Best live music events from Australia

With the lockout laws and fun police keeping people away from clubs, the city’s live music scene has suffered a bit lately. But there’s plenty of shows coming up this year, including a few big-name names.

1. The Snuts

Located within Sydney’s Luna Park, Venue 505 is one of the city’s premier live music venues. The cosy space plays host to an array of genres from around the world.

Kicking things off with ‘Burn The Empire’, the Scottish quartet whip up the crowd with chaotic, festival-ready anthems such as ‘The Rodeo’ and ‘Knuckles’ that owe much to giddy 00s indie. Next up is ‘Zuckerpunch’ with its broken beat aesthetic and shrewd lyrics on the effects of social media.

2. Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County is back with his latest album Who Cares, following his 2019 debut Pony. The album features uplifting tracks like the harmonic KEEP IT UP, as well as introspective songs such as THE SHADE and the nostalgic piano serenade ONE IN A MILLION. It also sees the UK-based singer-songwriter reunite with Tyler, The Creator on OPEN A WINDOW.

The additional Sydney and Melbourne shows come after he was forced to cancel his 2022 tour due to COVID-19.

3. The Acacia Strain

American deathcore outfit The Acacia Strain are heading back to Australia after a long time away. They’ll be joined by Australian metalcore band Dying Wish and Newcastle’s Volatile Ways.

The new album ‘Failure Will Follow’ is a ferocious, scathing existential nightmare. It’s 30 minutes of doom, death metal, atmosphere and storytelling that’s the best they’ve ever done. There are plenty of formula shakeups but this is still very much The Acacia Strain.

4. Tems

Maximum wattage is the name of the game at Max Watt’s, a 1500-cap venue in Sydney’s entertainment quarter that regularly hosts homegrown and international talent. Tems begins with mellow original track ‘Higher’, which has become more prominent thanks to its inclusion in Future’s ‘WAIT FOR U’.

Brooklyn black-metallers Liturgy make their long-awaited return to Australia this November, playing intimate gigs in Meanjin/Brisbane, Eora/Sydney and Naarm/Melbourne. Find tickets here.

5. Big Runga

New Zealand icon Bic Runga tours Australia this August to belatedly celebrate the 20th anniversary of her acclaimed 2002 album Beautiful Collision. She’ll play her acoustic set at a handful of venues.

Daughter of a Maori soldier and a Malaysian cabaret singer, Runga looks like an exotic goddess onstage. Her soothing chord progressions and luscious, ethereal vocals soothe and engage. She’s won almost every musical honour in her homeland – including an APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award and a brace of Tui’s.

6. Valley

The US emo-punk outfit will finally hit Australia next month, bringing their ‘Fandom’ album to theatres in Ngambri/Canberra, Awakabal/Newcastle, Meanjin/Brisbane and Naarm/Melbourne. Find tickets here.

Brooklyn black metal stalwarts Liturgy will also make their debut Down Under, performing in Eora/Sydney and Naarm/Melbourne with support from one-man industrial noise act Trace Amount. See them here.

7. Eagles Of Death Metal

Despite a few setbacks, Costello and co’s plans to bring their 2023 ‘Eras Tour’ to Australia finally look like they will go ahead. Previously purchased tickets will remain valid.

107 Projects is a non-profit, community run warehouse venue and art hangout playing host to Sydney’s top artists both homegrown and international. Their sound is hard to pin down, but it definitely falls under the broad umbrella of rock.

8. Mount Eerie

Mount Eerie is the musical project of Anacortes songwriter Phil Elverum. Using music to tell a story, each track acts as its own piece of the larger narrative.

London pop luminary RAYE will bring her mesmerizing live show to Australia in February, playing two sure-to-be-iconic theatre shows. She’ll be joined by opener Hana Stretton, whose debut album is an astral folk lullaby.

9. Liturgy

New York’s self-described transcendentalist black metal group, Liturgy, continues to push the boundaries of their genre with a fearless approach to discarding convention. With their latest album, 93696, they explore religious and spiritual philosophy and the occult with stunning results.

The sprawling ‘Haelegen II’ showcases a cool use of glockenspiels to add a touch of beauty to the head-spinning polyrhythms and sludge metal. Don’t miss them this November in Sydney and Melbourne.