September is shaping up to be a wonderful month of musical diversity. For the young at heart, there’s The Wanted. For Mando pop fans, there’s Jane Zhang and Aaron Kwok. Alternative rock band Yellowcard and Swedish pop sensation Robyn are also coming our way. With so many acts on the horizon, it was tough but I’ve narrowed down five hot picks for the month.
Pick Of The Month : Mystery Jets
Mystery Jets -- ‘Someone Purer’
British band Mystery Jets are playing their first show in Southeast Asia at the Hard Rock Café, Singapore. Formed in 2004, the band cites Pink Floyd, Hall & Oates and Syd Barrett as influences. Their sound is a hybrid of late ‘70s UK post punk, ‘60s pop sensibilities, psychedelic rock and ‘90s Brit pop. If you like The Kooks, who played a brilliant show at the Esplanade Concert Hall in July, chances are you’re gonna love Mystery Jets’ retro sounding rock `n’ roll too. Mystery Jets’ current tour is in support of their fifth and latest album, “Radlands”, was released just five months ago.
14 September, 10:30pm, Hard Rock Café, Singapore; tickets $60 (advance), $70 (at the door) from EventClique.com
Wonder Girls – ‘Like Money’ ft. Akon
I must admit that I’m not a big fan of K-Pop. Watching manufactured pop groups dance and sing in unison just isn’t my cup of tea. Having said that, there’s something about the Wonder Girls that makes them stand out from other K-Pop groups. These girls can really dance and they have strong infectious melodies to match their gorgeous good looks. Then there’s their super mega hit “Nobody”, that is ridiculously catchy and fun. The English version of “Nobody” entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2009, making them the first Korean group to do so. This will be the Wonder Girls’ first full solo gig in Singapore and is part of their highly-anticipated World Tour 2012.
8 September, 7pm, Resorts World Convention Centre, Compass Ballroom; tickets: $228, $188 from Sistic
Ingrid Michaelson – ‘Ghost’
Ingrid Michaelson is a talented indie singer-songwriter from New York with five studio albums to her name. Her 2005 debut, “Slow The Rain”, made little impact but the follow-up album in 2006, “Girls And Boys”, gave her the big break. A producer from the popular TV drama Grey's Anatomy heard her music and subsequently used her songs in 11 episodes. Ingrid’s latest album, “Human Again”, released earlier this year hit no. 5 on the Billboard album chart, her most successful to date. She writes beautiful songs and has a voice and style similar to Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap and Ani DiFranco all rolled into one. Ingrid’s star is rising so this is definitely a show not to be missed.
10 September, 9pm, Esplanade Concert Hall; tickets: $148, $128, $108, $88, $68 from Sistic
Survivor – ‘I Can't Hold Back’
If you grew up in the early ‘80s like I did, you will surely know Survivor. There was no escaping “Eye Of The Tiger”, their 1982 monster hit from the movie soundtrack of “Rocky III”. Survivor has had numerous line-up changes since forming in 1978. Lead singer Dave Bickler left the band in early 1984 and was replaced by Jimi Jamison. Survivor’s first album with Jimi proved to be their most successful, giving them huge hits like “The Search Is Over”, “I Can’t Hold Back” and “High On You”. Back then I thought they sounded too much like Journey. Still I would play air guitar and imagined me as a leather-clad rocker whenever their songs came on the radio. Jimi and the band are performing here for the first time. I’m getting all nostalgic and I’m sure Survivor will put on a great show and bring back fond memories from the 1980s.
15 September, 8pm, The MAX Pavilion @ Singapore Expo; tickets: $148, $128, $108, $88, $68 from Sistic
Joe Bonamassa -- ‘Driving Towards The Daylight’
Acclaimed blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa was just here in May 2011. I was blown away by his fluid and fiery guitar playing at that concert and am looking forward to watching him play tunes from his latest album, “Driving Towards The Daylight”, released a few months ago. The 35-year-old American guitarist is widely considered one of the best blues rock guitarists of his generation. Don’t take my word for it. Go catch this incredible musician who has played with guitar legends such as B.B. King and Eric Clapton. You’ll be up on your feet before the end of the concert.
17 September, 7:30pm, Esplanade Concert Hall; tickets: $125, $105, $85 from SISTIC
Forever young at heart, Patrick Chng loves going to gigs and checking out Singapore bands. He has also been playing in bands since the late 1980s, writing about music and being an important mover and shaker in the Singapore indie music scene. When he's not checking out or playing gigs, he's at home playing with his guitars and updating his Facebook.