Ice Cube, Mazzy Star, Cat Power lead Vivid LIVE 2018 line up
The full line up for the Vivid LIVE component of the annual Vivid festival in Sydney has been unleashed this morning, and it’s looking like an unmissable couple of weeks for fans of high quality music.
We already knew that Solange was bringing her show down for the event, but there’s much more where that came from.
The almighty Ice Cube will return to Australia to play four nights at the Sydney Opera House. Who saw that coming 30 years ago?
The former N.W.A. member and impossibly influential solo artist will play a stack of his classic hits each and every night, shaking the Concert Hall to its metaphorical foundations.
His string of records from the early ‘90s would have to be up there as the most impressive runs of classic records in any genre. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, The Predator and Lethal Injection are all hugely influential, timeless tomes of hip hop and we get the chance to hear the absoluite best parts of them live in their entirety at the Sydney Opera House, of all places. Epic.
For the first time ever the impossibly beautiful dream pop trailblazers Mazzy Star are heading to Australia and will play a show as part of Vivid LIVE. Hope Sandoval and David Roback started making music in the late-‘80s and became one of the most celebrated acts of the 90s thanks to their three gorgeous records She Hangs Brightly, So Tonight That I Might See and Among My Swan.
They took a long break following that third release but returned with the excellent Seasons of Your Day half a decade ago. Now they’re finally coming to Australia and we can hardly believe it.
Let’s be frank, ‘Fade Into You’ is objectively one of the best songs of all time. If that’s your only knowledge of the band thus far, there’s still time to lose yourself in their catalogue of amazing music and find yourself in the Sydney Opera House for their historic first Australian shows ever.
Not many people in the history of modern music have written as many stone cold classic pop songs as Neil Finn. He continues to push himself creatively too, and at Vivid LIVE will perform his new album Out Of Silence in collaboration with an orchestra, as well as a full band. Just another chapter of a hugely storied career.
It’s a little shocking to think that Cat Power’s brilliant fourth album Moon Pix celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It still sounds every bit as beautiful as it did back in the late-‘90s, and you’ll know that for sure when Chan Marshall returns to Australia to play the record in full for Vivid. Recorded in Melbourne with Jim White and Mick Turner backing her up, the record features some of her most well-known songs and is a masterclass in gorgeously restrained indie rock. White and Turner will join Marshall for this very special celebration of a very special album in the Concert Hall for Vivid LIVE.
RELATED: The J Files: Cat Power
Sam Beam has made a lot of brilliant records as Iron & Wine over the years. One of the absolute best of them was last year’s Beast Epic, which feels like an intimate, stripped back return to his roots. His songwriting is as thoughtful as ever and his voice will sound so good in the Joan Sutherland Theatre this May.
Sadly, the opportunities to see Melbourne post-punk heroes Total Control show are few and far between. Thankfully, Vivid Live is giving us one of those rare opportunities this year. One of the country’s most celebrated bands are just as energising and viscerally exciting live as they are on record and they’ll bring an exciting energy to the Vivid bill in 2018.
The first ever Australian shows for Daniel Johns and Luke Steele’s new project DREAMS will happen at Vivid LIVE, as the duo’s new electro project gets audiences dancing for one big night this May. With just one track released so far, we’re not exactly sure what to expect, but we trust them.
We've only scratched the surface.
There'll be shows from crowd pleasers Middle Kids, alt-R&B bright spark H.E.R., celebrated Melburnian surrealists HTRK, innovative Cretan masters Xylouris White and Tom Iansek and Tom Snowdon's stunning latest project No Mono.
A collab between NIMA Award dominators Kuren and Electric Fields, a live recreation of Brian Eno's 1978 ambient masterpiece Music For Airports from Sydney's Alaska Orchestra.
A Burial tribute night curated by DJ Eli and club nights hosted by the likes of Repressed Records, Astral People, Mad Racket.
Plus Fugazi's Guy Picciotto will be in the country for a screening of their 1999 documentary Instrument and a special Q&A.
The full Vivid program, which happens all across Sydney, features performances from perennial Double J Album of the Year frontrunner (#1 in 2014, #3 in 2017) St. Vincent, indie rock mainstays The Brian Jonestown Massacre and wildly popular young gun Vera Blue.
But the bulk of the music is happening at the Sydney Opera House as part of the special Vivid LIVE program: and what a bill it is.
We’re staring down the barrel of another incredible couple of weeks of music in Sydney this May and June.
Here’s the full line up:
Solange, Mazzy Star, Ice Cube, Cat Power (Moon Pix 20th Anniversary), DREAMS (Daniel Johns & Luke Steele), H.E.R., Iron & Wine, Neil Finn (Out Of Silence with orchestra), No Mono, Total Control & Friends, Middle Kids, Joep Beving, Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto (Instrument Screening + Q&A), Xylouris White, HTRK, An Evening With Repressed Records, Brian Eno’s Music For Airports performed by Alaska Orchestra, Club Kooky, Kuren x Electric Fields, Burial 12”s Played All Night Long, Astral People ft. Danny Krivit, Mad Racket ft. Lord Of The Isles
For all the finer details – venues, dates, ticketing details et al – hit up the Vivid LIVE website. Double J will be on the ground for the festival this year, stay tuned for some very exciting news about what we have planned to get into the spirit of Vivid LIVE.