The cars of Formula One come whizzing aerodynamically onto the streets of Marina Bay once again in September for this year's Singapore Grand Prix! Despite the controversy surrounding the Singaporean circuit debut, our leg of the race attracts quite a hefty amount of attention worldwide and continues to sell out tickets year after year, for the unique element of night-time street racing, putting you literally within arms length of the cars (but please don't try that, you'll probably lose that arm).
Off track though, those racing tickets get you into one of the biggest entertainment events in the country - Singapore Grand Prix Festival. Asia's biggest sporting event rightfully deserves an equally outstanding festival, showcasing some of the biggest stars in entertainment today. This year's edition features the renowned likes of Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Big Bang, Tom Jones and other performers including English illusionist Dynamo and Italian comedian Ennio Marchetto. But it's really not possible to catch ALL the acts - you're there for the heat and the thrill of the race, remember? We've deliberated and listed down five essential acts that you simply have to catch in that blistering weekend; you can't wear those earplugs forever!
A regular fixture at every SGP, and for good reason too - Singapore's first pop/rock band on strings return to the F1 site for an evening of classy yet electrifying contemporary musical performance. While technically not part of the Festival (they're part of the Rev Up Singapore! campaign), you still have to come down and catch them on September 19 for they will be performing with a full band, a distinctly gratifying amplification of their original sound as a quartet. Fresh off their sold-out showcase at the Esplanade Recital Studio earlier this year, their first overseas gig in Vietnam and opening for Stereophonics in a live collaborative performance with Cyril Niccolai (of The Fairchilds), VOX looks set to wow audiences yet again in their anticipated set for the F1 festivities.
Who is Laura Mvula? Only "one of the most highly touted would-be stars of 2013" according to The Guardian. She's a vocal powerhouse, influenced by her studies in the esteemed Birmingham Conservatoire and the works of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill. If you're still not convinced about her, she's on the shortlist for the Brits Critic's Choice award - previous recipients include the likes of Adele, Florence + The Machine and Emeli Sandé. Her songs are an enchanting mix of psychedelia, soul and gospel, leading to a reviewer describing her irresistibly catchy music as "Gospeldelia". Still doubtful? Go catch her performances during the F1 weekend, and be prepared to be blown away.
It's been a while since we've heard from/of The Killers but sometimes we still spin Hot Fuss and Sam's Town (but not really the pretty okay Day & Age or the meh Battle Born) when we're feeling nostalgic for some good arena rock. But we heard that Vegas quartet are really good live, especially when they play classics from our youth such as "Mr. Brightside", "When You Were Young" or "Human". Yeah… those were some really good times. Let's just hope they don't bail out on us at the last minute again this year - they owe us a damn fine show this September. Catch them at the Padang Stage on the 21st.
We've been keeping our eyes peeled for Weish - our dear friend and an extremely talented musician - ever since her Open Mic hosting days at The Pigeonhole. She's been on a fast-track to prominence ever since, performing to local music industry figures in our media launch last year, playing at Timbre and The Esplanade, opening for Tegan & Sara earlier in May - not mentioning her involvement with exciting acts such as sub:shaman, .gif and MUON. It's always heartening to see the swift, lucrative progress of someone from the local independent music scene going forth to do bigger, better things. Catch her perform her brand of experimental, live looping tunes at various locations in the F1 weekend, and see why she's worth the attention. You go Weish. Do it for the indies.
No seriously, you HAVE to catch Justin Bieber. Sure, he's turned into a downright douchenozzle the past few years but when else will you be able to catch THE Bieber live? Never say never. We recommend that you stick right at the back though, away from all the raging hormones, feral teenagers, pre-teens and their mothers alike where the volume rises a few decibels above tolerable levels and the collective auditory pitch goes beyond human frequency. Belieber or not, you gotta respect the fact that the kid does have a considerable amount of power and influence. Go see why and how he got to be so famous when he performs live at the Padang Stage on September 23. Official Formula 1 earplugs are strongly advised.