Yep, I went to see Babymetal last night. And you know what? If you’ve got a problem with Babymetal, you’ve honestly have a problem with life. It’s silly. It’s goofy. It’s unique. It’s catchy as all hell. And above all, it’s a lot of fucking fun.
For the uninitiated, Babymetal is a Japanese group that combines a heavy metal band with the vocal stylings and dance moves of a J-Pop group. This group is basically the personification of the collective musical fascinations of the punk rock fiancée and myself (me bringing the metal obsession to her fascination with everything Japanese anime, J-Pop and other weird Japanese cultural shit). As she observed later, knowing Babymetal exists makes her soul happy.
You had a bit of controversy coming into this show as one of the original three vocalists, Yuimetal, hadn’t performed with the band since December and wasn’t a part of the opening night show of the tour in Kansas City. There was no official word from the band’s handlers as to whether she was no longer in the band or if she was just ill. For our show, two of the original vocalists, Su-metal and Moametal, were joined by two unnamed dancers. To be perfectly honest, had I not read about this stuff on the internet prior to the show, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the difference.
At any rate, you had an over-the-top spectacle. The backing band is nothing to scoff at. These guys have some serious metal chops and the music they bring isn’t your average cheesy pop metal drivel. You’ve got double bass out the ass and down-tuned guitar riffs all over the place. Over the top of it all, you’ve got these adorable J-Pop girls dancing their asses off in synchronized routines. Most of the songs are in Japanese, but it doesn’t really matter. You’ll find yourself just humming along to these melodies all day.
I was skeptical about this group when they first came out, but I get it. It’s fun and I had a really good time. And seeing the number of young girls in the crowd, I can only hope that this opens a door for a whole new section of metal fans. Start with Babymetal and end up becoming a fan of Anthrax or Immortal. I’m honestly for anything that can act as a gateway drug for bringing new people into the metal community.