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Concert Review

F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2016 Brings A Celebration Of Music Like No Other With Headlining Acts – Kylie Minogue, Bastille, Pentanonix, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, & Queen + Adam Lambert!

By  September 19, 2016

What a start to the off track entertainment line up, 3 days of non-stop music and entertainment at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix!

Kylie Minogue rounds it off on Night 1 of the highly anticipated F1 weekend. It was definitely a show all about the glitz and glamour. Her set started promptly after the second practice race at 11:15PM but the crowd started to build from as early as 9:00PM. We knew it was going to be a night of dancing and reliving hits from the past decade or so. 

Cheers and screams grew louder as time ticked away and the band and dancers took their places on the T-stage. She kicked the show off in her sexy red ensemble, starting off with In Your Eyes and WOW. Like every other concert, costume changes are mandatory. Kylie then re-emerged on stage in a number of outfits ranging from one that seemed to be themed for the race, a black pants suit and denim combo that was most apt for the heat in Singapore.

Kylie first performed in Singapore back in 2008 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and 6 years later she is back! The 48-year-old definitely did not disappoint as she brought out the all time favourites like On A Night Like This, Can’t Get You Outta My Head and All My Lovers. During her set, she also took some time to chat with the crowd namely speaking about the street food in Singapore as well as making a mental note to herself to come back as soon as possible. YES KYLIE!

With Night 1 starting with a bang, thanks to 80s popstar Kylie Minogue, solid F1 concert-goers were in full force for Night 2 of the headlining shows at The Padang Stage.

Indie rockers Bastille attracted groups of teenage fangirls that came with large hand-written banners and whose screams brought out the energy from everyone else in the crowd.

Succeeding the release of their latest album, Wild World, the British lads performed new songs like Good Grief, Snakes, and Send Them Off! – all of which are considered more of a dance anthem than songs from their previous incarnation.

However, it’s not a Bastille show without their most popular hit Pompeii, which frontman Dan Smith started off with a mellow piano intro. The short ballad immediately captured the crowd’s attention as it transitioned to it’s familiar beat, leaving fans with an unwavering euphoria as they sang and join the melodic chorus, “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?” But the highlight of their set was when Dan Smith stood right in front of the barrier, allowing some lucky few, including myself, to touch his sweaty arms. For avid fans, it was almost immaculate as some even promised to never wash their hands again. Thanks, Dan!

Just when I thought the event couldn’t get any more diverse, there was a swift change in position as young Bastille fans left the mosh pit and dedicated Queen supporters stepped forward to catch their legendary idols. Sporting Queen T-shirts were middle-aged fans whom I had the pleasure to watch tear up out of sheer joy as Queen and Adam Lambert played the iconic hits, Love Of My Life, I Want To Break Free, and Don’t Stop Me Now. As a millennial who grew up with the vague but familiar songs of Queen, thanks to my parents who always used to listen to them, I experienced a sense of nostalgia that resulted to an unexpected pair of misty eyes and goose bumps. I’ve never felt so alive.

The sassy but comedic Adam Lambert embodied the rapture expected from a lead singer. Though we all can agree that no one can ever replace the legend that is Freddie Mercury, Adam effortlessly belted out Queen’s hits  – Somebody To Love, Who Wants To Live Forever, and We Will Rock You. But aside from Adam’s witty demeanor, the spiritual experience continued with Roger Taylor’s drum solos. We were also blessed with lead guitarist Brian May’s psychedelic riffs which he played as he got elevated on stage against a starry screen while being circled by blinding lasers.

Queen + Adam Lambert’s set captured every range of emotions all humans were capable of experiencing, from several Freddie Mercury tributes as well as a David Bowie commemoration during Under Pressure. It was a night filled with delight, nostalgia, and timeless rock music that I’ll gladly tell my future children about.

The third and final night was nothing but an evening of celebration. Indie singer Halsey performed songs from Badlands for the very first time in Singapore, as she mentioned from our interview.

The 21-year-old came on stage carrying both swag and grace, a vibe that might seem humanly impossible to deliver, but Halsey effortlessly brought out during her set. Accompanied by stunning visuals that resembled the theme of her songs, Halsey got the Singapore crowd on their feet with Ghost, Castle, and Colors. Just like other artists these days, Halsey's set induced some kind of sentimentality as she shared her experiences as a “little girl” who only once dreamt of performing for hundreds of people.

But the most moving part of the show happened just before she performed Hurricane, as she reminded the audience, “You don’t belong to anyone but yourself.” Though Halsey might still be in disbelief about sharing the same stage as her mentors and the next act, Imagine Dragons, she has definitely built a name for herself as a solo performer. Not to mention, she was also able to brilliantly execute songs with Justin Bieber and The Chainsmokers - The Feeling and Closer - by herself on the other side of the world.

While indie fans were enjoying Halsey's set, there was another party going on at the Village Stage as a capella group Pentatonix returned to Singapore yet again to perform their mind-blowing songs... without the help of any instruments. The group showed off their popular mix Evolution of Michael Jackson, as well as a cover of Twenty One Pilot’s Ride.

Despite gaining fame only by doing covers on YouTube, Pentatonix flawlessly executed original songs like Can’t Sleep Love which their Singapore fans have waited for quite some time to hear again live.

With Halsey already heating up The Padang with her Badlands tunes, Imagine Dragons picked up from where she left off as they opened with the catchy intro, “I'm sorry for everything. Oh, everything I've done,” which marked the start of their hit song, Shots. The ecstatic audience was treated with heart-stopping and dramatic stage setting that fully encapsulated the vibe Imagine Dragons was going for - fiery yet soul-stirring.

Lead vocalist Dan Reynolds embraced the task of bringing strangers in a mosh pit together with inspirational sayings before playing a personal favorite, It’s Time.

However, before delving more into original songs, Imagine Dragons did a cover of Alphaville’s Forever Young, which undoubtedly sparked an 80s atmosphere for the older fans in the crowd. After playing the nostalgic hit, the band carried on with their set that included a perfect mixture of songs from their two albums - Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors.

Like the previous night's shows, Imagine Dragons’ set was not devoid of enthralling drum and guitar solos that accompanied their hits, On Top Of The World, I Bet My Life, and Radioactive.

Imagine Dragons might only have two albums, but the Las Vegas natives perfectly expressed the universal language, that is music, through heart-wrenching harmonies as evident in the melodic song, Demons.

Just like Halsey, Imagine Dragons served as a living book of inspirational quotes as Dan advised everyone with the cheesy but insightful reminder to momentarily forget about everything and spend the night solely to celebrate music. With this, the show left everyone physically exhausted, but spiritually recharged. But not only was F1 Singapore Grand Prix a night of celebration, it also ignited a sense of epiphany that would make it hard for any music events in the country to ever top. 


Text: Teejay Vergara and Leong Xinyi

Photo Credit: Singapore GP & Alvin Ho

1 comment

  • Comment Link Sandy Andrews Saturday, 10 December 2016 21:35 posted by Sandy Andrews

    I love Freddie Mercury but the addition of Adam Lambert as lead singer for Queen soothes the soul as far as completing this great concert experience. Lambert embraces the iconic music of Queen with his one of a kind vocals. Brian and Roger continue to be excellent musicians. The songs have withstood the test of time. The concert experience is just plain memorable. My vote is cast for Queen and Adam Lambert without hesitation

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