Every year, the night race season of Singapore Grand Prix brings onboard a slew of big guns in pop, but 2016’s edition seems to have outdid itself – featuring a killer lineup that boasts the likes of Kylie Minogue, Queen + Adam Lambert, Imagine Dragons, Bastille and Halsey headlining the Padang stage. Catching the concerts of the latter three, we sieved out the good, the meh, and all the cool bits of the Formula One weekend.
THE GOOD: Hot on the heels of their latest record Wild World, Bastille sprang into an adrenaline-fuelled set that opened with the crowd-pleasing ‘Bad Blood’, mixed in a sprinkle of new numbers like ‘Good Grief’, ‘Fake It’ and ‘Two Evils’, and closed the night with the big sing-along of ‘Pompeii’. Smashing it as always.
THE MEH: Bastille never disappoints, but we couldn’t help but felt short-changed at the hour-long show – that didn’t stop the Brit quartet from slaying on stage, though. Squishing as many tracks as they could into the setlist, frontman Dan Smith took the chance to get upclose and personal with the front rows as he leaped off the stage, delivering the best experience possible to Bastille die-hards who’ve waited so long in the heat. All’s forgiven!
THE LOL: “As you all know, I’m an extremely untalented dancer,” Dan quipped, urging the audience to pogo-dance with him to make him “look a little less stupid” in the midst of performing. The result? A bunch of us bopping up and down while bursting out into fits of laughter. It wasn’t quite the idea of ‘dancing’ we had, but hey, at least we were all in this together.
THE GOOD: Here for her first ever show in Singapore, Halsey pulled out all the stops to make it a night to remember. Blessing us with a high-octane repertoire of tracks off her Badlands record, the songstress awed the audience with her mind-blowing vocals, complete with her own flavour of sassiness that really elevated her performance to another level. Not many rising pop stars possess the kind of tenacity Halsey emits on stage, and the fact that she’s a one-woman powerhouse makes it all the more amazing. All hail Halsey!
THE MEH: Halsey sang practically her entire discogra– no hold on, where’s ‘New Americana’?
Well, we’re guessing the song got the axe from authorities for its somewhat risque lyrics. It’s a pity considering how it’s her most notable track to date, but thankfully, she made up for it with an unexpected solo rendition of ‘Closer’ sans The Chainsmokers. Check out the explosive (literally) performance above!
THE AWW: “A year ago,” the 21-year-old began. “I was just a girl on tour with a band called Imagine Dragons.” And the crowd roared. Little would we know that Halsey would become one of the F1 headliners alongside other mega acts, sharing the Padang glory together with her Las Vegas mentors. We couldn’t be more proud of our new queen of the Badlands!
THE GOOD: Seriously, where do we start? From the moment our favourite alt-rockers took the stage, it was a never-ending party of fist-pumping anthems and hardcore theatrics that drove the stadium into a unified frenzy. Spectacular performances aside, it was frontman Dan Reynolds’ well-honed knack at connecting with the crowd that really impressed us. Particularly, we loved the little speech he did before launching into ‘It’s Time’: “We currently live in a world of religion – of race, creed, class. There’s people around the world trying to tear us apart, but we will not be afraid of anybody. This love will persist, no matter where you are in the world. I’m from Las Vegas but I feel at home tonight here in Singapore. This is a song about that.” Gosh, we might or might not have shed a tear at this…
THE MEH: We were totally unprepared for the massive crowd that gathered after stepping out of the venue – for only a mere hour. Imagine Dragons garnered the greatest turnout that weekend, but it was undoubtedly the most chaotic. Getting our shoes caked in dirt, being crushed against the barriers and having your line of vision impaired by human pyramids in front of you ain’t cool at the slightest. We even spotted a few fans looking faint and had to be escorted out (safety first, everyone!). But then again, would we go through such torture if given a choice? Bring it on.
THE OMG: What’s awesome about the audience is that it’s made up of people of all ages, but the luckiest one of all has to be the little boy who got pulled out from the crowd and enjoyed his five minutes of fame onstage with his favourite band. Senpai, notice us too!
Photo credits: Singapore GP, Teenage Magazine