Ahhhhh…BABYMETAL. Is there a more polarising band in rock and metal these days? It seems as though you either adore the J-metallers with all your heart or you despise them with all your soul. There are very few that sit in the middle but we like it think that’s where we find ourselves.
Here at GBHBL we’ve never quite been able to get onboard the train even though we’ve tried countless times. Single reviews (Distortion, Starlight) and album reviews (Metal Resistance, Metal Galaxy), we’ve grown to appreciate what they are and what they do for so many people even if we don’t quite understand it.
Of course, to do single and album reviews is one thing but live? That’s something we haven’t experienced. With Babymetal pulling into London on a windy Sunday night, was this finally the stop where we find ourselves climbing aboard?
The Eventim Apollo is packed to the rafters as 9pm approaches and the sound as the lights drop is deafening. Whether you like it or not, Babymetal are one of the biggest bands within the rock and metal world right now.
What looked like a very sparse stage reveals itself to be a gigantic screen that displays videos and a wide myriad of images throughout the set. Each member of the band that plays an instrument makes their way out before the three girls arrive to a simply spectacular reception.
It’s impossible to not be caught up in the moment and find yourself cheering along too. To say they are greeted like superstars is not an understatement.
In an instant, they’re off and rolling with a heavy as hell rendition of DA DA DANCE quickly followed by the exciting Gimme Chocolate!!. Which is a track that is 10 times better live than it is on record. In fact that statement could apply to a lot of the tracks tonight. Tracks like Kagerou, PA PA YA!! and KARATE are positively brimming with energy, catchiness and heaviness.
These are heavy metal bangers and seeing them performed on stage with such gusto confirms that. The trio, front and centre of the stage, never stop. Make what you will of the dancing and choreographed sequences, it can be off putting but once again, seeing it all performed live just makes it so much better. These girls are so damn talented and throw their all into their performances.
There’s nowhere as much crowd interaction as you might expect but when Su-metal screams “hello London” or they lead the crowd to clap along, it doesn’t feel fake. It feels real and bearing witness to the spectacular sight that is Babymetal live makes them all the more real.
With a wonderful light show, the big screen effects and some awesome pyro, it’s no half-arsed show. For someone who has never seen them live before (us) it makes it all the more enjoyable.
However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the show length. It lasts exactly one hour and that is it. When tickets cost nearly £45, that’s a little too short. It makes sense considering the energy and effort expended but it does feel abrupt. Even though the finale of Road of Resistance is such a gargantuan ending.
Aside from that, this was pretty damn amazing. While they may not do it for us on record, live they are very much a different beast.
BABYMETAL At the Eventim Apollo, London (23/02/20)