Top 5 Must-See Acts Performing Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House This Weekend

24 May 2023 | 2:33 pm | Emma Whines

Vivid is known for curating some of the best lineups in Australia, so it can be hard to separate the best from the best when each act can offer an elite level of entertainment. Ahead of this weekend's festivities, we’ve created a guide to the unmissable top five acts.

LToR: Becca Hatch. Kimbra, Yaeji, PANIA, José González

LToR: Becca Hatch. Kimbra, Yaeji, PANIA, José González (Supplied)

José González - Fri 26th - Sun 28th, 7:30pm

The brilliant José González is returning to Australia for the first time since his sold-out Sydney Opera House show in 2018 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Veneer, the album that shot him into the spotlight and won him a Swedish Grammy. Performing three exclusive shows at the Opera House’s breathtaking Concert Hall for Vivid Live, fans will get a glimpse of the talented guitarist in one of the best venues in the world. 

Born in Sweden to Argentinian parents, González has become an institution in the indie acoustic-pop landscape. His 2003 album Veneer birthed Heartbeats, which became his most popular song to date, with fans quickly falling in love with the soft acoustic guitar and, of course, González’s apt songwriting skills. He’s released five albums since, including fan favourites In Our Nature (2007) and Vestiges and Claws (2015), and has also dabbled in an array of movie, TV and game soundtracks. His work for the 2013 movie Secret Life of Walter Mitty featured the single Stay Alive, which is still one of Gonzalez's most beloved songs. 

Smooth, introspective and reflective, González’s music continues to wow audiences worldwide, and Sydney fans are in for a treat with his Opera House show. 

Yaeji - Sat 27th & Sun 28th, 7:30pm

Yaeji has become one of the biggest names in the dance scene over the last few years, with her breakout hit Raingurl catapulting her into a level of fame that she'd never experienced before. Now, Vivid Live goers can revel in the unique and exciting sounds of Yaeji this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday at 7:30pm. 

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It was clear from the start that Yaeji is a talent that would define 21st-century club pop in an entirely new way. Releasing her debut self-titled EP in 2017, setting a new precedent with her bilingual sounds and left-of-field beats, it was actually her follow-up, EP2, and its breakout club smashes – the irresistible Raingurl and Drink I’m Sippin’ On – that launched Yaeji into a realm all her own. Delivering a singular, hybrid sound that fused techno Korean indie pop, hip-hop and throbbing bass. 

Her newest hit comes in the form of her long-awaited album, With A Hammer, which, again, flips the script and shakes up the scene, further proving her electrifying creativity and iconic ability to deliver banger after banger. 

Kimbra - Fri 26th, 8:30pm

You may know her from her feature on the massively popular song Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye, but Kimbra is an award-winning songwriter in her own right. 

Breaking through with her debut album Vows in 2011 - a platinum-selling hit that earned the rising star multiple ARIA and New Zealand Music Awards - Kimbra quickly became a fan favourite for her fusion of pop and indie music that gave a fresh new take on the genres. 2014’s The Golden Hour and 2018’s Primal Heart allowed Kimbra to continue to explore the art of collaboration, with the singer wracking up writing credits with the likes of Thundercat, Van Dyke Parks, Daniel Johns and John Legend

Kimbra returned this year after a five-year break to deliver The Reckoning, an intense body of work that shows Kimbra stepping into a new era, inspired by heartbreak and the global anxiety that has only seemed to grow in the past few years. Produced by Oscar-nominated Everything Everywhere All At Once composer Son Lux, The Reckoning showcases the best of Kimbra in an entirely new way. 

Set to perform at this year's Live Vivid on Friday night at The Joan Sutherland Theatre, Kimbra is sure to deliver one of this year’s headline headlights.

Becca Hatch - Fri 26th, 7pm

Discovered from the explosion of creativity and style coming out of Western Sydney over the past few years, Becca Hatch has established herself as one of the most promising rising stars in the hip-hop/pop landscape. 

Drawing on her Samoan heritage and indigenous roots for a distinctive style of R&B, she released her debut single, 2560, in 2020, which was adored by fans around Australia. Delving further into unique sounds, Hatch followed up her debut with Girl Like Me, Please U, and her memorable Triple J Like A Version cover of John Farnham’s Burn For You, seamlessly weaving elements of UK Garage, Baile funk, house and dance-pop to level up her sonic standing. 

With two brand new singles, All of Me (featuring KIAN) and Ride for Me with Club Angel, on the horizon, Hatch will open have the honour of opening this weekend's festivities; Hatch will perform in the Utzon Room, kicking off at 7pm. 

PANIA - Sat 27th, 7pm

Another R&B dynamite is set to take to the Vivid stage this weekend in the form of PANIA, the iconic singer, wordsmith and emerging fashion icon. Fresh from a tour supporting international star Kehlani, she’s about to make her Vivid LIVE debut, rolling into Sydney Opera House’s Utzon Room for one show only.

Getting her start in 2020 with snappy single ICYY, Pania has been jumping from strength to strength, going from up-and-comer to established R&B queen in a couple of short years. Last year saw the release of her breakthrough EP, burnt ur clothes & changed the addy, for which Vice dubbed her “R&B’s It-Girl”. In an interview with The Music last year, PANIA dissected her plan for total music domination, and we’re so happy that those plans are coming to fruition. 

Starting 2023 with a bang by unleashing the honey-smooth, 80s-R&B-inspired soul single P STANDS 4 PLAYA, PANIA’s Saturday show will bring the house down.

Find out more about Vivid's Program here