single of the week

Kelly Clarkson - Love So Soft

 

album picks

Niall Horan Shows Us A Different Side Of Him In 'Flicker'
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Album Review: Our Top 3 Tracks From BTS' EP 'Love Yourself: Her'
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Album Review: 5 Must-Hear Tracks From Paramore’s Latest Record, ‘After Laughter’
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World Bloggers And Social Media Awards
SBA 2014
SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

 

 

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There is no doubt that it’s quite a challenge to top last year’s stellar line-up, but 2017 Singapore Grand Prix still continues to attract music fans for its 10th anniversary.

Warming up the eager audience on Night 1 was pop rock band OneRepublic that had fans who waited for 7 hours just to catch them up-close.

The band opened with the heart-wrenching Stop and Stare followed by the anthem of a song that is Secrets, inviting the crowd to sing along with the talented Ryan Tedder. Though as emotional and exciting as it was, the first number did not exactly hype up the vacant-eyed audience as much as the second one, this wasn’t much of a shock as Brent Kutzle breathtakingly brought the latter song to life with his famous cello intro.

Despite the slightly slow start, OneRepublic began to trigger everyone’s sentimentality in moments when Tedder would briefly explain inspirations of songs he wrote for other artists and later belted out live with the band. “If you know this song, sing it. If you don’t, don’t sing it,” Tedder instructed the stunned audience after revealing that he’d co-written Halo by Beyoncé, Happier by Ed Sheeran, and Rumour Has It by Adele.

However, the most memorable part of the evening was when a male fan caught Tedder’s attention midset. It turned out that the fan was at a OneRepublic show in Vancouver three weeks ago and was told by Tedder that he would buy him a beer if he flies to Singapore for their F1 gig. Keeping his word, Tedder immediately handed the fan a beer directly from stage. Talk about dedication!

As expected, F1 shows tend to be generous on the visual front. The alluring lights and impeccable stage set-up made songs like Good Life, Apologize, and Counting Stars more cinematic. Though all good things must come to an end as OneRepublic concluded with the much-awaited Love Runs Out, leaving a group of wide-eyed fans hoping for more.

Finally making their Singapore debut were Ariana Grande and The Chainsmokers on Night 2 at the Padang Stage.

Arianators could be easily spotted in the crowded pit with their black bunny ears, suggesting that they were indeed at the event solely for Grande. This was, of course, just an addition to their passionate singing.

Grande was in full pop star mode with quick costume changes and a variety of props onstage. Her Side to Side performance was delivered exactly like in the music video – a workout themed set up with Grande and backup dancers on exercise bicycles.

Known for her velvety vocals, the 24-year-old effortlessly showed off her prowess in the soulful pop ballad I Don’t Care, which was made even more “eargasmic” by chilling electric guitar solos.

Serving us some words of female empowerment were video interludes that took about 5-10 minutes of the show, which could’ve been at least just dedicated to performing more songs like Problem that we did not hear in its entirety given the limited 60-minute set.

Though Grande’s mere presence already brought excitement to the crowd, a little audience interaction would have been more satisfactory. We’d like to think that she was just saving her energy for a solo tour in Singapore in the near future. But for now, we can only hope.

One might quickly question how pop singer Ariana Grande ended up opening for The Chainsmokers. But the evening itself proved the critics wrong, at least temporarily, as the EDM-pop duo surpassed (almost) everyone’s expectations.

Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have been severely criticized for their music's lack of variety. Although their tracks couldn't necessarily be labeled as "legendary," the duo was able to transform The Padang into a huge dance floor filled with an energetic mob through tracks like Roses, Closer, and Don’t Let Me Down - all of which enticed the crowd to sing along.

It is indeed undeniable that music that’s fun, catchy, and devoid of meaning could be aggressively electrifying. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible without those captivating pyrotechnics and animated emojis.

With unparalleled energy released in the first two evenings of the F1 concerts, we were unfortunately met with gloomy weather on the Night 3. But the skies quickly cleared up prior to Duran Duran’s set, giving us a breezy atmosphere for their '80s new wave music.

The award-winning synthpop band attracted a large group of fans comprising mostly of an older audience who eagerly responded with screams on par with Arianators’ the evening before.

Lead singer Simon Le Bon’s efforts in being culturally inclusive were evident in wittily crafted song introductions, getting audience members to shout out where they’re from preceding the band’s performance of Last Night In The City - a song about bringing people together, according to Le Bon.

