single of the week

Jessie J - Burnin' Up

 

album picks

Album Review: Lights - Little Machines
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Album Review: Goddess - Banks
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Album Review: Pixie Lott - Pixie Lott
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The F1 race has come to an end, and Lewis Hamilton has won for the 7th time this season and is the new leader of the Formula One World Championship. Thousands of fans are streaming into the Padang to catch diva Jennifer Lopez perform for the first time on our sunny island since 2012.

Jenny was scheduled for the main stage at 10:30pm and didn’t show any diva-esque behavior, surprisingly turning up on time. Everyone was sweaty and irritated by the haze (the PSI was 129 at one point of the concert) but nevertheless, the turnout was huge, attracting a crowd of over 60,000.

She kicked off her 90 minutes set with First Love and worked the crowd with her flashy set and amazing dancers. Who would have thought she would remember her last trip here vividly, even describing the weather when she was last here.

She moved on to familiar songs Let’s Get Loud, Love Don’t Cost A Thing, proving that her voice has barely changed even after all these years in the music industry.

Newer songs off her 8th studio album A.K.A. were a little foreign to the audience, but that didn’t stop them from jumping along and grooving to catchy singles I Luh Ya Papi, and of course her current single, Booty.



 

Mandatory pics of da Booty here.



There were uncountable costume changes throughout her set, taking place during the flashy interludes which kept the crowd wanting more. She even premiered the live version of her new ballad Never Satisfied here in Singapore!

In a rare personal moment with the audience, she took selfies with a few lucky members of the crowd and even personally reached out to receive a bouquet of flowers from lovely fan @SarahJLovers all the way from Indonesia!

Oh and she ended the set with not one but THREE encores! Just when we thought she has ended her set with Dance Again, she came out to On The Floor & Jenny From The Block. People were starting to leave when she came out yet again to perform another track to end the amazing show!



It was evident that the production of the show was definitely top notch, from the explosions of light, colour, pyrotechnics, set pieces and choreography. Oh and Jennifer’s dancing is certainly one of the highlights of the entire concert, outshining her backup dancers (p.s. some of her backup dancers have worked on Justin Bieber's Believe tour!)



JLo has defied the laws of aging by proving she can certainly work that Booty even at the age of 45. She can certainly bust out better moves than in her prime, all the while making no attempt to lip-sync. What a true performer and entertainer.

Overall, the show was great fun, everything you expect from one of the most influential entertainers in the world. She may not be the best vocalist of all time, but her dancing definitely made up for it.

Till then, Jenny!

Photo Credit: All photos by Holmen for Spin or Bin Music

We made it to Singapore, well, kind of. Apologies in advance for my static show tonight guys, you'll miss out on my questionable shapes tonight.”

Semantically, the above caption by You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi could have spelled disaster mere hours before the Weybridge rockers’ maiden concert here. Seated snugly in a wheelchair with a cheery thumbs-up in the air, Franceschi however, was all smiles in his cheeky Instagram post. Sprained ankle or not, the singer appeared to remain properly chuffed just managing to finally drop anchor in Singapore – a sentiment mirrored by his bandmates and fans alike which would later translate quite majestically that very same evening.

*SCAPE The Ground Theatre was a divergence from the humongous festivals or upcoming arena tours YMAS were steadily getting accustomed to. Yet adorned with the all-pervading Roman “VI”, reality finally sunk in - that the time was nigh and that the lads were actually going to materialise right before us at last. Calling out the miscreants who skived off school to be present, The Caulfield Cult’s wry acknowledgement (in true Holden fashion) of their subordinate status did not mar their efforts in putting up a crushing set. Alongside professing their adoration for male genitalia, Nick Kumar and gang visibly wrung themselves out, complete with an apologetic comeback that hastened the already bubbling anticipation.

Typical Arsenal lad, a few good performances and then gets injured for the rest of the season,” reads a tweet from an astute observer. With an ambulance readily standing by, the central placement of a pedestal only accentuated Franceschi’s plight, drawing a series of compassionate “Aw!”s from the audience. Like the customised jersey of his beloved club Franceschi would still don, the vocalist did not shy away from such realities but instead admirably embraced them as evidenced by the fact there was a show to begin with, notwithstanding the unfortunate circumstances. Or as he called it, “F***ed [himself], and not in a good way.”

Hobbling onto stage, Franceschi’s woes were for naught as the crashing riffs of Too Young To Feel This Old drowned any and all doubts about the direction the night was heading. The Limp, as the viral phenomenon shall henceforth be christened, worked out to the band’s advantage – spawning spoofs of A Day To Remember, Fall Out Boy and All Time Low in ranging states of disability much to general mirth and spurts of Dear Maria, Count Me In.

