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16 live gigs to check out in Singapore for the rest of 2017

Next up: Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Mew, Dashboard Confessional and more

By Adam Kerr | Aug 22, 2017

  • 16 live gigs to check out in Singapore for the rest of 2017
    Wicked Aura at Baybeats 2016. Photo credit: Supriadi Lee
  • 16 live gigs to check out in Singapore for the rest of 2017
    Laneway Festival Singapore. Photo credit: Aloysius Lim

We're that much closer to the end of the year, which means the music festival season is about to start once again. But before we head into that territory, the universe isn't done with blessing us with live performances by our favorite acts right here in Singapore. The amazing repertoire of acts this year has been a good mix of biggies like Metallica, PJ Harvey and Coldplay and smaller bands like Honeyblood and The Fin. Not forgetting the incredibly epic line-ups at Laneway and SingJazz too.

We also had fun catching trance savant Armin van Buuren at the Meadow, French syn-thpop band Yelle, and the dark electronic group Crystal Castles, among many, many others. As we traverse the second half of the year, we'll be seeing the likes of Mew, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran, DIIV and Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox perform for us. Also, let Aqua take you down memory lane as they drop by for their 20th anniversary tour. We'll also get to see a One Direction member take the stage this year, as well as what we regard as 2017's #throwbackband of the year, Dashboard Confessional.

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.

Sum 41 (Aug 24)

Taken from IME SG's Facebook page

Most people will remember Canadian outfit Sum 41 as one of the many rock bands that dominated the scene back in the 2000s with hits like “In Too Deep”, “The Hell Song” and “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)”. They were last here five years ago for their Screaming Bloody Murder tour, and now they’re returning in August. Despite having pretty great success with their first few albums, the band decided to take a break after their Screaming Bloody Murder release. And then came a series of issues and unfortunate events. In 2013, drummer Steve Jocz took to Facebook to announce his departure from the band, leaving Deryck Whibley as the last founding member of Sum 41. A year later, Whibley stated that he had liver and kidney failure from extensive drinking, but he quickly recovered. Former lead guitarist Dave Baksh rejoined the band in 2015, along with Street Drums Corps drummer Frank Zummo to replace Jocz. Last year, they released their brand new album after five years, 13 Voices, that was well received with singles like “War”, “Fake My Own Death”, and “Goddamn I’m Dead Again”. Tickets are priced at $120 (free standing only) via Apac Tix. 8pm, Zepp@BigBox

Bohan Phoenix (Aug 26)

There’s something about Asian rappers who spit words in both their mother tongues and English; it makes their material a wee bit more relevant for us in this side of the world. And one And one shining example of what the future can bring in the world of multicultural rap is Chinese-born, Brooklyn raised rapper Bohan Phoenix. Flowing in both English and Mandarin about his identity, hustling to bring home the bread and his unconditional love for his mom, he’s quickly gained the attention in both China and New York (and beyond, of course), and quickly creating more visibility and representation of Asians in Western cultures. With verses like “He ask me why you doing rap for / Huh, why you not doing math for / Uh, because I wasn't ever good with numbers / But I ain't never had no trouble counting hundreds" off the track “Group Exercise”, he’ll be stopping by Cherry Discotheque as part of his Jala tour, which was just released in Jan this year. Cover charge is $25 for ladies and $35 for men at the door. 10pm, Cherry Discotheque Singapore.

Foo Fighters (Aug 26)

Photo credit: Foo Fighters' Facebook page

We were all so psyched when the Foo Fighters announced that they'd be performing at The Padang in 2012 for their Wasting Light Tour. It would've been one of the biggest live gigs in Singapore, had they not cancelled because of a medical condition of a key band member (frontman Dave Grohl). Doctors had advised him to "take it easy on his voice", and mentioned that they'd "see [us] all in the not too distant future". They’ve kept their promise and will be performing at the National Stadium. Prior to their May 16 announcement, the legendary rock outfit had already confirmed a headlining slot at Japan's Summer Sonic Festival, with another teaser that they'd be in Bangkok, so it was natural to speculate that they were going to keep to their word and redeem themselves for the cancellation five years ago. This will be the second time they’ll be performing in Singapore, after making their debut at the WTC Harbour Pavilion in 1996. Tickets are priced from $128 via Sports Hub Tix. 8pm, National Stadium