“Did you catch your Laksa and Nasi Goreng? Is anybody hungry?” he further asked the crowd before delving into their hit song, Hungry Like A Wolf.

If that wasn’t endearing enough, the entire band manifested an exceptional stage presence that radiated from Dom Brown’s edgy guitar licks to John Taylor’s signature basslines. It’s no wonder that they’re able to attract a huge following of supporters even from the other side of the world.

Working the crowd brilliantly into songs like Save A Prayer and ending their set with Rio, Duran Duran certainly still carries the same fervor from their emergence in the '80s, almost four decades ago. While the crowd, unfortunately, did not get to hear The Reflex live despite their enthusiastic chanting, that devotion in itself demonstrates the band’s undying legacy as new wave icons.

Following the EDM themed dance party this year’s concerts were going for, record producer and DJ Calvin Harris closed the weekend with his jam-packed mixes - some of which constantly struck familiarity amongst the majority of the crowd that probably left the venue as EDM converts.

Radio hits like This Is What You Came For, How Deep Is Your Love, and Outside induced a rare euphoria that everyone would usually be devoid of on a Sunday evening. But before you know it, Rihanna’s vocals slowly enveloped the enormous mosh pit with We Found Love and after which ensued a whirlwind of frenzy.

Did I mention a toddler being carried by his dad in front of me during Calvin Harris’ set? Yes, that happened, and I guess that little boy can proudly tell his friends in the future that he had first “clubbing” experience with Calvin Harris as the DJ.

With this, one might confuse Singapore Grand Prix 2017 as Ultra Singapore given its EDM headliners. However, this risky move unexpectedly revives the definition of an after-party, reminding everyone that this year’s line-up is definitely what a celebration is all about, despite everyone’s doubts.

 

Photo Credit: Singapore GP and Joyce Pang for The Straits Times

Published in Concert Review

Catching Ariana Grande’s Singapore debut next week, but not a full-fledged Arianator? We’ve got you covered!

Ariana Grande has been dominating the pop scene ever since her breakthrough on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious.

What the 24-year-old is mostly famous for is her Mariah Carey-esque whistle tones that often dominate public spaces in Singapore – an infectious virus that leaves you with no choice but to eventually be familiar with some of her top hits.

But we’re not even complaining! Grande is one of today’s most talented artists who can effortlessly deliver stunning vocal quality and at the same time bop along to her catchy melodies.

So, almost everyone can hum to at least one Ariana Grande song by now. But the question is, can you sing along?

If you’re one of those people who need to know the lyrics to get the full concert experience, you’ve come to the right place.

We know it’s a challenge to even try to match Grande’s vocal prowess, but one can try.

Here are 5 Ariana Grande songs you need to memorize before her Singapore debut!*

*If you're attempting to practice these songs in your room, please inform your family members beforehand. Loud squealing might occur.

 

1. One Last Time

 

2. Into You

 

3. Break Free

 

4. Dangerous Woman

 

5. Problem

Photo credit: Ethan Miller

Published in Featured

It's that time of the year again when we spend hours going through our photo albums and sobbing at the mere thought that the best concerts that happened this year only exist in our memories and can only be accessed through our screens.

Unless someone actually invents a working time machine, we won’t be able to relive those psychedelic concert moments. But for now, we’ll have to make do with some reminiscing.

Immortalizing these special gigs through words and a bunch of pictures is what we're here for. So let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the best concerts* in 2016 picked by our very own Spin or Bin Music writers!

*Click the images to read our concert reviews!

 

Donwei: "Floor Jansen's impeccable vocals set a whole new benchmark for live shows for me. Nightwish was also my first metal concert so that was a cool experience since the crowd gave off a different vibe from what I was used to. There was this young mum in front of me who was carrying her sleeping son (probably still in kindergarten and idk how he managed to sleep during the concert). When the band started playing 'Storytime', the mum woke him up (cuz apparently that's his fav song) and put him on the floor where he just started jumping and screaming along to the song lol"

 

Donwei: "I've never listened to their music before but soon became a fan after going for their concert. I think it's so easy to underestimate them for their young ages and for the genre that they are categorised in but wow Brad Simpson really does have great stage presence. It also helped that we got to meet them for the interview and that they are total qts!!!"

 

Teejay: "Though The 1975's SG gig wasn't really for a solo tour, seeing my favorite band the second time around at Laneway was beyond surreal. I got to meet fellow 1975-obsessed fans and saw the band's stunning neon-themed visuals for the first time! Also, I saw Ross Macdonald again, which made it even more memorable."

