The 2017 Singapore Grand Prix saw three nights of electrifying music performances amidst breakneck speed race car action. From hit covers to EDM-filled live DJ sets, we bring you the highlights from the weekend!
With a stellar lineup of chart-topping performers spread across the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix weekend, it was important not to miss out on any of the acts that entertained the surroundings of the track pit. It was the 10th year anniversary of the race celebrated on our shores after all – and with the onslaught of talented local and international names brought in this year, they certainly pulled out all the stops.
Rising R&B star Sam Rui proved that very point – a strong contender among the weekend lineup of homegrown acts, Sam mesmerised all the same with her breathy vocals and effortless stage swagger. Fresh off the release of her debut album Season 2, it was her addictive, spot on delivery of ‘Better’ that drove the crowd into a tizzy.
Friday night was capped off with an emotionally-charged set by alt-rockers OneRepublic, who previously graced our shores back in 2013 on their own headlining tour. Sporting a fedora and a denim jacket, frontman Ryan Tedder set the mood right from the get-go, launching into early hit singles ‘Stop And Stare’ and ‘Secrets’, before pumping up the 50,000-strong crowd with ‘Kids’. Ryan might most famously be the face of OneRepublic, but he didn’t let anyone forget he’s also a bonafide hitmaker for fellow stars, and surprised with piano-driven covers of songs he’s had a hand in writing – including Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Happier’ – as he stripped off his jacket due to the intense humidity.
Ariana Grande put on hands-down the best vocal performance of the weekend, albeit having to whittle down her full Dangerous Woman Tour setlist to a jam-packed 60 minutes. Still, the petite beauty brought her A game, belting out whistle-high notes with ease, transitioning through four outfit changes, and even re-enacting her stationary bike-riding scene from the ‘Side To Side’ video onstage. The hour-long set was also the most the public saw of the elusive star in Singapore, despite our September cover girl arriving four days prior to her gig, as she remained largely impossible to be spotted in public by fans during her stay here. It’s not like it mattered to her throngs of Arianators, with many wearing their Ari pride with bunny ears in the crowd as they sang in unison to hits like ‘One Last Time’, ‘Focus’ and ‘Into You’.
Amongst veterans like Duran Duran and Seal taking the stage at multiple locations, it was EDM fans who were rewarded the most. Saturday signalled the first of two post-race dance parties, with The Chainsmokers helming the decks with their signature brand of fast-tempo crowd pleasers like ‘Roses’ and ‘Paris’. Both members hyped up the Padang stage with air jumps, fist pumps and timely pyrotechnics, but it was admittedly a slight letdown whenever Drew took over to sing – he used a heavy backing track that drowned out any live vocals. They undeniably fared better at the consoles, and got everyone into a singalong rap frenzy with a surprise remix of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Humble’. World-class performers they’re yet to be, but trust The Chainsmokers to know how to truly throw a #lit party.
Consider The Chainsmokers simply a teaser for the the main event of Calvin Harris on closing night. The Scottish DJ arrived in style behind a levitating triangular deck, although fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the suave DJ had to stretch their necks as his face was mostly hidden by the shadows. Perhaps he wanted to focus attention to the music instead. His set saw old classics like ‘Bounce’ and ‘Sweet Nothing’ scattered between newer jam ‘Slide’ and hip-hop favourite, J-Kwon’s ‘Tipsy’. An odd exclusion? Calvin’s massive current hit ‘Feels’, that many were fervently waiting to singalong to.
We’re all for the inclusion of EDM acts in future F1 lineups, but nothing comes close to the exhilarating feeling of watching a legendary finale live act such as Rihanna or Bon Jovi (headliners from past years). Perhaps with the annual affair recently announced to be renewed for another four years, subsequent lineups will find the right balance of genres to solidify the Singapore Grand Prix not only as our leading sports event, but also as the quintessential music extravaganza. Bring on 2018 and beyond!
Who was your favourite act at the 2017 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix? Tell us in the comments below! For more about this year’s lineup, pick up a copy of our September issue out on news stands now!
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