Mew (Sep 3)

You can now relive the experience of singing along to Mew's "Comforting Sounds" (as well as other soul-reaching tracks like "Carry Me To Safety" and "Nothingness and No Regrets" from their latest album) when they return to perform in an intimate space at the School of The Arts (SOTA). It isn't their first rodeo in Singapore—Mew first made their debut in 2013 as Camp Symmetry’s headlining act, alongside an incredible line-up of artists like Australian indie pop band San Cisco, American indie rock band Ra Ra Riot and the summer-dreamin' duo Best Coast, and then had their own show in 2015 at *Scape The Ground Theatre. Symmetry Entertainment is bringing them in once again, this time to perform at the SOTA Concert Hall—which can only hold 630 people at any one time—to showcase and promote their latest release, Visuals. Tickets are priced from $35-88 (there’s also a limited number of Meet & Greet passes worth $35), available now via Ticketbox. 7:30pm, SOTA Concert Hall

Dashboard Confessional (Sep 9)

Is there an emo and pop punk resurgence? Are guyliners going to be a thing again? We're not too sure about the latter, but the former seems more likely. Esteemed publications like Dazed & Confused, Nylon and The New Yorker have all talked about it, and it seems pretty apparent as bands of yesteryears are coming up with new material, and dropping in to our tiny island to perform for fans here (many years late, but better than never). Bands like Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard and The Used have all been here. Apart from Sum 41’s upcoming gig this month, LAMC Productions just announced that American emo band from Florida, Dashboard Confessional, will be making a stop here as a full band to perform at D’Marquee @ Downtown East. All is well with the band—besides the six studio albums in their arsenal, they’ve also released a new single in April this year with electronic producer nothing.nowhere, as well as a four-track EP titled Covered and Tape. They were last here in 2013, but it was just front man Chris Carrabba, who came on his own for a special acoustic performance. Tickets are priced at $118 and is available via Sistic. 8pm, D’Marquee @ Downtown East

DIIV (Sep 10)

DIIV's absence from last year's Laneway Festival was felt strongly among fans, as they had to pull out at the last minute because of a family emergency. They may not have returned "sometime later in 2016", but hey, good things come to those who wait right? Originally named Dive (of the same name as the track by Nirvana) and a solo recording project of Zachary Cole Smith back in 2011, the band was eventually renamed "out of respect for Dirk Ivens and the original Dive," which was a Belgian industrial group from the '90s. They released their debut full-length record in 2012, and followed up with a sophomore studio album, Is the Is Are, in 2016 after a troubling period in their lives. Tickets are priced at $65 and is available via TicketBox. 7:30pm, The Pavilion @ Far East Square

F1 Singapore Grand Prix (Sep 15-17)

The Chainsmokers

For the tenth edition of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix, the organizers are pulling out all the stops with the announcement that not one, but five international acts will be having full-length concerts for this year’s entertainment lineup. Headlining acts include pop darling Ariana Grande and EDM duo The Chainsmokers, both making their first appearances in Singapore, plus pop-rock band OneRepublic, 80s synth pop sensation Duran Duran, English singer-songwriter Seal and Scottish EDM DJ-producer Calvin Harris. Making sure there is something for everyone, soulful female multi-instrumentalist Lianne La Havas and British spoken word performer and rapper George the Poet will be taking the stage as well. We are especially curious as to how George’s brand of thoughtful social commentary will be received by Grand Prix goers. And that’s not all, at least according to race promoters Singapore GP. They are teasing us with a tidbit that even more acts, including the Sunday post-race headliner, will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are priced from $248, and are available via the official F1 Singapore Grand Prix website. Various timings, Padang Stage/Village Stage/Downtown/Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