Tapping into his inner Jeremy McKinnon, Franceschi’s flair for gruff anthems like Room To Breathe or even the highly-revered, blood-curdling growl during Bite My Tongue were particularly stand-out renditions that might have even broken out several attempts at a circle pit. Bounded by the consistently buoyant leaps by the pairing of bassist Matt Barnes and guitarist Max Helyer, fan favourites including the chant-worthy Stay With Me and Little Death were bellowed back seamlessly, much to the band’s obvious glee.  

Even sitting down, Franceschi’s command of the crowd was masterly in his determination to ensure the audience got their money’s worth. Unflinchingly, he instructed those present to strip, squat and shove, actions adhered to without much qualms. Sinners Never Sleep’s Reckless saw a venue temporarily fanned by the now-traditional swinging of various items of clothing whereas a slew of courageous souls towered above the rest, swaying to the intricate fretwork of Cold Night.

Thanks to the itch Franceschi possessed to muck about, Chris Miller’s searing guitar solos weren’t left unmolested by the ever-hopping frontman who simultaneously mimed sexual intercourse from behind, causing a right old ruckus. Keeping to Underdog's ethos of Down But Not Out and more recently, Cavalier Youth, it should not be understated how YMAS seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the crowd did. The quintet might not have played a single track off the 6 "rare" ones we so wanted them to perform, but in the irresistible spirit of such a vitalising show despite the odds stacked against them, we can't really complain now can we?

Setlist:

1. Too Young To Feel This Old
2. Underdog
3. Stay With Me
4. Win Some, Lose Some
5. Kiss and Tell
6. The Swarm
7. Little Death
8. Forgive and Forget
9. Room To Breathe
10. Cold Night
11. Reckless

Encore:
12. Bite My Tongue
13. Fresh Start Fever
14. Lived a Lie

All photos by Kathleen Cheong for Spin or Bin Music.

MTV World Stage Malaysia celebrated its sixth anniversary last Saturday on Aug 16, 2014 at the Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon. As with World Stage tradition, this year’s performance was a mixture of R&B, Hip-Hop, Soulful Pop and K-pop from B.o.B, Yuna, Boys Republic and Thaitanium. Minus Jennifer Hudson.

I was actually looking forward to watch this particular diva sing live ever since she won her Golden Globe and Oscar for her ground shattering performance of And I Am Telling You. Were you one of those people stomping their feet in protest and beating their chest a la King-Kong style? No? I guess it was only just this idiotic writer then.

But as they say in show biz, the show must go on. Kicking things off that evening was Thai-American hip hop music group, Thaitanium. KHAN, WAY, DAY, BIG CALO and Tony B did a commendable job of opening the show on a high note. They did manage to score some extra points when they dedicated their latest single,Wake Up (Bangkok City), to the audience by tweaking it to Wake Up (KL City).

The night’s festivities continued when five cute Korean boys in black and white apparel emerge on stage with a surge of fire power; sending their Royal Family fan-base into a frenzy withYou Are Special. The audience was also treated to a remix version of their hit, Video Game. After a short video interlude and clothing change, One Junn, Sun Woo, Sungjun, Minsu and Suwoong returned to stage to serenade a luck fan girl during Dress Up before ending their show with Party Rock.

Clad in a white and gold ensemble, our very own home girl, Yuna, was welcomed with open arms and proclamations of “I love you!”. From the moment she transition into her first rendition of Falling, everyone present there were mesmerized by her silk soulful tone and charming demeanour.    

Soft yet powerful, Yuna gave fans what they wanted – a balanced combination of English and Malay songs including Mountains, Lelaki, Dan Sebanarya, Lights And Camera, Terukir Di Bintang, and Rescue. Call me bias, but Yuna was easily my favourite performer of the night. In the midst of testosterone men (and boys), she was the rose among the thorns. Wrapping up her set with the up-tempo song, Come Back, this talented singer-songwriter stood out for being picture and pitch perfect!

Since this year’s MTV World Stage was opened by a Hip-Hop/ Rap group, it was only befitting that another rap artist close the show; and who better than the King of collaborations – B.o.B. The international rapper wasted no time by jumping into a 16-track medley including tracks like Don’t Let Me Fall and So Good.

Throughout the night, B.o.B could be seen exchanging high fives, snapping selfies with his fan’s mobile phones and crowd surfing – all these while spitting out verse after verse. He was in short, quite the performer. While rap and hip-hop may not be everyone’s cup of tea, those who dig it had the time of their lives. 

