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Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar - Bad Blood

 

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album picks

Album Review: Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect
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Album Review: Sheppard - Bombs Away
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Album Review: Blur - The Magic Whip
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more album picks

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World Bloggers And Social Media Awards
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SBA 2013
SBA 2012

 

 

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It was only two years ago when Demi Lovato was in Malaysia to perform at the Twin Towers concert. This time around, Demi brought her A-game the minute she walked onto the KL Live stage to a crowd of screaming die-hard lovatics who turned out in full force to support their favourite idol.

Armed with a powerhouse voice and a firecracker attitude, Demi wasted no time in kicking the show off with Really Don’t Care. Barely pausing for a breath, she delved into several up-tempo cuts including Remember December and fan favourite, Heart Attack. It was a straight up pop-rock concert, and judging by the crowd’s reaction, the scene was electrifying.

The drawback was this – I couldn’t hear a word she was singing as a result of ear-bleeding screams and the overwhelming music blast. Her voice was drowned so far down that it was impossible to hear the lyrics.

It was only during her quieter moments her soulful vocals cut through more clearly and filled the venue with her stripped down performances. Slower ballads such as My Love Is Like a Star and Skyscraper really showed off her amazing vocal embellishments. It was both intimate and impressive.

Demi also took the time to open up about her personal struggles and insecurities by encouraging the crowd that they can get through every hardship no matter what it is. “There are so many in the audience tonight that don’t know their worth and I’m here to tell you that each and everyone of you are so beautiful. Not only do you deserve a happy and incredible life, you deserve so much more.  And I wish everyone can see that in themselves,” she said.

“Just know that when I’m not there in person with you, my music is always available. I may not be physically with you, but I will be there for you through my music,”she continued before belting out the self-esteem song, Warrior. During the performance, fans were treated with a visual clip documenting her trip to Africa.

The former Disney princess also included Frozen’s beloved juggernaut, Let It Go. Yes, the song that has become the ear-worm bane to many of us drew the loudest screams from ecstatic teen girls. No, you did not see this particular fan quietly singing along together with the rest of the crowd. 

Closing the show with crowd-pleaser Give Your Heart A Break, followed by the club-banger hit, Neon Lights as the encore, everyone was dancing to the beat and celebrating in unison as Demi ended the night on a high note at 8.30pm. Overall, Demi’s setlist showed a well-balanced of rock, pop, acoustic and dance tracks that paid homage to her past and celebrated the future.

Photo credit: Instagram (fadliayub, iamwilliamfoong, malaysianlovatic)

“We want you to go crazy, and we want you to act like you’re 15 years old.”

That was the sole order of the night, and as supermassive Backstreet junkies who would do anything the boys ask of us, we gladly complied. The decibel of the audience’s shrieks and squeals quite nearly reached that of the howl of prepubescent Beliebers, except this time, the noise-makers are 20, 30, even 40somethings, dancing in synchrony down memory lane with the Backstreet Boys (BSB). The feverish pandemonium sustained through the three opening numbers, The Call, Don’t Want You Back, and Incomplete.

Decked out in slick blue suits, the quintet took after perfect cavaliers who could tell between cashmere and cotton, and break out in flawless choreography. These lads have clearly grown up. The Floridian group – which numbers Nick Carter (the darling), A. J. McLean (the resident badass), Howie Dorough (the salsa champ), Kevin Richardson (the eyebrow master), and Brian Littrell (the gagster) – serenaded to a sold-out auditorium at The Star Performing Arts Centre.

In A World Like This (a two-year tour) is their 10th and biggest to date, marking their reunion since Kevin’s return, their new album, and their 20th anniversary. It’s now 2015, 22 years since the dawn of their formation in 1993, and the “best-selling boy band” still got it. Still hitting high notes, still body rocking, still exuding the same boyish vibes with their casual on-stage jibber jabber, merrymaking and tomfoolery.

“I gotta look good for the ladies tonight,” schmoozed the honey-tongued Nick with a wink in his eye, playfully tweaking his collar into place. And just like that, skivvies were relinquished. They were not going to let us forget about them, no siree!

