5 incredible live bands kicking it in Sydney right now

A lot of bands that sound amazing on record rock the transition to stage, and a lot of bands don’t. The best acts are those that are tight as a nail on their recordings, but somehow kick it to a whole new level live.

Sydney, despite a few road blocks, has a pretty healthy live circuit at the moment. For every naysayer out there, you’ve got a score of lively punters putting on shows, seeing their favourite musos, and supporting the space in any way they can. It’s infectious.

Here are five local bands that we’ve recently caught live, and would see a thousand times over.

Rosa Maria Dani Hansen Best Live Bands In Sydney Happy Mag
Photo: Dani Hansen

Looking to catch some killer live bands around Sydney? These five acts have proven their chops on the stage, and they’re only getting better from here.


The first time I came across RACKETT was on film; a video of lead singer Bec getting her head shaved during their set at Electric Lady (see below). It was goddamn intense, and since then I’ve been 100 percent sold.

They’ve turned stages upside-down wherever they tread. Their energy is completely ferocious and utterly infectious – nobody can deny the power of RACKETT right now.

On the live front, catching them at our Needle In The Hay Finalists’ Party on June 28th in Sydney, or on tour around Australia supporting their latest single Space Cadet.

Neighbourhood Void

Neighbourhood Void’s debut album Childhood Trauma has always been a Happy favourite. It’s the true face of punk; stories from the gutter belted out with agony and catharsis.

We’ve had Neighbourhood Void hop along to a few of our gigs, and they absolutely wreck a crowd. For a piece of the action, you can catch them launching their new single Cancer on June 23rd or at the upcoming Record Fair Live show on July 7th.

Photo: Dani Hansen

Rosa Maria

Off the back of their terrific debut single La Honda, the rambunctious Rosa Maria quickly made a name for themselves on the local live circuit supporting acts like The Ruminaters, Stonefield, and Peter Bibby to name a few.

With five on stage but enough bravado for a battalion, these fellas need to be seen to be believed. I’ve witnessed them turn The Lansdowne into something that looked like straight out of Studio 54. Rosa Maria are your next throwback obsession, you just don’t know it yet.

Catch them at our Needle In The Hay Finalists’ Party alongside RACKETT on June 28th, or down in Wollongong’s Rad Bar on June 30th.

Party Dozen

Not only are they one of the best emerging live bands in the biz at the moment, Party Dozen are also one of the most unique. An improvisational two-piece featuring Kirsty Tickle (Exhibitionist) on the sax and Jonathan Boulet on drums and running backing loops, they’re monstrous and unlike anything you’ve heard.

They tore my face off at BIGSOUND last year, and I’ve been addicted ever since. They don’t currently have any shows on the calendar but one’s bound to pop up soon. Head on over to their Facebook page to stay in the know.


MEZKO make the kind of music you’d be hard-pressed to do justice to live, it’s Ableton-heavy electro and it hits hard on record. Yet they take the stage with swagger, armed by a swathe of hardware and some meaty analogue synths to boot. In short, they fucking rock it.

Having just locked off their Aussie tour supporting latest single Come & Go, you may have to wait a hot minute until MEZKO pop up live again. But trust me, they’re worth it a hundred times over.

Say hi to MEZKO on their Facebook page.