all kinds of performer: soulful, playful, magnetic, classy. His band is divine and his songs are so, so much fun. And all of that culminated at Melbourne’s finest venue for my favourite gig this year.

My Top 10 albums of 2016


10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made


9. M83 – Junk


8. Aurora – All My Demons Greeting Me As Friends


7. Bon Iver – 22, A Million


6. Ngaiire – Blastoma


5. Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math


4. Andrew Bird – Are You Serious?


3. Emma Louise – Supercry


2. Montaigne – Glorious Heights


1. Jordie Lane – Glassellland