Cue the Music: Patti Smith Returns to Australia in 2020
8th December 2023
Patti Smith has just announced a small group of Australian shows in April 2020; headlining Byron Bay Bluesfest, two shows at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre, and two shows at Forum Melbourne. If you know and love Patti Smith, then you’ve probably stopped reading and have already purchased your tickets because you know they’ll probably sell out. Smart move.
If you need some persuading, or if you’re on the fence about whether or not this is for you, let us prime the canvas a bit before we paint the picture. Patti Smith is often referred to as the Godmother of Punk and a “punk poet laureate”, although she’s definitely not punk by today’s Spotify-playlist definition of the genre.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was an influential component of the nascent New York punk scene in the 70s, that spawned bands like the Ramones and the Talking Heads, and has had major influence over artists like R.E.M, Garbage, Courtney Love, Australia’s own The Go-Betweeners, and Madonna. She’s a punk in the sense that she is a rock-poet pioneer who defies labels and doesn’t give a shit if you walk along the trails she blazes.
Her snarling and transcendental music may be what she is most recognized for, but it is only a facet of her kaleidoscopic output, which includes activism, authoring a best selling memoir, and a never ending stream of art and poetry, which you can behold in real time if you follow her on Instagram. She’s a badass who remains an authentic and enduring voice among public discourse that is wantonly filled with disposable thought. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture for her ongoing contribution to the arts, in general, and its propagation. She probably couldn’t care less about the accolades.
So maybe you’ve read all this and are still unsure if you want to see a proto-art-punk show by a living legend. The fact that she is coming to Australia at all is big news. Back in 2017, she said she’d never play another show on Aussie soil. Afterall, she’s 70 years old and after a half century of cigarettes and coffee, and a hard fought, yet victorious bout with a lingering case of bronchitis, her doctors told her that extended air travel was out of the question. So this is a welcome surprise to anyone who has been keeping tabs on Smith.
As a headliner of the Byron Bay Bluesfest, she will be performing alongside other heavy hitters, like Lenny Kravitz, John Mayall, Eagles of Death Metal, Dave Matthews Band and plenty of others. But if an all day festival isn’t your scene or doesn’t fit in your schedule, you can dose yourself up with a more intimate rock therapy at one of the four shows she’s headlining in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Enmore Theater is a quick 15 minute ride from View Sydney and the Forum Melbourne is a mere 12 minute shot from the lobby of View Melbourne.
Picture this scenario: after a long day of whatever you spend your days doing, you step out of your room, freshly showered, put together, and smelling nice. You cruise into the View’s bar and order a few rounds of well-crafted cocktails, perhaps a stiff Old Fashioned, a neat and spicy Mezcal, or a bold and award-winning bottle of Austrialian Shiraz. You take in a few libations with some locally harvested Coffin Bay Oysters and, if you’re really feeling like a boss, an Austrialian Waygu ribeye. You can die and go to heaven now. But there’s more. You glance at the time and decide that there’s still time for a digestif and espresso. Drambuie and a short black. As you finish your brew, the concierge taps your shoulder to inform you that your car service has arrived; no need to settle up, you can just put it on the room. As you walk to the car, you begin to realize that your night is just beginning and your buzz is exactly where it needs to be.
Your mind explodes at the Patti Smith show.
You make a couple friends at the venue and with your newly invigorated night, decide to continue the evening back at View with another bottle of wine and memories to last a lifetime.
Still not convinced? Still too much effort? Just call the front desk and tell them you want to see Patti Smith, and let them take care of the details.
Saturday April 11, 2020 – Bluesfest Tickets available here.
Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16, April 2020 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd April 2020 – Forum Melbourne