Formula One 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix

Veteran rock stars show their chops

Brandon Flowers (above) of American band The Killers and British singer and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher (left) at their gigs over the weekend.
Brandon Flowers (above) of American band The Killers and British singer and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher at their gigs over the weekend.ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Brandon Flowers (above) of American band The Killers and British singer and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher (left) at their gigs over the weekend.
Brandon Flowers of American band The Killers and British singer and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher (above) at their gigs over the weekend.ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

As the headlining music acts at the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix's Saturday show, what used to be "indie" and "alternative" rock here back in the 1990s and early 2000s have now become crowd-pulling music.

The two acts at the F1's marquee stage at the Padang, American band The Killers and British singer and ex-Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, played to massive audiences numbering up to 60,000. The massive turnout was consistent with previous F1 Padang shows, which are some of the biggest gigs held here.

The two are not necessarily nostalgic acts, despite the fact that their biggest hits from 10 to 20 years ago have become staples at indie discos. The Killers last played here at the F1 in 2013 while Gallagher played here with Oasis in 2006 and 2009.

The Killers, known for their rousing brand of synth-pop and rock, performed plenty of new songs off their fifth and most recent album released last year, Wonderful Wonderful; while Gallagher sang fresh tunes off his solo debut album, also released last year, As You Were.

Still, it was when both trotted out the older material that their sets truly came alive.

Gallagher filled a large part of his set with songs by Oasis, which broke up almost a decade ago and were the most successful band to come out of the Britpop era.

In fact, his set, which began at 8pm, started with some of his former band's best known songs - a pre-recorded version of instrumental F***in' In The Bushes (2000), followed by Rock 'N' Roll Star from Oasis' 1994 debut album and Morning Glory from their 1995 sophomore release.

It was a canny move as it warmed up the audience before he slipped in his solo tunes, which included buoyant songs like Greedy Soul and Wall Of Glass, as well as a stirring rendition of grand ballad For What It's Worth.

  • REVIEW / CONCERT

  • THE KILLERS, LIAM GALLAGHER

    Padang Stage/Last Saturday

His trademark onstage swagger was on full display as he belted out Oasis classics Supersonic and Cigarettes & Alcohol, both from 1994.

He ended the hour-long set with a cheeky move, asking the crowd to choose between two of Oasis' biggest hits, Live Forever (1994) or Wonderwall (1995). He sang the latter after it elicited louder cheers from the fans, who gamely sang along.

Las Vegas band The Killers, fronted by charismatic singer Brandon Flowers, ended the second night of the Singapore Grand Prix, kicking off their set at 10.15pm, right after the day's race.

The audiences sang along with gusto to their modern dance-rock classics Mr. Brightside, Somebody Told Me and All These Things That I've Done from their 2004 debut, as well as the 2008 hit, Human.

The band'svideos in the background, laser lights and confetti bursts were fancy, but it was Flowers' commanding presence that defined the show. Nimble and light on his feet, his vibrant energy was palpable.

Both Gallagher and Flowers have one thing in common - they both showed disdain for the long runway that jutted out from the middle of the stage into the audience.

It is more suited for "pop stars and magicians", Gallagher sneered.

"What is this?" Flowers asked as he gestured at the runway, adding that he was sorry it prevented the band from being closer to the audience.

Flowers made up for it by pulling an audience member up on stage to jam with the group on the 2006 tune, For Reasons Unknown.

It was a stunt they pull at every show and the fan was more than well-prepared to take over drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr's seat, but it was a move that certainly endeared them to the fans.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2018, with the headline 'Veteran rock stars show their chops'. Print Edition | Subscribe