23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

The first seven months of 2018 have proven to be a solid one for the gigging scene in Singapore. We’ve seen the likes of Celine Dion, Incubus, Imagine Dragons, Daniel Caesar, Dua Lipa, Stereophonics and Iron & Wine, as well as a fair amount of music festivals like the annual Laneway Fest, SingJazz and Ultra. As we head into the second half of the year, biggies like Mariah Carey and Sam Smith will be taking the stage, as well as Paramore, Bob Dylan and his band, Mike Shinoda and so many more. We’ll also be seeing some of R&B and Hip Hop’s biggest names like Chance The Rapper and Khalid on our humble shores. The Carters (a.k.a. Jayonce or Bey-Z) are currently on their second co-headlining “On the Run Tour”, with dates in Europe and North America. Will they come to Asia, or more specifically, Singapore (s/o to LiveNation)? One can dream. Here’s what you can look forward to.

Bob Dylan And His Band (Aug 6)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

Bob Dylan, one of the most influential musicians of our generation, will be hitting our shores as part of his Asia Tour. He was last here seven years ago when he played at Timbre’s Rock & Roots, and has since been busy raking up numerous accolades for himself, like he always has throughout his career. Awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama in May 2012 and the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition” in 2016. The 76-year-old has dabbled in a wide variety of genres, from folk and blues to gospel and country, rockabilly to folk music; and made them his own. But music aside, his songwriting has itself been instrumental to his success all these years, penning songs like “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, the politically charged “The Times They Are a-Changin'” and so many more. He still regularly releases new material till this day. Tickets are priced from $128-248 via Apac Tix. 7pm, The Star Theatre

Cosmos’s Midnight (Aug 8)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

Yet another beautiful export from down under. Cosmo and Patrick Liney, Sydney’s electronic music twins better known as Cosmo’s Midnight, are bringing the distinctive sound they’ve come to be known for globally to Singapore. They’re just two of many Australian producers who are on the fast-track to fame, having done high-profile remixes for the likes of Porter Robinson, AlunaGeorge, fellow Australian Flume and more. Jive, groove and move your booty to their music at Kilo Lounge and expect tracks from their first studio album What Comes Next, released in June this year. Tickets are priced at $45 via iGo. 8pm, Kilo Lounge

Halsey (Aug 8)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Photo credit: Halsey’s Facebook page

Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, otherwise better known as Halsey, started out releasing music on her own social media platforms before being signed to US-based record label and unit of Universal Music Group, Astralwerks, in 2014. Before reaching mainstream success with her debut studio record Badlands, which has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, she was touring together with bands like The Kooks and Imagine Dragons to promote her EP, Room 93. She became more recognized after collaborating with The Chainsmokers in the widely recognized hit, “Closer”. Her sophomore studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom was met with even greater success, having topped the US Billboard 200. Music aside, she’s also heavily involved in social activism like suicide prevention awareness and sexual assault advocacy (see her deliver a powerful speech at the New York City Women’s March earlier this year). Tickets are priced from $78-158 via Apac Tix. 8pm, The Star Theatre

Clean Bandit (Aug 15)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

In a cruel twist of events, Grammy Award-winning English electronic music outfit Clean Bandit had to cancel their one-night-only show on Jan 22 just the night before, because drummer Luke Patterson came down with chickenpox. Good call too, cause otherwise we’d all have gone home literally itching for more after the gig was over. They’ve kept to their word and will be back to perform as part of their “I Miss You Tour 2018”. The group was formed in 2008 and since then, they’ve managed to put their strong classical training background to good use, infusing bits of classical music with dance beats, electronic synths and catchy hooks into the music you hear today. They rose to fame when their hit single “Rather Be”, featuring Jess Glynne’s vocals, topped the charts in the UK. It even earned them a Grammy three years ago. To date, they’ve sold 13 million singles and 1.6 million albums around the world. Tickets are priced from $68-188 via Sistic. 8pm, The Star Theatre

Baybeats 2018 (Aug 17-19)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Disco Hue

