BABYMETAL LA Live Report: More Than Just METAL
Four years ago, when BABYMETAL was still in it’s infancy, barely anyone knew of their existence. I first heard of BABYMETAL at Anime Expo 2012 when Animetal USA casually mentioned they’ve played with the metal idol group right before coming to the convention. Since then, BABYMETAL has taken the world by storm, one chocolate piece at a time. Last night, I had the privilege to witness their historic US debut at the Fonda Theater and let me tell you something… Not only did I listened to one heck of a musical performance but also watched a spectacular show with an amazing crowd!
When watching BABYMETAL, whether it’d be a live or a video on YouTube, you may not take them very seriously because afterall, it’s just three little girls singing and dancing to metal music in the background. However, if you think just that, then you’ve completely missed the point! What these 3 little girls are about is already in their name, “BABYMETAL.” Of course these girls are going to sing about playing tag, stop bullying, and getting chocolate! To me, it’s like metal for kids, except adults would enjoy it, too. Sorta like… what’s that show call again? Uhh… My small tiny horse? My miniscule donkey? No darn it, that’s not it. Well you know which show I’m talking about! One that’s made for kids but has a grown up cult following. Anyway…
I will admit, I went to catch their show because of the “novelty” excuse. Like most, I got curious after seeing their Gimme chocolate!! went viral but as I got to watch the show, I actually understood BABYMETAL’s purpose more. They are not meant to be taken too seriously, these three little girls just want the audience to have fun. The concert started with a DVD introduction of how BABYMETAL was conceived. (It even got a Star Wars scrolling text parody!) They were created by a Fox Metal God who wanted to keep heavy metal alive thus entrusting the responsibilities to three infants: SU-METAL, YUIMETAL, and MOAMETAL. While the concept and idea is funny, BABYMETAL is in fact preserving heavy metal by establishing their own presence around the globe.
Now about their performances. SU-METAL sung and danced while YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL screamed and danced. While their main genre is heavy metal, there is an essence of J-pop mixed in because of their idol-ness. It, however, doesn’t stop right there. BABYMETAL demonstrated they are not afraid to tread across different waters of genre by mixing in some rap, dubstep, electronic, and even reggae in songs such as Iine! (いいね！), Doki Doki☆Morning, and Uki Uki ★ Midnight. One could argue that by mixing other genres especially dubstep ruins metal but the crowd there (majority who are BIG METAL HEADS \m/) really didn’t mind it at all. In fact, they still headbanged to it. If you got a problem with dubstep, it might just be you’re not a kid anymore ‘cause apparently them youngin’s love their dubby wubby steps! BABYMETAL, again, are essentially three kids, of course they would incorporate what’s trendy and what their fellow kid friends like into their music! Also, by mixing in other genres, I believe it might help metal fans open up to other genres as well. Okay, maybe I’m getting too political here.
Allow me to squeeze in some compliments to the actual band themselves. That’s right, BABYMETAL wasn’t dancing to a CD or MP3 Player. There was a live band shredding right behind them. Each time the girls walk off the stage to switch costumes, the white-cloaked bandmates walked up to the front to keep the show running. One can tell they are talented musicians themselves when the crowd was screaming just as loud for them as they would for BABYMETAL themselves.
As idols, there has to be choreographed dancing, right? Well, I wouldn’t call it “dancing” per se… at least not a majority of it was dancing. BABYMETAL’s choreo dance moves looked nothing more than them just having fun chasing each other around across the stage, pretend to shoot each other with finger pistols, playing tag, and pretending to be like airplanes. It’s like watching kids playing at a playground. Which brings us full circle, BABYMETAL is a 3-piece metal idol group that you can enjoy if you’re not going to take it too seriously. The crowd and I there had a great time.
During their HEADBANGER!! song, a whirlpool (or apparently it’s called the WALL OF DEATH) formed right in the middle of the pit! The fans were running around in a circle while a few were in the center of the whirlpool headbanging. It was the most awesome thing I’ve seen in awhile! (Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you see it, I was up in the balcony level or else I would’ve been pulled right in!)
All in all, I walked out of the show with a different perspective on BABYMETAL. These young ladies exist to have fun while preserving the heavy metal culture. It’s amazing that the people who were there enjoyed it much more than it being a novelty, they genuinely love BABYMETAL! All I can say now is… Much Respect. \m/
Would I recommend anyone to see BABYMETAL live? Most definitely!
For more information on BABYMETAL, go to http://babymetal.com/