If your evenings mostly consist of tapping your feet, clapping to the beat and enjoying live performances at Singapore's top music venues, you're in for a treat. This year's concert lineup is looking mega with plenty of mainstream, underground, and downright nostalgic acts to catch. Here are the hottest upcoming music festivals, headline concerts and intimate gigs we're snapping up tickets for.
Take a walk down memory lane with the former lead singer of one of the biggest bands in the 80s. Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley is returning to our shores to belt out classics like True and Gold, as well as tracks off his new solo album Talking to the Moon. Stick around as he surprises audiences with some of his personal favourites at The Theatre at Mediacorp.
The temperature is about to hit 98-degrees as the 90s heartthrobs perform in Singapore for the very first time. Fangirl and swoon over Nick and Drew Lachey, Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre as they reunite to deliver all their greatest hits such as Because Of You, My Everything and The Way You Want Me To.
Internationally renowned Korean contemporary pianist-composer Yiruma returns to Singapore following the overwhelming success of his previous tours. With music featured in Hollywood blockbusters and hit Korean dramas, Yiruma has been widely regarded as one of the most successful classical artists in the world. Witness him perform a medley of mesmerising pieces – from his signature classics like River Flows in You to his latest hits like Frame.
Taking on a global tour, Japanese rock band AliA are heading to the Lion City to turn the heat up with tracks off their mini-albums AliVe and realize. Besides some hard-hitting tracks, the six-piece are set to showcase their versatility with a wide range of styles à la the up-tempo songs like Impulse and Limit to mellower stuff like Voice.
Be one with nature and dance within Fort Canning as Garden Beats returns with an even greener twist featuring eco-conscious brands and environmentally friendly initiatives as part of its programme. The entire experience is further elevated with performing, visual and interactive arts soundtracked by an eclectic line-up of international and local acts including indie-rock stalwarts Foals, and mystical house hero Blond:ish.
Drum roll, please – wrapping up the year of February is multi-percussionist Martin Grubinger who is performing Tan Dun's percussion concerto The Tears of Nature. The work was specially created for the percussionist, which uses elements of nature to illustrate the rich percussion sounds. The Singapore Symphony Orchestra and American conductor Robert Spano are also taking the stage to pay tribute to the late British composer and conductor Oliver Knussen with his work The Way to Castle Yonder. The music affair then culminates with Rachmaninoff's soulful Third Symphony.
Since his debut album Bright Size Life, twenty-time Grammy Award winner Pat Metheny has been credited for reinventing the jazz guitar sound for a new generation of musicians. He is famed for his versatility, which creates a deeply emotive style inhabiting a multitude of musical worlds. Joining him on stage is his longtime drummer Antonio Sanchez, the man behind the film score for Birdman, and two young leaders in the New York City and London jazz scenes: Malaysian-Australian bassist Linda May Han Oh and British pianist Gwilym Simcock.
After a sold-out soulful show in Singapore two years ago, the emotive Bruno Major returns with new tracks Old Fashioned, Nothing and Tapestry off his upcoming album. The London-based singer-songwriter first burst into the scene with his debut album A Song for Every Moon which single Easily earned him over 10 million plays on Spotify. He then went on to land a spot on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and opened for Sam Smith at multiple sold-out shows in the UK.
Lace up your dancing shoes and feel the rhythm as London five-piece Ezra Collective brings a new wave of UK jazz to our shores. The group cleverly marries the delicate technicalities of jazz with afrobeat and hip-hop, birthing a hybrid of sounds that best captures their multicultural hometown. Expect a dynamic live show at 222 Arts Club complete with instrumentals that are commanding yet sensitive, soulful and most definitely, groove-laced.
Rising star Omar Apollo makes his Singapore debut this March. The psychedelically soulful singer-songwriter's discography sees a brilliant mix of jazz, R&B, funk, alternative, soul, and pop music, which draws influences from the likes of James Blake, The Internet, and Sly and the Family Stone. He broke into the music scene in 2017 with the release of his song Ugotme. With consecutive sell-out headline tours throughout North America, his Singapore debut is one for the books.
