Stones, Swift coming for gigs

Jumpin' Jack Newsflash: Legendary British rockers The Rolling Stones and American country music superstar Taylor Swift are among the biggest live acts in the global concert scene confirmed to play here in the next few months.

The Stones will be back in Singapore after more than a decade to perform at the Sands Grand Ballroom in Marina Bay Sands on March 15.

Swift will perform at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 12, three years after her previous sold-out, 9,000- strong crowd show at the same venue in 2011.

Life! understands that more big names are set to be confirmed in the next few weeks.

Correspondingly, ticket prices are big too, starting with the Stones.

If you have $700 to spare, you just might get close enough to check if The Rolling Stones indeed gather no moss. These are the top-tier tickets to see Mick Jagger and company.

Although they are not the most expensive gig tickets here - fans of K-pop star G-Dragon paid $1,000 for concert tickets that included a meet-and-greet session last October - the show does have the highest starting admission price for a gig here so far, according to local gig promoters whom Life! spoke to. Tickets start from $250.

Ticket details for Swift's show will be released on Feb 27.

A spokesman for Marina Bay Sands says the Rolling Stones gig will be different from the other stops in the band's worldwide 14 On Fire tour, which includes three sold-out nights at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome on Feb 26, March 4 and 6. The kick-off gig in Abu Dhabi on Feb 21 and the one in Adelaide on March 22 are also sold out.

"With just over 5,500 seats and a catwalk that extends from the stage into the audience, the Sands Grand Ballroom is unlike any other venue on The Rolling Stones' 14 On Fire tour. The show at Marina Bay Sands will provide fans with the opportunity to experience the sound and energy of 'the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band' in an intimate, club-like environment," says the spokesman.

The high prices are not a deterrent for fans such as photographer Eddie Sung, who plans to buy the $700 VIP tickets when they go on sale this morning.

"It is not expensive for diehard fans like me," says Sung, 55. "The fact that they are playing in a smaller venue compared to the arena stadiums they play in overseas means we can be closer to the band."

Younger Stones fan Ian Yap feels, however, that the tickets are priced beyond his reach.

"I don't think I can afford to pay that much to see a band live in concert," says the 23-year-old undergraduate. "Even if I did spend $250 for a concert, I would expect to see not just a great performance from the band, but also a spectacular visual and light show."

The Rolling Stones gig will feature the classic line-up of singer Jagger, 70, guitarist Keith Richards, 70, drummer Charlie Watts, 72, and guitarist Ronnie Wood, 66. All have played with the band since they started in the early 1960s, except Wood, who joined in 1975.

Guitarist Mick Taylor, 65, who played with the band from 1969 to 1974, will feature as a guest.

Best known for definitive rock standards such as (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Paint It Black and It's Only Rock 'N Roll (But I Like It), the gig will be their first here since they played two nights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in March 2003. Back then, the tickets ranged from $99 to $499.

Their only other show here was when they performed at the Badminton Hall in February 1965, just a few years after the band were formed.

For Swift, the concert is part of her global The Red Tour, which includes other Asian stops such as Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Manila. Tickets will go on sale on March 3.

Swift, 24, has racked up multiple music accolades including seven Grammy awards and 15 American Music Awards. The singer-songwriter is best known for country-pop crossover songs, such as You Belong With Me, off Fearless (2008), and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, from her fourth album Red (2012).

dinohadi@sph.com.sg

The Rolling Stones - 14 On Fire
Where: Sands Grand Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands
When: March 15, 8pm
Admission: $250, $400, $550 and $700 at Marina Bay Sands Theatre and SkyPark Box Offices as well as through Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)


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