What's On

12 Unmissable Gigs, Performances And Events At RISING, According To The Line Up

By Rick Stephens
3rd Jun 2022

Melbourne's long-awaited arts festival, RISING, is in full swing. So far, punters have eaten like royalty at The Lighthouse,  explored the electric labyrinth that is Golden Square carpark, while some were lucky enough to nab tickets to a riotous gig led by Sampa the Great. 

We are, however, merely scratching the surface of the 200+ events happening in and around Melbourne over the next two weeks. To unpack the program in detail, several key players from the RISING line-up share their top picks between now and Sunday 12 June:

David Moyle

The Lighthouse | David Moyle With Matt Stone And Jo Barrett

I can’t wait to be in the middle of the activity in The Wilds. To be able to wander amongst people if I sneak out during service. I hope to be able to get out to see Midori Takada and Arab Strap. I’m also really keen to walk and see the installations around the public spaces. I managed to see some of Patricia Piccinini’s work last year and it’s always incredible.


CHAI and Buffalo Daughter

As soon as you listen to Harvey Sutherland, you'll want to dance!  
We want to enjoy the cool and swinging beat at the venue!  
Let's dance together!  
We are looking forward to doing it!

Robin Fox


This series of works is a must, Annea Lockwood's Piano Transplants, to see/hear in my opinion. The piano, an iconic symbol of technological musical mastery, is transformed physically (and most importantly sonically) from one state of matter to another. These works are not about the destruction of pianos and what they represent but it is difficult not to see them as a freeing of the instruments from what Percy Grainger called 'harmonic morality' and a liberation of tone from the tight restrictions of the equally tempered scale to a much broader range of the frequency spectrum. Music and sound itself is an almost miraculous transferral of energy from the air to the brain. These works by Annea Lockwood, a fascinating composer worth spending time with, act both as metaphor for this miracle and a very real instance of a similar miraculous transfer. Huge thanks to Lawence English and Substation for bringing these to life for RISING Festival.
I was lucky enough to see a dress rehearsal of this piece Rewards For the Tribe - Chunky Move/Restless Dance Theatre. As a long time fan of Antony Hamilton's work I highly recommend seeing this brain-bending meld of precision choreography and chaotic pandemonium. I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it and some of the images will stay with me for a long time. Hamilton is a creator of worlds that are often a counterintuitive mix of the completely bizarre with the hauntingly familiar, or for me even nostalgic. It's hard to describe it without given things away, so just go and see/hear it for yourself. The sound design and score by Aviva Endean is outstanding as is the entire cast. Great stuff!

Woody McDonald

Artistic Associate – Music, RISING

The penultimate show in the music program is one of the highlights of the Japan In Focus. CHAI from Nagoya are on a bubblegum tip - blending a chaotic mix of genres. Fun! Buffalo Daughter are legends of the Shibuya scene. They did some records on the Beastie Boys Grand Royal label back in the late 90s. Shibuya-Kei scene spawned the likes of Cornelius and members of Buffalo Daughter also play in his live band. 

Jim White

Various Performances

Marisa Anderson is an American guitarist from deep within the American folk tradition, highly skilled and incorporating the range of folk musics, classical, experimental and probably all the other music, formal and free. Her music to me is distinctive and beautiful and expresses a position as well as the moment, if that makes sense. 

Giorgos Xylouris the Cretan lutenist and singer - his music is always so joyful, whether it be sad, melancholic, celebratory or for dancing. Often it's all those things at the same time. As it should be, right? 


Ed Kuepper is just amazing. An incredible body of work. Classic 70 s rock songs; timeless songs; pop songs. His Laughing Clowns songs remain evocatively mysterious as ever, a whole language to themselves. His guitar playing embodies his songwriting, or the other way around, or both and more, and he's a beautiful singer. On a personal note, growing up, I learnt to play drums to his records and felt the excitement of the programme. 

Scope out the RISING program in full here.

Image credit: supplied


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