Lucy Rose (Sep 18)

English indie folk singer-songwriter Lucy Rose's early beginnings didn't start with vocal lessons or karaoke sessions from young; instead, it only started when she played drums in her school orchestra. She only began writing fresh material after buying a guitar from a shop located on the way to school at 16. However, they never saw the light of day until she was done with her A-levels and left home. She later met the frontman of Bombay Bicycle Club after moving to London when she was 18, and the rest was history. She now has two studio albums under her belt, and a third one, Something's Changing, which comes with an accompanying documentary, slated for release this July. It’ll be screened during her Lucy Rose Cinema Tour when she returns to Singapore in September. Tickets are priced at $50 via Peatix. 8pm, The Projector

Gregory Porter (Sep 29)

Two-time Grammy Award-winner Gregory Porter is making his first solo appearance in Singapore in September. Much has happened since he first took the stage at the first Singapore International Jazz Festival back in 2014. Since then, his soulful, timeless baritone vocals has earned him international recognition and acclaim, appearing at big festivals like Glastonbury and Monterey Jazz Festival, and even performing at The White House. He received a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2014 and 2017, a definitive nod to his works in Liquid Spirit and Take Me to the Alley. Tickets start from $108 via Apac Tix. 9pm, Capitol Theatre

Dream Theater (Oct 3)

Progressive metal biggies Dream Theater will be returning to Singapore for the fourth time this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their RIAA gold-certified record, Images & Words, as part of their “Images, Words & Beyond” tour. They’ve been redefining the very essence of hard rock and progressive heavy metal and overcoming anything the industry has thrown at them, and saw a couple of changes in their line-up in the 30 years they’ve been around. Their latest body of work, The Astonishing, which was released in January last year, is a two-hour concept album about “creative musicians battling institutional enforcement of electronic cacophony in the year 2285” and heavily inspired by sci-fi shows like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Known for using unconventional time signatures in their music, expect nothing but great showmanship of technical prowess and lengthy set list that will go on for about three hours. Tickets are priced at $138-178 (early bird) and $148-188 (Jul 7 onwards), and will be available via Sistic from Jun 30. 8pm, Zepp Bigbox Singapore

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (Oct 6)

If you weren't one of the many die-hard fans that caught rotating music collective Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) performing at Kallang Theatre in 2015 or at The Star Theatre in 2016, you’re in luck. PMJ, one of the most exciting musical groups known for their reinterpretation of popular music with various vintage genres like swing and jazz, will be making a stop in Singapore once again at The Star Theatre. In just under eight years, PMJ has garnered 757 million YouTube views, 2.8 million subscribers and made 14 releases, all of which topped iTunes charts since 2014. They're a classic example of an overnight YouTube sensation. It all started when musician Bradlee gathered a couple of close friends from college to shoot videos of them performing in his small basement apartment in Queens. It wasn't long after when his video, "A medley of '80s songs done ragtime style", went viral following a tweet from famed American Gods author Neil Gaiman. Tickets to the show are $88-158 via Sistic from Jul 27, 9am. 8pm, The Star Theatre

Ed Sheeran (Nov 11-12)

If you were about to make plans to fly over to Manila to see British singer-songwriter perform at the end of the year (he mentioned in a pre-recorded video at a fan gathering in Philippines stating that he'd be back in Manila this year), hold your horses, cause he’ll be stopping by Singapore for the Asian leg of his “Divide” World Tour. The last time he was here back in 2015, tickets for his concert sold like hotcakes. He serenaded a 5,000-strong crowd at The Star Theatre with hits from his first two albums, Plus and Multiply. But with his current success, he’ll need a much bigger venue, which is why he’ll be performing at Singapore Indoor Stadium this time round. Since his last appearance here, he's gone on to clinch two huge Grammys—Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance for Thinking Out Loud—adding on to his already stellar collection of awards (Brit Awards for Best British Male Solo Artist, Album of the Year, Best Male Solo Artists... just to name a few). Tickets are for both Day One and Day Two are sold out, but you can try other platforms like Carousell or keep checking their event page. 8pm, Singapore Indoor Stadium