Not just for the dads – get ready to rock your socks off as the legendary Scorpions and Whitesnake dominate the stage at Fort Canning Park as part of Singapore Rockfest. The German rock band Scorpions are known for the explosive hit Rock You Like A Hurricane, and the enthralling Wind Of Change which ultimately became the theme song for the Iron Curtain's final fall. Formed by Deep Purple's former frontman David Coverdale, English hard-rock band Whitesnake, on the other hand, are known for their iconic single Here I Go Again. Both bands are set to perform their full sets, so prepare to feel the sting and fist pump to this legendary rock music experience.
Follow the tale of a haunted musical instrument à la the classic 1998 film The Red Violin with the multi-Grammy Award-nominated Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint. Together with John Corigliano's Oscar-winning soundtrack, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's (SSO) principal guest conductor Andrew Litton is also juxtaposing Bernstein’s vibrant Candide Overture with the intensity of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony on stage.
Fresh off her stellar debut album Shea Butter Baby, Ari Lennox is heading our way for her very first Singapore show at 222 Arts Club. Since 2015, the neo-soul singer-songwriter has been part of J. Cole's Dreamville roster, even opening for him during the rapper's extensive tour in 2017. Now she's making waves with her own tour in support of her debut album which includes hit singles BMO, Whipped Cream, and of course, Shea Butter Baby. With sold-out shows and raving reviews, it's clear that the R&B star is en route to the top.
Fill your evening with the ethereal sounds of Welsh singer-songwriter Novo Amor (aka Ali Lacey). Let the multi-instrumentalist lead you through his captivating soulful soundscapes laced with his airy falsetto and magnetic compositions backed by a full band of strings, keys, guitars and drums.
Since his successful debut showcase in 2018, R&B wunderkind Khalid returns with his sophomore album Free Spirit which includes the single Up All Night. If it's anything like his last show, expect an electrifying night complete with his signature infectious, soul-laced pop anthems. Nothing like working up a sweat swaying and dancing to this young El Paso breakout's euphoric beats, captivating melodies and hypnotising vocals.
Hailing from South Korea, indie band Adoy is back with more lo-fi beats, smooth vocals, and lyrics that'll have you reminiscing your salad days. This time they're showcasing tracks fresh off their debut full-length album Vivid, but not without familiar hits such as Wonder, Grace, and more.
We're not going to wake you up when September ends to deliver this PSA: Green Day are making a return as part of the Hella Mega Tour. Fronted by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, the American punk-rock heroes – including bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool – skyrocketed to fame with chart-topping headbangers like Basket Case, When I Come Around, Geek Stink Breath, and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) which spawned attention-grabbing music videos that were on heavy rotation on MTV in the 90s.
The ARIA Award-winning teen music prodigy is taking the Singapore stage once again to showcase tracks off his recent EP, Free Time. But that's not all – catch the emerging Australian star flex his singing-songwriting chops with a setlist of soulful, contemporary R&B tunes including previous standout singles Don't Tell Me, Dazed & Confused, Younger and Not Thinkin' Bout You that will turn anyone into an instant fan. Did we mention that the legendary Elton John is a massive supporter?
Get roped into the genre-bending, dreamy sounds of Raveena. The R&B darling is set to perform at 222 Arts Club in support of her debut full-length release Lucid which taps into her "hard experiences". Let the up-and-coming artist guide you through a sonic ride of healing and self-expression at her live show.
Catch the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's (SSO) principal horn Han Chang Chou one last time before he bids farewell this season. The SSO is marking the occasion with Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 2 which is sandwiched between two works inspired by Moliére's 1670 satire Le Bourgeois gentilhomme of a middle-class man with the desire to rise to the aristocracy.
Indie-folk singer-songwriter Ichiko Aoba lands at the Esplanade Recital Studio as part of the Mosaic Music Series. A reputable classical guitar player known for intricate compositions, she has six solo albums and multiple collabs to her name. Supporting her are local group aspidistrafly, whose ambient folk tunes celebrate beauty in the mundane.
Time to get in The Middle of the crowd as Arizona's emo-core combo makes their highly-anticipated return in support of their latest album, Surviving. More than twenty years in the biz, expect nothing short of the same level of poppy, alt-punk pathos they have been dishing out since the late-nighties/early-noughties.
Pack your picnic basket and BYOB (bring your own blanket) to Gardens by the Bay for a unique sonic experience under the stars. Eliminating the clichés of traditional orchestral performances, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra is taking its string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments from the concert halls to the great outdoors. Led by Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang, the SSO is set to serenade you with its renditions of classical favourites.