 

Letazia: "They basically took the roof off The Star Theatre with their AMAZING vocals. I know that they are great singers but after watching them LIVE in concert, I can most definitely say that they don't just sing their songs but they PUT ON A SHOW for their fans, making sure that the ticket was worth every cent to watch them SLAY their performances."

 

Letazia: "This girl's vocal range was absolutely INSANE. And to think that she sounded so incredible even though she was not feeling her best. SAY WHAT. Yes, she's a super talented singer-songwriter that is so underrated in this music industry. I think that once you attend a Jessie J concert, there is no denying of all the talented bones in her body. And her interactions with her fans are the cutest!"

 

Donwei: "And also while I wouldn't say that Panic! At The Disco's concert was the BEST, it felt pretty surreal to see Brendon Urie in the flesh after fangirling and being obsessed over him and the band all through my sec school and poly days. Now it feels like I can finally close that chapter haha."

 

Teejay: "Queen and Adam Lambert's set was mind-blowing in so many ways. Hearing songs from my childhood in real life while drowning in my own sweat was one of the most memorable experiences ever. You know the show was good when you caught yourself picturing that exact moment in slow motion while it's happening. Let's also add the fact that there was golden confetti falling down on the crowd while I was exiting the moshpit. It was so memorable that here I am romanticizing the whole gig all over again."

Holmen: "It's been a dream come true to witness one of the most influential rock bands in the world put on a show worthy to be named one of the best ever performances to take place at the Singapore GP ever. Adam Lambert also gave a better vocal performance than his stint at the New Year's Eve show at the Floating Platform this year."

 

Solihin: "There is something truly purifying about being vulnerable against the onslaught of Mother Nature while attempting (still) to make the best of your gloriously muddy festival experience. An event that trumps the infamous "Rainway" of 2010, the sophomore edition of Neon Lights should be praised not only for its continually diverse attractions but also for managing to foster a sense of communion free of irony. Ok but seriously, the vouchers have gotta go, though."

*****

 

Is your favorite concert of 2016 on our list? Share it with us!

 

Photo Credit: LAMC Productions, Alvin Ho for Laneway Festival & Singapore GP Singapore, Cherlynn Lian / Laneway Festival Singapore, Neon Lights, Live Nation Lushington SG (facebook)

Published in Music News (Singapore)

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this week’s roundup. Really devastated to hear the death of Christina Grimmie, thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and fans.

 

1.     Rest In Peace, Christina

YouTube singer, The Voice finalist, singer and songwriter Christina Grimmie just completed her performance at the Plaza Live in Orlando with Before You Exit. No one could ever tell that this would be her last performance ever. As she was signing autographs for some fans outside the venue, she was shot and critically injured. Further reports later confirmed that she has died from the injuries she suffered. At only 22 years old and a bright career in front of her, she has definitely left too soon.

Read our tribute to Christina here, you will definitely be missed.

 

2.     ‘I Want It That Way’: 17 Years Later

I guess we could call this song a #ThrowbackTune. It has been 17 years since the release of I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys. This week the boys brought us all back to the heydays with a performance of I Want It That Way and As Long As You Love Me at the Miss USA Pageant 2016. I’m pretty sure when you hit ‘play’ and the music starts, you will be singing and grooving along! Go on!

 

3.     Singapore Grand Prix Headliners

The organisers of the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix made a very important announcement this week, especially for music lovers like us. Over the past few years, we have seen many acts perform at the Marina Bay Street Circuit after the races. The time has come again, who will be performing this year?!

Well, if you have not heard then you should check out this article to find out the first wave of acts. 

 

4.     Last Year Was Complicated

Nick Jonas has finally released his highly anticipated album, Last Year Was Complicated. During his interview with People, he revealed that he hope the songs on this album would answer some of the burning questions that he gets asked but he doesn’t give a definite answer specifically in his love life. Tell us what do you think of his album? It is a thumbs-up from us!


 

Bonus: What Kind Of Fan Are You?

As I was scrolling through Tumblr the other day, I came across this meme that listed down the different types of fangirls/boys out there. I found myself relating to a few of the stereotypes but mostly The Godmother. I want to find out what kind of a fan you are?


Picture Credits: Getty, Nick Jonas on Twitter, SingaporeGP, criaturitasdelsenior131 on Tumblr, Rolling Stone & Still from ‘I Want It That Way’ on BackstreetBoysVevo.

