It’s been eight months since Australia-based electronic maestro Opiuo stunned fans with his unforgettable sold-out Red Rocks Amphitheatre performance and just under three months since he released his live music marvel, Opiuo & The Opulent Orchestra.
Spanning 19 total tracks, the digital album boasts 16 electrifying orchestral arrangements seamlessly married to the celebrated producer’s iconic funk-infused basslines, recorded live from his headlining Red Rocks Amphitheatre extravaganza last May. While everyone is out there trying to do “the best new thing,” there’s certainly something to be said for blending old and new — infusing hard-hitting electronic beats with the classic, live compositions of symphony musicians.
The defining live album is the prelude to an exciting year ahead for Opiuo, who saw one of his busiest years to date in 2023. The producer essentially saw most of the past 12 months spent selling out venues across the United States, all the while focusing on conducting 22 musicians for his premiere Red Rocks show. For the first half of 2024, the producer be back in his home country of Australia.
To prepare for Opiuo’s homebound return to Down Under, he’s built a personalized guide on where to stay, eat, and party in one of his favorite cities in the world, Melbourne.
“Melbourne is full of so much wonder, grit, vibe, and charm,” Opiuo told Uproxx. “It’s home to so many nationalities and cultures, something that makes it one of my favorite cities in the world. People doing so many different creative things, the colorful street art, a vibrant life! It’s all there, and it’s all to be discovered and explored.”
Best Place To Sleep & Stay
When in Melbourne I’m usually staying with friends but on the occasional staying-out adventure I grab an Airbnb in Fitzroy. Its a suburb close to the city but surrounded by many bars and cafes. Easy walking distance to lots of good places or jump on a tram to get further.
Its usually bustling and plenty of shopping if that’s your thing!
Best Place to Hydrate in the Morning
I’m an absolute sucker for a great double shot flat white [a flat white is less frothy than a traditional cappuccino, has less milk than an American-style latte, and has more milk and froth than a tiny cortado]. No one does it better than Plug Nickel on Peel St in Collingwood. Perfect smooth texture and delicious espresso! The cafe is a great place to hang.
They also have a bar that’s open in the evenings and serve a delicious breakfast bun. I’m hooked!
Best Breakfast/Bunch Spot
Melbourne has so many cafes that there are literally a million incredible breakfast spots. If I had to pick one today it’s Short Round in Thornbury. I love their jalapeño folded omelet with goat feta. It’s delicious and always perfectly cooked. Sharp, fresh, spicy, yet smooth. So good!
Best Daytime Hangout
Can’t go past a good day hang in Edinburgh Gardens in Fitzroy North. I’ve spent so many sunny days in this park. Whether it be partying, chilling, eating, sporting, skating, or listening to music. It’s always packed with epic vibes. Lots of good food not too far away for when the belly rumbles.
Also love a good wander around the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Often some really awesome exhibitions on. Changing regularly. Love some colorful inspiration from there.
Best Place for Mid-Day Snack Grab
A favorite pub for lunch would have to be Edinburgh Castle on Sydney Road in Brunswick. I usually get the Kangaroo Steak or a lighter salad. Great grimy, casual atmosphere. Pubs are a gem of Australia in general and an awesome spot to just hang with friends all afternoon!
Tastiest Dinner Spot
You must check out Future Future in Richmond. My favourite Japanese restaurant in Australia I would say! Futuristic menu, packed with delicious items. I’m always blown away by the flavors and presentation. The vibe is next to none too.
Great drinks and plenty of different rooms to dine in. Sitting in front of the chef is epic to see it all come together and to your plate.
My favorite venue to play and also go see shows is The Forum in the city. The energy in this room is immense. Super high ceilings complete with gargoyles and castle-like structures make it feel otherworldly. I’ve seen some mind-blowing performances there, and also performed with my Syzygy Orchestra. A real venue.
Late at night I’d go to one of the smallest venues in the city “QQQ St. Park” in Collingwood. I’d say around 100 people fit but holy shit the sound system is next level. They are very new, but they book great underground electronic music. And when it’s in an intimate setting like that, it’s the best!