We know, we know. That Pacquiao-Mayweather match was a staggering disappointment. We're not ardent boxing fans so we can't comment much but we can all agree that Max Kellerman's post-match interview with Pacquiao was shockingly rude. What a douche.
Now that that's out of the way, let's look into what May has in store for us: another exciting rooftop gig, pop stars invading giant venues (as usual), record launches, beach festivals. Wipe those tears and get ready because we have a packed month ahead of us!
It’s back!! After the first successful incarnation known as Getai Electronica was a resounding success, the restaurateurs behind Lepark and future-jazz trio TAJ have taken their concept of a rooftop party and enhanced it further with a different lineup along with a film screening. While the first round had the sounds psychedelic rock, electronic music and jazz permeate the Chinatown rooftop in one night, the diversity is strengthened here with the genre-bending intellectuals in Qilin Group, acoustic trio HubbaBubbas, soulful electronic/R&B vocalist Vandetta and infectiously catchy indie-rock band Cashew Chemists.
For Fans Of: rooftops with great live music (really, just go)
EDM's most popular Dutch DJ, who apparently loves reminding everyone who he is, will be back for his I Am Hardwell live show. Now supporting a brand-new album on top of an enviable selection of worldwide hits, this show should be as every bit of an EDM spectacle as his first show was. This time, just like Laneway, he’s progressed from the comfortable confines of Fort Canning Park to the substantially roomy Gardens by the Bay.
FFO: Nicky Romero, Tiesto, W&W
A singer-songwriter with ambitious aspirations — being able to write songs bilingually, for starters — Sarah Cheng-De Winne has crafted a 4-track EP that highlights her strengths in both English and Mandarin. Even with the difference in languages, Sarah manages to maintain her own sound that was polished and improved by producer Kavin Hoo, known for his work with Corinne May and Tanya Chua.
FFO: Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, A Fine Frenzy
Poptart has had its turn indoors but how about a Sunday afternoon beach party? Get down with a boatload of funk, disco and indie tunes, paired with an arresting sunset instead of dark nightclub walls at Smack My Beach Up. With the duo weelikeme and KiDG, Tanjong Beach Club will get the full Poptart treatment before the massive invasion of Full Steam Ahead.
FFO: contagious dance tunes without the flashiness of EDM
She begs no introduction. If you’re a casual fan with some disposable income or a diehard with an equally dedicated wallet, you’d probably already have your ticket in hand. After her major performance at F1 in 2012, Katy Perry's back with her famed stadium live show under the Prismatic Tour, which by her Singapore date would already mark one year since it began in Belfast, Ireland. A hard-working diva with a massive global fanbase, she’ll be performing her old hits alongside new singles that’ll sound especially grand in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
FFO: Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Jessie J
While the Diarists have been hard at work over the years promoting their own local talent — a collective of several individuals throughout the island begging to get their voices heard — they’ll be hosting a special show with two esteemed up-and-comers from the Japanese acoustic music scene: Taiki Hatazaki and Life Garden, who will be supported by Singaporean singer-songwriter Anise.
FFO: Jose Gonzalez, Elliot Smith, First Aid Kit
Described as a “gorgeous folk pop suite dedicated to lost love”, Jaime Wong’s debut EP has already drawn a considerable amount of anticipation, especially after her recent shows have shown a lot of promise in her skills as a songwriter and performer. Backed by a band of skilled musicians on a rooftop carpark just like Getai Ethnica, this combination will be an ultimately satisfying and fascinating one and we’ll definitely be there to witness it.
FFO: Ingrid Michaelson, Feist, Damien Rice
While the beach party anthems for the past few years have been heavy on EDM, Sunsplash will be changing gears towards some of the foundational genres that has formed modern dance music: reggae and dub. Headlined by legendary reggae group The Wailers, known for their tenure with the late Bob Marley aka the godfather of reggae music, Sunsplash promises a heck of a good time on the beach with thumping, infectious music by a lineup that also features local acts Masia One, Comic Strip and more.
FFO: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, The Specials
Good Times are the true purveyors of…well, good times so this upcoming Sunday Edition is not any different. An intimate set by Nicholas Chim, a specially curated playlist throughout the day, limited signed prints, instant poems. We’re in.
