Concert Review: Faithless Live in Singapore

This band really needs no introduction. Anyone who knows their music from their pop days (or anyone in their teens in the 90s) would know this seminal electronica band that spawned monster dance anthems back in the day.
While their contemporaries have languished in dance music limbo over the years, the Faithless sound has endured, delivering uplifting euphoria one chord at a time. 15 years and six albums later, Singaporeans finally got a taste of the band up close and personal.
The concert at Fort Gate rallied ravers (all 3,500 of them) game for a dash of live euphoria. The audience (most probably old enough to remember dancing to “Insomnia” and “Salva Mea” at tea dances and school parties) shed all inhibitions and partied like it was 1999, transforming the field into a sweaty Ibiza dance floor.
The unmistakable air of frenzy oozed out of the beer-and-Jagermeister-soaked punters right from the start as they were treated to opening act—Friendly Fires—who wowed the crowd with their indie pop and pulses of disco in songs such as “Paris” and “Kiss of Life.”

But when Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz (supported by a bassist, guitarist, drummer, percussionist and two vocalists) hit the stage with the opener “Happy,” the crowd went absolutely mental.
The concert crested three songs in when the trim-but-still-up-for-it pentagenarian Maxi Jazz said the words, “This is my church/This is where I heal my hurts …”. Jazz, cool as ever, arms stretched out like a dance music high priest chanting, “This is my church,” really getting the party started. “God is a DJ”—one of those tracks that even your uncle might know—also shaped this concert.
A transcendent moment came at the halfway mark when “Insomnia” came on, especially at the breakdown and chorus when Sister Bliss played the melody the crowd had been waiting all night for, coupled with Jazz’s frenzied tapping on the cow bells. Pandemonium ensued. The audience transformed into a morass of tangled bodies.
Such dance-floor reverie was joined with a clutch of new cuts “Crazy Baldheads” and “Not Going Home” from last year’s album The Dance.
Then came the two song encore, a charged funky raggae number “Muhamed Ali” and, saving the best for last, “We Come 1,” which threw everyone into an absolute fit.
After all these years, Faithless showed us that they’ve still got the musical chops in a music scene inundated by electro-pop and Justin Bieber. And if God is a DJ, he’ll drop any of their tunes for sure.