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The Top 10 Gigs To Hit Brisbane In 2016

As 973 Music Director, you can bet Louise Poole has seen a lot of concerts this year. Well actually ALL of them.

From Iron Maiden to The Vengaboys and everything in between, she’s got the most varied music tastes of anyone we know.

So we thought we’d grab her picks for the Brisbane's best concerts of 2016. 

10. Chris Isaak, A Day On The Green, Sirromet Wines, Sunday April 10

Compared to the previous few years, 2016 has been rather quiet on the concert front. Not as many big production international acts have rolled through town, and it's rather nice to see a couple of the A Day On The Green shows make the list this year. 

The venue out at Sirromet Wines is absolutely perfect for a Summer's picnic on the grass complete with a stunning sunset and an awesome soundtrack.

Maybe it was his smooth talking, or his angelic voice, but Chris Isaak's Wicked Game certainly charmed his way into #10 on this years list. Actually, it was probably the jacket. 15 kilograms of blue disco sequin perfection.

9. Rob Thomas, A Day On The Green, Siromet Wines, Sunday February 28

From Matchbox 20 to his solo work, Rob Thomas has an incredible back catalogue of music. Laying it out end to end, sends us rushing down memory lane, because at some point for most of us in the crowd, these songs have been the soundtrack to big moments and memories in our life. Plus the acoustic retelling of 3am and Unwell was nothing short of spectacular.

8. Selena Gomez, “Revival Tour”, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Thursday August 11

Selena Gomez brings the first of the big budget, big production shows to the list. It's easy to forgive that she's not really singing all that much because of (a) Strep Throat and (b) Confetti Cannons.

Impressively, the choreography didn't miss a beat and when you consider that she pushed through a physical illness to bring that energy to the show and still managed to deliver then she definitely deserves a place on this years list.

Plus, I always love it when a role model to young girls stands up on stage and inspires their self worth with lyrics like “Who says you're not perfect? Who says you're not worth it? Who says you're not star potential?”. Actually, forget the teenage girls, us grown women can do with a dose of that too.

7. Little Mix, “Get Weird Tour”, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Thursday May 12

Which perfectly segues into Little Mix, who've built their career on empowering anthems for young/all women.

There aren't many concerts where you see both Grandma and her 10 year Granddaughter singing the lyrics to every song – but that's the magic of the UK's biggest girl group of the moment.

Ok, so they aren't the Spice Girls yet... But they are on their way. 

6. Madonna, “Rebel Heart Tour”, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Wednesday March 16

Ok, now Madonna, lets sit down and have a little talk shall we? Here's the thing... Your Rebel Heart World Tour actually could've been number one on this list. Should've been. It was an absolutely flawless production. The costumes, the choreography, the design, the vocals were all impeccable.

BUT you can't turn up over three hours late and expect it to have the same appeal.

When you're asking why we aren't singing along to the lyrics of the Kylie song you're covering at 1am in the morning, there's a very good reason for that... IT'S 1AM IN THE BLOODY MORNING!!!!

You go around saying no-one supports your new music anymore because you're a woman over 50, but no honey, that not why, it's because you no longer connect with your core fans. Let's face it you've treated us pretty badly.

First, it takes you 23 years to visit us, then you charge a small fortune for the concert tickets, and after we've made the effort to rearrange our lives to come and see you, you disrespect us by turning up over three hours late and telling us it's our fault for turning up early.

You don't care about us anymore – if you did maybe you'd think about the fan who shells out $300+ for a ticket, plus a babysitter for their one evening out in forever, and then only gets to see half a Madonna show because you came on stage at 11.20 and their babysitter is only booked until 1am. Or the fan who has to leave at 12.30 because there is literally no more public transport from the venue. Or the fact that most of your fans only got home a couple of hours before their alarm was about to go off for work again the next day.

See you again in another 23 years Madonna, in the meantime, no top 5 for you...

5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “This Unruly Mess I've Made Tour”, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Tuesday August 2

Thank goodness Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are here to calm my anger... And bonus points – they started on time.

It may have been simple staging from the hip hop duo but their performance was full of heart. This is the music that connects in 2016 (Madonna take note), catchy hooks and raw, emotive content.

Preacher's Macklemore & Ryan Lewis inspire us to focus on love in the face of hate, to look for whats best in our fellow humans and to celebrate our diversity. And once they've filled you with inspiration, they change tact completely and bash out some damn good non sensical party songs.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are the only performers I know who can sing about both Mopeds and Marriage Equality and have you pumped about both.

4. Keith Urban, “Ripcord Tour”, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Friday December 16

Here's where the list starts to get really tough to choose, and where everyone starts disagreeing with me!

Keith Urban has had a stellar year with the 3 time Grammy Nominated Ripcord Album and it was great to welcome him home to Brisbane to wrap up the world tour.

He consistently delivers an incredible show. His killer guitar solos alone are enough reason to go buy a ticket – not to mention that guitar he gives away to a lucky audience member at each show.

And while the Ripcord tour hit absolutely dizzying highs in songs like Days Go By, Someone Like You, Sun Go Down and the epically frenzied performance of Wasted Time, there were some moments of lulls which is why it's been beaten by the #3 performers.

3. Pentatonix, “PTX World Tour 2016”, Brisbane City Hall, Sunday September 4

It's possible you've never heard of Pentatonix. Their music doesn't exactly make a splash on Australian commercial radio, and you may not have even seen one of their viral videos, but I guarantee you once you give their music a listen you'll be an acapella convert and find your new music obsession.

These guys are phenomenally talented. Like, off the charts I-Can't-Believe-That-One-Group-Is-Allowed-To-Have-So-Much-Talent talented. With the exception of one stunning beat boxed Bach cello solo, every sound you hear in a Pentatonix concert is made by them. Every note. Every beat. Every sound effect. It's really quite indescribable. So is the feeling in the room at one of their gigs. You just can't stop yourself from gasping in awe, squealing with joy, or screaming in appreciation.

If you only watch one of these videos... make it Pentatonix.

2, Josh Groban, “Stages Tour”, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Tuesday April 28

Here's the one you may call the 'upset' of the list and to be honest the most surprising show of the year for me personally because from start to finish it was pure magic.

Yes, I was just expecting him to stand on stage and belt out a few show tunes – what I didn't expect was the magnetism and charisma of his presence, his potty mouth and the honesty of his stories behind the songs like his tales of school bullying, the incredible orchestra that brought the songs to life and the charm of the staging.

All the big musicals were covered from The Phantom of the Opera to Les Mis and a lot of movie musicals too like The Wizard of Oz. Simply put, Josh Groban and his Stages Tour were  absolutely mesmerising.

If you're only going to watch one video on this list make it Pentatonix, but if you're up for two – you'll be blown away by Josh Groban's version of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

1. Coldplay, “A Head Full of Dreams Tour”, Suncorp Stadium, Tuesday December 6

2016 certainly saved the best for last.

Normally bands save their confetti cannons and fireworks for the end of the show – but not Coldplay


Not only did they start the show with a bang (literally), but they also set off additional fireworks and confetti at least another five times before the firework filled finale. Basically, Coldplay had more fireworks than Riverfire.

But even when you strip away all the pyrotechnics, the lasers and the light up wrist bands what you are left with is really solid songs. And it's not until you hear them all in a row that you realise why Coldplay are called the biggest band in the world. A title they wholeheartedly deserve.

Criteria: To eligible for the list, the concert must have taken place in 2016 and be a standalone show (not part of a festival). 

What concert earned your number one spot in 2016?

Photos: AAP

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