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Top 5 Must-See Acts Performing Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House This Week

29 May 2023 | 11:46 am | Emma Whines

Vivid is known for curating some of the best lineups in Australia, so it can be hard to separate the best from the best when each act can offer an elite level of entertainment. Ahead of this weekend's festivities, we’ve created a guide to the unmissable top five acts.

Vivid Live Artists

Vivid Live Artists (supplied)

More Hiatus Kaiyote More Hiatus Kaiyote

Hiatus Kaiyote and Sydney Symphony Orchestra  - Tues 30th May, 8pm

The Incredible Hiatus Kaiyote will be making their return to Vivid LIVE on Tuesday at 8pm, ready to unleash their addictive and complex discography of funk, jazz, hip-hop and progressive soul. Set in the Sydney Opera House’s iconic Concert Hall, the iconic band will be joined by the power of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for one night only.

Hiatus Kaiyote - made up of singer-guitarist Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield, bassist Paul Bender, keyboardist Simon Mavin and drummer Perrin Moss (drums) - gained international recognition with the release of their debut album, Tawk Tomahawk, in 2012. In 2015, they released their second album, Choose Your Weapon, which further solidified their reputation and earned them a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance. 

Fan favourite single Nakamarra, the band’s collaboration with rapper Q-Tip, also landed them a Grammy Nomination for Best R&B Performance (the first-ever such nod for an Australian act), as did Breathing Underwater, from their aforementioned second album, Choose Your Weapon (2015). Meanwhile, their music has been sampled by some of the best in the game, including Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Drake – with whom Nai Palm collaborated on Scorpion (2018).

Together with the Symphony Orchestra, Hiatus Kaiyote will deliver a spellbinding performance that fuses the classic notion of orchestral music with the genre-defying nature of the fourpiece’s discography.  

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Budjerah - Wed 31st May, 7:30pm

It would be a true crime to pass up the opportunity to see the unbelievably talented Budjerah sing his heart out on Wednesday at Sydney Opera Houses’ The Studio. 

Forging the elements of soul, gospel, R&B and contemporary pop, Budjerah’s unreal voice will transport you into a state of bliss while inviting you to jump on the dancefloor and party your heart out. 

Mentored by singer-songwriter Matt Corby over the last few years, Budjerah’s music has flourished, producing his Triple J-topping debut single, Missing You (2021) and his self-titled ARIA-award-winning debut EP. In 2022, Budjerah scored a second ARIA for his follow-up, Conversations, guested on Sheeran’s smash hit 2Step and collaborated with local faves PNAU on Stranger Love.

Releasing single Therapy this year and coming off a nationwide tour with non-other than pop superstar Ed Sheeran, Budjerah is quickly becoming a defining act in the Australian music scene. 

Cat Power Sings Dylan - Wed 31st May, 7:30pm

Also joining the party this Wednesday Night will be indie rock royalty Cat Power, tackling the famous discography of Bob Dylan in the Concert Hall. Power will recreate Dylan’s 1966 ‘Royal Albert Hall’ performance, where the folk rocker scandalised audiences with his then-shocking pivot to electric guitar. 

With over 30 years of varied experience in the industry, there is no one better suited than Cat Power, aka Chan Marshall, to bring alive the sounds of Bob Dylan. A longtime Dylan acolyte, having covered him on The Covers Record (Paths of Victory) and Jukebox (I Believe In You), Power left UK audiences and critics breathless with her first performance of the show in November of last year.

Rising to fame with her fourth album, the 1998 classic Moon Pix - whose 30th anniversary she celebrated in her last Vivid LIVE performance - Power quickly became a mainstay in the indie rock scene, with fans drawn to her once-in-a-lifetime talent across both songwriting and live performances. 

In addition to her solo work, Cat Power has collaborated with various artists, including Eddie Vedder, Lana Del Rey, and David Bowie. She has released several albums throughout her career, including fan favourites Sun (2012) and Wanderer (2018).

Jen Cloher - Thurs 1st June, 7pm

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Jen Cloher started their music career in 1990 but gained major recognition in 2017 for their self-titled album, which proved them as a mainstay act in the indie rock scene. It’s been six years since that release, and Cloher has finally given fans another morsel of their talent in the form of their latest record, I Am The River, The River Is Me, an ode to self-love and their heritage as a Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahu singer-songwriter. 

Inherently political and truly gifted, Cloher has carved a niche where their songs are revered for their relatability and prowess while being an anthem for queer minorities. As well as their art, Cloher also champions other young DIY artists through their record label Milk!, giving others a space to grow creatively. 

Drawing comparisons with Patti Smith and PJ Harvey, this Vivid performance is not one to miss. 

Jaguar Jonze - Thurs June 1st, 7:30pm

Art-pop powerhouse, multimedia artist, and groundbreaking activist Jaguar Jonze is set to wow Vivid audiences with her genre-crossing high art performance, The Art Of Broken Pieces. Set in The Studio, Jonze will fuse music, film, shibari rope art and contemporary performance as a love letter to her journey through music and how in many ways, it’s been her vessel for change. 

At last year's BIGSOUND event, The Music covered Jaguar Jonzes first taste of this performance, which sent shockwaves through the industry. Blending storytelling, art and activism, The Art of Broken Pieces will be unlike anything you’ve seen before. You can read the full review here

Releasing her debut album, Bunny Mode, last year, Jonze has become a powerhouse in the industry, setting a new standard of ethics and music that will inspire generations to come.

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