Amidst the sing-alongs, jumping, screaming and dancing by the exceptionally enthusiastic crowd, the guys all made their way back to the main stage and mellowed things down with an intimate performance of 'Little Things', with Niall playing the guitar. The atmosphere at the stadium was noticeably slightly calmer during the song as everyone scrambled to take their phones out to hold up and be used as flashlights while the band continued to serenade them.
By: Alexandrea van Huizen
One Direction held their debut show in Singapore on March 11th 2015 and played to a crowd of over 30,000 adoring fans at The National Stadium. Without a second to lose (I guess because they had come out an hour later than scheduled), the chart-topping British-Irish quintet, consisting of members, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, began their set with the song 'Clouds', followed by 'Steal My Girl'- the first single off their fourth studio album- aptly entitled 'FOUR'.
Setlist for the night involved tunes spanning from all four of their albums produced thus far. Some of the tracks off 'FOUR' included 'Where Do Broken Hearts Go', 'Stockholm Syndrome', 'Girl Almighty', 'Ready To Run' and 'Night Changes'. While those from their previous albums included 'Kiss Me', 'One Thing', 'Don't Forget Where You Belong' and 'Story Of My Life', to name a few. A major sense of nostalgia filled the stadium as the lads threw it way back when they performed 'What Makes You Beautiful', the first-ever single from their debut album, 'Up All Night'.
Ending the night on a (Zayn's) high note, the guys performed their upbeat track 'Best Song Ever' as the final song. The lads raced around the stage while thanking their fans and Singapore for an amazing show, before exiting the stage.Taking the undeniable fact that all five of them have undoubtably incomparable vocals which were clearly not held back during the show and adding that with all the antics they pulled on stage such as Liam's beatboxing or Harry cheekily playing with the microphone stand, definitely makes this one for the books. All that is left to do now is to continue the gruelling wait for One Direction to come back to Singapore and blow us all away once more.
By: Alexandrea van Huizen
Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Ed Sheeran made his debut in Singapore with a show which was completely sold-out within eight hours, last Saturday as part of the Asian leg of his ‘x Tour’. With this being his very first performance here, there was an immense amount of expectation from both fans and (I'm sure) Ed’s team alike for it to go off without a hitch. Ed Sheeran has, from the very start, always been the sort of performer who needs absolutely no gimmicks to keep an audience entertained, a rare quality in the current music scene. His signature ginger hair, the guitar(s) and a loop station was all he needed throughout the show.
Immense elation filled the venue straightaway as Ed made his way to centre stage. He started off the evening with a mash-up of ‘Don’t’, Blackstreet's ‘No Diggity’ and ‘Nina’ (adding a line or two from Chris Brown's 'Loyal') which immediately brought the crowd to their feet. The audience was overwhelmed with emotions when he performed his fourth single off 'x', 'Bloodstream' almost as identical to when he had performed it on the recent Brit Awards. The setlist included a couple more mash-ups of 'Take It Back' with Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' and 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' with 50 Cent's 'In Da Club' and Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy'. The entire show included songs from both his previous and most recent studio albums. It was especially enjoyable when Ed prompted the audience to sing-along during a few songs. There was a great crowd that night, it was delightful how everyone banded together and became an entity in those moments of participation which made it simply beautiful to watch- let alone be a part of.
Having witnessed such an undoubtedly talented singer perform live, it definitely changes the game completely. If there is anything to be said about such a performer, it is that the music industry needs more artistes like him. At this point, there is no telling what the future will hold for this superstar but I can safely say that whatever he decides to do next, it will be nothing short of amazing.
By: Megan Williams
Disney has enchanted audiences once again in the movie adaptation of the beloved Sondheim-Lapine musical, Into The Woods. It follows your favourite fairytales; Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and The Beanstalk and Cinderella, bringing us past what we know, beyond ‘happily ever after’. The intertwining of these stories resulted in a brilliant musical for the stage, and now a brilliant film.
The transition from the stage to the big screen appears effortless, owed largely to the directing capabilities of Rob Marshall. His prowess in morphing musicals into film, as is plain in his work on Chicago and Annie, has never been clearer.
The veracity of the original story is reflected remarkably in the acting of the all-star cast. The often-romanticized fairy tale characters are presented as very much flawed, complex human beings, adding a fresh and authentic dimension to the stories we thought we knew so well. The rare honesty within these characters and the way in which they tackle their problems will resonate with audiences both young and old.
It is particularly impressive how, even when playing a character with relatively little screen time, Johnny Depp can essentially dwarf the rest of the cast. As the Wolf, Depp triumphs with a faultless balance of creepy and charming, sending chills down the spine with his unsettling appeal. Ultimately, though, the film belongs to Meryl Streep, who’s mesmerizing portrayal of the Witch is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression, earning her an Oscar nomination. Her rendition of ‘Stay With Me’ is hauntingly beautiful.