The 17th edition of Esplanade’s annual alternative music festival Baybeats returns this month with an exciting lineup. Alongside 25 local bands and musicians performing, six regional and international bands will also be taking the stage to play everything from psychedelic rock and folk to disco pop and shoegaze across four stages at the Esplanade. This year is also an important one as it marks the last time you’ll get to see acts perform at the Powerhouse Stage before it has to make way for the Esplanade’s new waterfront theater. Bands who’ve performed on that stage, like The Full Pledge Munkees, Caracal and Wormrot, will be returning to perform, alongside Indonesia’s Superman is Dead and America’s Hundredth, both of which will be making their Singapore debut. While names like Disco Hue, Pleasantry and Cadence are just some to look forward to, you should check out the six selected for this year’s Baybeats Budding Bands mentorship program: Trust The Chaos, Glassmouth, Osr313, Dreebsby, Coming Up Roses and Sangriento. Aside from the performers, Esplanade has also teamed up with the peeps behind EMONIGHTSG for a special edition of the raucous party at Esplanade Annexe Studio. It’s also highly encouraging that this year’s lineup, which typically doesn’t focus a lot on hip-hop, has included rappers like Akeem Jahat, Yung Raja, Fariz Jabba and Zamaera. Admission is free. Various stages at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Boyzone (Aug 21)

Nostalgia continues to seep into 2018 as these celebrated Irish “boys” return to Singapore once again, this time to celebrate their 25th anniversary. You may have missed watching them live in Singapore when you were growing up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make up for it now. Over the years, we’ve seen musicians who once sang the soundtrack of our youths drop by our sunny island, such as Backstreet Boys (who came twice in the last five years), Incubus, S Club, The Moffatts, Sum 41, Dashboard Confessional and so many more. Now you can relive your puppy love years and/or meaningless heartbreaks as Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Ronan Keating (R.I.P. Stephen Gately, you are missed) perform chart-topping hits you probably know by heart like “Picture of You”, “Words”, “Baby Can I Hold you Tonight” and more from their 25-year discography of six studio records and seven compilations. Tickets are priced from $98 via Sports Hub Tix. 8pm, Singapore Indoor Stadium

Paramore (Aug 21)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Photo credit: Lindsey Byrnes

It’s been way too long—five years to be exact—since Paramore was in Singapore. The Grammy-Award winning band returns this Aug as part of their “After Laughter” tour. Sure, they may have adopted a new pop-ish, synth-heavy sound for their latest studio album, After Laughter, the band’s first after more than four years last May. While they might sound like a totally new band compared to music in their previous albums, these guys have established themselves an exciting live act to catch, having spent a lot of their time in the past decade on the road performing at sold out headline arena tours and festivals around the world. They’re essentially still the same. Formed in 2003, the band now has a total of five records under their belt. Their 2013 self-titled record debuted at the top of the charts, making it their first #1 album, on top of their gold-certified All We Know is Falling, the two-time platinum-certified Riot!, which spawned hits like “Misery Business”, “crushcrushcrush” and “That’s What You Get”, and the platinum-certified brand new eyes. Tickets are priced at $168 via Sistic. 8pm, Zepp @ Big Box

Mike Shinoda (Aug 22)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

Linkin Park fans all around the world suffered a tremendous loss when singer Chester Bennington took his own life last year. While it happened 11 months ago, it’s still a loss that many are still trying to get over seeing how much their music influenced them during their formative years. Mike Shinoda earlier this year released the three-track, painfully honest Post Traumatic EP just half a year after Bennington’s death, which he used to express everything he’s been going through since then, and a way to cope with the loss. Each of the songs had its own music videos, and were all included on Shinoda’s debut solo record of the same name on Jun 15. “I’m looking forward to getting back to releasing music and touring, those things are ‘normal’ to me—it’s what my professional life has revolved around for years, And I know this will be different, so I’m excited to figure out what this new normal is,” Shinoda said in a press statement. Tickets are priced at $148 via Sistic. 8pm, Zepp @ Big Box

Chance the Rapper (Aug 25)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Photo credit: Zoe Rain

