Something You Said’s top live acts of 2015

top gigs of 2015’s team of contributors spent a gargantuan amount of time watching gigs all over the world in 2015. Here’s our favourite live act, as selected by our team, as well as some of our other favourite performances from the past 12 months:


The sun gently set around the magnificent view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge on a balmy Tuesday evening in Sydney. Punters both sat on the steps and stood loyally as close to the stage as possible to get a glimpse of our holy father Kevin Parker. He and his friends powered through early volume problems to deliver a flawless performance of almost all of their best songs. Parker’s vocals have strengthened and so has Australia’s love for the band.

When we watched Tame Impala play Splendour earlier in the year, we legitimately felt like we were at Woodstock. The set was completely transportive, and paired with the psychedelic visuals, the masses of people and dangerous mudslides, it was hard to believe it was 2015, not 1969. Words by Melissa Barrass, Matt Lengren and Liana Gow Killingbeck


Dead Letter Circus at The Roundhouse was pretty damn good. Joel Anderson

Sufjan Stevens – Brighton Dome
Words fail me. The best album of the year reproduced in its entirety and sounding immaculate. You could hear a pin drop at times and it was a sell-out. The closest live music has brought me to tears in a long, long time. Neil Martin

DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist – Renegades of Rhythm tour – HMV Forum 
Two of the worlds foremost DJ’s were given unparalleled access to the original record collection of Africa Bambatta. The actual copies of records he used to play at the block parties back in the day. The show was a trip through classic and obscure tracks accompanied by killer visuals, synchronised scratching and classic beatboxes. I’ve seen both DJ’s live before individually but together they are something else. 25ThC

Hot Dub Time Machine – The Metro Theatre, Sydney
I went into this gig with absolutely no idea what Hot Dub actually was, but by the end it was undisputedly the best gig of the year. There was no best decade, no best song, no best experience. It was the most completely well-rounded gig I’ve ever been to. This kind of show has really hit the nail on the head in terms of crowd pleasing and crowd engagement. Annastasia Robertson

Sharon Van Etten – The Factory Theatre
Van Etten’s songs are brilliant on their own, but are made spectacular with her heartfelt and often dark autobiographical lyrics. A captivating and beautiful live show. Matt Lengren

Father John MistyFather John Misty – Sydney Opera House
Josh Tillman again illustrated that he is one of the most engaging frontman around. From the moment he sauntered onto the Opera House stage, no-one took their eyes off him. A cross between Jarvis Cocker, Adam Green and Nick Cave, he wiggled his snake hips this way and that as he worked through his collection of marvellously observed songs. Simply brilliant. Bobby Townsend

Fairgrounds Festival – Berry
Having moved to Sydney, the festival was held about 15 minutes out of my home town. Having more people at the festival than the population of the whole town, I could barely believe what I was doing and where I was doing it. From laying down drinking gin and tonic in the sun listening to C.W. Stoneking, to running around in circles to the grungy electronic guitar of Ratatat, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was so lucky to be a part of it. 10/10. Travis Jordan

Florence and the Machine – Sydney Opera House
In a crowd of 6,000 strangers, it would have been hard to come by a single person who felt alone. That’s the point of listening to powerful music really – the discovery of ourselves in strangers. Rhosian Woolridge

What was your favourite gig of the year? Tell us in the comments section…