'An insane but fully-formed vision that's all too easy to get lost in'
Andrew Trendell

13:43 3rd April 2016

"A long, long time ago, in a heavy metal galaxy far, far away," beams the introduction to tonight's...well, let's call it a spectacle. It's a fitting opening for the truly epic carnival of insanity that follows, as we're led into one of the most mind-expanding live experiences of the year from an act that "rose above language barriers and countless generations."

They're not wrong. "Everyone loves music," Moametal told Gigwise when we spoke to BABYMETAL this week. "I think music is the common language of the world. Music is a wonderful connection for all people - it brings people together."

And indeed, all walks of life are here at Wembley tonight. Children, ageing men and women, metal heads, punks, pop fans, the anime-obsessed - flags are flying from all from across the world, and all losing their minds with neither abandon or shame. Some may have been brought here out of curiosity of guilty pleasure, but by the time the band emerge centre stage to pumping fists for the explosion of 'Babymetal Death', it becomes immediately apparent that as ridiculous as the concept may seem, it couldn't be further from a gimmick. Everything is exaggerated to the Nth degree, but with such immaculate clarity that it can hardly seem ridiculous.  This is a fully-formed vision that's impossible not to get totally lost in. 


Photo: Amuse Inc

A ghostly metal band flank and back the stage, as the Japanese teen sensation take the spotlight for a tightly choreographed, flame-assisted display. Drawing so heavily on idol culture but carrying out an all-encompassing and idiosyncratic mindgasm of a performance, they themselves have now become the worshipped. Devil horns so easily become a tribute to the Fox God, seen flying high above the circle pits and dance routines. All are so arrested and involved that it almost seems like a religious ceremony or political rally, especially when it's revealed that the show is being live streamed to a street party in Tokyo, where they're all losing their mind in equal measure. This truly is a global phenomenon.  

There are a few moments when you have to slap yourself in disbelief. When Yuimetal and Moametal become possessed by Darth Vader for instance, before Su-Metal shows them the light and they all unite again for a bat-shit crazy victory lap towards the finale - highlights of course the pop-rush metal menace of 'KARATE', 'Gimme Chocolate' and 'The One' uniting Wembley in all out-war against normality, whatever that is. 


Photo: Amuse Inc

Returning for the encore of the triumphantly defiant 'Road Of Resistance', one is left with the same adrenaline rush and mental exhaustion as having just stepped off a rollercoaster, or landing from a skydive.

"We are going back to Japan," the band say as they bid us farewell, "but remember - we are always on your side."

Thank you, the winning side is the best one to be on. 


Photo: Taku Fujii

BABYMETAL played:
Babymetal Death
Awadama Fever
Iine!
YAVA!
Akatsuki
GJ!
Catch Me If You Can
Doki Doki☆Morning
Meta Taro
4no Uta
Amore -Sousei-
Megitsune
KARATE
Ijime, Dame, Zettai
Gimme Chocolate!!
The One (English Version)
Encore:
Road of Resistance

  • Crossfaith: Already a favourite on the UK touring scene due to their high octane live show, Crossfaith's Japanese metalcore meets electronica has seen them destroy the main stage at Download Festival and on the Kerrang tour with Limp Bizkit.

  • Dazzle Vision: If you found Babymetal a little freaky, you'll be scared shitless by Dazzle Vision. Female vocalist Maiko ranges from melodic J-Pop to unbelievable death metal growls.

  • Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas: Catchy as hell! With ferocious screams, breakdowns and keyboard solos in just the right places, the japanese dance metal band have all the makings to be huge.

  • Dir En Grey: Getting close to veteran status of the Japanese metal circuit, the experimental metal band have headlined the prestigious Tokyo Dome on two different occasions.

  • Man With a Mission: Yep, they dress as wolves. And nope, they never take them off. Their alternative take on Nu-metal makes us wonder whether it's Linkin Park hiding under those masks.

  • Maximum The Hormone: Probably the most ridiculous band to ever come out of the Japanese metal scene. The band have enjoyed worldwide success with their bizarre take on speed metal while throwing out a huge chorus every now then.

  • Sand: The Japanese hardcore band are unintentionally hilarious. With their badly translated English and Warriors themed clothing, the band won't be competing with Madball any time soon, but with an Upcoming US tour there's certainly some love for Sand.

  • Doll$Boxx - Probably the most colourful J-pop meets metal band. The kawaii group prove that looks can be deceiving as they don't hold back on going all out bonkers with their Japanese metal anthems.

  • My First Story: With millions of YouTube views, a knack for a decent chorus and a mainstream take on metal, My First Story have a huge career ahead of them.

  • Totalfat - Going down the more punk/speed metal root, Totalfat are Japan's answer to NOFX with added melody. We can only presume they're singing about skateboarding, getting wasted and eating pizza.

  • Babymetal: Slowly but surely taking over the entire world with their j-pop meets metal sound, Babymetal have scored millions of YouTube views, a triumphant performance at Sonisphere Festival 2014, Brixton Academy and a surprise appearance with Dragonforce at Download - not to mention a a tour with Lady GaGa. Don't let the young faces put you off, their live performances have to be seen to be believed. You will be converted. Miss them at Reading & Leeds at your peril.

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Photo: Amuse Inc