Melbourne Festival: Mikelangelo’s City of Dreams

Mikelangelo isn’t from Melbourne and spends a lot of time travelling the world, but – like many of us – he fell in hopeless love with this city and made it his home. Last night, surrounded by friends who collaborated and friends who swooned and cheered, he launched his new album City of Dreams, a love song to “Where I feel safe and where I feel loved”.

City of Dreams, Mikelangelo

And where better to launch a love song to Melbourne than in the  Festival Hub on the banks of the Yarra.

With his voice deeper and hotter than hell, the album’s more gentle and less character-driven than his Tin Star or Black Sea Gentlemen music. While Black Sea Mikelangelo explodes with yearning testosterone and pomade, Melbourne Mikelangelo strolls through the city streets, often hand-in-hand with Clare St Clare, and sees that everything around him is bloody beautiful.

There’s still a rockabilly influence, but Miles Brown has convinced him that a theremin and synthesizer are as sexy as a well-worn guitar, and his guest vocalists, including St Clare, bring a balancing lightness to his irresistible darkness.

The album’s wonderful but it was its Pledge Music crowd funding campaign that created the extra love to make it something that won’t be forgotten – and it wasn’t just the money.

His pledge rewards are personal and offer unrepeatable experiences like Mikelangelo meeting you in Edinburgh Gardens to shine your shoes, taking you to his barber, serenading your grandmother, taking you to Piedimonte’s to discover if you can get a cappuccino upstairs, or MCing your event. And some of his favourite suits are up for grabs.

Campiagn updates included photos of thrilled mums, hand-inked cd covers, the newly quiffed and men full of dumplings. Plus personalised messages to every pledger and a bonus EP for us who live so south that we can listen while we feel the white sand of Sandringham beach on bare feet.

At last look, his powder-blue suit is gone but the “Name your baby” reward is still available. And there are two more performances of the City of Dreams album at the Festival Hub tonight (Wednesday) and tomorrow. Be prepared to float home in he afterglow.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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