Mark your calendars for the hottest new events of the next few months.
You know you’re suffering from a case of same o same o when you're scanning the Sistic website and can't find anything that excites you. It doesn’t help that there are now so many events happening here, so filtering the good from the mediocre isn't easy. So what’s really worth your time? The list we've assembled here features huge stars, awesome new concepts and more than a few surprises. We've also thrown in some self-serving recommendations of where to find the best events coverage in town. Just remember—these debutantes are a big deal, so you'll want to book early.
Zouk Indie Triple Bill
It’s been a while since our friends at Zouk organized live concerts at their venue (previous acts who performed there include Peaches, Chicks on Speed, The Radio Dept. and Mono), so we were excited to hear that they are bringing back their live music series with the launch of their first triple bill, which will have Icelandic band Mum performing (for the first time here) their brand of ethereal electronica alongside up-and-coming local bands Wavves and Shelves, who will open for them. Those who missed fellow Icelanders Sigur Ros’ gig a couple of months back have a chance to redeem themselves at this one.
Jun 15, Zouk.
Any hipster worth their skinny jeans knows The xx, but those who really know their music can testify that the group’s brand of moody electronics and hushed vocals hark back to the best of the shoegazing sounds from the ‘90s. Although the threesome performed here previously in 2010 to mark the launch of their acclaimed debut album xx (supporting Florence + The Machine) with a short-ish 45-minute set, their upcoming solo gig will have them perform a full set of tunes from their acclaimed last two albums (including the more recent Coexist).
Aug 2, The Star Performing Arts Center.
Pet Shop Boys
The last time these guys were here for SingFest in 2007, the crowd had so much fun dancing to their retro ‘80s tunes that the rest of the acts in the line-up (Cobra Starship, The Noisettes) seemed out of place. Part of their travelling Electronic tour (the album of the same name will be released in June), expect to see kitschy costumes and a fantastic multi-media backdrop that will rival even that of Kraftwerk’s 3D concert here last month. Yes, Neil (Tennant) and Chris (Lowe) will be dishing out newer tunes from their upcoming album, but expect the crowd to go wild when they play classics like “Rent”, “Heart” and “Domino Dancing” instead. That’s when we’ll be getting our glo-sticks ready (and you should, too).
Aug 3, Resorts World Convention Centre™, Compass Ballroom.
1 World Music Festival
Finally, something truly new for F1. Music gig inside the circuit tend to be disappointingly short and horribly crowded (let's hope The Killers prove us wrong), making this the to-go-to gig during the race. This two-day music fest to be held at the Marina Barrage (also a first) will feature international acts like Tinie Tempah and Iggy Azalea performing, while DJ acts include names like Orbital and Miguel Migs. "You’ll feel as though you’re in the eye of a hurricane, and the electric feeling generated from the stage will ripple through the crowd,” says Mark Rafter of organizers Retfar Entertainment (we think that's meant to be a good thing). Rumor has it that the celebrity-designer Jeremy Scott and DJ-partygoer Samantha Ronson will also drop by for the festival, so it's definitely one for the diaries.
Sep 20-21, Marina Barrage.
When The Killers were announced to headline the F1 2013 concert at the Padang earlier this year, we were excited but apprehensive (they cancelled on us in 2010). Vocalist Brandon Flowers reunites with the rest of the team (after embarking on a semi-successful solo career) to promote their latest album Battle Born, although don’t be surprised if they serve up old favorites like “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me” along the way.
Sep 21, The Padang.
When you pit two feisty and rebellious characters with a cool old-school soundtrack featuring tunes like The Ronette’s “By My Baby” and Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes", nostalgia can only be a good thing. Sure the film version has pretty much reached cult status, but seeing the show live on stage takes it to a whole new level. Relive the story of Baby and her affair with dance instructor Johnny Castle in this timeless tale of youth, love and revolt.
