As the video screens welcome Wembley Arena to Metal Resistance Episode 4: Reincarnation, the funeral march of ‘BABYMETAL DEATH’ rings out. The four-piece Kami band then launch into its chugging breakdown before a grandiose temple. We’re less than five minutes into the show and it’s already utterly bonkers. Su-Metal, Yuimetal and Moametal then rise from the centre of the arena, throw the Kitsune up, and the entire room responds in kind. The phenomenon is real.
Photo Credit: (C) Amuse Inc.
Celebrating the release of ‘Metal Resistance’, an album that shows both their growth and their potential, Babymetal are kicking off a world tour with their biggest European headline show yet and from the off, the message is clear. The novelty is over, Babymetal mean business.
From the playful chase and call & response of ‘line!’ through the Eurotrance bounce of ‘YAVA!’ and out, onto the parade anthem of ‘Meta Taro’, ‘Babymetal’ cover a lot of ground during their ninety minute onstage but it never feels out of reach or uncomfortable.
‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’s message of anti-bullying comes alongside the demand for a wall of death, ‘Awadama Fever’ talks of a mint-flavoured time machine and ‘4no Uta’ comes with the Star Wars-esque backstory that both Yuimetal and Moametal have been “pulled into the dark side by Death Vader” before singing about the power of 4 (which seems like an excuse just to say may the 4th be with you, but who doesn’t love a pun.) Bigger than songs about chocolate and alarm clocks though, tonight comes with a grand message of unity.
There are 10,000 people having a street party in Japan, watching live, and flags from across the world are proudly held aloft during ‘The One’. More than a band, Babymetal are quickly becoming a movement.
Photo credit: Taku Fujii
That’s not to say they’ve lost any of their excitement. Hyperactive, technicolour and relentlessly fun, Babymetal fully embrace the arena spectacle but they never lean on it. There are fireworks, costume changes and video interludes but it’s the music and showmanship that shine through. ‘Amore’ see Su-metal commanding the room solo while ‘GJ!’ sees Yuimetal and Moametal unfazed by the scope of the evening. Together, their chemistry shines and that isn’t something that can be manufactured. Despite the polish of the evening, their personalities still come through. A grinning human connection to their runaway success.
“Unchartered roads, that is the path to overcoming the past,” explains the introduction to ‘Roads of Resistance’. As the band stands in the middle of the room, once again effortlessly conducting the room, their position is clear. Wembley won’t see anything else like this for a long, long time. The past is over and Babymetal could just well be A New Hope.
Photo Credit: Taku Fujii
Header Photo Credit: (C) Amuse Inc.