Published in Music News

FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX is back in Singapore again for its upteempth time! In the midst of all the smoke and sound coming from the race cars with F1 enthusiasts from all over the world, this 3-day event will never be complete each year without its amazing headlining performances to end the races each night. 

This year, Singapore Grand Prix is honoured to have the Happy singer Pharrell Williams, American pop-rock band Maroon 5 and long-time standing rock band Bon Jovi to perform at Singapore's very own Padang Stage. 

In pole position, we have Mr Pharrell Williams who kicked off the first night on Friday with his latest single, Freedom

Decked out in a really cute giraffe T-shirt and Adidas sponsored jeans, Pharrell entertained the non-stop screaming crowd with everything he had to the point he was glistening in his own perspiration. We were wondering if Adidas actually told Pharrell how many seconds he had to turn his back facing the audience so that the huge print of the Adidas logo could be seen at the back of his jeans because his butt had a lot of screen time!

Pharrell invited some fans to dance on stage with him for a couple of songs, and we have to add that these fans can really dance! Before the fans had to get off the stage, they all shook hands with the man himself. It was a really weird sight. These fans look like they were meeting the president as they dished out formal handshakes. We think that if you are THAT close to a famous singer like Pharrell, just go in for the hug!

In between songs, Pharrell would always mention his amazing dancers who were by the way, beyond talented. Dressed in different colours of Adidas gear, he introduced his dancers individually by name. A cute and awkward moment gatecrashed when he forgot the name of his back-up dancer in yellow. Clearly embarrassed, Pharrell later explained that she was the newest member in the crew and apologised to the talented dancer.

I think Pharrell probably invented the Kallang scream (or Padang scream?) as he mananged to get the crowd to scream at the top of their lungs across the entire mosh pit simply by just saying, "I think that the energy is over here." and waving his hand above the crowd.

For his song, Get Lucky, a lot of his younger fans were chosen to go on stage for the next song. Aren't they just so lucky? 

Finally the moment everyone was waiting for, Pharrell performed Happy as his second last song before closing his entire set with of course, another performace of Freedom. (Get that promo Pharrell!)

Who's on for the second night? It's none other than Maroon 5!

There was definitely something different in the air as Maroon 5 is probably considered a favourite band by many. Opening the show with a bang, Animals, drove the crowd wild. The energy level of the audience rose as the band continued to play crowd favourites throughout the night.

In between This Love and Sunday Morning, Adam randomly sang some notes and the electric guitar echoed through perfectly. The whole band gathered together with their arms on each other's shoulders as Adam gave a mini speech. "It doesn't matter if you're not singing in tune, as long as you enjoy singing with your friends like I do, sing along." Motivated, the crowd united in acapella to the chorus of Payphone.

 

The concert 'ended' with Daylight, which was rather ironic because it was past midnight. By this time, the crowd was singing so passionately to every single word of the song.

However, every concert goer knows that a concert is not really over until the act performs their latest single. A good 5 minutes crawled before Maroon 5 reappeared on stage to complete their set with She Will Be Loved, Moves Like Jagger and Sugar.

Then this happened.

The heat in Singapore was probably too much for Adam to handle. He took off his shirt for the last song before proceeding to play his neon pink electric guitar. The entire crowd went nuts and screamed louder than the sound of the race cars.

Well done, Mr Levine, well done.

Returning to Singapore after twenty years of absence, Bon Jovi was the final act to end the largely successful F1 event on Sunday night. 

Clothed in a long sleeved black sweater and jeans, many thought that he was crazy and wished to die of a heat stroke. However, this legend was street smart enough to change into a black looking vest later.

Not only does Bon Jovi have an amazing stage presence, his charisma charmed the (mostly drunk) crowd with his spot-on vocals and high energy moves despite his age.

From the very mouth of Bon Jovi, "We came a long way here for one reason and one reason only, to hear you scream!!!' We really doubt he just came all the way to Singapore to hear people scream. Props to him for getting the crowd to scream which was probably what he was going for!

We have no idea what was going on with the sound system half way through the concert but aren't we glad that Jon Bon Jovi was there to save the situation with his humourous response? "The guitar's tech's gonna have a long walk home to America."

After countless selfies with fans, Bon Jovi treated the 60,000 strong crowd with their biggest hit, Livin' on a Prayer. What a great way to end the show!

*****

Huge congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on the win! And to the random F1 fan who walked onto the Marina Bay circuit track for making our day, we hope you are okay!

We look forward to more amazing acts in the next lap of F1 Singapore!

Photo Credit: Singapore GP Pte Ltd and Mediacorp

Published in Concert Review