There’s a general consensus that old hits remain the most-loved (and were what the generality bought tickets for), but their newer lesser-known items aren’t all that sub-par. Permanent Stain, Love Somebody, and their world tour’s title track, In A World Like This, made for some classic BSB jams. Of course, the chaps knew what we wanted, and promised to perform every one of their chart-busters.

A two-minute wardrobe change, distracted by video sequences, had them shedding their dapper ensemble in exchange for something a tad more comfortable (save for the tight jeans) and a tad old school. Suddenly, we’re back in the 90s. Crotch-grabs, hip-thrusts and gyrations were aplenty. On that note, we’d like to express our gratitude to Live Nation Lushington for setting this shindig up.

Brian, one of those Will Smith-calibre creatures that never seem to age, even surprised us with handstands, cartwheels, and gymnastic-approved leaps over stairs and stage structures. Whatever he’s on, we want some.

Just when we noticed the lack of an actual band on stage providing musical accompaniment and realised that we couldn’t remember when boy bands actually held instruments, we were treated to an intimate acoustic session. Cue 10,000 Promises, Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) and a mellifluous set of harmonies. Preceding it was an improvised a cappella No Diggity bit, involving two-fifth of the band, which we wish transitioned into a full-on cover.  

Saving the best for last, the Backstreet Boys got all and sundry to their feet, roaring word-for-word to the much-awaited and teased Larger Than Life, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), and I Want It That Way. This concert in our humble city-state isn’t their first, having dropped by in 2006 and 1996, and with the promise of a fresh record to be subsequently promoted, it certainly won’t be their last.

 

Set List:

1. The Call
2. Don't Want You Back
3. Incomplete
4. Permanent Stain
5. All I Have to Give
6. As Long as You Love Me
7. Show 'Em (What You're Made Of)
8. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
9. Breathe
10. I'll Never Break Your Heart
11. We've Got It Goin' On
12. No Diggity
13. Drowning
14. 10,000 Promises
15. Madeleine
16. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
17. The One
18. Love Somebody
19. Shape of My Heart
20. In a World Like This
21. I Want It That Way
22. Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
23. Larger Than Life

Photo credit: Live Nation Lushington

Demi Lovato has come a long way from being a child actress on Barney & Friends, to the superstar that she is today, and this was immortalized in the one-night-only SOLD OUT concert that she played on 28th April at Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre.

It was a no frill kind of setting – no back up dancers, no pyrotechnics. Just Demi, her two back up vocalists and her 4-man band. That was it. If the objective of that stage set-up was to make all 3000 members of the audience focus on her voice, Demi did just that.

Right from the get-go, Demi already got the crowd dancing and singing along to Really Don’t Care. No Cher Lloyd? Psh, that’s fine, Demi alone was more than enough!

From then on, it was just song after song not only from her latest release, but also from previous albums too. With every high note that Demi belted, fans screamed. Who are we kidding, anything that Demi did, the fans screamed because…. It was Demi.

There were a few segments in the show that I really liked. The first being the acoustic segment when Demi stripped down the arrangement for her old songs, including Get Back and Did You Forget. Acoustic guitars and a singer with fantastic vocals? Don’t mind me while I turn into a rabid fan girl, please and thank you.

My next favourite part of the show was when Demi sang Let It Go. Bringing two little girls up on stage to sing the song with her was just the icing on the cake. The main highlight was really the audience – seeing dads with their little girls singing and dancing to Let It Go was SUPER.DUPER.ADORABLE.

Watching Demi perform live on stage was like watching multiple characters embodied in one person. Within the 75 minutes, Demi was sexy, sultry, innocent, edgy, innocent, vulnerable and adorable - you name it, she brought it.

While the songs about being happy and enjoying life, which made the audience get up, dance and sing along, it’s the songs such as Skyscraper and Nightingale that chronicled her personal struggles, which stood out the most. Showing off her vocal runs, these songs also showed how passionate she is as an artiste and as a person.

If this concert is any indication of Demi’s growth musically, I definitely can foresee that she will be back more frequently in Singapore to play even bigger and better shows.

“You guys have been such a fun audience!” Why, thank you Demi Lovato, you make Singapore blush. Watching you perform last night has been such a pleasure for all of us.
 

