Now entering its eleventh year, Vivid LIVE is the artistic centrepiece of the Opera House’s year-round music program that sees songwriters, producers and bands perform. A two-week celebration of ambitious contemporary music at Sydney Opera House, Vivid is truly the only time of year one art form takes over the building with contemporary music filling every venue, rehearsal space and hallway of the House.
With over two million people expected to attend the many events spanning over 23 days, the festival can also be a little overwhelming.
Never fear, Music Feeds has you covered! With so much amazing, musical goodness on, we have painstakingly but lovingly dissected each performance and chosen our top picks for the festival.
Keaton Henson (31st May)
While from a certain angle, he may look like Joaquin Phoenix during his role in oddball film “I’m Still Here” (except a little less disheveled), make no mistake, Keaton Henson is a musical prodigy, if a reluctant one at that. Initially self-releasing his debut album, Dear via Bandcamp in 2010 to little fanfare, Keaton built a steady following through word-of-mouth which prompted Sony to re-release the album to universal acclaim in 2012.
A perennially shy performer that suffers from immense stage-fright, the composer will be eschewing these fears for a unique, audiovisual take on his anxiety disorder/performance, drawing on previously recorded audience reactions using bio-sensors. An In Conversation with Keaton will follow, for full closure on the artist’s anxiety disorder.
Jónsi (Sigur Rós) & Alex Somers Riceboy Sleeps (11th June)
While you’ve probably all heard of Jónsi, frontman of ethereal, Icelandic band, Sigur Rós, many may not have heard of his partner in crime, visual artist and musician, Alex Somers. Initially playing on and co-producing several Sigur Rós songs, Somers joined Jónsi on his 2010 world tour to support the latter’s, critically acclaimed, Go album.
To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their incredibly moving, sonic collaboration, Riceboy Sleeps, the pair are performing the album in full, as well as their All Animals
EP, with a 21-piece orchestra and 12-member choir. This will be something truly special to behold.
Kelsey Lu (1st-2nd June)
A pop artist with a difference, Kelsey Lu incorporates classical instrumentation with a modern, pop sensibility amid a backdrop of thumping, R&B grooves. This gives her music a depth that is sadly lacking in a lot of pop artists today. There is also an underlying and beautiful simplicity in her arrangements which reveal themselves on repeated listenings. An extremely versatile artist, Lu’s music even has the ability to cross-over into other genres, including EDM (check out Skrilex’s remix of her song, Due West).
Cutting her teeth collaborating with the likes of Florence + the Machine and Solange, her debut album, Blood, is a delight and Lu is sure to bring something different to the dance floor at Vivid 2019.
Underworld (3rd June)
Techno trailblazers, Underworld, have been going strong for four decades now. Starting as a synth-pop band in the 80’s, the UK duo transformed into a progressive house act, gaining prominence with their 1996 single, Born Slippy .NUXX which appeared on the cult-classic film, Trainspotting. Ever since, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith have evolved their sound into the 21st century and continue to break the mould, 2016’s Barbara, Barbara, We See a Shining Future a pre-eminent example.
Featuring at the 2012 London Olympic Games, the pair are also known for their spectacular lighting shows and dynamic flair on stage. With a recent run of blistering UK shows, you can be sure Underworld know how to bring the party.