Baybeats Day 1 Review

By Mahirah Mahmud and Ummairah Shariff

Are you still having withdrawal symptoms from Baybeats? We sure are. The first day of Baybeats 2017 saw both a torrent of rain – though that did not deter the masses who gathered at The Esplanade for an evening of alternative music and a torrent of talent from some of the best bands in the region. Here are our highlights from day one.

Chillout Stage (Esplanade Concourse)

Bakers In Space
Those seated at the Esplanade Concourse for the Chillout Stage were greeted by a pleasant surprise from the Bakers in Space acoustic set. Vocalist Eugene Soh and guitarist Ernest Foo introduced new songs created especially for this year’s festival, and it was an intimate, eye-opening set that revealed a refreshing side of the fledgling band.

Photo credit: Hazman Azri

Amateur Takes Control
“Usually, we have distortion to hide all the mistakes, but now it’s all out there for you to hear,” the frontman of Amateur Takes Control quipped when asked about their Acoustic Set at the Chillout stage. The instrumental rock outfit saw a turnout of over 170 people listening to acoustic renditions of their tracks, usually driven by stadium-sized distortion. “It’s our first time playing at the concourse, so we just used the cleaner effects like reverb,” Isa Ong, their bassist, added.

Photo credit: Sharlene Sankaran

Arena (Esplanade Outdoor Theatre)

Hauste’s math-rock genre was evident in their complex drum beats. Despite the drizzle at The Arena, concert goers were undeterred. The folks from Hauste, however, were not very talkative, letting the music speak for itself.

Photo credit: Nur Seryhana

FXTRT’s Ming was literally rolling on the floor while playing the guitar - certainly a highlight for Baybeat’s Arena this year. Their happy-go-lucky nature and charm got the audience laughing along to their silly antics. To sum FXTRT up: Good music and great company.

Photo credit: Danial Hashim

Music transcends borders. How so? Spotted amongst the crowd was Aisha Adila Mamuaya, a 13-year-old girl who flew all the way from Indonesia just to catch Barasuara live. There she stood, right in front of the Arena stage, while singing along fervently to each of their songs as vocalist Iga Massardi (clad in his unforgettable batik shirt) hyped the crowd with chants and energetic lyrics.

Photo credit: Patrick Elicano

This is Atlantis
This is Atlantis started all their songs in a consistent, calculated manner, playing a pre-recorded synth loop to cleverly avoid dead air on stage while they tuned or adjusted pedal settings for the next song. But when they got things going, were they ever so magnificent, making the payoff of the wait absolutely worth it.

Photo credit: Nur Seryhana

Powerhouse Stage (Waterfront Carpark)

Vocalist/guitarist, Wira Satria, brought new meaning to the lyrics of his song “Sleepless” - “Through the cold nights, the words of forever kept us warm,” he sang, as he invited his girlfriend, Marsha Adriana, on stage to croon a duet with him during the rainy evening, while audiences swooned and cheered along with the power couple.

Photo credit: Patrick Elicano

The outdoor Powerhouse stage might have been affected by the rain, yet throngs of festival-goers rushed to the front as Forests began their soundcheck. Among the many quirky shoutouts vocalist/bassist Darrel dished out, the memorable few would have to go to H20, the rain, and even a special shoutout to... shoutouts? Don’t change, Forests.

Photo credit: Danial Hashim

Greyhoundz (PH)
Greyhoundz turned the Powerhouse stage into a sea of phones, as everyone raised their devices in the air to record the legendary band play in Singapore. Although we could not understand what they were saying, it was evident that the crowd enjoyed themselves entirely. Big time Filipino fans came clad in Greyhoundz merchandise and even brought their families along, basking in Filipino pride.

Photo credit: Nik Voon

Toko Kilat (MY/SG)
Despite the dismal crowd, Toko Kilat gave their all as the last band playing for the day. Even though their lyrics were in Malay, the audience had a good mix of different ethnicities who still bopped their heads to the music. Toko Kilat said this was a good start after their long hiatus, and they enjoyed the crowd’s positive vibes.

All in all, the day was an unforgettable experience for everyone. From first time attendees to long-time fans of the festival, no one was left without goosebumps, memories, and a couple of earworms on their way home. We know we didn’t.

Photo credit: Isyraq Irfan