Venue: The Padang, Singapore
Date: 23rd September 2013
Promoter: Singapore GP Pte Ltd
Review by: Nate Eileen Tjoeng
Special Thanks: The Singapore GP Pte. Ltd team
Photos by Alvin Ho: Owl City | Justin Bieber | SGP 2013 Album
If there’s one thing I’ve taken away after listening to Owl City’s music, it’s the knowledge that I can potentially be in a better mood after hearing them. That’s not a bad thing at all isn’t it? That’s like sending free endorphins to your brain.
This is especially true if you watch them at their concert. Their sound may not resonate well with naysayers because their music is all about feeling good and being happy. Get the point?
Perhaps it was the good evening weather, perhaps it was the excellent sound system, but the music and Adam Young’s high-spirited demeanour was certainly a huge element in making the concert a feel-good one.
Even though I can confidently assume that more than half of the audience was made up of Justin Bieber fans, they were a spotting bunch as they waved along to Adam’s requests and cheered loudly when he said, “What do I like about Singapore? Everything.”
‘Hoot Owl’ friends would have connected to social media to rave about the experience. Owl City has its very own app for fans to get the latest updates on their tours and even buy their tracks there. They would have also been busy hash-tagging #owlcity on Twitter and Instagram, as encouraged by Owl City on their website.
His touring band is made up of Breanne Duren on keyboards and backing vocals, Daniel Jorgensen on guitar, bass and vibraphone, Jesper Nephew on guitar and Steve Gould on drums. The energetic bunch entertained the crowd with a couple of fresh moments, such as using a violin bow to play the electric guitar and having two people at the drums at one time.
The band spread their set list evenly, from newer hits such as Metropolis and Shooting Star, to radio familiar tunes such as Fireflies and Good Time. Even though Carly Rae Japsen was not around, Breanne made it sound like nothing was amiss. There might only be one reason why fans could have felt disappointed. They might have expected to hear some songs acoustic, since they are now promoting the Midsummer Acoustic EP in stores. A rendition of Good Time played acoustically would have been fresh, but Adam Young was almost constantly with his electric guitar, except for times he focused just on singing.
On the whole, Beliebers were treated to a hearty and jovial kickstart for the evening, and Owl City fans must have been thrilled nonetheless since its their very first time here in Singapore. When Adam Young said, “Singapore, I am crazy about you,” there were probably wide grins all around the field.
That’s your happy drug kids. The next time you need a mood boost, you’d know what to do. After all, Adam Young says it’s all a good time.
These facts are not astounding at all. Facts such as over 12,000 tickets were sold; 80% of the audience was made up of girls; and it felt like a preschool playground because many of the girls there looked like they are only 12 years old. It also unfazed me that their parents tagged along, and looked as excited as their kids were.
The place was packed up early, because Owl City opened for Justin Bieber. Not that there are many Owl City fans I suspect, but because these smarties knew the importance of marking their spot early. The blazing afternoon heat did not deter them, as many of them entered at 4pm, as soon as gates were open. The fans were so resolute about standing their ground even though many of them looked like they were going to pass out from the heat.
It was only towards nightfall at 8.15pm, did their anticipation come to fruition. Justin Bieber’s crew flashed a countdown clock of 10 minutes, urging the hardcore fans to cheer at the reduction of every minute. When the clock struck zero, a video appeared on screen to introduce the evening. It featured an African-American who broadcasted the message – Believe – the title of his latest album.
The screams and roars filled the air when a silhouette revealed itself to be Justin Bieber himself. He eventually sauntered down the stage in his white singlet and pants, with his shades on, and fringe propped up.
The night began when he announced, “Singapore let’s go!” and started with “All Around The World”. He was always flanked by his dancers, and all his moves were in sync with them. This goes to show that he must have spent quite a fair bit of time rehearsing them.
The stage was specious and wide enough to accommodate a dual deck, with his band and DJ on top, and himself and his dancers moving up and down, even onto the cross-shaped stage extension that allowed the crowd to get a closer look at him.
His performance was interjected with videos of his story. One showed clips of when he was still a child, a toddler, and his prepubescent days and the other showed him in a suit, running away from bad mafias, just like in an MTV video.
Justin was of course, the centre of attraction, whether onscreen or onstage. His dance moves revealed bits of Usher in his influences and his voice sounded immaculate. A lot of effects must have gone into delivering his vocals, because most of the time he sounded surreal, even when he spoke. At times, he sounded drowned out by the music. Because he was mostly busy showing off a few moves, he could have been mistaken for lip-synching some songs. We only knew his microphone was really turned on when he panted heavily into it after each track.
He delivered lesser known pieces such as “Take You” and “Fall”, amongst other distinct tunes such as “Never Say Never”, “Beauty And The Beat”, and “As Long As You Love Me”. Nicki Minaj appeared onscreen during her part for “Beauty And The Beat”, to give her credit for being part of the song, just like watching a music video.
Even though he was the key figure, he was careful not to neglect his stage mates. During the middle of the set, he let his tour DJ, Taylor James, spin a Swedish House Mafia piece for a few minutes. He also did two acoustic pieces with Dan Kanter, his guitarist.
What surprised the audience was when he was handled an acoustic guitar for the second song, which he performed on, revealing that he is actually a left-handed guitarist. During other songs Justin flaunted his skills on other instruments – the piano and the drums, winning even more hearts amongst his already crazy fans.
Justin lived up to his heartthrob image as he constantly teased the ladies in the crowd with his frequent dedications to ‘pretty girls’ and addressing them in his speeches. During his song “One Less Lonely Girl”, he even brought a girl named Jasmine on stage and serenaded her while she was sitting down. Everyone could tell she was saying, “Oh my God, oh my God,” during her disbelief with what was happening, and hearts were broken all over the field when Justin hugged her from behind.
It is no wonder why all the girls are crazy about him. He knows how to win them over with his sincerity, his sleek moves and the way he talks to them. Don’t be surprised that the moms of those girls are fans, too.