BABYMETAL, Agents of the Fox God Descend Upon The SSE Arena, Wembley!
One day after the April 1st release of their second album “Metal Resistance”, BABYMETAL‘s first new release since 2014, the three messengers of the Fox God descended upon London to grace with their presence over 10,000 fans who had gathered at The SSE Arena, Wembley on April 2, 2016.
Although the doors to the venue did not open until until 7:00pm, there were thousands queued up outside in the rain in fierce anticipation of the coming show. The crowd was diverse – ranging from the very young to very old; men and women; British, Japanese and many others. It is astounding how universal their appeal is and certainly rings true to the statement that ‘music crosses all borders’. One fan wore a T-shirt which read “I flew over 7,000km for this show”. The dedication of BABYMETAL’s fans is truly inspiring.
The wait in the arena itself felt like an eternity, the crowd reacting excitedly to every subtle movement of shadows on the stage, only to find that it was event staff making their final preparations. Excitement reached a peak as the crowd began to chant for BABYMETAL to appear before them!
The lights shut off and the air became electrified, all eyes focused on the front stage where the silhouettes of three figures dressed in white cloaks were standing. The Kami Band began to play but, to everyone’s surprise, the three figures had disappeared. There was a central platform connecting to the front stage, typical of many arena concerts but this was not visible to most fans in the arena. The opening number was, of course, “BABYMETAL DEATH”, which unleashed the energy that had been building up within the hearts and souls of fans for the entire day leading up until that moment.
The setlist was comprised of a mix of new and old tunes. When the instrumentals of classics such as “Doki Doki Morning” and “Megitsune” kicked in, the crowd roared in anticipation and surged with unceasing energy. Amongst the mix were newer titles such as “Awadama Fever” and “GJ”, which were performed for the first time in the UK, and were generally well received. One particular song was notably absent, “No Rain, No Rainbow”, a solo ballad by SU-METAL which has been performed several times at Japanese shows but never before an international audience. Instead, the evergreen “Akatsuki” was the absolute peak of showcasing SU-METAL’s steadily improving vocal skills. Indeed, having personally seen all three London shows, I could see the marked improvement with each successive performance of the same song. SU-METAL brings a fresh air of maturity to an already heavily emotionally charged song, transforming it into something new.
No BABYMETAL show would be complete without the unit songs featuring MOAMETAL and YUIMETAL. Their first appearance of the evening was during the new track “GJ” — something that had made the pair seem a little nervous at the outset, but after the song had had time to gain some traction, those nerves faded away. Fans attempted to furicopy, with varied success, but it would seem that the efforts of the fans to ease the pair during a time of high stress was exactly what the doctor ordered.
The show progressed to its ultimate climax with the showcasing of the new song “THE ONE”, which took the grandiosity to a level no studio recording could ever stand a chance of matching. Thinking once again about how BABYMETAL has the ability to bring such diverse groups of people together, it is this song which feels like an acknowledgement of the fans — their similarities and differences — and celebrates this. BABYMETAL, the Kami Band, the fans… we are all “THE ONE”. Will we all be able to meet once more, and when? Only the Fox God knows.
“This is the third time I’ve seen BABYMETAL live and each time they get better and better. The new songs were very well received; “YAVA!” being the new favourite of mine. Even now it still impresses me how diverse the crowds are. Their goal of bringing everyone together under one banner seems to be going planned.”
Favourite performance: “4 no Uta”
— Mark Gleadhill (@MGleadhill)
“As typical for BABYMETAL, a grand opening to an even greater evening. They rose up on the main stage as three cloaked figures just to appear between the audience on the central runway stage! The tracklist was a mix of the new album and well known songs to keep up the high energy, high pace performance. The song that stuck out most for me, however, was “Catch Me if You Can”. The girls started with the running part of the dance in front of an ominous red screen, matching the dark tones in the lyrics. The chorus then exploded into the well known pop-metal sound as the audience circled and twirled.”
Favourite performance: “Catch Me If You Can”
— Noa (@noayosei)
00 BABYMETAL DEATH
01 Awadama Fever
06 Catch me if you can
07 Doki Doki Morning
08 Meta Taro
09 Yon no Uta
13 Ijime, Dame, Zettai
14 Gimme Chocolate
15 THE ONE
E1 Road of Resistance
BABYMETAL Official site: http://www.babymetal.jp/
BABYMETAL Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/babymetal_japan
BABYMETAL Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BABYMETAL.jp
BABYMETAL Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/babymetal_jpn/
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