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13 live gigs to check out in Singapore this year

Next up: The xx, Crystal Castles, Banks and more

By Adam Kerr | Apr 18, 2017

  • 13 live gigs to check out in Singapore this year
    Laneway Festival Singapore. Photo credit: Aloysius Lim

Though we’re only halfway through April, we’ve already had quite an amazing repertoire of live music acts this year. We’ve already seen a good mix of biggies like Metallica, PJ Harvey and Coldplay, smaller bands like Honeyblood and The Fin., the incredibly epic line-ups at Laneway and SingJazz and not forgetting trance savant Armin van Buuren. But we’re only at the beginning; there’s still The xx, Crystal Castles, Banks and Sting to look forward to. Get your tickets while you still can. If they’re sold out, you might just strike gold on Carousell or the gig’s Facebook event page, but we can’t promise you that the prices won’t be marked up.

Cloud Nothings (Apr 18)

Four years ago, this rock band hailing from Cleveland, Ohio rocked the stage and charmed their audiences at Laneway Festival. Their return couldn’t be more timely, especially with the release of their latest record last January, Life Without Sound. The band started out as a solo bedroom project of singer-songwriter and guitarist Dylan Baldi in his parent’s basement. His rough work, a sound that quickly drew a following online among lovers of lo-fi, got him a small gig in Brooklyn where he opened for American folk rock band called Woods and Brooklyn-based rock band Real Estate. The invitations kept pouring in and Baldi saw the potential in it, so he dropped out of school to pursue music full-time. Since then, we’ve been graced with four studio albums, a collaborative record with Wavves, a couple of EPs, and now a headlining gig in Singapore. Tickets are priced at $50 (advanced) and $60 (door) via Peatix. 7:30pm, Hood Bar at Bugis+

Bondax (Apr 29)

After making their debut at Zouk in 2014, they’re finally back in Singapore to play at Millian Singapore. The electronic music duo is made up of English musicians Adam Kaye and George Townsend, who started out experimenting with electronic music back when they met in school. But ever since BBC Radio DJs Nick Grimshaw and Annie Mac caught wind of their music, and gave it some airtime to all the right audiences, they’ve risen through the ranks and have landed on the radars of many other discerning listeners. British style magazine Dazed describes their sound as "the aural equivalent of sipping an ice-cold Pimms on the balcony of your council estate flat". Tickets are priced at $30 (standard), $40 (door) and $100 (bundle of four) via Moonbeats Asia's website10pm, Millian Singapore.

I See Stars (Apr 30)

If rock is more your flavor, get a load of Rockiss Rock On Festival, which will see the headlining American electronicore band I See Stars and a whole bunch of punk, rock and metal bands hailing the Malaysian and Singaporean flags this month at Millian. I See Stars was formed back in 2006 and have since gone through a few musical style changes. Their third album Digital Renegage was a little more aggressive than their first two, and for their fourth album New Demons, they incorporated EDM elements, which made the whole record even more aggressive-sounding. They've earned a great reputation for mixing up post-hardcore and metalcore music with electronic elements, making them one of the first few popular electronicore bands. On the Malaysian line-up are Patriots, Sekumpulan Orang Gila, Scarlet Heroes, Spooky Wet Dreams while Exhibitors, Fader and I, Devotion make up the Singaporean contingent. Tickets are priced from $66 via Ticketbox. 1pm, Millian Singapore

Megadeth (May 2)

Just from looking at this list, you'll know that 2017's live music calendary is already brimming with big names in rock like Metallica and Guns N' Roses. The latest addition is another band from the "big four" who has been credited with popularizing metal from the 80s to 90s. Yes, Megadeth has made a date to stop by Singapore for the third time. The band will be performing at Kallang Theatre as a part of their Dystopia world tour. Expect some of their well-known tracks like "Tornado of Souls" and "Hook in Mouth", along with songs from their latest studio album (also their 15th record), Dystopia, which took the third spot when it debuted on Billboard's top 200 albums. Tickets are priced from $108 via Sistic8pm, Kallang Theatre.

Yelle (May 12-13)

Remember the Tecktonik dance movement that swept Europe (and later, the world) in mid-2000s? Yeah, it was this French synth-pop band's second song "A Cause Des Garcons", which was released under music tastemaker and fashion label Kitsune, that inspired it (just check out the YouTube video here). They were part of a nu wave movement of brightly colored electro that similar bands like CSS and New Young Pony Club were brandishing at that time. The infectious sound soon led them to collaborate with the likes of Robyn and Katy Perry and new fans M.I.A. and Mika. They'll be here for two nights, as part of this year's Voilah! French Festival. Tickets are priced at $88 via Ticketbox. 8pm (Fri) and 10pm (Sat), Gallery Theatre at National Museum of Singapore

Village People (May 18-19)

You now have an occasion to whip out that pair of bell-bottoms you’ve kept in the back of your wardrobe all these years. The OGs that dominated the disco music era of the late ‘70s and 80s, Village People, will be performing in Singapore for the very first time. All those years of silly dancing and grooving to their tunes has amounted to this day. Part of their 40th anniversary, they’ll be performing all the chart-toppers and crowd favorites like “Go West”, “Y.M.C.A”, and many more. The line-up of this super group include the original founding members Felipe Rose (the Native American) and Alexander Briley (GI/Soldier), along with Ray Simpson (the Cop who joined in 1979), Eric Anzalone (the Biker who joined in 1995), Jim Newman (the Cowboy who joined in 2013), and Bill Whitefield (the Construction Worker who joined in 2013). Grab your pals for an outrageously fun, once-in-a-lifetime kind of night. Tickets are priced from $55-$155 via Sistic. 8pm on both days, Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands.

