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Live Review: Toni Braxton - Sydney Opera House (13.09.15)

All it took was one award winning concept album (last year's Love, Marriage, and Divorce with Babyface) and R&B veteran Toni Braxton found herself back in the music spotlight after years of absence. With encouragement from Babyface, a long-time collaborator and legend in his own right, Braxton was able to channel that energy and re-focus the voice that made her one of the shining stars of 90s contemporary R&B, with about 67 million record sales to boast. It then seems like perfect timing for Braxton to finally make her way down to Australia for a debut tour, playing in some of the country's most renowned venues. Sydney's turn was, of course, in the Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House, giving us around 1.5 hours with the universally adored performer who very much proved that her return to form is the real deal.

Live Review: SAFIA - Factory Theatre, Sydney (10.09.15)

“Do you guys want an album?” Safia’s loved vocalist Ben Woolner screamed out to a sold out Factory Theatre. In reverse career mode, the Canberra three-piece is now a household name in Australian music with just five official singles. They brought stadium level dynamics to a medium-sized venue (read: strobe lights and moving visuals) and turned an local weeknight gig into something really memorable.

Live Review: Tkay Maidza - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (10.09.15)

Nearly two years ago, a young, Adelaide rapper called Tkay Maidza played a much-hyped show at the Beresford Hotel in Sydney. It was a smallish gig, the crowd mostly made up of curious onlookers, industry people, and fans that had jumped on board her after the release of her first single, "Brontosaurus". What quickly become apparent as the night wore on was that Maidza was anything but a one hit wonder, her rapid fire flow searing through the beats. It was the most exciting thing to come from Australian rap in years.

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night Two - Part Three (10.09.15)

Tired Lion at BIGSOUND Live

My second night of BIGSOUND brought just as much variety as the first. With so many artists to see it’s always a matter of ‘trade-offs,’ but here are just a few highlights from the night!

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night Two - Part Two (10.09.15)

Pictured: Koi Child

Hangovers reeling, tiredness setting in; though there’s no time to stop as the music keeps on spinning at BIGSOUND live round two. My second night started at The Zoo for I Know Leopard. Leopards in a zoo, I’m sure there is a pun in there somewhere. With their cosmic, ‘70s inspired, melancholic pop tunes the band tugged on heart strings of punters, providing merit for the heavy airplay their new single "Close My Eyes" is getting on Triple J. Sharp rhythms and soft melodies come together in a perfect marriage.

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night Two - Part One (10.09.15)

And so BIGSOUND Live continues into its second night. The conference is still going, and people moving distinctively slower tonight than they were last night. However with plenty of fresh new live music to partake in, there is not time for sleep yet!

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night One - Part Three (09.09.15)

Every year as September rolls around, Brisbane opens up it’s arms and takes Australia’s youngest up and coming musical talents into a warm, boozy embrace. An all you can eat musical buffet of 150 bands across 15 stages was presented for punters to feast on as the sun went down over the Fortitude Valley skyline.

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night One - Part Two (09.09.15)

Pictured: DEAFCULT

It sounds a little cliché, but the first night of Bigsound really was a showcase of the variety of Australian musicians making waves at the moment. The spectrum of genres was amazing to see, and no doubt we’ll be hearing much more from these very talented artists.

BIGSOUND Live: Highlights of Night One - Part One (09.09.15)

Walking into this year’s BIGSOUND, I feel inspired. 150+ acts, 15 venues, and looking at the program, I probably can recall a song or two from maybe 10 or so artists. This is what BIGSOUND is all about, the opportunity to walk into a venue and have no idea what you are really walking into...

Live Review: Holy Holy + Fractures - Howler, Melbourne (06.09.15)

To say Holy Holy are on a roll would be an understatement. The band of polished musicians followed up the release of debut album When The Storms Would Come with sold out shows around the country, including two at Melbourne's Howler. We were supremely lucky to catch them on the second night.

Live Review: Foals + Formation - Kesselhaus, Berlin (08.09.15)

Foals returned to Berlin as part of their current European tour that took in a handful of shows to celebrate the release of What Went Down on Tuesday night, the penultimate gig on the Oxford band's calendar before heading off to South America. Crammed into Kesselhaus were local Berliners, international visitors like myself and people who'd come from elsewhere in Europe to see the boys perform what has definitely shaped up to be some of their heaviest material yet on the new album, not to mention cuts from their impressive catalogue.

Live Review: Joshua Radin + David Lazarus - Rosemount Hotel, Perth (06.09.15)

Sunday evening saw Joshua Radin kick off his Australian tour with an intimate gig at Perth’s Rosemount Hotel. It might have been a Sunday night and it might have been father’s day but that didn’t stop a sizeable crowd come out for Radin’s first ever gig in Perth; “the chillest place on earth” apparently.

Live Review: The Jungle Giants + Art of Sleeping - Metropolis, Fremantle (04.09.15)

Touring for the release of their latest album Speakerzoid, we caught The Jungle Giants on the first leg in Fremantle and had one heck of a party. With a night full of energy and oozing sincerity from both acts The Jungle Giants brought their long list of popular tracks with them and proved why they are one of the indie darlings of the year.

Live Review: Gang of Youths + Zefereli + I Know Leopard - Adelaide UniBar (04.09.15)

Gang of Youths, and their debut record The Positions, have been embraced by critics and fans alike over the past year. Back in South Australia, they brought their energetic live show to a sold-out crowd at Adelaide UniBar on Friday night.

Live Review: Methyl Ethyl - Newtown Social Club, Sydney (03.09.15)

They’ve been coined “the next Tame Impala” and aside from sharing a home city of Perth, Methyl Ethyl are experiencing a similar national hype with the former. The three-piece played to a packed room at Sydney’s Newtown Social Club, following a performance at the weekend's Volumes Festival. Despite the crowd, they remained humble and ran their seamless set like a support act, with no encore.