Harry Styles (Nov 23)

It seems like the only direction Harry Styles is going ever since the announcement of the indefinite hiatus in January last year is up. The English singer-songwriter released his highly anticipated self-titled debut album to much fanfare in May this year, which contains the 70s soft rock-influenced, chart-topping single, "Sign of the Times". Singapore is just one of two stops in Asia in his “Harry Styles: Live on Tour”. Tickets for the show have already sold out, but if you want, you can always catch the same tour show when he returns with Warpaint in May next year. Tickets are a bit pricier and there are way more seating categories to choose from, including three different VIP categories ranging from $488 to $888; all available via Apac Tix. 8pm, The Star Theatre

Pond (Nov 23)

We don't know what musicians in Australia are having, but we'd definitely like some because they've been producing some super ace music recently. Sure, they've been doing it for a long time, what with rock legends AC/DC and pop icon Kylie Minogue, but with artists like Tame Impala, San Cisco, Flume, Jagwar Ma and so much more, we’re intrigued. Another great export from our far-away neighbor in the Southeast is psychedelic rock band Pond. And if you're wondering why they sound like a more hopeful, happier version of Tame Impala, it's because both bands share members (the lineup on both sides have changed more times than Trump making headlines on the daily). Initially, the whole point of Pond was to let anyone in to play whatever in a collaborative music project. Now, they've chalked up a total of seven studio albums in less than a decade. Just as the previous record, The Weather was produced by Tame Impala's frontman Kevin Parker in his studio in Perth. Tickets are priced at $118 via Sistic. 8pm, Esplanade Annexe Studio

Hyukoh (Nov 24)

While bubblegum pop might be the path that most Korean artists go down—coupled with super high production videos, a bout of energetic live performances and sometimes-cheesy synchronized dance moves—South Korean outfit Hyukoh has found success in another scene. Just barely three years old, the band has rose through the ranks and stirred up the Korean indie scene, earning them the title “Band of the New Generation”. They’re not your regular cut-and-paste Korean heartthrobs you’re probably used to seeing. Their debut EP, 20, gained popularity with no media promotion; just by word-of-mouth. Seeing how their music, videos, sense of style and live performances expresses the essence of youth, they were also picked to open for international indie acts like Mac DeMarco (whom we hope is coming for Singapore’s leg of next year’s Laneway Festival), How to Dress Well and Erlend Oye, and have played major festivals like Seoul Jazz Festival and Ansan Valley Rock Festival. Their second EP, 22, hit the top 10 on Billboard’s “World Albums” chart, and just recently, they released their first full-length record, 23, to rave reviews in April this year. Tickets are priced at $98 via Apac Tix. 8pm, Zepp@Bigbox

Aqua (Nov 25)

Whao, this is a massive throwback to the days of unapologetic pop hits, tacky fashion wear, Tamagotchis, floppy discs, lava lamps and just good ol’ fun. Following the announcement of another Danish band who’s returning to Singapore in September to perform for the umpteenth time, Danish Eurodance group Aqua too will be dropping by our sunny city to bring us on a nostalgic trip with their music. Since their first split, Aqua has been going on tours only for special occasions, like this one, where they'll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Barbie Girl". We won’t be getting the full group unfortunately; former guitarist Claus Norreen left because his musical focus has apparently changed. But don’t fret, lead vocalist Lene Nystrøm, male vocalist-rapper René Dif and keyboard-guitarist Søren Rasted, together with their live band entourage, will be still be present to put on a fantastic show. If you were too young to see them live back in 1999 when they performed at the now-defunct Sparks Disco located on the seventh floor of Takashimaya, here’s your chance. Tickets are priced from $98-168, available via Sistic. There’s also the limited VIP ticket that’s $248 a pop, which entitles you to a meet & greet sesh with the band. 8pm, The Star Performing Arts Centre

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