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15 live gigs to check out in Singapore this year

Next up: Banks, Cloud Nothings, Coldplay and more.

By Adam Kerr | Mar 14, 2017

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

We're halfway through March, but we're not done with all the concerts the year has in store. PJ Harvey, Two Door Cinema Club, Joe Satriani and all the acts at Laneway were enough to get us all hyped up for the year. But come up, there's Coldplay, Armin van Buuren, Banks, Bondax and Cloud Nothings to look foward to. Get your tickets while you still can, but you might just strike gold on Carousell (or the event's Facebook page, of course), but we can't promise you that the prices won't be marked up. 

Pixie Lott (Mar 18)

The half Italian singer-songwriter will be performing at Shell's Make the Future Singapore 2017, a campaign to raise awareness about clean energy collaborations. Soul-voiced, super-dancey pop diva Pixie Lott released her first single Mama Do in 2009 which topped the UK Singles Chart and shot her to pop fame, a run that ended with her winning two MTV EMA Awards—Best UK and Ireland Act and Best Push Artist—in 2010 for her fourth single Gravity and later opened Rihanna's Last Girl on Earth tour in May. Apart from her music career, she's been in films like Fred: The Movie in 2010 and more recently has been a coach on The Voice Kids. Admission is free, but registration is encouraged to avoid disappointment. 1:30pm, Changi Exhibition Centre.

Honeyblood (Mar 27)

This musical duo from Glasgow, Stina Marie Claire Tweeddale and Shona McVicar, actually met when their respective bands played the same concert. They later produced an obscure home-made two-song demo tape, which caught the attention of British independent label FatCat Records, who eventually signed them in 2013 and released the band’s first single, and later on, their first debut self-titled album. However, McVicar eventually left the band and was replaced by Cat Myers soon after the record was released. Now with two albums under their belt, Honeyblood promises a raucous night of anger, humor and melancholy, all in one concert. Tickets priced at $30 (early bird) via Peatix. 7:30pm, Hood Bar at Bugis+.

The fin. (Mar 30)

If you love being in the know about obscure bands, here’s one out of the Japanese port city of Kobe. The fin. (yes, the period is part of the band’s name) is signed to British music label Lost In The Manor and have performed to thousands of music lovers at major and iconic Japanese festivals like Fuji Rock, Rising Sun and Viva La Rock. Their style of synth-fuelled chillwave and dream-pop tunes go well with their English lyrics. Vocalist Yuto Uchino once said in an interview that he "was really trying hard to write in Japanese, but it was awkward [because] the words just didn't fit". They now have three EPs, an album and a remix EP under their belt. Tickets are priced at $30 via Peatix. 7:30pm, Millian Singapore.

Coldplay (Mar 31-Apr 1)

Coldplay definitely caused a kerfuffle on the internet, once tickets went on sale in Singapore. Due to an overwhelming response and with scalpers selling the tickets at exorbitant prices, fans were pleased when Coldplay announced another a second date, a day before their initial concert. And as expected, the tickets were sold out lightning fast; all 100,000 of em. If you still want to sing along to their iconic hits like “Yellow”, “Fix You” and “Lost” at the gig, you can try your luck on Carousell8pm, National Stadium.

SingJazz (Mar 31-Apr 2)

Besides Laneway Festival, there's another festival you should look forward to in the first quarter of the year, and that's the Singapore International Jazz Festival. Only in its fourth year, SingJazz already has earned a reputation of placing a heady mix of international and local artists on its bill, with names like Joss Stone, the surviving members of Buena Vista Social Club and Hiatus Kaiyote on the line-up, alongside local biggies Charlie Lim, Jeremy Monteiro and music collective Darker Than Wax. This year's no different. Enjoy three nights of non-stop performances from the likes of Grammy Award winning artists like Corinne Bailey Rae and the renowned David Foster, along with other artists like funk bassist and vocalist Nik West, African hip-hop and soul artist Youssou Ndour & Le Super Etoile de Dakar, and jazz fusion artist Raul Midon Trio.They'll be hosting a new program called "The Late Show" where the party goes on indoors at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre till the wee hours of the morning, with British acid jazz band Incognito, British electronic duo Basement Jaxx, drum and bass legends Rudimental taking the stage, along with smooth jazz outfit Citrus Sun, jazz guitarist Jim Mullen and Al McKay’s Earth Wind & Fire experience. Early bird tickets for the Sing Jazz festival for the Main Stage and The Late show start from $88 and the full package starts at $148. Get yours hereEvents Plaza at Marina Bay Sands.

Armin van Buuren (Apr 1)

Your nightlife patron saint Armin van Buuren is returning to Singapore in a huge way. He’ll be bringing his Armin Only Embrace World Tour to The Meadow, Gardens By The Bay for a one-night-only performance, alongside internationally renowned peeps such as Mr. Probz, Kensington, Eric Vloeimans & Cimo Frankel, Angel Taylor and others. They’ll be contributing to a mix of electronic and live sounds, as well as pop, hip-hop, jazz, house and rock music. Tickets are priced from $128 via Ticketbis. 5pm, The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay.

Santana (Apr 4)

Photo credit: Maryanne Bilham

The world might have turned on its head when Santana teamed up with Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas for the seminal track "Smooth", and other artists like The Product G&B, Lauryn Hill and many more for his 1999 record Supernatural, but this American Latin rock band has enjoyed many commercial successes way before that. Formed in the late ‘60s, Santana now holds nine Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards (Carlos Santana himself earned a Grammy Award as a solo artist in 1988), and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, while the band was on hiatus). For the Santana Transmogrify Tour 2017, rest assured that they’ll play a good mix of great tracks of yesteryears, current and new material. Tickets are priced from $89 via ApacTix. 8pm, Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre (Hall 601-604).

Fifth Harmony (Apr 8)

Camila Cabello's exit from Fifth Harmony just a couple of weeks ago may have been one riled with drama and confusion, but that's not stopping the rest of the four from bringing "The 7/27" Tour to Singapore. Formed by Simon Cowell on The X Factor U.S.A., the group's triple-platinum certified first single "Work from Home" from their sophomore record 7/27, catapulted them into the top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100.  The follow-up singles "All In My Head (Flex)" is now certified platinum while "That's My Girl" went on to become a top 40 hit. Tickets are priced from $98 via Sistic. 8pm, The Star Theatre.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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