Singapore

Musical acts get crowd roaring

We round up the best moments from our favourite acts at this year's F1 concerts

Between the revving of engines during the Singapore Grand Prix Formula 1 races over the weekend, fans enjoyed a host of music performances by Queen + Adam Lambert, Kylie Minogue, Imagine Dragons, Halsey, Pentatonix, Bastille and KC and the Sunshine Band.

QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT

Playing in Singapore for the first time at the Padang stage on Saturday night, British rock band Queen and new lead singer American Idol finalist Adam Lambert produced a killer show that sent chills down this reporter's spine.

From the dizzying highs of fast-paced rock anthem Don't Stop Me Now to the depths of despair for The Show Must Go On, about late frontman Freddie Mercury's struggle with AIDS, Queen and Lambert played havoc with the audience's emotions throughout the night.

The ecstatic crowd of 55,000 included a mix of fans of all ages, such as 45-year-old lecturer Faris Salahudeen, his wife Aida, and daughters Hana, seven, and Maya, 13.

"My wife and I are Queen fans and our kids love Adam Lambert," Mr Faris told The New Paper.

"Our favourite moments of the night were Brian May's amazing guitar solo, and the father-son drum battle between Roger and Rufus Taylor.

"My kids had not heard some of Queen's songs, but we were still dancing and singing away."

Early into their set, Lambert addressed the elephant in the room, asking the audience, "Do you guys miss Freddie Mercury?", leading them to chant Mercury's name enthusiastically.

Flamboyant and flirtatious, Lambert stepped into Mercury's high-heeled boots with ease.

During Killer Queen, he strutted on stage, took a dramatic sip from a golden chalice, and spewed water like a trained dolphin onto the delighted audience.

Programming executive Sabrina Abu Bakar, who watched Lambert's concerts at last year's F1 and at Mediacorp's Celebrate 2016 New Year's Eve countdown show, thought that his gig with Queen was his best yet.

"Adam is still himself. I don't think he sounded like Freddie," Ms Sabrina, 37, told TNP. "He created his own style on stage."

She added: "No one can replace Freddie Mercury, but Adam did justice to his songs and brought back memories from the 1980s and 1990s."

Queen lovingly paid tribute to their missing member, playing footage of Mercury performing Love of My Life and rock opus Bohemian Rhapsody.

Though Mercury's "presence" haunted the show, the night belonged to Queen's surviving members and the charismatic Lambert.

May tickled the audience when he pulled out a camera on a selfie stick and panned the camera across the crowd so their faces and his were broadcast live on screen.

Lambert also stirred up the crowd when he went off-stage to interact with lucky fans in front.

By the time the show closed with encore songs We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, we were high from the riot of colourful laser lights, showers of golden confetti, and epic guitar riffs accompanying Lambert's soaring vocals.

IMAGINE DRAGONS

Not long after Nico Rosberg lifted the trophy last night, fans rushed to the Padang stage, where US rock band Imagine Dragons kick-started the show with their US Billboard Hot 100 track, Shots, from their latest album Smoke + Mirrors.

The four-piece band entertained the extremely-packed Padang with 19 songs, including hits like It's Time and On Top Of The World.

Lead vocalist Dan Reynolds greeted the fans by asking them to "forget about work, forget about school and forget everything that makes you stressed".

The band mixed old songs, when they slowed things down with a surprise cover of Alphaville's Forever Young, with the newer hits as the crowd went wild to the band's original Radioactive just before closing the show.

"It made the hairs on my arms stand," said Geylang International defender Muhammad Al-Qaasimy, 24, who attended the concert with fellow teammates and other friends.

"I watched their concert last year and was impressed then and I guess nothing has changed since because they are just as spectacular," he added.

"I couldn't think of a better way to close the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix."

HALSEY

The energy on the main Race Day soared even higher when US singer-songwriter Halsey left the crowd at the Padang in awe at her impressive vocals.

The 21-year-old, whose real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, showed off her extensive range throughout the 45-minute show to which the fans responded with screams. At one point, they shone their mobile phone flashlights as they swayed to her single Drive.

Clad in a flowery yellow romper and knee-high white boots, Halsey took the stage at about 6.45pm and performed 11 songs including hit singles Closer.

"Singapore, it's an honour," she told the crowd, who had gathered at the open field in front of the National Gallery Singapore before the main race event last night.

"It's my very first show in Singapore and the last for the Badlands Tour," she added.

The Badlands Tour, which kicked off in September last year, is Halsey's first headlining tour.

After the show, one fan told TNP that she had never been "more wonderstruck before".

Miss Nora Fadilah, 26, said: "She's amazing. I cannot believe that big voice came from such a tiny frame."

Miss Nora, who attended the show with her best friend, added: "After this crazy show, I'm going to start following her more closely, that's for sure."

PHOTO: FACEBOOK/PENTATONIX

PENTATONIX

Texan a cappella group Pentatonix also kept fans happy with their mix of original tunes like Can't Sleep Love and covers like Lady Gaga's Telephone and Ride by Twenty One Pilots.

Sales executive Angela Su, 22, was first in line for their Esplanade Outdoor Theatre gig on Saturday night.

She queued from 12.50pm for a front seat to the show, which began seven hours later, at around 8pm.

"It was worth it as they were great," she said. "They're so talented and creative and they bring a cappella to a whole new level."

The highlight of the set was Pentatonix's mashup of songs from electronica duo Daft Punk, which won them a Best Arrangement Grammy award last year and has over 200 million YouTube views.

Miss Su said: "It's really commendable to make such crazy arrangements and recreate EDM (eletronic dance music) with just five mouths.

"On top of that, they are the most humble and genuine celebrities I've seen."

Pentatonix are no strangers to Singapore, having performed here last year and in 2014.

They chatted warmly to the crowd and even got them to sing Happy Birthday to member Scott Hoying, who turned 25 on Sept 17.


It made the hairs on my arms stand... I couldn't think of a better way to close the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix.

- Imagine Dragons fan and Geylang International footballer Muhammad Al-Qaasimy on the band's performance

No one can replace Freddie Mercury, but Adam did justice to his songs and brought back memories from the 1980s and 1990s.

- Adam Lambert fan Sabrina Abu Bakar

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