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Live Review

Babymetal show off their ability to work a crowd at Download

Posted: Friday, June 10th, 2016

It’s been raining torrentially (we tried not to mention the weather but y’know) for at least half an hour before Babymetal finally make it to the stage. Despite the abysmal conditions and the fact they’re as far from their comfort zone as they’ve ever been, the band are greeted with a mass of expectation. From the drawn out opening of ‘Babymetal Death’ straight into the electric charge of ‘Gimme Chocolate’, the band give it their all and the crowd responds in kind. From multiple circle pits to two people down the front in full Babymetal attire, soggily copying each and every dance move, today isn’t about curiosity. It’s a lesson in just how far Babymetal reach (as far as the eye can see, if you want a ballpark)

Relentless charging, marching and sliding around the stage (there are more than a couple of falls), Babymetal show off their ability to build excitement and get everyone involved. With a setlist leaning heavily on the shock and awe of their debut, the crowd is led by the hand to every moment of mass participation and release. Amongst their more considerate back catalogue, the handful of new tracks (‘Karate’, ‘Road of Resistance’) exploit the band’s newfound confidence. While ‘Metal Resistance’ builds on two years of hard work, self-discovery and exploration, today’s show feels a bit like a step backwards. Instead of challenging what people think they know about the band, it’s a tentative introduction. During moments of calm, the look on Babymetal’s faces is one of surprise, they weren’t expecting today to translate as widely as it is, and while what they do deliver is brilliant, it still feels like they’re holding back. As ridiculously fun, silly and shiny as today is, it feels a little safe. And that’s one thing Babymetal should never be.