FFO: local art, poetry and bearded guitar players
It’s been a while since we last heard from Alt-J. They’re kind of that friend you have who you’ve known for ages but out of nowhere, they got (very) popular and haven’t replied to your 89 Snapchats and 115 WhatsApp messages. Ever since their first set here at Laneway Festival in 2013, they hit it big with singles like ‘Tesselate’ and ‘Breezeblocks’ and are now selling out stadiums around the world. Returning back for their own show at The Coliseum with a new album to beef up their setlist (the enjoyable but albeit underwhelming This is All Yours), let’s hope their upgraded experience on the global tour circuit won’t result in more technical difficulties this time.
FFO: Glass Animals, Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles
Still sporting the side-swept bangs like there’s still MySpace (to be fair, it’s still around), Owl City has strived on towards the present, taking the huge success of 2009 single ‘Fireflies’ and learning to continue honing his craft with more albums. Just like Katy Perry, Owl City will be returning after a successful stint at F1 a year after hers.
FFO: Lights, Capital Cities, side-swept bangs
If you’ve always preferred your dance music far away from the flashiness of modern EDM and preferred the hypnotic grooves and catchy melodies of nu-disco, Full Steam Ahead is the festival you’ve always wanted. Boasting a world-class lineup of international and local DJs, specialising in the flavored hard-hitting grooves of nu-disco, there will be loads to do throughout the day and the team behind the festival have made sure you won’t be left by the wayside…unlike 70s disco.
FFO: Todd Terje, The Juan McLean, Lindstrom
If we haven’t said it before, we’ll say it now: boybands will never die. With a new generation of crazed fangirls killing dogs over Zayn Malik, the art of the "dreamy boyband with songs that will never leave your head" has only evolved. With that, older boybands have reunited to make sure their now middle-aged fans don’t feel left out. Boyzone is one of them. Despite the untimely death of member Stephen Gately, the group continues as a foursome, treading newer paths in their music while still continuing to win the hearts of many. With their upcoming Singapore date at the Grand Theatre in Marina Bay Sands, we doubt the lavish theatre will be able to handle the screams of deprived housewives…and other fans, of course.
FFO: Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Westlife
Inspired by epic film and anime soundtracks, along with the excesses of classical music, the Tze n Looking Glass Orchestra presents a sprawling story that they intend to interpret through music. Starring a solo pianist with a cast of musicians playing different roles vital to the storyline, this is one worth checking out simply for its tasteful ambition.
FFO: Nobuo Uematsu, Koji Kondo, Neil Davidge
A singer so enrapturing that he can even make a ballad about the IRS sound hilariously heart-rending, Michael Bolton may be the byproduct of the excesses of 90s adult contemporary but his unique voice remains high in demand all over the world — including Singapore, as you can see. We don’t care, we just want him to tell us he loved us…then he lied (Mikal y u do dis? ;__;).
FFO: Seal, Richard Marx, Lionel Richie
An artist who should probably consider applying for PR citizenship here, considering the amount of times she’s already stopped by, we’re more than happy to welcome her to our island for good. Before she comes here again, help Rachael Yamagata out by pledging some cash for a vinyl release of her debut album Happenstance. If you’re an ardent fan, we can’t imagine why wouldn’t want to help out. You try saying no to that face!
FFO: Priscilla Ann, Ingrid Michaelson, Anna Nalick
We’re mightily impressed with Hanging Up the Moon. Originally starting out as a bedroom project of one Sean Lam, formerly of hard-edged rock group Concave Scream, it has now blossomed into a fully-functioning five-piece band that has provided a lot of sonic depth into their new album Immaterial. This expansion will increase even further when the band plays live at their record launch, introducing a six-piece string section that will, no doubt, sound absolutely sublime live.
FFO: Neil Young, Aspidistrafly, Iron & Wine
It looks like Tricot are destined for great things. Having opened for Pixies on their UK tour and being featured on publications like NME have done wonders for their public profile (the more attention they get, the better). Now they return to Singapore as a three-piece after the departure of drummer Kazutaka Komaki but if their new album A N D is anything to go by, they sound even more precise and frenzied than ever before. Not to be missed. Here's how they fared the first time in Singapore at the now-defunct Home Club.