Views from the Pit: Baybeats 2011

Day 2: Opposition Party

Having already missed them at their performance 2 years ago at Baybeats, there was no chance that I was going to miss them again. This time, Opposition Party takes the day 2 headlining slot, playing from 11pm to 11.45pm, but this did not deter any fans from being present, with the crowd being made up of people from all walks of life – punks, metalheads, skinheads, etc. At 11pm sharp, with the announcement of the emcee marking the start of Opposition Party’s set, the band wasted no time, kicking off their set with “Zombie”.

Throughout the set, the raw energy given off by the three-piece was unbelievable and infectious, with the crowd constantly in motion either moshing or crowd-surfing. The band played music from their catalogue since their formation up to 2005’s full length album, Zombified, catering to the tastes of both old and new fans alike. Besides the music, the band further topped up their stage presence with some rants and commentaries in between songs, including that of the situation in Singapore (“It’s been awhile since I saw so many Singaporeans at one place, I usually feel like I’m alone”) and the sound issue at their set 2 years ago (“We’re not going to let people living over there [points across the water to residential areas] control what we do!”), often resulting in loud cheers among the crowd. The sound issue was clearly resolved though, judging from the loudness of their set and the clarity of the individual instruments.

As the set drew to an end and the crowd began to leave, the emcee came out asking if the crowd wanted more (to a fail moment, I must add), drawing everyone back to the front of the stage once more. As the band came out preparing for their encore songs, a huge pit formed, in preparation for the final clashing of bodies.

Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable set and there was certainly no regrets at all staying till so late in the evening for an hour of fun-filled punk/crossover thrash madness.

Day 3: Ossuary

With the past 2 years seeing foreign bands/musicians closing Baybeats, it was certainly refreshing to see a local band close this music festival this year, and who better than metal veterans Ossuary?

At 9.45pm, the band promptly took the stage. Despite the opening track being of erratic and odd time signature (their trademark take on metal), it did not take long for the crowd to know that this was their last chance at Baybeats 2011 to start moving before it was all over. Throughout the set, the crowd was in constant (violent) motion, with people being thrown in the air almost without any break at all, to the chagrin and fear of the security officials.

The band blazed through their set with tightness and high musicianship, and it was easy to see why they were picked as the closers of the festival, with their ability not only to play small venues (as per the previous two encounters with them), but also their ability to move the crowd without losing a single beat at all. Drummer Shahril was perhaps the most eye-catching during the set, with comments overheard in the crowd commenting “how crazy the drummer” was, with his stage antics yet managing to keep up with the odd time signatures of the band’s songs. The band also constantly demanded circle pits and walls of death, to which the crowd gladly complied. There was also a friendly reminder to the crowd, asking if they had remembered “to cook curry tonight” in the middle of the set, to loud cheers from the crowd. (Ed’s note: It almost seemed that this year’s Baybeats theme is on the unity of Singaporeans.) The Meshuggah and Pantera cover songs were certainly bonuses to the crowd that have decided to forgo their Sunday rest and turn up for this event. With Pantera’s Domination, the band concluded the set, ending Baybeats 2011 with a bang.

Opposition Party on the internet:
Official website

Ossuary on the internet:

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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