Crystal Castles (May 23)

How amazing was their set at Neon Lights last year? We were a little skeptical about how the Canadian indie-electro duo’s dynamics would be with new lead vocalist Edith Frances (she replaced the beautiful Alice Glass who left in 2014), but things worked out really well. The friendly duo, together with live drummer Christopher Chartrand were a friendly bunch who didn’t turn away their fans’ request to take photos with them while they were exploring the grounds. Their low-res 8-bit melodies and pop hooks produced by Ethan Kath, paired with Frances’ haunting, altered vocals will resonate with once more come May. Early bird tickets are sold now. Standard tickets are available for $80 (standard) via Moonbeats Asia. 8:30pm, Millian Singapore

Air (May 27)

 

The atmospheric, enchanting and trippy work of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel—better known as Air—is the stuff of soundtracks and reflective moments, and they’re set to bring their unique sound to Singapore for the very first time. Air will perform at the Esplanade Theatres on May 27. Expect to hear tracks like Sexy Boy, Cherry Blossom Girl, La Femme d'Argent and more. Tickets are priced from $88 via ApacTix. 8:30pm, Esplanade Theatre

Pitbull (May 27)

If for some reason you’re still listening to music by Armando Christian Perez a.k.a. Pitbull, then you’ll be glad to know that the Grammy-winning superstar is returning to Singapore with his Climate Change Tour. He’s pretty much the poster boy of hard work, having risen from the streets of Miami to the international success he is today. He’s achieved a unique sound that he can call his own, mixing hip-hop with Cuban swing, touches of pop and a reggaeton bounce. His voice is so distinct that you can tell the moment his comes on a track. He’s no stranger to collaborations with many big artists in the industry, including the highly successful "Timber" with Kesha, which topped the charts in 20 countries. Tickets are priced at $138 (standard) and $188 (VIP) via ApacTix. 8pm, Suntec Convention Centre (Hall 401-402).

Sting (May 28)

Multiple Grammy winner Sting, known for seminal hits like "Shape of my Heart", "Desert Rose" and and "All for Love", a collab with Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart, returns to Singapore after five years as part of his “57th and 9th”’s tour. The former lead singer and songwriter of The Police, will be playing songs from his 12th (!) solo album, his first rock/pop album in over a decade. Expect to hear different styles of music ranging from melodic tunes to high octane guitar solos with songs like “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and “Petrol Head”. He will be accompanied by a three-piece band which consisting of long-time guitarist Dominic Milner, Josh Freese on drums and Rufus Miller on guitar. After all these years of coming to jam it out in Singapore, he'll be joined by his son Joe Sumner, who's currently the singer-songwriter and bassist for the rock outfit Fiction Plane. Ticket prices are available from $108 via SportsHub Tix8pm, Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Honne (Jun 2)

Alt R&B has been on the rise, slowly creeping its way into the mainstream with artists like AlunaGeorge, Banks, Nao, and Kehlani at the forefront of the scene. But among the many great acts who have become staples in our Spotify playlists is this electronic duo from London who’s captured our hearts and many others around the world with their brand of dance-y yet heartfelt, personal songs. In just about two years, they’ve amassed 20 million Spotify streams, a couple of Hype Machine number one singles and sell-out tours; clearly their music resonates with many of us going through similar “digital love” situations. Tickets are sold out, but you can try other platforms like Carousell or keep checking their event page. 7:30pm, Millian Singapore

Banks (Jul 11)

Remember when you had to make the painful decision between watching Chet Faker and Banks back at the 2015 edition of Laneway Festival? Well, we’ve already seen Chet Faker (or rather, Nick Murphy) when he came again this year. And for those who missed out on Banks, she’s making her return to our shores for a headlining concert this July. Born Jillian Rose Banks, this Californian alternative R&B singer-songwriter will be bringing her blend of sultry vocals, painfully honest lyrics and dark music production to Capitol Theatre on Jul 11. Like most indie musicians, she started out on releasing music on SoundCloud. The track "Before I Ever Met You", which made it to her first album Goddess, was picked up by BBC Radio 1. She then released her debut EP in March 2013 under music label Good Years Recordings, and the rest was history. Since her humble beginnings, she's been nominated for numerous awards and has a total of two amazing records under her belt; the latest being The Altar, which debuted at #17 on the US Billboard 200. Tickets are priced at $98 (standard) and $120 (door) via ApacTix. 8pm, Capitol Theatre.

The xx + Sampha (Jul 25)

We were pretty confident that they weren't going to go through Japan and Australia without coming here too, seeing how they sold out both their shows at The Star Performing Arts Centre in 2013 and during their debut in 2010 at the Esplanade Theatre alongside Florence + The Machine. The great appeal of The xx is perhaps the vulnerability they present in their music—a space that’s jarringly empty and minimally filled with reverbing guitars and sounds and raw, honest lyrics. They won the world over with their Mercury Prize winning self-titled debut album, which had songs that ought to be listened to under the comfort of crumpled duvets with a box of tissues on standby. Then they did it again with the 2012 follow-up record, Coexist (one of our favorite tracks is "Our Song", which was essentially a letter by the band members to each other). And this year they released I See You, an album that revolves around themes of survival and has much more variety to offer compared to their first two records. Joining them on the tour is one of UK’s rising singer-songwriters Sampha. He spent his formative years lending his vocals, music production and songwriting prowess on an impressive repertoire of tracks, often collaborating with biggies like SBTRKT, FKA twigs, Frank Ocean, Kanye West and many more. Just last month, he released his debut album Process, an introspective, soulful record that comes from grief and how he copes with it. Tickets are priced from $98 via Sports Hub Tix. 8pm, Singapore Indoor Stadium

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