Setlist:
Really Don't Care
The Middle
Fire Starter
Remember December
Heart Attack
My Love Is Like a Star
Get Back
Don't Forget / Catch Me
Let It Go
Warrior
Two Pieces
Nightingale
Got Dynamite
Skyscraper
Give Your Heart a Break

Encore:
Neon Lights

Photo credits: AC Music Entertainment

Thanks to Ellipsis Live, Aussie indie pop-rock band, The Jungle Giants, is finally able to perform live to their loyal fans! Fresh from four years as a band, The Jungle Giants is filled with energy and incredible stage presence. However, before I touch on The Jungle Giants breathtaking performance, let’s slowly start from the beginning.

Doors opened at 6:45pm. Before Lia Mice, an experimental pop solo artist, goes on stage as an opening act, fans around me were already getting hyped. They sang along to MGMT’s Kids and Passion Pit’s Take A Walk, songs that were among those that were played in TAB Singapore.

At 7:30pm, Lia Mice appeared on stage. Her humble personality made everyone drawn to her instantly.

Singapore is the last stop for Lia’s Australasia Tour. She played her music with so much passion, showing off her skills on her guitar and keyboard while swaying alongside to her own beat. Even though the audience were not familiar with her songs, they still swayed with Lia, enjoying and warming up before the main event.

After her set was over, there were a few minutes of waiting time for the fans. They were so eager to meet their favourite band that almost all of them could not stop fidgeting. Their fidgeting went wilder when Sam Hales, lead singer of The Jungle Giants, came on stage, followed by his three band members.

With a short “hello” to their fans, and a flattering compliment that Singaporeans “are really nice people”, they kicked off their set with their first song, Come and Be Alone With Me.

As I have mentioned, stage presence was really evident, especially from Sam. He sang and danced without a care in the world, motivating their fans to dance along with him. The crowd whistled and cheered, and it was a unity of different individuals into one.

However, something went wrong right after the first set. Sam’s pedal pad exploded into smokes. Fans got a little wary, hoping that the show will not be stalled, and true enough, it wasn’t.

“I’m going old school - I’m going to make music raw!” With Sam’s uplifting sentence, fans cheered louder than before.

The most awaited song to be played was She’s A Riot, and as soon as that kicked off, everyone went nuts. Complementing the jumping fans, light streams are queued just alike. Sam’s dancing never stopped, and at every guitar solo, he’d be on the floor doing the cliche guitar solo act.

The Jungle Giants made their one hour gig so worthwhile, that anyone who had missed it would gain a thousand regrets. The band could conjure up so much energy in one hour, including letting fans have a sneak peek of their personalities with inside jokes made on stage. 

To end it all, You’ve Got Something was played, and what a great way to end - to leave such great energy and an overwhelming experience to their fans. If The Jungle Giants were to come back, I’m pretty sure I would see the same crowd again!

Photo credit: Other Sounds (instagram), Anftrh (instagram)

Ed Sheeran basically gave the performance of his life at The Star Theatre in Singapore, though the theatre is way too small to contain all the Sheerios in Singapore.

Tickets were gone in 8 hours and people on carousell were re-selling tickets for about $500 each. Maybe he should have added a 2nd night, or an upgrade of venue to accommodate the many Sheerios in Singapore! (Take note AEG.)

This one’s for the Sheerios who couldn’t make it to the concert, and for the ones that just want to relieve the best of the concert all over again!

 

Top 5 Highlights

5. The A Team - This is how it all started! Ed's first ever single remains iconic till this day.

4. Lego House - Ah, back to the nostalgic days of 2012.

3. Photograph - Phenomenal songwriting and a beautiful voice sums this superb performance up.

2. Thinking Out Loud - Ed's most popular song to date got the largest reaction from the crowd!

1. Sing - The grand sing-along finale! 

 

A video posted by @Feeza Monjeng Petrova (@monjeng) on

 

Ed Sheeran has proven once and for all you don't need five good looking guys to put on a show, all you need is a mediocre-looking man and a guitar. Come back soon, Ed!

Photo Credit: Tan Chee Meng (Facebook)