Concert review: All About That Bass star Meghan Trainor needs work as a live entertainer

For a singer-songwriter who puts out songs filled with sass and spice, Meghan Trainor's first outing in Singapore, at The Coliseum on Thursday, was mostly plain vanilla, dusted with sprinkles.

It seemed as if the 21-year-old Massachusetts-native turned to a rulebook, How To Put On Your First Concert 101: Raise cheers by telling the crowd that they are awesome. Score points by making much eye-contact and waving to eager, screaming pre-teens. Conduct sing-alongs at well-timed spots.

Having been shoved into the spotlight barely a year ago, following the explosion of All About That Bass - it was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks - Trainor is clearly still a little rough around the edges when it comes to owning the stage on her first headlining tour.

The 15-song, hour-long set, which included two encore songs, were so rehearsed to a T that the performance was tight.

Trainor barrelled through the concert on schedule, but it left her no time to go off script and get personal with the audience. Sometimes, there were short, silent spurts when Trainor turned to her band mates for the next cue, as the five-piece band changed instruments or got ready for the next song. More seasoned performers would have bantered with the crowd to ease the transition.

When she brought on a 13-year-old as a special treat to celebrate her birthday, the fan interaction segment felt obligatory. After Trainor put a crown on the girl, paraded her across the stage, and serenaded her with a few lines of her song Queen, the fan was shipped off stage.

Where she lacked as a live entertainer, she made up for it as a singer. She was on point with her vocals, holding her own despite being accompanied by two backup singers.

Her best came with the performance of Title, the eponymous track on her first studio album. Holding a silver glitter ukulele, and accompanied only by her guitarist, Trainor was heartfelt in the pared-down rendition of the song about demanding to be acknowledged as someone's girlfriend.

That 1950s vibe of the doo-wop girls got an update on Credit, when Trainor, accompanied by her singers and dancers, paired the song's harmonised vocals with synchronised moves.

On uptempo tracks such as Dear Future Husband and Walkashame, she shimmied and shook, proving that though "it's pretty clear, (she) ain't no size two", the girl can bust a move.

Trainor isn't on the level of Taylor Swift or One Direction yet - popstars so big, they take charge of stadiums, not small intimate venues like The Coliseum. Swift drew 8,000 fans at her concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last year, while the boyband performed for 33,000 people at the National Stadium last month.

But with the sustained cheering and screams from her Megatrons fans on Thursday, Trainor can forget, for now, that she has not reached the big league yet.

She might get there. Her songs about love and treating oneself well are relatable, not to mention infectiously catchy.

Even dads who were chaperoning their tweens and hapless boyfriends who were dragged along to the show were happily grooving to the ear-worm tunes. Of course the show's finale song, All About That Bass, complete with canon-blasted confetti, got everyone moving.

With a tour schedule that runs for a few more months, perhaps Trainor will get practice at being a performer.

Maybe then, she will be more than just all about that song.

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