For what our isle lacks in geographical size, we make up for it with a staggering scale of star power when it comes to yanking down live acts for spellbinding music performances. We would never bust out of our flashbacks if we were to recollect and round up the best gigs of yesteryear, but we can assure you that there was enough in-your-face tunage to appease any head-banger, shoe-gazer, toe-tapper or mosh-surfer. Since it’s never too early to get excited (more reasons to start saving that dough!), we’re preparing you with a gig forecast for the foreseeable year ahead. Indie champions, pop sensations, jazz gurus and even hardcore hooligans – you can never have too much live music to go bananas to, and 2016 is looking pretty peachy so far!
‘Push Start to Begin’ – the first month of the year goes all video gamey with a spacey, synth-wave edge, with the squiggly, glitchy electronic sounds of Com Truise (Jan 5). For more electronica oddities, get acquainted with France’s Onra (Jan 23) for old-school hip-hop beats spliced with Oriental samples from the oldies. But “Where all the guitars at?!” you ask? Rest assured you’ll lift those fists for pop-rock pretty boys, The Vamps (Jan 26), and be caught in a circle pit with alt-rock deviants, Bring Me The Horizon (postponed). Also keeping it hardcore are popular J-rock crossovers, ONE OK ROCK (Jan 23), and Finnish collective, Nightwish (Jan 18), that astounds with their fantastical realm of symphonic metal. And don’t get your skinny jeans in a twist, hipsters; we didn’t forget about y’all! Some (Anna) sun would do you good with Walk The Moon (Jan 19) taking the stage, and of course, we know you’ve been long psyched for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival (Jan 30).
We bet K-pop devotees are already crafting their DIY signs for the impending arrival of pop-rock charmers, CNBlue (Feb 13) – boyfriends, don’t feel insecure! For the older music crowd, perhaps they might prefer to chill out to the soothing jazz laissez-faire of Diana Krall (Feb 16 – 17), or jive into boogie wonderland with disco legends, Kool & The Gang (Feb 27). Soul cats, make sure you don’t miss the Getai Group’s biggest endeavour yet, a regional outdoor music festival called (NEW!) Getai Soul (Feb 20-21). For a tint of indie-folk, romantics can find some ‘skinny love’ from the elusive musical chasms of Bon Iver (Feb 26), or make it a Valentine’s Day to remember with the return of Canadian indie-poppers, (NEW!) Stars (Feb 14). But if you’d rather a barrage of post-hardcore shenanigans, then you’ll be chuffed to hear that Funeral For A Friend (Feb 19) is set to return – play safe, you moshers. Though, nothing quite beats the long-awaited arrival of the Queen of Pop herself, (NEW!) Madonna (Feb 28)!
Undisputedly the buzziest word on every jazz connoisseur’s tongue, SingJazz (Mar 4 – 6) promises to be a festival for every aficionado of improv and musical perfectionism. Possessing your heart from the indie circuit will be the return (albeit, a revitalisation) of Death Cab For Cutie (Mar 7), while 5 Seconds Of Summer (Mar 3) intends to do the same with infectious pop hooks and cutesy boyish appeal. Addicts of Australian electronic label, Future Classic, will also lust over the smoothly-chiselled synth symphonies of (NEW!) Panama (Mar 6). Groupies who grew up in the ’90s will be more than familiar with the timeless charisma of Take That (Mar 5), performing for the HSBC Women’s Champions as a resilient three-piece. But you know what’s really sentimental? The smoky golden voice of 75-year-old showman (and pop culture icon), Tom Jones (Mar 31)!
Most famous for their reggae-infused renditions of “Red Red Wine” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, ’80s pop legends, UB40 (Apr 2), will be swaying to town for a night of nostalgia. Unless, you’re more of the type who equates nostalgia with the Beatles-like psychedelia of the late ’60s, then we’re certain you’ll have yourself a trip with the hazy rock anthems of Tame Impala (Apr 21). Otherwise, you can always rely on progressive metalheads, Protest The Hero (Apr 26), for one sweaty, belligerent mosh-fest.
(NEW!) Fresh off the press! Hip-hop hypebeasts are rejoicing ‘cos they can’t wait for the arrival of the genre-twisting legend, Flying Lotus (May 26). Head honcho of the Brainfeeder label – that has taken artistes like Kamasi Washington and Tokimonsta under its wing – the famed FlyLo is also esteemed for his forays into jazz-fusion and electronica. Making their return since Laneway 2013 are Icelandic folk-rockers, Of Monsters And Men (May 10), who’ve been known to buff up duet-friendly acoustic music with trumpet fanfares and chilling elements of post-rock. On the commercial end, British pop girl-group, Little Mix (May 23), sets to sparkle with saccharine harmonies and entrancing vocal acrobatics. And ’cos we’re optimistic that it gets pulled off again, Music Matters Live (date TBC) is an annual Clarke Quay festival that often showcases a plethora of international talent from all genres, around this time of the year. Fingers crossed!
Nothing concrete yet, but we’ve a sneaking suspicion that the annual Baybeats Festival (date TBC) will ignite the Esplanade landscape once more with yet another showcase of local and regional talent. Wanna find out who’s hot from the SG scene? Baybeats is where you need to be!