Baybeats Day 2 Review
By Winifred Wong and Chester Eu
The second day began with much better weather than the first. Although still hampered by intermittent light drizzles, it was dry enough to keep the crowds coming. The sound was also much more coherent than the previous day; the sound engineers had gotten used to tackling the myriad of problems that comes with every music festival. Baybeats was no exception.
Bakers In Space
Local psychedelic-rock band Bakers in Space kicked off day two of Baybeats Festival at its most intimate performing space – the Esplanade Annexe Studio. For the unitiated, the studio was officially opened in September last year, and debuted as a performance venue for the Baybeats Festival. The space featured a 360-degree stage layout with the band positioned in the centre, mimicking the band members’ orientation in a jamming studio during practice.
Photo credit: Patrick Elicano
Outside the cosy Annexe, at the Arena stage, Baybeats Budding Band Subsonic Eye was delivering their brand of dream-pop to a 1,500-strong crowd against the backdrop of a National Day Parade (NDP) rehearsal. The sight of a Chinook towing a Singapore flag whilst being escorted by Apaches was a sight to behold, as the festival’s youngest band enthralled their loyal fans and newly-enchanted first timers.
“My initial reaction to their music? How the hell are they going to play those ‘weird weird’ sounds on stage?” joked Nurul 'Iman bte Kamil, 19, who is schoolmates with some of the band members. “But when I first saw them playing, it blew my mind. said They were really energetic (and) yet their music was calming, which was amazing.”
Hailing from India, the electro dance-punk band The F16s was the only foreign band to play the Chillout stage at the Concourse. It was their very first time playing outside of India too. They manoeuvered gently from chilled-out reggae grooves to emotional choruses, and the intimate indoor venue allowed the band’s tender songwriting to shine.
Photo credit: Nik Voon
Two Seas, a local alternative rock band, saw an even bigger turnout, as a lot of their long-time fans flocked to the Arena to catch them. The underrated band’s last show was a staggering seven months prior. Like Subsonic Eye, their set, received a visual augmentation from the NDP rehearsal when they set off the fireworks display, setting a fiery backdrop for their frontman Jerald and powerful, emotive tenor vocals.
Photo credit: Nik Voon
As the festival’s most recently-formed act, local melodic-hardcore band Tides delivered a blistering set to a sizeable crowd, of which bassist/clean vocalist, Danish said they hadn’t expected. Full of confidence, and packing intense stage presence, Tides has quite a future ahead of them if they play their cards right.
Photo credit: Nur Seryhana
Perhaps the overall star of the Powerhouse stage was Filipino bassist Ed Avelino from local metal band Mi Ultimo. Dressed in a black tank top, and headbanging viciously and sporting long flowing tresses - all while laying down a tight and thunderous rhythm section - he was the embodiment of a classic rock star.
Vocalist Mar Cagalitan, 38, commented, “We never expected that there would be so many people… it’s a dream come true for us. When we saw the crowd reacting to and singing our songs, it was very heartwarming.”
Photo credit: Isyraq Irfan
True to character, local thrash metal band Supersect put on Chinese wuxia-inspired costumes for their set, which they apparently bought from Taobao. When asked why they wear costumes, vocalist Nigel Poo said, “It’s kind of obvious for us, lah, as we’re martial arts-themed. ” The band awed fans and passers-by alike with their unique and captivating stage show and high level of musicality. Regretfully, they expressed that they would be taking a hiatus from performing as some band members will be overseas studying.
Rag n’ Bone
Australian noise post-punk band Rag n’ Bone were heartened by the crowd reception towards their set. “People here seem to be open-minded to our music,” said bassist Sara McPherson. “Coming over (to Singapore) makes you perform as an artist. You want to do your best. You’re not in your comfort zone at all.”
Photo credit: Sharlene Maria Sankaran
Amateur Takes Control
The Powerhouse Stage reached an octane-fuelled peak at the end of Amateur Takes Control’s set, when frontman and guitarist Adel Rashid smashed his Fender Telecaster to pieces. The band, signed to renowned local label Kittywu Records, saw arguably the festival’s biggest turnout, as musicians and fans alike across the island packed the gravel pit to witness their tantalising stagecraft and technical prowess as one of the greatest post-rock bands of our generation.
Tim De Cotta
R&B and hip-hop extraordinaire Tim De Cotta (and The Warriors) saw to it that everyone got loose as he went past midnight with his closing set at the Annexe Studio, where members of the audience started break dancing and even formed a conga line towards the end of the band’s set.
“It’s very comfortable because you get to directly connect with everyone,” uttered Tim De Cotta. “You can’t match a Baybeats crowd.”
Photo credit: Hazman Azri
Additional reporting by Mahirah Mahmud and Gideon Lee