Seven iconic live music moments in regional Victoria
14.06.2022

Seven iconic live music moments in regional Victoria

Words by Benjamin Lamb

When it comes to the world of live music, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Melbourne gets to have all the fun.

Over the years, there have been some pretty iconic live music moments that have hit stages all across regional Victoria, today we’re diving into some of the coolest.

Glen Campbell

If the name doesn’t seem that familiar, there’s no doubt you’ve heard a song with his guitar prowess on it. The country star has been behind some the greatest releases to ever make their way into the music world, working as part of The Wrecking Crew, a pack of session musicians who worked with icons Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra, to name a few.

Glen also had a prolific solo career, releasing a whopping 60 studio albums across his 55-year career. Back in 2009, the performer made his way to the little town of Yarrawonga to play a show, one of his last before he quit music due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Rockalonga Festival

Aussies are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to festivals. There’s a heap of amazing celebrations of all different types of music happening non-stop across the country.

One of the coolest and most original festivals to hit Australia was called Rockalonga, which as the name suggests, was a rock festival that took over the Yarrawonga region. Some of the most iconic bands to ever enter the genre have played this festival, for example, 1998’s lineup saw The Cruel Sea, Paul Kelley and Midnight Oil hit the stage, and 10 years prior, the festival saw performers like Icehouse, Dragon and Ian Moss, truly making Rockalnga a festival to remember.

Belinda Carlisle

It’s not too often you get a world class performer making their way to country towns when they head down under, but over the last few years, we’ve been seeing it more and more.

Pre-COVID, ‘Heaven is A Place on Earth’ hitmaker Belinda Carlisle toured the country, playing a number of spots in the country. Including the amazing Ullumbra Theatre in Bendigo. With Belinda hitting a regional stage recently, it will hopefully be a sign of things to come, with some of the biggest groups hopefully hitting Bendigo, and other regional towns.

Foo Fighters

This is a highlight for all the wrong reasons, the American rockers made their way to Geelong earlier this year to kick off the restart of live music, playing on the first stadium shows in 2 years.

Earlier this year, the 5-piece hit the GMHBA Stadium for one night only, marking one of the first times an international graved our stages in over 3 years. It also marked the final Aussie show with drummer Taylor Hawkins, who passed away months later.

Under The Southern Stars

Another important festival made its way to regional Victoria earlier this year, Under the Southern Stars brought some of the biggest and best classic rock performers to our city and country towns.

The Under the Southern Stars extravaganza saw groups like Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, and Cheap Trick hit a number of regional spots across the country, including Yarrawonga and Hastings.

AC/DC

When a band hits the big time, they usually have overseas in their sights, and return home on world tours and play pretty big arenas.

But before they hit the big time, they play cool local pubs and bars, like we saw back in 1975, when the icons that are AC/DC hit Geelong’s Sundowner Hotel, and played a 11-song set on their High Voltage tour. There’d be no music fan on the planet that wouldn’t want to be back there for that gig.

Blondie

We’ve been early on so many cool bands down here in Australia, heaps of up-and-comers make their way to our stages just years into their careers.

One of the earliest incarnations of this came when the rock band Blondie made their way across the country back in 1977, a mere three years after forming. They hit the Plaza Theatre in Geelong, marking one of the most iconic and raw shows to ever hit the region. This tour was prior to the release of their hits like ‘Atomic’, ‘The Tide is High’, and ‘Call Me’. The group returned to our shores many times since then, most recently for A Day on The Green in 2019.