******

Recorded live for global telecast, the show premieres on-air Wednesday, 20 August at 6.30pm (WIB), 7.30pm (SG) and 8.30pm (MAL) and repeats on the same day at 10pm (WIB), 11pm (SG) and 12am (MAL). It premieres in the Philippines on Friday, 29 August at 10pm.

Photo credit: MTV Asia, Lucas Lau, Kristian Dowling & Aloysius Lim

It was hot, sweaty, smelly and exhausting but it was so worth the wait when those 4 familiar figures appeared out of the white smoke. The 1975 had arrived in our small country and they totally blew the Hard Rock Coliseum away. I can’t count how many times the stage smoked white and everyone was cheering thinking the boys were coming out. It was demoralizing to say the least. Even though an eternity seemed to pass during the wait, once they finally were up on stage, they gave everyone their energy back.

Everyone started jumping to the opening song The City and it did not stop there. The boys from Manchester made us dance with upbeat songs like Milk and She Way Out. They swayed us with the bone-shaking ballads Me and fallingforyou. And the moment every girl in the audience was waiting for, frontman Matty finally giving in to our country’s super hot weather and taking off his shirt.

They just could not stop screaming and that was one of the rare times we would be thankful for Singapore’s weather. The moment that really got me was during Head.Cars.Bending. I mean everyone was headbanging in total sync. It was amazingly connecting everyone together. Especially during the fan-favorite slow-beat Robbers everyone was shouting out the lyrics you look so cold! I really loved the songs where the saxophone player was introduced. It totally brought out a whole new dimension to the vibe in the Coliseum.

These boys really brought their A-game that night and despite their bad-boy attitude with the on-stage cigarettes and alcohol, they showed their surprising compassion when they asked everyone to move back to save the people in front who were like fucking dying in front here mate, to quote Matty.

Overall, The 1975 put on a fantastic show, appropriately ending off with the hits Chocolate and Sex. It was just absolutely amazing to see The 1975 live in front of us and we hope they come back soon. As they promised.

Check out our Facebook page for more pictures of The 1975 live in action!

Photo credits: Dominic Phua and Marcus Lin for Now/Live

I first heard of Ellie Goulding when I was living in London in 2010. Back then, she was just a new and upcoming British singer. Fast forward a few years later, she is now a household name with two chart-topping albums with millions of fans all over the world.

This is the second time Goulding graced our shores and it is obvious that her fanbase has increased tremendously. Dressed in a white top, high waisted black pants, heavy flat black boots, the British songstress opened the show with the bombastic Figure 8. Supported by a four-piece band, she sang in her trademark nasally voice.

When she performs, there are no costume changes and no back-up dancers like there might be at a recent Taylor Swift concert that I attended – she gets the crowd going simply with her voice and her songs.

She kept the energy high with Ritual and Goodness Gracious, a recent single co-written with Nate Ruess of Fun, and creating a synth-heavy club feel with Animal. The middle section of the set was slower-paced as she eased into acoustic versions of Gun and Horses and her most recent single Beating Heart, from the Divergent movie soundtrack.

The audience remained captivated as her husky tones remained pitch perfect throughout the night. My favourite part of the night was her signature cover of Elton John’s Your Song. It never fails to touch my heart each time I listen to it.

Goulding finished the night off with her big hit Burn and fans left the concert venue with smiles on their faces after the show - a sure sign of a successful concert.

Here are the top 5 best moments that happened during Ellie Goulding’s concert:

 

1. The crowd sang along to every word during Anything Could Happen.

 

2. Ellie showing off her brilliant guitar and drum skills occasionally throughout her set.

 

3. When Ellie sang I Need Your Love, the entire venue turned into one big dance floor. The crowd were dancing and going crazy!

 

4. The crowd lit up the darkness, holding their mobile phone lights in the air, as Ellie ended her set with a rendition of Lights.

 

5. Ellie promised that she would be back during the concert so we can expect a third concert in the future.

 

Setlist:

1. Figure 8
2. Ritual
3. Goodness Gracious
4. Animal
5. Starry Eyed
6. Stay Awake
7. Tessellate / Life Round Here
8. Guns and Horses (Acoustic)
9. Beating Heart (Acoustic)
10. Your Song (Elton John cover)
11. The Writer
12. Explosions
13. My Blood
14. Bad Girls / Salt Skin
15. Only You
16. Every Time You Go / This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)
17. Anything Could Happen
18. I Need Your Love
19. Lights

Encore:
20. You My Everything
21. Burn

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of Ellie Goulding in action!

Photo credits: Marcus Lin for Now/Live