Live music is a massive part of what we do, and we’ve been to a lot of gigs this year, so choosing our five best gigs of the year was quite the task. We then each chose a breakthrough artist from this year!
Top five gigs…
Muse @ Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne), both nights
Barrier. Held hands with Matt Bellamy. I need buckets for my tears just thinking about it.
Seth Sentry @ The Forum (Melbourne)
A sold out hometown show with a heap of special guests. I, and everyone else in the room had a really fucking good time.
The Killers @ Big Day Out (Adelaide)
10 years I waited to see this band. Despite being in a less than ideal situation, they did not disappoint.
Darwin Deez @ The Corner (Melbourne)
A true performer. In between tracks that sounded incredible live, Darwin and his band would break into choreographed dance sets. My favourite show of Splendour Season, for sure.
Foals @ Palace Theatre (Melbourne)
The show I almost didn’t make it to. Managing to secure a ticket an hour before doors in some weird stroke of luck, the rest of the night I rocked out (and maybe cried a lil’) to one of the best live bands going around.
Jake Bugg @ The Corner (Melbourne)
At one stage jake stopped and stared into the crowd, almost in disbelief. Perfect.
Splendour in the Grass @ Byron Bay
The Jungle Giants + Northeast Party House + The Creases @ The Metro (Sydney)
I got to play cowbell on stage. That’s a life achievement right there.
Fall Out Boy @ Sydney Entertainment Center (Sydney)
I shot this gig and that was a teenage dream marked off the list. They were also so much better than their earlier tours.
Foals @ Enmore Theatre (Sydney)
Almost didn’t make it. Definitely would’ve regretted. I’ve never been more okay with someone kicking my elbow and throwing their joint/cigarette/whatever in my direction. Thanx Yannis.
Villagers @ Factory Theatre (Sydney)
Actually one of the best live bands out there. Ridiculously captivating and the whole thing is like watching Lassie (R.I.P) ride a stallion into the sunset. It’s glorious.
Laneway Festival @ Sydney
DZ Deathrays + Palms @ The Standard (Sydney)
Feelings + Jeremy Neale @ GoodGod Small Club (Sydney)
Busy Kingdom + The Trotskies + Louis Spoils @ The Grace Darling (Melbourne)
I know I probably shouldn’t be choosing a Busy Kingdom gig, but this was truly one of the best gigs this year. Both supports were mindblowing (and definitely won over some new fans that night), and Busy Kingdom kept the energy at roaring levels. The vibe in the room was just too great.
The Trouble With Templeton @ Northcote Social Club (Melbourne)
I was on crutches, the weather was awful, Tom was sick- it all suggested that the night would be a bust. The Trouble With Templeton’s control of a full Northcote Social Club totally blew that idea out of the water. Playing new album Rookie almost in its entirety, the quintet was stunning, but the highlight was no doubt Tom singing ‘I Wrote A Novel’ solo, forgetting the words and requiring audience members to lead the second verse. (Let’s not forget that awkward bow either).
Patrick James @ Ric’s Bar for BigSound (Brisbane)
In a rowdy, ridiculously packed Ric’s, Patrick James stole everyone’s attention with his stunning voice and band arrangements. Having seen Patrick play before, this gig felt different, like it was the start of something really huge.
Paul Dempsey @ The HiFi (Melbourne)
Paul Dempsey is the ultimate performer. In his 20+ years of live shows, he has perfected the balance between banter and music, and enjoys a good chat with the crowd. Always hilarious, but then absolutely floors sold out rooms with just his voice and one guitar. His HiFi show was the last of his Shotgun Karaoke tour, so we scored some of the more difficult tracks (Sheryl Crow’s ‘Makes You Happy’ for example), as well as some great stories from the previous shows on the run.
Chance Waters + The Griswolds + Lime Cordiale @ Northcote Social Club (Melbourne)
Yeah, so this was on my birthday, which made it automatically awesome, but the trio of great- and varied- Aussie acts made it so much better. Lime Cordiale threw tracks from their new EP Falling Up The Stairs at us, The Griswolds visiting Melbourne for the last time before their five month USA jaunt, and Chance Waters winning hearts with that trademark smile.
We were even treated to Kate Martin hitting the stage with Chance for their collaboration ‘Conjure Up A Fire’, and a pre-release peek at ‘Bonnie’ (Waters and The Griswolds’ killer track). Good vibes and even a birthday callout from the stage, I couldn’t skip this one.
Boy & Bear @ The Forum (Melbourne)
Josh Pyke @ Gertrude’s Brown Couch (Melbourne)
Spin Off Festival @ Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide)
And now, last but not least, the artists we thought really made 2013 their own…
Another fresh discovery that landed in my inbox one day, Remi’s spectacular mixtape F.Y.G (Fuck Your Genre) set him on the path to notoriety. The 2013 triple J Unearthed Artist Of The Year and acclaimed by critics – Remi has definitely broken through.
This one is a given. The guy has taken the Australian music scene by storm. Just watch any of his music videos if you haven’t yet and you’ll be just as charmed as the rest of us.
This year Patrick supported Josh Pyke nationally, was very popular at BigSound, sold out most of his headline tour, got signed to Select, released new single ‘Wait’ and played at Gorgeous and Queenscliff Music Festivals. This boy and his band have been busy, but it’s clearly been worth it.
Agree with us? Don’t? Comment below with some of your highlights of 2013.