Australia: Macklemore, Lorde, Green Day, Macy Gray

Macklemore Sings Marriage Equality At Sports Grand Final 

Balazs Mohai / MTI via AP
– Macklemore
“Balaton Sound,” Zamardi, Hungary

The aggressive and bitter debate in Australia on the legalisation of same-sex marriage spilled over to U.S. rapper Macklemore’s decision to include his marriage equality anthem “Same Love” during his pre-game entertainment set at the Oct. 1 National Rugby League grand final at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Australia was the first country where the 2013 song went to No. 1.

Some former players and neo-conservatives objected to politics being introduced into sports, especially a Super Bowl-sized event.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton suggested that an anti-same sex marriage song, should also be sung and added, “This is an interesting precedent; what other social issues do (activists) want to make in the years to come?”

Macklemore told The Cruz Show, “I’m getting a lot of tweets from angry old white dudes in Australia. Today I think there is a petition to ban me from playing.”

The controversy, he said, made him want to “go harder” during the performance. Once he reached Australia, on hearing that the song had bulleted to No. 1 on the iTunes chart, he announced all proceeds from latest Australian sales of the song would be donated to the marriage equality campaign. The royalties come at “a critical time,” said Alex Greenwich, co-chair of Australian Marriage Equality, who thanked the rapper for “energising our campaign.”

After his performance before 80,000 Melbourne Storm and North Queensland Cowboys (to an overnight metro TV viewing audience of 1.37 million while the game received 2.3 million), he received tweets of support from sports persons from all codes.

A day before, The Killers put on a stunning performance at the Sept. 30 Australian Football League grand final at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

Their six –song set before a crowd of 100,000 (and which included a cover of Midnight Oil’s “Forgotten Years”) was acclaimed as one of the best ever for the league’s grand finals, The Killers drew a TV audience of more than 1 million (the game itself drew 2.8 million overnight metros) and added to the excitement when one of the teams, the Richmond Tigers, won after a 37-year drought. The night before they put in an equally dynamic show at the 650-capacity Howler club.

Lorde’s ‘Green Light’ Wins Best NZ Song

Lorde’s “Green Light” won New Zealand’s most prestigious song award, the Silver Scroll, at the Dunedin Town Hall Sept. 28.

It was her second win, after “Royals” in 2013. Speaking via pre-recorded video from the UK where she was touring, Lorde described “Green Light” as a “bizarre little song” and “a song that I love so much and I’m so proud of.”

This year the Auckland event was held in Dunedin for the first time in 52years. It marked another first: all the finalists were females. “Green Light” was up again Bic Runga’s “Close Your Eyes”, Nadia Reid’s “Richard”, Aldous Harding “Horizon” and Los Angeles based Chelsea Jade’s “Life Of The Party”.

Green Day’s American Idiot Goes On Tour

After a Brisbane run earlier this year which generated multi-nominations at the Helpmann Awards, Green Day’s “American Idiot” musical is going national.

It is set for the Sydney Opera Hall (Jan. 11-14), Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide (January 19-28), Perth Crown Theatre (Feb. 2-11), Melbourne Comedy Theatre (Feb. 23 to March 11) and Brisbane’s QPAC (April 13-21). In the first announcement of the Australian cast, Grinspoon singer Phil Jamieson reprises the role of St. Jimmy.

Frontier Touring announced four Bryan Adams shows in New Zealand (Jan. 2-6) with Australian shows set to be finalised this week.

Macy Gray Giving Up DJ Sets

Macy Gray’s brief foray into doing DJ sets is over. She told The West Australian, “I’ve done my part … it’s not something I do well and I’m never going to do it again.”

After spinning discs at the Singapore Grand Prix after-party early September, Aussie company MGroup sold dates to Bali, Perth and Byron Bay.

The 75-minute shows were advertised as primarily a DJ set of her favourite R&B tracks while she sang a couple of her own songs. But the dates at Finns Beach Club in Bali (Sept. 23) and the Astor Theatre in Perth (Sept. 26) were met with audiences walking out and making savage comments on social media.

Both promoters made refunds and expressed formal apologies that the shows “didn’t meet many people’s expectations.” VIP tix in Bali were up to IDR50 million ($3,756) and in Perth at A$158.85 ($124.25).

The Byron Bay show at the Beach Hotel on Sept. 27 was canceled a few hours before. Gray encouraged fans to come to her all-singing show when she tours Australia April 2018.