Being the (self-described) live music capital of Australia, Melbourne has long been a center of attraction for travelers and music enthusiasts alike. Despite the high-profile closure of Bourke Street’s Palace Theater, Melbourne is still home to lots of outstanding venues where you can catch anything from local bands to international stars seven nights a week. From theaters to basement bars, here are four great spots to catch a live gig while in Melbourne according to 'The Guardian'.
According to their list, live music in Melbourne begins and ends with the Corner Hotel, adjacent to Richmond station. The iconic mid-size pub has hosted live music since the 1940s and now has a spacious band room with two bars and a rooftop upstairs. (BTW, it also serves great pub grub and runs weekly rooftop trivia). It has hosted everyone from blink-182 and U2 to the Australian acts of Elliott Smith, Paul Kelly and You Am I. It's where Jack White wrote that riff to Seven Nation Army during a sound check in 2001. Here, The Living End played a whopping 11 sold-out shows on their retrospective tour in 2012, and Lorde played a couple of intimate shows celebrating the release of Pure Heroine. However, watch out for that pillar standing right in the middle of the room. Just like the Mona Lisa, wherever you stand, it always appears to be watching you.
A relatively new player on the Melbourne scene, a multi-purpose space in an old wool store that has already hosted book launches, World Cup parties and flea markets, as well as a string of gigs by celebrated US artist, St Vincent. It has also been transformed into a seated theater. It has a few raised booths at the back and usually dumplings are on offer in the bar. Howler is snuggled behind a car-park adjacent to Jewell train station in Brunswick.
Everybody who’s been in the Cherry Bar, has a story about it. Founded in 1999, Cherry earned the famously crabby Noel Gallagher’s fondness to the extent that he offered to buy it. It had turned away Lady Gaga’s request to hold an after-party there because it conflicted with a local band’s booking, and also saw the Arctic Monkeys front-man Alex Turner looking good on the dance floor. It has live music 365 days a year. So whether it’s an encounter with a touring musician, or stumbling on a secret gig, if you ever go down AC/DC Lane, you’ll definitely meet some unforgettable characters.
Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda
Since 1878, Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda, has been the focus of live music scene in South Melbourne. It’s also the longest running live music venue in Australia. The famously known ‘Espy’ has three band rooms, from its basement bar refurbished in 2005 to the 650-capacity Gershwin Room, and has hosted thousands of local and international gigs. The Esplanade’s New Year’s Eve parties that take over the entire venue have become legend. The likes of Spiderbait, You Am I and Something for Kate have all played here in recent years.
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