Baybeats 2010 is the annual alternative music festival, boasting bands from various genres over 3 evenings of local and foreign music. With metal now being more widely accepted as a genre, we see more metal bands appearing on Baybeats, with Meza Virs being the first extreme metal band playing last year. This year, Baybeats 2010 kicks off with Cockpit and Rudra (headliners) playing Day 1.
At 7.30pm the skies look as if the weather is going to be unfriendly, but this wasn’t going to daunt the mood of the crowd that has gathered to watch the opening band for the Powerhouse stage on day 1, Cockpit. Fans of Cockpit with cocks (nope, not in the dirty sense!) on their head were spotted among the crowd, setting up a light hearted atmosphere despite the light drizzle.
Without much delay, Cockpit broke into their first song of the night, Speed Kills (And So Do I). Despite some technical difficulties on Psyence Fyktion’s side, the band took it in stride, still managing to kick butt. By the second track, the technical difficulties were settled and this was when the real show began. With fans (literally, electric fans) on stage to make their capes flap, the members of Cockpit (Johnny Danger, Psyence Fyktion, Sludge and The Collapse of Uncertainty) displayed their tightness as a band. Songs titles such as The Epic Single serve to remind us how seriously too many bands take their music, and how Cockpit can still make good music with a humourous approach.
Within 30 minutes, their set was over, but this was just the beginning of a whole string of performances over the next 3 days of Baybeats.
When we bumped into Devan early into the night, he mentioned his worries about having a bad turnout for Rudra’s set. After all, being the headlining band meant that Rudra would be the last band to take the stage, at 10.45pm. Couple that with a sky that constantly threatens to break into a heavy downfall, his worries were not unfounded.
However, come 10.15pm, people already started streaming onto the concert grounds and soon enough the area was covered in a sea of black. 5 minutes before the set, crowds were already restless and chants of “Rudra! Rudra! Rudra!” could be clearly heard from fans. The minute Rudra stepped on stage and the introduction to Aryaputra came on, mayhem ensued. At the end of the track, frontman Kathir mentioned, “To those who are shocked by what they have seen, this is extreme metal.” After all, what fun is an extreme metal gig without moshing and headbanging? Throughout the next 45 minutes, Rudra played selected songs from their entire discography, much to the fans’ delight, including Ravens of Paradise, Rudrapatni, Justified Aggression and Asura Mardhini, to name a few.
At the end of the supposed last song of their set, Aham Brahmasmi, crowds were shouting for an encore, to which the crew at Baybeats relented and gave Rudra the time to perform one last track. Fans were demanding for The Pathless Path to the Knowable Unknown, with Rudra giving in to the crowd’s request. Finally, after the 50 minutes of mayhem and chaos, the set was over, drawing day 1 of Baybeats to a close.
I have to say though, having so many security guys at the front of the barricade certainly spoiled the show to some extent as they constantly blocked the views of fans. However, kudos to the Baybeats sound team for doing the sound right this time, compared to last year where sound was pretty bad at both Suicide Solution and Meza Virs’ sets.
We now wait in store to see what day 2 of Baybeats (MELTGSNOW!) has in place for us.