Melbourne is both the capital and most populous city in Victoria. In fact, the more than 4 million residents of the metropolitan region make up a whopping 15 per cent of Australia's population. With so many different types of people packed into the city, it's hardly surprising that a range of vibrant communities have sprung throughout the suburbs – making Melbourne one of the most diverse locations in the country. 

While Victoria's capital is widely regarded as the 'hippest' of Australia's big cities, it is undoubtedly music where Melbourne really takes off and spreads its wings. So highly regarded is the local music scene, that several studies have even been carried out to determine just how many gigs take place across the region. One, conducted by Deloitte Access Economics, revealed that Melbourne has more live music venues than any other Australian city – with an incredible 3,000 gigs every week. 

If you're visiting Melbourne and want to head to a live performance, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing from the many options. To make that choice a bit easier, we've put together a brief list of three of the best. Read on to find out more.

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Jun 14, 2016 at 3:29pm PDT

1. Regent Theatre

One of the oldest and most established venues in Melbourne is the famous Regent Theatre. Located in the heart of the city, this classical building was built in 1929 and has hosted some huge names over the years, although its principal use is as the home of musical theatre in Melbourne. Shows as diverse as 'The Lion King', 'Grease' and 'We Will Rock You' have all been staged here, but it hasn't always been smooth sailing. 

The Regent has been faced with fires and floods, although arguably the biggest obstacle was the 20 years during the 80s and 90s where the venue simply wasn't used and fell into disrepair. Fortunately it was refurbished and reopened in 1996, and has since reclaimed its rightful place as one of the city's best places to settle into a comfy chair and enjoy a live performance – a must even if you're only in Melbourne for 48 hours.

2. Rod Laver Arena

Best known as the home of Australian tennis and host of the Australian Open, Rod Laver Arena is truly multi-purpose and hosts everything from boxing to ice skating. Music has always been a focus though, and while the venue was first opened in January 1988 for the Open, it only took until February for the first gig to take place – a raucous AC/DC performance that set a high bar for subsequent acts to follow. 

The popularity of Rod Laver Arena for concerts led to an expansion in the 90s, bringing the ground to its current capacity of roughly 15,000 – although that can change depending on how the stage and crowd areas are set up. The current record is 16,183, thanks to sellout performance by Justin Timberlake in 2007. 

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Apr 21, 2016 at 3:10pm PDT

3. Cherry Bar

At the other end of the spectrum to Rod Laver Arena is the inimitable Cherry Bar, which has been rocking since 1999. Perhaps the most beloved of all the city's venues, 'Cherry' is world famous as one of the best rock and roll destinations to be found anywhere across the globe. You'll see the likes of Lady Gaga and Noel Gallagher hanging out in the early hours of the morning – giving the bar its status as the hippest place to party after a big gig at one of the larger stadiums. 

The capacity is only 200, but it draws great crowds and amazing acts almost every night of the week. The only business located on Melbourne's infamous AC/DC lane, Cherry is the place to be for a different side of the city's music scene. 

These are just three of Melbourne's amazing music venues – there are plenty more to be found in and around the city. So what are you waiting for, grab your friends, and head out for a rocking night on the town. For more information on hiring a car in Melbourne, get in touch with East Coast Car Rentals today.