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Album Review: Shawn Mendes Pours His Heart & Soul Into His Sophomore Album 'Illuminate'
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Glass Animals Opens A Dream-like Realm With 'How To Be A Human Being'
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Carly Rae Jepsen Disproves Critics With Synth-based Dance Pop Collection, 'Emotion: Side B'
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My deep admiration for Daniela Andrade started when I was an “innocent” Secondary 3 student still oblivious of what’s to come - ADULTHOOD. I spent a great amount of time watching her covers on YouTube and being constantly blown away by her originals, particularly this one. So needless to say, when I finally got to stand right in front of her on Monday night as she sang songs she has only written in her bedroom a couple of years ago, I realized how surreal life can be sometimes.

It was an evening so breathtaking, it’s almost impossible to put into words, which makes it also slightly disappointing with the show's small turnout. Everyone needs to experience being in the presence of Daniela’s mesmerizing vocals!

For a YouTuber who gained popularity through song renditions, one would assumed that Daniela would play more of the songs she covered online. But I guess the 24-year-old wanted a different take on her live shows.

The crowd was serenaded by songs from Daniela's EPs, Things We’ve Said and Shore, both of which included songs she performed that sparked familiarity to solid fans. But despite the strong resonation of emotions through songs like Digital Age and Bright Blue, the crowd remained utterly silent - perhaps fans unconsciously knew that the only way to fully immerse themselves in Daniela’s music is to give their fullest attention.

We did have some attention seekers, constantly shouting irrelevant responses to Daniela's questions, but the positivity she radiated in the room was enough to make the audience maintain their full composure even for just a couple of hours during her set.

It was an intimate gig not just because of the small crowd, but mostly because of Daniela looking so effortlessly beautiful under neon coloured lights and as she sang songs like Creep and Crazy, which moved every part of our being. Though I would’ve wished to hear her version of I Will Follow You Into The Dark live, those covers still tugged my heartstrings.

Alternating between an acoustic and electric guitar, Daniela introduced us to a newly written song called Sugar that might be included in her upcoming album. Daniela’s occasional attempt at small talk while trying to tune her guitar filled this constant alternation.

Every song she played with either guitars never fail to give the audience a sense of satisfaction, almost a kind of relief and a heavy sigh that released tension from our tired souls.

She later played more originals, one of which still lingers in my mind is Badly Programmed, a song inspired by an awkward conversation in a social gathering and consisted of her usual effortless yet mind-blowing falsetto notes.

There is nothing more genuine than an introvert trying to play a show in front of a live audience consisting of fans she only used to communicate with online.

An ironic take on life, I must say.

The gig was as solemn as it could get and I have never felt such an authentic connection between a musician and her audience. Daniela's kind-hearted and unpretentious personality radiated through her soulful and delicate vocals, and god, do I just want to be her friend.


Photo Credit: The Gathering Asia, @willsputra, @gravityplay, & @jimnin via Instagram

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

As I try to recall the brilliance I’ve been presented last night, I can’t help but come up with the cliché pun of finally panicking at the disco. But Panic! At The Disco’s Singapore show ensued not just a certain panic. It came with the majestic feeling of an overdose of satisfaction that I’m sure everyone in the room has experienced.

For a moment, I was reminded of how it feels to be 16 and excited again. As soon as the lights went out and Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time started playing, murmurs turned into electrifying energy that I’d perfectly compare with a full cardio workout.

There is no doubt that Brendon Urie, the last remaining original member of P!ATD, is an ultimate performer. Despite playing mostly new songs, which I’m more of a fan of, he brought an authentic stage presence that fans of all ages enjoyed.

I was surrounded by female teenagers who prior to the start of the show nervously discussed A levels and having tests the next day. The same fangirls also pushed me towards the barrier, bringing me right in front of lead guitarist Kenneth Harris whose riffs I admired from a short distance.

As I continued to sway along the waves of young fans, the euphoric crowd started to get a little out of hand for my miniscule body to handle. A guy started screaming, “THIS IS A MOSHPIT!!!” as he elbowed people in front of him not exactly for the intention of having a good time and enjoying the music, but somehow to just show off his “wild side.” Bro, take it down a notch, will ya?

But the night was so euphoric that no one even bothered to pay attention to the aforementioned attention-seeker. All eyes were on Brendon who after belting out songs like Hallelujah and LA Devotee turned to the keys and played one of my favorites, Nine In The Afternoon. The most anticipated cover though, is the one Brendon wished he had written himself – Bohemian Rhapsody. If Freddie Mercury was alive, he would give P!ATD more than just a pat on the back for their flawless execution.

Gushes ensued one more time as Brendon took his shirt off, blessing everyone’s eyes with the presence of his half naked and sweaty body. In no way am I promoting double standards nor do I support objectification, but I do confess gushing over the majestic sight along with other fangirls.