2017 was definitely the biggest year for Chance The Rapper. That year alone, he took home numerous big awards, including the BET Award for Best New Artist and Best Collaboration, and Grammy Awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Album. Remember when Beyonce photobombed him during his interview backstage at MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2016? Legend has it that whatever Beyonce touches turns to gold. We kid. While we absolutely love Bey, Chance became one of the biggest breakout stars of rap purely by his own merit. This rapper/singer/songwriter/actor/record producer/philanthropist gained traction after releasing his second mixtape, Acid Rap, and following that, Coloring Book, which was clearly well-received by critics and fans everywhere. Tickets are priced at $158 via Sistic. 8pm, Zepp @ Big Box

This Will Destroy You (Sep 14)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
This Will Destroy You at Zouk Singapore in 2015. Photo credit: Rueven Tan, taken from Symmetry Entertainment’s Facebook page

Don’t fret if you missed This Will Destroy You (TWDY) at Home Club in 2013 and Zouk in 2015; the beloved post-rock band recently announced that they’ll be returning for play a very special show for fans here. They’ll be performing their eponymous 2008 self-titled studio album in its entirety to celebrate its 10th anniversary, as well as the full 2006 Young Mountain EP (which they re-released in 2016 to mark its 10th year as well). These two records were of paramount significance in their early success of becoming a lauded post-rock outfit. Tickets are priced at $70 via iGo. 8pm, Pavilion @ Far East Square

F1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix Concert (Sep 14-16)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

As exhilarating as it can be watching world-famous racers and cars zoom past you in your metal cage, we all know the highlight of the Singapore Grand Prix is the entertainment. This year, you can expect to see the King of Mandpop himself, Jay Chou, with a guest performance by his Sing! China mentee and local jazz darling Joanna Dong, The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Martin Garrix, Dua Lipa, Simply Red, The Sugarhill Gang, ABBA tribute band Bjorn Again, Indonesian folk-pop duo Stars and Rabbit, European and African-based collective Afro Celt Sound System, Chinese DJ Lizzy Wang, M1LDL1FE, Myrne, Eatmepoptart, Joe Hahn a.k.a. the DJ and turntablist of Linkin Park, African poet-singer-songwriter-rapper Sampa the Great, Naoi, THELIONCITYBOY, and more. Full lineup deets here. Tickets are priced from $78 via their website. Check schedule for timing and venue

The Podium Lounge (Sep 14-16)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

As we race towards the F1 night race, and all the concerts that come with it, we look to The Podium Lounge, a regular haunt for those into the F1 after-party scene in Singapore. This will be their 10th anniversary, so get your head in the game and prepare for three nights of Champagne-fuelled partying where you’ll get to rub shoulders with international A-list celebrities, F1 legends and drivers, supermodels and royalty while being entertained from the likes of Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden (a.k.a. Boyzlife), Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden who’ll be putting up a DJ set and a celebratory Race Night performance by Taboo of Black Eyed Peas. Tickets are priced from $158 via The Podium Lounge’s website. 10pm, Grand Ballroom at Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore (access is restricted after 2am)

Postmodern Jukebox (Sep 18)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

If you were one of the many die-hard fans that bought tickets to catch rotating music collective Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) last year, you would’ve been sorely disappointed seeing how it was cancelled because of a “scheduling conflict”. But the guys behind LAMC Productions have worked hard to bring them back; and return they will to perform at the Kallang Theatre for one night. The musical group has drawn fans everywhere because of their cool interpretation of popular music done in various vintage genres likes swing and jazz. Since forming in 2009, when Bradlee and his friends rode it out in his small apartment in Queens, New York, they’ve garnered more than 925 million views on YouTube, 3.2 million subscribers, performed live on Good Morning America (the American morning show on ABC) and topped numerous iTunes and Billboard charts with their releases. The success was all in part of a tweet about one of his first videos by famed American Gods author Neil Gaiman, which caused it to go viral. Tickets are priced from $98-298 via Sistic. 8pm, Kallang Theatre