May 24 - Jun 16, Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
One Man Lord of the Rings / The Lord of the Rings—The Fellowship of the Ring
The first of two unofficial* double bills (next up, Shakespeare, see opposite), these two shows promise to be a good use of your "precious" time. The first is the critically-acclaimed one-man stand-up comedy show by Charles Ross, whose hilarious spin on the series will amuse both fans and non-fans alike, while the latter is a live projection screening of the movie with live orchestral accompaniment by Howard Shore.
* Unofficial because they're completely unconnected and we've just grouped them together for the sake of a story.
Jun 18-23, DBS Arts Centre and Jun 6-8, The Star Theatre
Alfian Sa’at—In the Spotlight
Fans of the prolific playwright will not want to miss this triple bill of two rare works and one new one. "The Optic Trilogy" (a meditation on love and loss) gets a fresh new cast featuring Janice Koh and Brendon Fernandez, while "Dreamplay: Asian Boys Vol. 1" is a modern gay fantasia set in a fictional world filled with lots of topless boys and a couple of naughty “angels”. The new work "Cook a Pot of Curry" promises to be an outspoken take on migration and the changing demographics of Singapore.
Jul 3-20, The Singapore Airlines Theatre, LASALLE College of the Arts.
The Addams Family
More nostalgia in the form of this hilarious and dark musical based on the popular film series. This time round, Morticia, Gomez, Lurch and the rest of the family members are yet again up to no good (but with the best of intentions, of course) as they get sucked into the trappings of modern living.
Jul 9-28, Festive Grand™ Theatre, Resorts World® Sentosa.
The Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare / Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
If SRT's Shakespeare in the Park series got you all hot under the ruffled collar, then you'll want to book these now. First up, none other than the Globe Theatre are in town, with a completely new take on the classic tale of sisterly rivalry played out by an all-female cast (settle down, boys). That's followed by a hilarious take on at least 37 plays summarizing all the tragedy, romance and comedy that the Bard is most famous for.
Oct 2-13, Fort Canning Park.
Films at the Fort
We love outdoor film screenings (the recent Art-in-Film Festival at Dusk held at Tanjong Beach Club was one of the freshest we’ve been to), so we’re certainly looking forward to this one, from the folks who put on the Green Corridor Run earlier this year. And what a perfect setting for a movie! Not only will you get the chance to see quality films like the nevver-before-screened documentary Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 about the Bond franchise, you can also catch Oscar-nominated The Intouchables and the Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook if you missed them on the regular cinema circuit. The festival will also present short films by local directors prior to the screening of the feature length films. Plus, there will be lots of gourmet food and wine to go around, and a dedicated Champagne bar if you feel like making the occasion one to remember.
Aug 22-25, Fort Canning Green.
World Street Food Congress
Think you've seen it all in the foodie scene? You're still in for an unusual experience as street food hawkers from all over the world clean up their acts and convene here to wax lyrical about the artisanal merits of their craft and how to best professionalize the industry for better recognition of their work. Before this get-together of cheap eats enthusiasts takes off internationally—organizer Carol Anne Wah hopes to hold it in "San Francisco, Mexico or even Israel" one day—food culture nerds had best get in line for this year's inaugural edition.
May 31-Jun 9, F1 Pit Building & Paddock.
Not only will this much-anticipated exhibition feature some of celebrated couple Charles and Ray Eames’ celebrated chair designs, it will also trace their personal life with a showing of Ray’s intimate drawings for the first time ever, as well as contextual display of a case study house for a more interactive experience and a Powers of Ten film screening, a little seen gem directed by the duo tracing the origins of the universe. Promises to be the most cohesive and complete art exhibitions here after Warhol’s 15 Minutes Eternal at the Art Science Museum in 2011.
Jun 29-Jan 5, 2013, Art Science Museum.
Mountain Bike Carnival
Missed OCBC Cycle but want to show off your pedaling chops beyond fixed gear? Sate your taste for terrain at the city’s first and biggest mountain biking event. Aside from the standard eight-hour Enduro marathon conducted on fireroads, there are likely to be other activities, including an exhilarating night race—just try overtaking en masse in that.
Aug 25, TBC.