As the crowd filled the venue before Babymetal took the stage, I wasn’t surprised by the amount of black shirts everywhere. What did shock me was how many of those were Babymetal shirts from previous tours. Most of the people I saw had been to a Babymetal show before and were excitedly back for more. By the time the show was over, I could see why.
Opening the show with “Gimme Chocolate,” they kicked off an extensively choreographed performance, which at times felt more like heavy metal kabuki theatre than a rock show, but the audience ate it up ferociously. Every move was planned, even down to each toss of the Fox God hand signal.
It terms of crowd eruptions, “Megitsune” and the first single off their new album, “Karate,” caused the ground to shake from the collective losing of minds. Standing in front of the group, Su-Metal conducted the other two back and forth across the stage while delivering an incredible display of vocal power. She proved beyond a doubt that Babymetal itself and her vocals are no studio trick. Throughout the entire hour-plus show, she belted out notes that reached the ceiling, the back walls, and likely the people walking outside.
Yuimetal and Moametal did have their own song with Su-Metal off stage, which was much more bubbly, if that term can be used in a heavy metal show. Yet, not to ever be forgotten, behind the trio is the intensely talented Kami band, a foursome of rockers that plays faster and louder than anything I’ve ever seen in person – from the relentless speed pedal drumming to the bassist who played with fiery fingers that threatened to rip the strings off. They were dressed in their recognizable white robes and face paint, bringing to mind the visage of an undead zombie band brought to life by the Fox God to lift Babymetal to new heights.
The stage design was not as intricate as I’ve seen on videos of their arena-sized shows, but they didn’t let it hold their energy level down. The boisterous trio of Su-Metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal marched methodically on and off stage, controlling the crowd from the first growl of the guitar until the final call and response from the crowd, “WE ARE…BABYMETAL!”
Babymetal’s fan base is understandably devout and they are growing with each show and each album. Don’t be surprised if by next year they are headlining their own nights at music festivals worldwide. If you have the chance to see them, do not pass it up.