The reigning king of grime is donning the Crown and Vossi Bopping his way to Singapore on March 21. The multi-award-winning lyrical titan is set to spit some serious bars from his five-year discography including hits such as Big For Your Boots, Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2 and recently, Own It featuring Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy.
Start memorising the lyrics to Take On Me (unless you've already known it by heart) – one of the biggest bands to ever emerge in the 80s is finally performing in Singapore for the very first time. The Lion City marks the Norwegian super-band a-ha's only Southeast Asia stopover. The highly-anticipated concert also comes complete with an 80s throwback party, 80s-themed activities and a beer garden with an assortment of specially curated food and beverage.
Modern music's maximalist showman Yungblud is hogging the mic with his rebel-minded, hip-hop-infused, rock and rollers this March. Hold on tight as the young Yorkshire-born, London-based bold artist takes on the stage with an explosive blend of fiery hits and raw energy – in his signature guyliner and punk ensemble, no less.
Having played plenty of sold-out shows across Asia and North America, Hyukoh makes their return to Singapore this March. The South Korean indie outfit shot to fame with their surf rock-inflected song, Comes and Goes. The infectious track dominated the K-pop charts for weeks after its release and successfully dethroned singles by K-pop powerhouses like Girls Generation and Big Bang.
Mask on – the Grammy award-winning metal heavyweights Slipknot are bringing their highly-anticipated tour to our shores as part of the Singapore Rockfest II. Birthed from the nu-metal explosion of the late 90s to early 2000s, Slipknot quickly rose to the top with their smashing single Wait and Bleed. Get ready to rock on as they take their latest studio release We Are Not Your Kind to Fort Canning Park.
Mosh to your heart's content – Italian alt-metal outfit Lacuna Coil rocks out as part of the Singapore Rockfest II The Afterfest Pary this March. Always pushing the envelope, the band shakes things up yet again with their new album Black Anima. Similar to the effects of Comalies, Shallow Life, and of course, the chart-topping Delirium, Black Anima ups the ante this time with an expansion of their signature hard-hitting sound.
Slow things down with the soothing sounds of indie-folk singer-songwriter Tom Walker. After his intimate showcase last year, the Scottish-born, Manchester-bred emotive artist is gigging it out full-time at the *Scape Ground Theatre as part of his What A Time To Be Alive tour. Sing your heart our to his breakout hit Leave A Light On, as well as the new acoustic-driven single Better Half Of Me, and acknowledge those feels.
Denmark's pop sensation Christopher is finally taking the Esplanade stage for his Singapore debut. Since his breakout in 2011 with Against the Odds, the Danish popstar has been churning out hit after hit. Four albums and 17 singles later, he has become one of the biggest-selling artists from Denmark, scoring seven number-one singles and selling out shows in Asia and Europe.
The answer to Singapore's growing appetite for new music experiences, Hydeout is the region's first multi-genre music festival to shake up the scene by packing as much uncurbed fun, global sounds and eye-catching art in one massive space. Headliners include self-proclaimed 'Trap God' Gucci Mane, dance music hero DJ Snake, suave hip-hop trailblazer A$AP Rocky, beach-blonde R&B-pop starlet Rita Ora, Aussie spinner Alison Wonderland, reggaeton hitmaker J Balvin, hardstyle duo Yellow Claw, EDM's poster boy Martin Garrix, and progressive house star Nicky Romero.
Celebrate the golden age of music – specifically, the Baroque era – with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra across two days. Led by the leader of the famous Academy of Ancient Music, Bojan Cicic, the ensemble is set to perform works by familiar names including Vivaldi and Corelli, as well as underrated maestros such as Locatelli and Colista.
Get stoked – Rex Orange County (aka Alex O'Connor) is making a pitstop in Singapore to promote his highly-anticipated new album Pony which has received widespread critical acclaim. The Brit multi-instrumentalist's unique blend of hip-hop, jazz and electronica has managed to capture the imaginations of many, making his debut live performance in Singapore an absolute must-see.
Be part of a festival experience that celebrates the best things in life – health, wellness, food, music and community. Sink your feet into the sand for musical performances by local musicians and the international headliners from the Emerald Isle, Two Door Cinema Club on May 30.