The announcement of Anna Kendrick to play Cinderella triggered a lot of skepticism, especially amongst musical theatre fans that believed she would not be able to overcome the vocal challenges that are inescapable in Sondheim’s music. Since the release of the movie, however, and her undeniably impressive performance of ‘On The Steps of the Palace’, the public opinion is almost in unanimous agreement that she was excellently cast in the role. She brings a kind of modernity and independence to Cinderella that is exciting and refreshing.
The one disappointing thing is the lack of diversity in the cast- the only person of colour being an unaccredited extra.
By: Simran Kaur/Justin Kok
CATS, Andrew Lloyd Webber's world famous, dance-spectacle pantomine has returned to the shores of Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Mastercard Theatres for a confirmed run of three weeks. The classic tale of the purrific felines was last here in 2009.
Universally adored, with one of the most recognised musical tracks in Broadway history with "Memory", CATs is an adaptation based upon T.S. Elliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical cats, which detail the lives and adventures of a tribe known as the Jellicle cats, a band of merry singing and dancing cats living near dumpsters. As the story unfolds, it tells the tale of the Jellicle cats preparing for a spectacular annual event where one of them is chosen to be elevated into "Heaviside Layer" to be reborn.
The Mastercard Theatres were spectacular in their preparations for this world-class event, with patrons being greeted with a phenomenal on-stage set, boasting huge dumpsters which opened and shut as the Cats pranced and crawled about. The lights of the show were incredible, illuminating each scene and each character perfectly, highlighting the beautiful moonlight backdrop.
In this International Tour iteration of the musical, the spectacular cast from the UK were stupendous in their performances. Production value was simply mind-blowing in its level of detail, with every actor devoting their entire being to their role as a Cat which meant extremely feline characteristics from intermittent body scratches, back-arching, to whisker twitches, to very feline yawns were imbued in each actor's performance at every instance, transforming the musical into a phenomenally surrealistic experience as as the chronicles of the Jellicle cats were brought to life on-stage.
Throughout the 3-hour show, the iconic music of legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber filled the air in the theatre, the magnificent overtures accompanying the sublime vocals of the performers as we regaled in the tales and tails of the clever Mr. Mistoffelees, the reminiscent Grizabella, and the ever-wise Old Deuteronomy.
The return of this show simply cannot be missed as it is an experience of a lifetime
By Megan Williams
With new bands coming and going all the time, it can be difficult to establish a name for yourself in the music industry, but that is exactly what Jayden, Inigo, Luke and Josh of With Confidence seem to be doing. From acoustic shows around Sydney to touring with huge names like You Me At Six, they are doing everything to get themselves heard and With Confidence is rapidly gaining a dedicated following. With an impressive 11,000 followers on twitter and over 40,000 likes on Facebook, it is clear that people like the band.
With Confidence have a punk vibe to themselves and their music, their songs reminiscent of Blink 182 and All Time Low. As a band, they say they draw influence from bands like the aforementioned, as well as You Me At Six, The Strokes, Foo Fighters and many more. Their latest single ‘Take Me Away’ off their upcoming EP typifies their style, with a heavy guitar influence and a catchy drumbeat. Having said this, it has a noticeably more mature sound than on their Youth EP and it is great for fans to see the music growing the band.
When asked what they were most looking forward to at the moment, the boys teased that they had big plans for the next sixth months and we can’t wait to see what they will do. With Confidence is definitely a band to watch, with the infallible combination of musical talent and drive that makes their potential limitless. Most importantly, they seem to be having fun with what they are doing, constantly cracking jokes and making light of the situations they find themselves in, which will only allow them to go further!
What is your ultimate goal/dream for the band?
Writing music that makes people feel something, then playing that music full-time all throughout the world. Also being big enough to request hummus and crackers at every show.
What is the best thing about touring?
Road trips, live shows, getting away, new faces, and traveling with your best friends. We have endless good stories we know will stay with us forever but honestly wouldn't know where to start.
You just toured with Marianas Trench, what was the best bit about the tour?
Playing some of the biggest shows we've ever played with a killer band we love and respect. Also drawing back to the hummus and crackers, eating their food and drinking their beers at every show.
What has been your favourite place to perform live so far?
Roundhouse with You Me At Six and Tonight Alive.
What's your dream place to perform?
We'd have to say Wembley Stadium. But honestly playing anywhere where people sing our words back to us will never get old.
Who would you say are your main influences as a band?
Combined we agreed on:
You Me At Six, The Strokes, All Time Low, Kings of Leon, The Dangerous Summer, Blink 182, Foo Fighters, The Story So Far, Motion City Soundtrack and Greenday. (Haha just a couple.)
Nothing we do would be possible without someone listening and the support we have found means the world. Forever thankful.
What can you tell us about the new music you have coming out in the near future?
The new EP's out January and revolves around the idea of escapism and wanting to do more, be more and get out and see the world. To us it's a lot more mature than our Youth EP and we can't wait to hear what people think.
