While the collective Earth has sighed in disgust at tragic moments of 2016, the music has been off the rails. We’ve seen some epic artwork covers but the real value is in live music. And we’ve been spoilt for choice in 2016, so here’s a taste for the best gigs – from both Aussie and international artists – that we’ve seen this year.
Flume – Splendour In The Grass
Aussie music icons don’t get much bigger than this. It’s hard to believe (and slightly depressing) that the Manly producer is only 25 years old, yet such a pioneer and influencer on the dance scene globally. With his second album release Skin killing it this year, old mate Harley played Laneway at the start of 2016 and finished with a national tour at the end. But it was his Splendour set mid-2016, broadcasted live on Triple J, which set tongues wagging. Blending in Australian made vocals on every live track, and bringing an epic live show, this set further solidifies Flume as an Australian music icon.
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly Tour
I GOT A BONE TO PICK. 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly is probably in my top three rap albums ever, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. And his early-2016 tour showcased what a true entertainer the man has become. Rattling off songs from TPAB, Maad City and his previous mixtapes, King Kendrick left impressions. We already knew he was a dope rapper, but his stage presence and audience interaction took this set of gigs to another godly level. Preach.
DMA’s – Laneway Festival
Get three Sydney lads, strap them in some Nautica apparel and what do you get? Possibly one of the best and freshest sounds to come out of Aus in years. The three piece played across Laneway Festival 2016, in possibly their biggest set of shows to date. While they keep about their business on stage, they let their music do some serious talking. From pub-anthems to acoustic sing-a-long’s, these boys are going far.
Violent Soho – WACO Tour
What a year for the Brisbane lads. Their album WACO has gone toe-to-toe with Flume for Aussie album of the year and they’ve toured the country almost non-stop. From festival appearances, to selling out their own national tour in minutes, the group goes from strength to strength. This snippet of Covered In Chrome at their Perth show just a taste of the energy the group collectively brings. If you haven’t experienced Hell Fuck Yeah in a mosh, what are you waiting for?
Coldplay – Head Full Of Dream Tour
Finishing off with one of the biggest acts in the world, undoubtedly. Coldplay’s end-of-2016 stadium tour of Australia was one of the biggest in recent memory. Bring the full production as expected, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more Snapchatted / video recorded / photographed gig ever. With album upon album of pop goodness, the British icons set capital cities alight. A Sky Full Of Stars was a huge belter made for stadiums, which summarised the captive nature of their aura.