Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, OneRepublic party hard with F1 crowd

Yearly night race morphs into party central after-race hours

Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, OneRepublic party hard with F1 crowd
Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, OneRepublic party hard with F1 crowd
18 Sep 2017

Ariana Grande, Calvin Harris, OneRepublic party hard with F1 crowd

Photos: Singapore GP via Getty Images

This year’s Singapore Grand Prix 2017 entertainment highlights features an array of local and international acts. The three-day bonanza saw F1 fans partying to homegrown musicians and singers like Aarika Lee & The Next Movement, THELIONCITYBOY and MiCapella, as well as main acts such as Calvin Harris, Ariana Grande, The Chainsmokers, OneRepublic, Duran Duran and Seal, just to name a few.

Read on for more!

OneRepublic
OneRepublic
18 Sep 2017

OneRepublic

Now that we think about it, The Chainsmokers’ and Calvin Harris’s 90-minute showcases at the Singapore Grand Prix 2017 were pretty much glorified, over-the-top DJ mixset, while OneRepublic and Ariana Grande’s gigs were a condensed version of what could easily have been extended into full-fledged concert tour stops.

We’re not saying that like it’s a bad thing, of course: it certainly didn’t stop the packed Padang of spectators to have any less of a blast (we certainly did), and all the international acts made full use of whatever time they had.

Kicking off the F1 festivities on Friday night was OneRepublic, who played to a 50,000-strong crowd. It was also a very special day for one of the band's members, Zach Filkins. He turned 39 on September 15, and frontman Ryan Tedder led the audience in singing a birthday song for Zach, who was also endlessly teased about his ever-boyish appearance.

The band took the time to banter with the crowd numerous times throughout the show, showering compliments on Singapore ("We love it here! I could actually see myself living in Singapore.") and promising the screaming crowd that the band is aiming to stay together for at least another decade. (Ed's note: The band was formed in 2002, but released their debut album Dreaming Out Loud in November 2007, which means that we're a few weeks shy of celebrating their 10th anniversary.)

One of the highlights of OneRepublic’s show, however, was when Ryan bought a very special fan a beer - back in August, he promised the crowd at their Vancouver show that he would buy a drink for whoever turned up at their Singapore gig - and one person actually followed through. This was apparently the first time that it ever happened, as the group expressed their surprise at this dedicated fan flying halfway around the world to watch them perform.

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Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande
18 Sep 2017

Ariana Grande

Unlike OneRepublic’s showcase, audience interaction for Ariana Grande’s gig on Day 2 was kept to a minimum. Aside from her occasional cries of “Singapore!”, all we recorded her saying was “Are you having fun tonight?” and “This next song I’m going to do is called ‘I Don’t Care,’ if you know it sing along”.

Not that it mattered to fans, who lapped up the chance to catch Ariana, who was sporting an uncharacteristically conservative outfit (at least early on in the show) and her signature ponytail, up close in action. After opening her show with ‘Be Alright,’ the 24-year-old spent the rest of her performance flaunting her extraordinarily powerful vocal chops (we’re still wondering how those pipes are stored in that 153cm-tall body) and unleashing popular crowd pleasers like ‘Love Me Harder’, ‘Into You’, ‘Dangerous Woman’ and ‘One Last Time’.

Like we mentioned earlier, Ariana managed to cram all the elements of a two- or three-hour stadium spectacle into her limited set, incorporating at least five outfit changes (we lost count after a while), matching the coloured lights to the mood or feel of the songs, and even employing props for herself and her backup dancers for ‘Side to Side’ (exercise bikes, as seen in the music video). Impressive. 

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Photos: Ariana Grande/Instagram

The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers
18 Sep 2017

The Chainsmokers

On the other hand, The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, who were up about an hour after Ariana, had plenty more things to shout to the congregation - although they weren’t always very, um, kid-friendly.

“If you’re ready to sing with us, wave your middle finger up in the air right now!” Alex commanded, and yes, we did see a sea of arms shoot up to comply with his unusual request. There was also swearing and some slightly off-colour remarks, but to be honest, we wouldn’t have expected anything less from the famously frat-boyish EDM duo.

And besides, everyone was there for the music, not to clutch their pearls. As basic and overplayed as some folks might accuse their tracks of being, it was hard to deny that they were able to drive the energy levels at the Padang to an inextinguishable high from start to finish, with the excitement peaking when more renowned favourites such as ‘Closer’, ‘Something Just Like This’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ came on.

Other than renditions of their own songs, The Chainsmokers also presented loads of remix medleys from behind the comfort of their equipment (which prompted our earlier DJ mixset remark), breathing new life into classics like Cascada’s ‘Everytime We Touch’ and Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. Even the Zulu chanting from the beginning of The Lion King’s ‘The Circle of Life’ was heard at one point.

One lofty wish we secretly harboured at the back of our heads that was not fulfilled - not that we had high hopes anyway - was for the twosome to give us a sneak peek at their upcoming collaboration with Korean boy group BTS. Alas, we’ll have to wait until 5pm today just like everybody else to find out.

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Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris
18 Sep 2017

Calvin Harris

Capping off the three-night festivities as the finale entertainment act on Day 3 was none other than Calvin Harris who, like The Chainsmokers, kept the 65,000-strong crowd jumping and moving on their feet by turning The Padang into an EDM (electronic dance music) party.

While fan interaction was kept to a minimum, the crowd cheered in unison and sang along each time a familiar tune played, from crowd-favourite ‘This Is What You Came For’ to the ever-popular ‘I Need Your Love’ and ‘Slide.’ In between his songs, the scottish DJ dropped plenty of sick beats and remixes to keep the party – which was spilling into the streets – going. Throw in a bunch of crazy laser lights and pyrotechnics and you’ve a winning combination for best rave party of 2017.

Loudest cheers of the night came when Calvin’s 2011 collaboration with Rihanna played. The crowd sang along to the chorus of ‘We Found Love’ while dancing to its throbbing beats – this was, after all, what they had come for.

Click on for more photos of the entertainment acts at Singapore Grand Prix 2017!

The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers
18 Sep 2017

The Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers
18 Sep 2017

The Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers
The Chainsmokers
18 Sep 2017

The Chainsmokers

Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris
18 Sep 2017

Calvin Harris

OneRepublic
OneRepublic
18 Sep 2017

OneRepublic

OneRepublic
OneRepublic
18 Sep 2017

OneRepublic

OneRepublic
OneRepublic
18 Sep 2017

OneRepublic

Seal
Seal
18 Sep 2017

Seal

Duran Duran
Duran Duran
18 Sep 2017

Duran Duran

Duran Duran
Duran Duran
18 Sep 2017

Duran Duran

Duran Duran
Duran Duran
18 Sep 2017

Duran Duran

Aarika Lee & The Next Movement
Aarika Lee & The Next Movement
18 Sep 2017

Aarika Lee & The Next Movement

George the Poet
George the Poet
18 Sep 2017

George the Poet

THELIONCITYBOY
THELIONCITYBOY
18 Sep 2017

THELIONCITYBOY

Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas
18 Sep 2017

Lianne La Havas

Micappella
Micappella
18 Sep 2017

Micappella

Sam Rui
Sam Rui
18 Sep 2017

Sam Rui

Vandetta
Vandetta
18 Sep 2017

Vandetta

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