If you weren't in the band right now, what would you be doing?
We'd be pretty f***ed haha.
How did you come up with the band name 'With Confidence' and were there any other options you considered?
We came to our current name from The Dangerous Summer's song 'Of Confidence' and jumbled it around a bit. It was one of the first songs we covered as a band. Before that we had 'Watermelon Saturdays' (We'd jam on Saturdays and Josh's mum gave us watermelon to snack on haha), and 'Sunsets & Silhouettes' but we're pretty stoked we went with With Confidence.
What are your favourite songs/artists at the moment?
Collectively we're digging Drown by BMTH. Such a sick direction for that band and awesome to see them instantly blow every other rock band out of the water. Hall and Oats - Man Eater, Hourglass - Trophy Eyes get notable mentions too!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue music as a career?
Before you commit make sure it's 100% what you want as pursuing music takes a lot out of you. Your time and money will quickly disappear and if you do become successful, distance between loved ones and everything you know can be hard. If it's what you want, go hard and stay true to yourself and your sound. Nothing is quite like being a part of this band and we'd honestly be lost without it.
Finally, do you have anything to say to your fans?
You guys are absolute legends for getting behind our music and getting out to shows. Nothing we do would be possible without someone listening and the support we have found means the world. Forever thankful.
With Confidence’s new EP “Distance” was released on the 13th of January and is available from iTunes and from their website- make sure to grab yourself a copy!
Check out With Confidence on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
Get Distance on iTunes here
Get the physical copy of Distance here
By: Jerome Setho
If I was to be completely honest, it’s been quite awhile since I last heard from Hoobastank. I vaguely remember attending their concert in 2007. Fast forward 7 years later, I was excited that I was going to see a band that meant so much to me as a young lad. With a bag of gig essentials, I was ready for what was to be a smashing rock show.
Upon reaching the venue, I noticed the lines were surprisingly underwhelming for a concert of this magnitude. That did not mean that the crowd was not a rowdy bunch. Younger and older fans crowded to the front as the legends kicked off the set with their high energy hit "Just One" off their album "The Reason" - which has been their most successful one to date. The band continued to sweep their audience off their feet, hit after hit. Fans roared in anthemic unison as Hoobastank belted out their worldwide hit - THE REASON! I could feel my 17 year old self fist bumping to every verse. It was incredible. Hoobstank ended the night with Crawling in the Dark, which left fans at The Collesium in awe of the bands undeniable talent.
The show proved that Hoobastank will be around for many more years to come
Our exclusive interview with Australian pop-rock band Here Come The Calvary.
Best Male Artist - Chet Faker
Best Independent Release - Chet Faker
Best Rock Album - Dan Sultan ('Blackbird')
Best Group - Sheppard
Best International Artist - One Direction
Song of the Year - 5 Seconds of Summer ('She Looks So Perfect')
ARIA Hall of Fame - Molly Meldrum and Countdown
ARIA Industry Icon Award - Denis Handlin
Best Video - ('Chandelier' | Directed by Sia and Daniel Askill) - Sia
Best Female Artist - Sia
Best Pop Release - Sia
Album of the Year - Sia ('1000 Forms of Fear')
Best Country Album - Kasey Chambers ('Bittersweet')
Best Australian Live Act - Keith Urban
Best Adult Contemporary Album - Neil Finn & Paul Kelly ('Goin' Your Way')
Breakthrough Artist - Iggy Azelea
Best Childrens' Album - The Wiggles ('Apples & Bananas')
Best Urban Album - Hilltop Hoods ('Walking Under Stars')
Best Blues & Roots Album - John Butler ('Flesh and Blood')
Best Comedy Release - Buddy Goode ('It's A Buddy Goode Christmas)
Best Dance Release - Pecking Duk featuring Nicole Millar ('High')
Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album - DZ Deathrays ('Black Rat')
Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group - One Direction
Favorite Pop/Rock Album - One Direction ('Midnight Memories')
Artist of the Year- One Direction
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artists - Katy Perry
Single of the Year - Katy Perry and Juicy J ('Dark Horse')
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist - Katy Perry
Favorite Alternative Artist - Imagine Dragons
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album - Iggy Azalea ('The New Classic')
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist - Iggy Azalea
Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist - Sam Smith
Favorite Latin Artist - Enrique Iglesias
Dick Clark Award for Excellence - Taylor Swift
Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group - Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Country Album - Brantley Gilbert ('Just As I Am')
Favorite Country Female Artist - Carrie Underwood
Favourite Country Male Artist - Luke Bryan
Top Soundtrack - "Frozen"
New Artist of the Year - 5 Seconds of Summer
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist - Beyonce
Favorite Soul/R&B Album - Beyoncé ('Beyoncé')
Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist - Casting Crowns
Favorite Electronic Dance Music Artist - Calvin Harris