BABYMETAL show London how to rock out live at The Forum 7th July 2014

Babymetal (HarriettGreene14418983880)

Coming out of the Underground I was met by people trying to sell knock off tickets shouting their lungs with, “Anyone want to buy BABYMETAL tickets for tonight.” I knew then I was going the right direction. A few more steps out the door of the Underground and I was greeted with a sea of people all wearing some form of Japanese inspired rock outfits. Following the masses I found my way to The Forum, a venue I had visited a couple of times before, and yet I had never seen the place as packed as it was.

Babymetal (HarriettGreene14605599625)The queue to enter the venue was huge and there was excitement all around. Upon entering and finding my place beside the technicians desk above the pit it occurred to me that they were playing the good old rock and metal infested classics that teenagers back in the 1990s and 2000s would remember, from Dragon Force, Metallica, and Marilyn Manson. Hearing the crowd roar and singing along the cheers were mainly of men, and a very masculine air floated around the hall.

As the lights dimmed chants of “BABYMETAL” echoed and the sound of “BABYMETAL Death” could be heard, causing an almighty reaction from the crowd who had already began to throw their hands into the air in unison. The three girls of the group, SuMetal, MoaMetal and YuiMetal entered the stage wearing their trademark red and black lolita dresses and hair up in pig tails and ponytails. With the backing of their Kami Band they unleashed their vocals and their amazingly hypnotising choreography. Working the crowd up to some of their most well known and loved songs the girls performed tracks off their album, from their total mash up of dubstep, rock, and rap with “Ii ne!” to the mosh pit deluxe songs such as Uki Uki Midnight, Akumu No Rondo, Onedari Daisakusen, Catch Me If You Can, Akatsuki, and 4 No Uta.

Babymetal (HarriettGreene14625666943)During a couple of moments there was a few breaks so the girls could freshen up after dominating and running around the stage. When these breaks happened the guitarists in the Kami Band would step forward and hold their own solo performances using their amazing skills with their instruments. It was during these moments that the fans really got to interact with the band members and it was nice to hear screams and chants for them that were just as loud as they were for the performing girls.

When the lights came back on a personal favourite of mine, and judging by the mosh pit and swarms of fans jumping, a favourite of many others, the song “Megitsune” was played. People donned their fox masks and made the fox hand symbol and really went insane. After “Doki Doki Morning” the crowd had a slight breather and prepared for another huge track – “Gimme Chocolate!!”, with the live performance MV having reached over 10 million views on YouTube. There was even more crowd surfers, the mosh pit became bigger and faster, and the chants became deafening.

Following this there was a five minute break in which a story was told on two small screens either side of the concert hall. Stomping from the balcony seats upstairs could be heard as “Headbangerrr” was performed on stage. Looking around the crowd all you could see was masses of hair being flipped around in true tradition of the song’s title. When the lights turned off and the screens came on for the last time there was a deceleration to the fans with the Wall Of Death being announced. Those in the pit parted like the red sea and began to pump themselves up ready for the key point of the music before charging and clashing in the middle. As this happened fans were going all out as “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” was the last one of the night. At the end of the song the girls made sure that the crowd knew their name by asking “We are?” and having the fans shout back “BABYMETAL”.

Babymetal (HarriettGreene14419176907)It has been a long time since I have been to a concert of this magnitude, and compared to my usual coverage of K-pop, it made me reminisce about my good old days in the rock and metal scene. For those who are used to the J-rock or even J-pop scene, BABYMETAL are anything but weird. They have the gimmicks of pretty, young and fresh girls, the perfect choreography that keeps your eyes glued to the stage, and the backing of some great musicians. With BABYMETAL’s record label (Toy’s Factory) coining the genre “Kawaii-Metal” I can see why this is something that’s taking the world by storm. For the western countries this subject is unique and unheard of. It’s something you don’t expect, yet yearn to see and hear more of. To those who are only used to the western pop/rock/metal scenes I’m sure they went to the concert to explore a new genre and came out a fan. As people left the concert hall, the energy was electric, there was not one dry person in the hall as everyone was drenched with sweat, even if you were just sitting down.

BABYMETAL’s concert at The Forum was definitely one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences. The fact they had to change the venue to accommodate more fans and sold out twice, along with the turn out on the night, I do think they will be back in the future.

 

Photos by Harriett Greene (Manga Girl Photography)

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2 Comments

  1. Dominic Graziano says:

    Good article. You made a common mistake though. The name of the song is not “Line”. It is “Iine”. No L. Two I’s.

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