The Australian music industry has been rocked today by the sudden passing of iconic Australian music promoter Michael Gudinski, aged just 68. As part of Frontier Touring and Mushroom Group, as well as his many other ventures, Gudinski helped bring a ton of iconic acts to Australia for huge tours and championed homegrown acts with endless spirit.
He formed Mushroom Records in 1972 at just 20 years old, and has been a huge supporter of Australian music ever since. He signed numerous huge Australian acts including Kylie Minogue, Eskimo Joe, Split Enz and many more under Mushroom's many label arms, including The Rubens, Violent Soho, Gordi and Vance Joy. It's hard to think of someone that's made more of an impact on Australian music over the years than Gudinski, and his legacy will live on.
To celebrate his life, we've taken a look at some of the biggest tours that Gudinski and Frontier Touring have put together in recent years, and what made them so special. Vale Michael Gudinski - a giant of the Australian music industry.
My Chemical Romance's Debut Australian Tour, December 2005
Back in 2005, My Chemical Romance were a band that everyone was talking about, and their debut Australian tour had everyone excited. They played shows alongside Green Day at Marvel Stadium (then Telstra Dome) and the Sydney Cricket Ground.
They also played headline shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on the tour. We're not sure which shows would have been more anticipated - these gigs, or My Chemical Romance's return Australian/NZ gigs that we're hoping can happen in the near future!
Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour, November/December 2005
Taylor Swift's 1989 Tour was huge for a few reasons, and it saw her become the first artist to perform three concerts at Melbourne's AAMI Park. The tour saw her play shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, and she was joined by Vance Joy for the shows.
The 1989 Tour was proof that Taylor Swift had become the pop star everyone thought she'd always become, and she's continued that momentum ever since. Playing to thousands and thousands of people each night, Taylor captivated audiences worldwide, and speaking about the tour herself, Taylor said that it “…almost [felt] as if you [were] in a different world”.
Nas' Illmatic Tour, January 2015
Nas' album Illmatic might be one of the most celebrated hip-hop album of all time, so to hear it played in its entirety would have been close to a spiritual experience. To celebrate the album's 20th anniversary, Nas played shows around the globe so fans could hear the album in full - the way they'd been listening to it for years and years.
Amazingly, Illmatic wasn't a commercial success at the time it was released in 1994, but it's become a classic since then. It's a testament to Gudinski and Frontier Touring that they were able to bring Nas to Australia so audiences could experience the classic album live, and for those that were there, it's a night they'll never forget.
Troye Sivan's Blue Neighbourhood Tour, July/August 2016
Troye Sivan has become one of Australia's biggest popstars, and his 2016 tour cemented his status as a much-loved Australian musician. He'd previously played headline shows in Sydney and Perth, but this tour saw him take things to the next level, as he celebrated his debut album, Blue Neighbourhood.
Playing shows in Christchurch and Auckland over in New Zealand, as well as in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Wollongong, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, it was a real statement tour from Troye. He was joined by Nicole Millar for the Australian shows, and it was a real moment.
Migos' Debut Australian/NZ Tour, October 2017
Migos were everywhere in 2017, and that included on tour in Australia and New Zealand. Playing a show in Auckland, as well as shows in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, the Atlanta trio played hits from their album Culture, including the likes of Bad And Boujee, T-Shirt and Slippery.
If you're looking for a lit time, it's hard to go past a Migos show. While in the last couple of years they've each become more known for their solo work, there's no doubt that next time Migos are in town, you'll want to check them out.
Lorde's Melodrama Tour, November 2017
It's pretty amazing just how many hits Lorde has released in a short space of time. Her two albums to date, Pure Heroine and Melodrama, are both pop masterpieces, and her tour of Melodrama saw her pull out all the stops.
Playing shows in her native New Zealand in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, as well as Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne, it was a celebration of everything Lorde had achieved to date. Not to mention, the moment the notes of Green Light hit we were rapt. We're still waiting for her third album, but we know it'll be worth it when it drops.
Charli XCX's Pop2 Concert, October 2018
While touring Australia with Taylor Swift on her Reputation tour, Charli XCX played an exclusive headline show at the Metro Theatre in Sydney to celebrate Pop2. It was a celebration of the future of pop, and Charli's continuing to bring that to the table with every track she's dropped since.
If you're looking to learn more about what went down during those Pop2 shows, you can check out photos from the Sydney show here. Banoffee and Tkay Maidza were also there, and it's a night that won't be forgotten any time soon.
Bhad Bhabie's Debut Australian/NZ Tour, December 2018
When Bhad Bhabie touched down in Australia and New Zealand in December 2018 for the first time, it was destined to be a raucous affair - and that's exactly what eventuated. She was celebrating the release of her mixtape, 15, by playing all-age shows in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland.
Australian/NZ audiences have always shown love to Bhad Bhabie, and it's clear that she returns the love. Speaking about the Perth show, Project U wrote, "From the moment she launches into the show with Juice, it’s instantly obvious she is born to be at the front of a stage." Bhad Bhabie is really one-of-a-kind, and that was proven on this debut Aus/NZ tour.
To give you an idea of the setlist from those Aus/NZ shows, we've included a setlist from a Belgium gig on the same tour.
Thank you for bringing so much music to our ears, Michael Gudinski.