ARIAs celebrate 30 years with music and messages

This year’s ARIA Awards was just as much about promoting marriage equality and diversity as it was about talent and awards.

And the highlight of the 2016 ARIAs was Crowded House’s induction into the Hall of Fame.

The iconic band stepped onto the stage to enthusiastic applause and thanked everyone who helped them through the three decades of their notable career – managers, families, road crews, producers; they had 30 years worth of thanks.

They also paid tribute to former drummer Paul Hester, who died in 2005. “We wouldn’t have been anywhere near as engaging or amusing and wonderful as we were sometimes without Paul,” said lead singer Neil Finn.

Missy Higgins sat at the piano to sing a moving rendition of Fall At Your Feet, followed by Bernard Fanning, who stepped up to sing Better Be Home Soon – there wasn’t a dry eye. Crowded House ended the medley by performing Distant Sun from their 2010 album The Very Best of Crowded House.

The Newsroom braved the wet weather for the red carpet preliminaries, although most of the stars preferred to head straight indoors and avoid the rain altogether.

South African-born Aussie Troye Sivan came away with two ARIA awards. The 21-year-old singer, songwriter, actor and YouTube sensation dedicated his win to all young LGBT people in Australia: “This is for every gay Australian kid who wants to make music, you can do it and win an ARIA too.” Sivan won Song of the Year for Youth, which he performed, and Best Video.

Kylie Minogue and fiancé Joshua Sasse made a surprise guest appearance later in the night wearing matching  “Say ‘I Do’ Down Under” T-shirts, the global campaign Sasse started to lobby for marriage equality in Australia, where the couple plans to wed. Sasse said: “This is more than just a movement. This is people’s lives, and we want to say to every single member of the LGBT community – you are not alone.”

Sia took home the award for Best Female Artist, but she handed the spotlight to Angie Greene who accepted the award on behalf of Marriage Equality to a standing ovation.

New-on-the-music-scene record producer, musician and DJ Flume, from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, was the most awarded artist on the night, scooping up five ARIAs. The categories were Best Pop Release, Best Dance Release, Independent Release, Best Male Artist and Album of the Year. He used his acceptance speech to urge the Australian Government to “keep Sydney open”, and joined the calls for marriage equality.

Photo of Flume accepting ARIA. From Twitter @Michael_Coombes
Photo of Flume accepting ARIA. From Twitter @Michael_Coombes\
The Veronicas ARIA performance. Photo fromTwitter. @qldconfidential
The Veronicas ARIA performance. Photo fromTwitter. @qldconfidential

This year’s hosts The Veronicas. started the night off a bit shaky but after their third wardrobe change overcame their nerves and were hosting like pros. The girls took some time out of their hosting to perform their hit In My Blood. This much-talked-about half-naked performance shocked some viewers when they came out wearing (or not wearing) fire-engine red pants and red body glitter. They wore the same outfits in their video but some think it was not so appropriate for prime-time television and questioned their choice on Twitter.

The acceptance speech made by Montaigne overshadowed her ARIA award for Breakthrough Artist. In accepting the award, she appeared very underwhelmed by the whole thing. Her speech, which she admittedly ad-libbed, surprised the audience with too much information about her bowel movements. She rambled how the award “is just a thing” and she’s just like everyone else. She even tried to prove it by telling the audience she “pooped three times a week like everyone else.”

In true Aussie rock fashion Violent Soho turned it up with their loud performance of Like Soda. Formed in Brisbane in 2004, the alternative rock band gave a head-thrashing performance in jeans and T-shirts; hair flying everywhere, it was pure rock’n’roll. They celebrated winning two ARIAs and even showed up to their second acceptance speech late, deciding to start their festivities early. They ran onto the stage, beer in hand, a little flustered to the crowd’s approval.

The night ended with legendary rocker John Farnham performing his “Aussie anthem” You’re the Voice, accompanied by Scottish bagpipers. The audience got to their feet dancing and singing along. He was accompanied by . His performance nearly brought the house down. He was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the evening and a fitting finish to the 30th ARIAs.

– Rachel Adler

About Rachel Adler 3 Articles
Aspiring journalist with a love of gossip, news, social media, photography and more.