Selasa, 5 November 2013

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

It's raining men


Bad weather is no deterrent to OneRepublic's showmanship.

WHEN heavy rain struck Klang Valley last Thursday, you could hear the collective gasp of concert-goers wondering if OneRepublic's show will go on as planned. Heavy rain often means technical delays that could go on forever.

But for Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, the rain was a blessing. "I'm glad it rained earlier cause that must have bought the temperature down by 20 degrees," he said to the adoring crowd at their full-length concert in Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon. The band had previously performed at the 2008 MTV Asia Awards in Genting Highlands.

There were no major technical delays as the band kicked off the show at 8.40pm with Don't Look Down. They also had an interesting set-up: the band played behind a large sheet and for a moment there, all the crowd could see was their silhouettes.

The enthusiastic (mostly) young crowd was dressed for Halloween, as the concert fell on Oct 31. While there were plenty of zombies and girls in Native American gear, none stood out more than the guy who was in full Scream ghost costume. Tedder even gave him a shoutout during the concert.

"It must be really warm in there!" he said.

The band shared their Halloween spirit by donning ghoulish masks at the start of their performance. Thankfully, they took it off during the performance of the crowd favourite Secrets from second album Waking Up.

Charismatic frontman Tedder showed off his falsettos. He has the kind of reassuring voice that makes you believe that it's OK to not get what you think you deserve (based on the performance of Stop & Stare).

Even when it rained again during their performance of Apologize, the band went on.

Tedder changed things up a bit, got on his piano and made the crowd sing along to Justin Timberlake's Cry Me A River. They then covered Rihanna's We Found Love and Coldplay's Yellow. The band also performed an electrifying cover of Kanye West's Gold Digger, much to the delight of fans.

Tedder obviously had fun with the crowd and was in good spirits when a member of the audience tried to throw an item of clothing at him.

"Were you trying to throw me pyjamas?! Come on, try again," he said.

Apart from Tedder, OneRepublic comprises guitarist Zach Filkins, bassist Drew Brown, drummer Eddie Fisher and Brent Kutzle on the cello.

If you read up on the history of the band, then you'd understand why a little rain couldn't dampen their performance.

Formed in 1996, the band had to wait until 2007 to release their debut album Dreaming Out Loud.

They were dropped by their previous label Columbia Records and had to put on hold plans to release their album. After getting some much-needed exposure on MySpace, the band signed on to Timbaland's Mosley Music Group and the rest, as they would say, is history.

Tedder has been vocal about their initial struggles in the music industry.

During a stint on The Voice as a guest mentor for Adam Levine's team, Tedder said: "This (song Counting Stars) is about my struggle to pursue music full-time."

He added: "I got married relatively young, so now, I'm supporting somebody else, and I used to sit around thinking that I can't wait till I'm not counting every single penny. I wanna be just chilling, counting stars."

Now that they are finally living the good life, they seemed to be enjoying every minute of it.

They ended their 18-set songlist with Feel Again and another favourite, If I Lose Myself, much to the crowd's delight.

Eminem is YouTube's Artiste Of The Year


The rapper won the top honour in the video channel's inaugural awards.

The first-ever YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, improvised with plenty of celebrity cameos thrown into the mix, saw awards going to rapper Eminem and hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

The show made a clear bid for the quirky, a benefit of being streamed by YouTube rather than broadcast on television.

If the music itself sometimes felt a little overshadowed by all the hoopla, it shouldn't surprise. The show was also a sort of announcement by YouTube of its intentions to take a bigger role in the music industry.

Singer Skylar Grey at the 2013 YouTube Music Awards in New York. — AFP/Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

The music awards market is almost as crowded as the music market. YouTube featured big stars such as Lady Gaga to attract attention, while keeping enough of an outsider perspective to differentiate itself from MTV, the Grammys and other music powerhouses.

Although the Google-owned site has for years been a go-to place for music fans around the world, the site is now expected to introduce a paid music service by year-end.

"There was nothing scripted tonight," said actor Jason Schwartzman, who, along with performance artist Reggie Watts, hosted the show, which was directed by Spike Jonze.

Eminem won the Artiste Of The Year award. Video Of The Year was awarded to Girls Generation, who are megastars in South Korea but are still making inroads into the US music scene.

(From left) Joel Cassady, Ryan Marshall, Sarah Blackwood, Gianni Luminati, and Mike Tayler of Walk Off The Earth. — AFP/Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

Breakthrough Of The Year went to hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, whose songs include the gay rights anthem, Same Love. Walk Off The Earth, along with KRNFX, took the Phenomenon Award for their version of Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble, while the Innovation Prize went to DeStorm, who won for See Me Standing.

And in an acknowledgement of the hefty amount of user-generated content that goes on YouTube – everything from yawning kittens to cellphone video of major world news – YouTube gave out something called Response Of The Year.

That prize went to Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix, for their cover of Imagine Dragons' Radioactive. Stirling is a star among violinists – but does not have the star power of Katy Perry, another of the night's nominees.

Along with Gaga there was a shaky-cam performance by Tyler the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt, both of the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All hip-hop collective. There were cultural references, including the quirky song The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) from Norwegian duo Ylvis, a viral hit earlier this year.

Lady Gaga — AFP

YouTube has positioned itself in recent years as a major source of new music videos for fans. Sites such as YouTube effectively function as on-demand stations for music, with fans able to listen to play lists over and over just for watching the occasional commercial. The shift highlights some of the challenges – and opportunities – for artistes.

Access to music is easier than it's ever been, thanks to sites such as YouTube, music blogs, file-sharing software and more. But it's also become that much more difficult for musicians to earn a living.

YouTube is expected to introduce an option by the end of the year to let music fans skip the commercials via a paid subscription service. This would pit YouTube directly against services such as the online music streaming web service Spotify, whose business model has been criticised by musicians for squeezing artistes. — Reuters


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