Sam Smith (Oct 2-3)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

Sam Smith may be enjoying a very cheeky and public relationship with 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Flynn at the moment, but he’s really got a lot going for him. He first broke out onto the scene when he laid vocals for Disclosure’s hit single “Latch” back in 2012, and subsequently on Naughty Boy’s “La La La” right after releasing his first single, “Lay Me Down”. Just months later, he won the 2014 Brit Critics’ Choice Award and BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll. His debut record In the Lonely Hour was well-received among critics and fans alike, with all the singles achieving worldwide success At the 2014 Grammy Awards, he scooped up four out of six awards he was nominated for, including Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. Since then, he’s been gaining even more traction with the release of his sophomore album, The Thrill of It All, of which the lead single “Too Good at Goodbyes” debuted at #1 in the UK and #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Tickets for the first night are sold out, but there are still a couple of single seats left for the second night, available via Sports Hub Tix ($128-348). 8pm, Singapore Indoor Stadium

A1 (Oct 20)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

What a blast from the past, guys. The age of boy bands may be over, but it won’t stop the legendary ones from the ‘90s to the early noughties from coming back. We’ve seen Backstreet Boys return to Singapore twice within three years and Westlife back in 2011, with Boyzone coming up next. And hopping on the nostalgia bandwagon once again is British-Norwegian pop group A1, who are reuniting for their 20th anniversary with the full original lineup, including Paul Marazzi who left in 2002. They were last here two years ago as a trio, performing their greatest hits at The Star Theatre. This tour, however, will be the only time you’ll see A1 together as a quartet once again. In their heyday, they recorded three best-selling albums and a Greatest Hits project (1998-2003) and sold millions in the UK, Europe and Asia. They also bagged the highly sought-after Brit Award for British Breakthrough Act in 2001. Unleash the teen in you and belt to hits like “Same Old Brand New You”, “Caught In The Middle”, “Like A Rose” and more.  Tickets are priced from $68 via Apac Tix. 8pm, MES Theatre


Jason Mraz (Oct 27)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

It didn’t seem like too long ago when we were all swooning over Jason Mraz’s “Lucky” and wishing we all had that best friend who just so happens to also be your lover. But hey, four years on and the wordsmith is back to perform at the National Stadium; his only stop in Asia. On this tour, he’ll be performing singles off his latest record Know, like the optimistic “Have It All” and the recently released “Unlonely” that has us grooving in the office at midday. With Jason’s chill disposition and open mind (remember that one guy who shook his shaker and sang “Be Honest” in Taipei?), we can’t wait to see what spontaneous magic will happen this time around. Tickets are priced from $108 via Sports Hub Tix. 8pm, National Stadium

Mariah Carey (Nov 3)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

We’re loving all these powerhouses making their way to Singapore. After four years, the inimitable Mariah Carey is coming back for a special one-night concert. Everyone knows about her five-octave vocal range, and her usage of the whistle register. In recent years, she’s been heavily criticized for her bad live performances and her “waning” singing capabilities. But she squashed all that once and for all and redeemed herself at the previous Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest show, singing “Vision of Love” and “Hero” while donning a fabulous glittery gown and fur coat. A diva she might be, but she’s still human. Recently, the singer-songwriter came out and revealed in an interview that she’s been struggling with bipolar II disorder for more than 17 years. She added that she’s currently in therapy and on medication to treat her disorder, and feels “inspired” and “uplifted” by everyone’s support. Tickets are priced from $88-348 via Apac Tix. 8pm, The Star Theatre

It’s The Ship (Nov 4-7)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

The ting go skrrrrrrap, bap pap kak kak kak… that’s exactly how this year’s It’s The Ship is gonna go down when YouTube viral sensation-turned-rapper Big Shaq relieves David Hasselhoff of his duties as the appointed captain. Anyone who has an internet connection would’ve chanced upon his comedic nonsense rap “Man’s Not Hot”, which went ridiculously viral within days (and is now a recognizable meme). The vessel will be returning to Phuket, so you can expect a bunch of themed pop-up parties, a stopover on the beautiful island and huge names like trance producer Vini Vici, EDM biggies Cash Cash and Showtek, Dutch progressive and electro house producer Sander van Doorn, Grammy-award winning producer Paul Van Dyk, German trance outfit Cosmic Gate, the legendary Darude and so much more. Tickets are priced from $466 via Galactix. Depart from Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore

