Big Scary, Hatchie, The Merindas and Chris Cheney announced for Melbourne concert series ‘ONSTAGE’

For all of the shows, the Palais will be laid out so that both the artist and the crowd are situated on the stage

A new concert series called ‘ONSTAGE’ will launch at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre in January, with the first shows announced headed up by Chris Cheney, The Merindas, Big Scary and Hatchie.

The shows, announced today (October 27), will be the first four of several performances to take place throughout early 2023. Further announcements of additional shows will be made in the coming months. Cheney will launch the series on Wednesday January 4, when the singer-songwriter and guitarist – best known as frontman for The Living End – will take to the St. Kilda venue to perform cuts from his recent debut solo album, ‘The Storm Before The Calm’.

The Merindas will follow on Thursday January 5, delivering two unique sets of what they’ve described as “electronic pop with a dance-hall feel, alongside hip-hop and R&B influences”. The Indigenous pop duo are still playing shows in support of their debut album, 2020’s ‘We Sing Until Sunrise’.


Up next will be Big Scary on Friday January 6 – who, just last week, finished up their first Australian tour in four years. Their new album ‘Me And You’ arrived last month, and was praised by NME for showing “their penchant for poignancy mellowed out by their sweetest and more serene tonal palette to date”.

Rounding out the initial slate is Hatchie, who also toured Australia earlier this year. The recent NME Australia cover star will play the Palais on Saturday January 7. Her second album, ‘Giving The World Away’, arrived back in March and scored four stars from NME.

For all of the shows, the Palais will be uniquely laid out so that both the artist and the crowd are situated on the stage itself. As a result, each show will only welcome a limited number of attendees.

Each artist will perform two sets on the same night – the first starting at 5pm and the second at 8pm – with pre-sale tickets available here at 2pm today (October 27). A general sale will follow at the same time tomorrow (October 28) – find those tickets here.

The series is funded in part by the federal government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) initiative. As noted in a press release, audio production and lighting at the shows will be helmed mostly by “mid-career professionals” who have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as students enrolled in event production courses.

In a statement, venue manager Lloyd Jones said: “The Palais Theatre is Melbourne’s home of live music and we were thrilled to be successful in our grant application as it supports the use of our venue in a unique way, and provides new exposure to talented artists being able to perform in this iconic space.


“[It] also further the careers of crew and students in the industry and we continue to focus on rebuilding and resourcing a sector that is the lifeblood of Melbourne.”

The first shows for the Palais Theatre’s ‘ONSTAGE’ series are:

Wednesday 4 – Chris Cheney
Thursday 5 – The Merindas
Friday 6 – Big Scary
Saturday 7 – Hatchie