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Top 10 Bluesfest Sideshows You Can’t Afford To Miss

Written by Michael Carr on March 7, 2016

Byron Bay Bluesfest has long had a reputation for putting together incredible line-ups stacked with legendary talent. Despite this amazing reputation however, this year’s line-up is a heroic feat even for them, with acts as diverse as Kendrick Lamar and Eagles Of Death Metal set to appear alongside the usual roster of blues and roots legends and up and comers.

However for those of us who are too busy, poor or just plain crushed down into a miserable 9 – 5 depression by the workaday world (damn you uncontrollable urge to spend money), taking a whole weekend off to head to a camping festival isn’t always the most practical or feasible activities. Never fear though as with such an epic roster of talent set to appear at the festival, the lovely people over at Bluesfest Touring have organised an epic smorgasbord or sideshows for music lovers unable to make the trek up to Byron.

There’s only one problem though, there is just too much great music to choose from. So with that in mind we here at Music Feeds thought we ought to provide a service to the public by listing our Top 10 Bluesfest Sideshows You Can’t Afford To Miss.

1. Blind Boys Of Alabama

I saw these guys play at the first Bluesfest I ever went to back in 2006 (I am so old now *gasps*). They were one of the unexpected highlights of the festival, delivering one of the most energising performances of the weekend, which was pretty incredible considering how old most of the band were. The live show is full of jokes and jibes, and more velvety voiced gospel singing than you’re likely to hear anywhere outside of heaven, so if you like sassy old men with angelic voices this is the show for you.

Thursday 31st March
Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Friday 1st April
Melbourne Recital Centre
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Saturday 2nd April
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Also playing Bluesfest

Sunday 27th and Monday 28th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

2. D’Angelo

If you have someone you like but have been waiting for the right moment to seal the deal, D’Angelo‘s sideshow is that moment. Undoubtedly one of the smoothest and most sensual artists of the last 30 years, D’Angelo’s music will be the perfect soundtrack to help your romantic dreams come true. His new live show featuring the Parliament Funkadelic inspired backing band there’ll also be plenty of dancing and I assume slap bass freak outs, so even if it doesn’t work out with your would be lover, at least you’ll have gotten to see some rad live music.

Thursday 17th March
New Zealand Festival at TSB Bank Arena, Wellington
Tickets: New Zealand Festival

Saturday 19th March
Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Monday 21st March SOLD OUT
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Tickets: Sydney Opera House

Also playing Bluesfest

Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

3. The Residents Present ‘Shadowland’

If anyone is winning the trophy for straight up weirdness at Bluesfest this year it’s The Residents. Pioneers of performance art and music video, the band have been around for 40 years with things getting weirder and weirder as time goes on. Presenting part three of their Shadowland show, this time focusing on birth, the show will feature performances and video works presented between the band’s songs… if you can call them that.

Wednesday 23rd March
The Croxton, Melbourne
Tickets: OzTix

Thursday 24th March
Factory Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Venue

Also playing Bluesfest

Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Monday 28th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

4. Brian Wilson

Playing Pet Sounds live for the last time, as well as a selection of his greatest hits, creative genius behind The Beach Boys and legendary songwriter Brian Wilson‘s Bluesfest sideshow is probably the least missable of all these shows. A revolutionary songwriter and producer, Wilson shaped the world of modern recording as we know it, as well as inspiring countless other artists. Pet Sounds perfectly distills all his ambitions for pop music, as well as showcasing what made all of his songs so repeatable – his almost inhuman gift for catchiness.

Saturday 26th March
Civic Theatre, Auckland
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Tuesday 29th SOLD OUT &  Thursday 31st March
Sydney Opera House, Sydney
Tickets: Sydney Opera House

Sunday 3rd April
Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Tuesday 5th April
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Tickets: Ticketek

Thursday 7th April
Riverside Theatre, Perth
Tickets:Ticketek

Also playing Bluesfest

Monday 28th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

5. Elle King

Charged by the media to “make blues cool again” Elle King is the latest darling of the blues and roots scene, her debut album Love Stuff having seen her catapult to great success receiving two Grammy nominations at this year’s awards. Everyone from Esquire to Vanity Fair labeling her an artists to watch, King’s star seems to still very much be on the rise, with no upper limit in sight.  With a love of banjos and razor sharp lyrics, Elle King is ready to show audiences that the Blues is here to stay, playing some intimate shows in Sydney and Melbourne around her appearance at Bluesfest.

Tuesday 22nd March
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Thursday 24th March
The Metro, Sydney
Tickets: Ticketek

Also playing Bluesfest

Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

6. Lord Huron

Known for their masterful blend of storytelling, folk music and indie rock aesthetics, Lord Huron have had a huge year following the release of their most recent album Strange Trails in 2015. Debuting at #10 on the Billboard Top Albums chart, the band have been touring relentlessly playing festivals such as Coachella, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival and now Byron Bay Bluesfest, not to mention a select run of sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.

Monday 21st March
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Wednesday 23rd March
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tickets: Moshtix

Also playing Bluesfest

Thursday 24th and Friday 25th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

7. Nahko and Medicine For The People

A band with a conscience, Nahko and Medicine For The People seek to spread a message of tolerance and love around the world, as well as shining a light on issues such as indigenous rights and climate change. Fusing world music, folk, blues, hip hop and more, the group’s live show has seen them traveling constantly with their musical message, playing to rapturous audiences on festival stages all over the world.

Thursday, 24th March
Max Watts, Brisbane
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Sunday 27th March
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Wednesday 30th March
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Ticketek

Also playing Bluesfest

Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

8. The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito

Only out here a couple of months back with Fleetwood Mac, the groups founder and iconic drummer Mick Fleetwood is back again with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito. The show pays tribute to the all male blues band Fleetwood Mac started out as, before they went on to blossom into the soft rock juggernauts they would become. Showcasing the really old Fleetwood Mac blues songs and some big blues standards, as well as some of the bands later hits such as Go Your Own Way and Tusk, this is must see for any fans jonesing for another fix of that Fleetwood magic.

Monday, 28th March 2016
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Ticketek

Tuesday, 29th March 2016
170 Russell, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Thursday 31st March 2016
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland
Tickets: Ticketmaster NZ

Friday 1st April 2016
Opera House, Wellington
Tickets: Ticketek NZ

Also playing Bluesfest

Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

9. Lucky Peterson

Releasing his first album at 5 years old, calling Lucky Peterson a musical prodigy is a bit of an understatement. Discovered by legendary bluesman Willie Dixon when Peterson was playing in his father’s Buffalo New York nightclub, the rest is history, Peterson never looking back. Mastering everything from the piano and guitar to the french horn, Peterson is one of those rare musicians who seem to move between instruments with such accomplished ease you can’t help but marvel.

Monday 21st March 2016
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Tuesday 22nd March 2016
The Basement, Sydney
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Also playing Bluesfest

Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

10. St Paul & The Broken Bones

Last but not least, St Paul & The Broken Bones have been winning over audiences the world over with their heartfelt love of the soul music they play. Mixing originals with classic covers and a whole lot of live show chutzpah, this six piece soul collective’s energy is matched only by their passion for the music. Playing three very special shows at Bluesfest this year, these sideshows are a must see for any soul fans, as well as anyone looking for a good old fashioned night out.

Monday 21st March
The Metro, Sydney
Tickets: Ticketek

Thursday 24th March
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tickets: Bluesfest Touring

Also playing Bluesfest

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Monday 28th March
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay
Tickets: Bluesfest

 

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