Meg Mac Reveals Opener For Twilight At Taronga Gig, Teases ‘Extra Special’ Performance

21 December 2023 | 3:40 pm | Ellie Robinson
In Partnership With Twilight At Taronga

“You really can’t get better than Sydney Harbour in the summer,” Meg says in our exclusive Q&A

Meg Mac

Meg Mac (Supplied)

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Next year’s Twilight At Taronga concert series is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, with a roster sporting landmark shows from the likes of John Butler, Ball Park Music, The Waifs, The Cat Empire, Bjorn Again (objectively the greatest ABBA tribute band of all time), The Whitlams and the Australian Rock Collective (a bonafide supergroup featuring members of Spiderbait, Powderfinger, You Am I and Jet).

As its name implies, all Twilight At Taronga shows will take place at Taronga Zoo, overlooking the idyllic Sydney Harbour with stunning outdoor views and a concertgoing atmosphere that is truly unrivalled. The program runs over a month, from Friday February 2 to Saturday March 2, kicking off with a career-defining show from local R&B icon Meg Mac. But not only will it be the first show on the program for Twilight At Taronga 2024, it’ll be Mac’s last performance for a long while to come.

Speaking exclusively to The Music, Mac reveals that her Twilight At Taronga show will act as a capstone for her latest album era, having toured extensively since she dropped her third full-length effort, Matter Of Time, last September. Following the gig – where she’ll play all the hits from that record, plus 2019’s Hope and 2017’s Low Blows, and maybe even a deeper cut or two – she’ll whisk herself away to work on album number four in peace.

Mac also revealed that her good friends in Surely Shirley – who only started releasing music this year – will be joining her for the show, setting the mood with a set of their own riveting surf-tinged indie-pop.

Ahead of the big night, we caught up with Mac to chat about what it means for her to be returning to Taronga (she played her first Twilight show in 2020), why the zoo and harbour hold such a special place in her heart, and what fans can expect from this once-in-a-lifetime performance. Head here to grab tickets for yourself (or someone you’re really keen to impress this Christmas), then read on for our full Q&A.

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What do summer festivals in Australia do better here than anywhere else? What do you look forward to when you’re billed on a festival like this one?

You really can’t get better than Sydney Harbour in the summer, it’s magical. And honestly Twilight at Taronga is one of my favourite places I’ve ever performed, so I’m excited they’ve invited me back to open the series this year. It’s my last show too, so I’ll be making it extra special because I don’t know when I’ll be playing again.

Do you find inspiration in performing by a backdrop of Taronga Zoo and Sydney Harbour? How does the location influence your set and performance?

Sydney is so beautiful, I was born here and it still amazes me every time I see the harbour. I remember going to Taronga Zoo on school excursions when I was a little kid, and all I ever wanted was to be a singer, so it feels very special to be there and actually singing.

It’s been a massive year for you, between the ARIAs, Yours & Owls, shows in iconic rooms like the Melbourne Recital Centre – and of course, your performance at the AFL Brownlow this year. How did you go about approaching a performance in that room with people who may not have been fans?

I have had such an amazing year and Brownlow was such a surprise – I feel like it worked because I didn’t know anything about footy and they probably had no idea who I was! My first time on live television too, but I loved it.

What else do you have planned for 2024?

This show will be my last until I don’t know when – I’m planning on disappearing for a little while. I could be mysterious about it but I’ll be making my [fourth] album.

Anything else you'd like to add?

My friends Surely Shirley will be opening, they’ve only just started putting out music this year and I’m so excited for them.