Brendon might be doing shows for around 12 years now, but the class act still hasn’t lost the drive of bringing smiles (and tears) to his fans. More than that, he is an artist with a heart. How does a person come up with such enthralling hooks, deliver it live on the other side of the world and still be so grounded? Of course, he hasn’t done all of it himself. But Brendon, devoid of any pretentious formalities, genuinely thanked everyone for coming. “It’s more than what we expected,” he told us over heartwarming giggles.

I'm sure majority of the audience would have wanted to hear New Perspective and Northern Downpour live, but we really can't complain. Still, everything felt right. P!ATD finished off with Victorious and in that moment I’m pretty sure my soul already left my body.

If there’s anything I’ve gotten from that gig last night, aside from a rejuvenated soul and a backache, it’s the realization of how strongly strangers can bond over music. Nothing feels better than being in a mosh pit, staring at a band with deep admiration, and singing along to songs you’ve only repeatedly played in the bus. Shall I say, it's a hell of a feeling though?


“We're feeling so good. Just the way that we do.”


Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
Vegas Lights
The Ballad Of Mona Lisa
Time To Dance
Emperor’s New Clothes
LA Devotee
Ready To Go
Nine In The Afternoon
Bohemian Rhapsody
Golden Days
Miss Jackson
Death Of A Bachelor

I Write Sins Not Tragedies
This Is Gospel

Photo Credit: @nicshields via Twitter, Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

22 years after the release of their self-titled debut album, Weezer finally made a stop in Singapore on 15 August 2016. For those who waited for just about as long as I have been alive for this concert, it would be an understatement to say that this concert has been highly-anticipated. 

The alt-rock heroes brought us back to the era when Beverly Hills was played repeatedly on MTV, jamming through old hits such as Pork and Beans, Say It Ain't So and Island in the Sun. They also played a couple of new releases such as opener California Kids and King of the World.

Watching Weezer play was like watching a group of friends jam out in their backyard - the concert was a straightforward, non-pretentious celebration of indie rock where everyone was just having fun. In between songs, frontman Rivers Cuomo did a short cover of FUN.'s We Are Young and even paid tribute to Joseph Schooling's historic Olympic win before calling it a night with Buddy Holly.

The gig was relatively short and lasted only a little over an hour. However, if you were to ask someone who has waited 22 years to watch them perform live in Singapore, I'm sure he/she would probably say that it was worth the wait.

Photo credits: Spin or Bin Music, Aloysius Lim, LAMC Productions

As the rest of Singapore spent their Wednesday evening catching Pokémons, a lucky crowd at The Colesium was treated to Charlie Puth’s incredible tunes. By tunes, I just don’t mean vocals. I meant effortless playing on the keys along with his equally talented live band.

For starters, Charlie Puth isn’t your typical YouTuber turned popstar nor is he a “manufactured” artist. The guy can determine the key of anything that makes sound! So consider yourself blessed if you were able to witness his music live last night.

Unlike any other concerts, the show started out on time, at 8pm to be exact - a new sensation for concertgoers. Singapore’s sweetheart, iNCH, warmed up the audience with a few originals such as MouseDeer and a cover of Death Cab For Cutie’s I Will Follow You Into The Dark (which gave me intense FEELS). But despite being initially oblivious of an opening act, the crowd turned out to be receptive and really supportive of the local talent.

When fans started chanting Charlie’s name, all hell broke loose, at least for the people in front of the mosh pit, which was slightly out of my line of vision due to my lack of height. So, as soon as I somehow saw a tall guy wearing a white T-shirt emerging from the backstage, I knew that Charlie’s first show in Asia was about to start.

Succeeding jokes about Singapore’s literal “warm welcome,” Charlie opened the show with an intersection of jazz and pop – something that completely captured the vibe of the rest of the evening. Some crowd favorites would probably be the hits, Marvin Gaye, One Call Away, We Don’t Talk Anymore, and See You Again.

My admiration for Mr Puth grew stronger as he improvised a jingle about his fascination for Singapore’s unique culture, specifically how we eat noodles for breakfast. Never have I imagined myself watching an American popstar compose and sing a tune with the lyrics,“In Singapore, we eat noodles for breakfast.” But I’m glad I had the privilege to do so.

Moving on from Charlie’s antics, the 24-year-old musician showed off his beatboxing skills at certain interludes, adding a diverse twist to the jazz-pop aura.

The less popular track Losing My Mind, was a literal pun in itself as hearing the drummer play the beat live made me feel a little giddy. As someone who repeatedly played the song in a dimly lit room, I have personally become attached to it and even ending up calling it the “2002 song” because of it’s early 2000s and RnB vibes. No shame in that!

Like any memorable show, it needed to come to an end, much to the dismay of those little girls around me in whom I see a part of my younger self.

Charlie sure knows how to pull everyone’s heartstrings with his romantic melodies despite confessing earlier in the press conference that he has never been in love. But the short set didn't hinder the night from becoming worthwhile. “I would do more but I only have one album. I need more material," a few words from Charlie that left avid fans something to hold onto.

One thing's for sure, Charlie Puth’s wit and charm will bring him to greater heights, and it has been an honor to watch his music progress from the beginning.

Photo Credit: Marcus Lin for Midas Promotions, Aloysius Lim