Khalid (Nov 6)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Photo credit: Taken from Khalid’s Facebook page

Only 20 years old, but Khalid has already been lauded in the music industry by fans and critics alike. This November, we’ll get a taste of his R&B and pop-soul magic when he performs in Singapore for his “American Teen Tour”. He was destined for greatness right off the bat. Growing up, he took up singing and musical theater in high school, and often wrote and created music during this time, posting them up on SoundCloud. He’s now earned numerous nominations including five Grammys, and snagged big awards like Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards and Top New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards. He’s also worked with some of the industry’s biggest like SZA, Martin Garrix and Ty Dolla $ign. Tickets are priced at $108 via Sistic. 8pm, Zepp @ Big Box

Charlie Puth (Nov 13)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

One of the most attractive things about Charlie Puth as an artist is his ability to connect with his fans; in a sense where he tries to be as real as possible. In an interview with Vulture, he notes that he was personally disappointed with his debut album because he felt that it was “someone else’s idea of who Charlie Puth should be”; which is why his sophomore record Voicenotes is way more personable. Lyrically, he writes about topics that have mass appeal, but combined with a delicious production that will make your head bop (we personally love the collab with Kehlani). He started out on YouTube, and only saw a meteoric rise to fame after co-writing, co-producing and performing “See You Again” with Wiz Khalifa, a tribute to the late Paul Walker for the Furious 7 soundtrack. Fun fact: Puth has perfect pitch, and graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a major in music production and engineering. Tickets are priced from $88 via LiveNation. The Star Theatre

Franz Ferdinand (Nov 21)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year

It has taken these Scottish indie rockers 12 excruciating years to return to Singapore, but hey, it was well-worth the wait right? These guys came out of Glasgow, Scotland in 2002, and were always noted as one of the most important bands to have revived post-punk back in the noughties. Their lineup has changed a little, with Nick McCarthy leaving two years ago to focus on family and Julian Corrie and Dino Bardot stepping up to complete the band’s current lineup, but they’re still as tight as ever. Fourteen years, and we’re still singing along to the super infectious “Take Me Out” as if the song just released. That record alone earned them the illustrious Mercury Music Prize in 2004, as well as two Brit Awards the year after for “Best British Group” and “Best British Rock Act”, two NME awards for “Best Album”, “Best Track” and “Best Live Band” and the MTV Video Music Award for Best Breakthrough Video for “Take Me Out”. They continued to blaze through the next decade of their music career, making jive-worthy hits like “Do You Want To”, “No You Girls” and “Evil Eye”, and releasing their fifth studio album, Always Ascending, last Feb, which was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Tickets are priced from $99 via Apac Tix. 8:30pm, Zepp @ Big Box

ZoukOut 2018 (Dec 1)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
ZoukOut 2017. Photo credit: Colossal Photos

It’s been five years since ZoukOut expanded to a two-day event of debauchery and music madness. But this year, they’re reverting to their previous format of providing just a full, but still massive 14-hour day of the best in electronic music. While details and the full lineup are still in the works, Zouk, which emerged at a glorious #3 on DJ Mag’s Topp 100 Clubs list this year, has announced that Belgian DJ and recording producing duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike will be headlining the event, alongside Dutch duo W&W. Stay tuned for more announcements. Tickets are priced at $148 via ZoukOut’s website. 6pm, Siloso Beach Resort

Elton John (somewhere in Nov-Dec 2019)

, 23 upcoming live gigs in Singapore to go for this year
Photo credit: David LaChapelle

Sure, this isn’t for this year but it’s definitely worth a mention. It’s always bittersweet when a music great announces they’ll be going on the road for their swan song. Sir Elton John announced in January that he’d be going on his, a 300-show world tour that will last about three years before fully focusing on his family. He’ll be making stops in Asia, including Singapore, somewhere in November or December next year. Tickets will be out on Nov 1 this year, so mark your calendars. More details to follow