My impressions with Babymetal in New York and London 2014, 11/11
We finished our two additional concerts on the World Tour of New York and London without incident.
Things were really full out exciting this time as well.
First about the 11/4 New York show
Not only this show with Babymetal but for myself as well this was the first time to play at Hammerstein Ballroom.
I arrived at the concert hall amidst a full blown case of jet lag.
First we started with a sound check followed by rehearsal.
Due perhaps to the way the hall is constructed sound really reverberates.
The sound here is just a slightly different taste from the way things sound in Japan.
Maybe because the voltage is higher here than in Japan, or maybe because I am in high spirits, the sounds come out powerfully and with a rich feeling of expression.
For myself personally, at this show I have changed from a Shure ear monitor to a Fitear one and this makes it possible to hear more minute and fine details in all aspects of performance.
Following rehearsal I went outside and found that some fans had already started waiting in line…
I thought, “No one will recognize me if I am not all made up”…but I was found out.
People called out to me and I stopped to take pictures with them.
I try to approach these kinds of situations with an attitude of gratefulness and appreciation (Seeing as these will become good memories for both parties)
Some people that I always see in Japan are here as well. Thank you for coming from so far away.
If we get too many people taking pictures together it actually become a nuisance for others so I hurried back as fast as possible and changed in to my stealth disguise of being the Kami of Bass.
From this moment on, no matter how itchy my face gets I can not scratch. (And the entire head in my case)
No matter how tired I am from traveling, just before the actual performance I mysteriously get charged with energy.
Almost time for the Babymetal show to start.
The feeling of nervousness that exists from the calls from the audience the moment we step on stage to time we start playing contains an indescribable feeling of comfort and stability.
And then when the performance begins I can truly feel my life energy burning.
“This is my dream”
I murmured this unconsciously as I was playing.
I get the impression that rather than just going wild and thrashing around, the New York fans seem to really listen carefully to the performance and give themselves over to the sounds as they take them in to their respective perspectives.
I was also surprised by the large number of people who were taking videos.
Since in Japan it is a matter of course that filming is not allowed it was quite an interesting experience to brush up against such a difference in culture.
I saw some people carrying flags that said, “BOH” on them as well as some people dressed up like me. I am grateful for this.
We in the Kami band are really happy to have attention paid to us and to have fans call out in support.
Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal are members and we are the back band, you see.
We could not be paid so much attention as a back band in any other country or setting and so I am
filled with gratitude.
Next, the 11/8 London, O2 Academy show
The tickets were Sold Out!
It started raining before the show began and I got worried about the health of the fans getting soaked waiting in line outside. I hope they don’t catch colds.
Perhaps due to England being the birthplace of Rock the excitement and energy given off made it feel like the hall would collapse.
There was a lot of power behind the Mosshushu what with there being so many largely structured Europeans.
I beg of you don’t get injured or cause injury to others, OK?
This theatre type of historical hall has transformed into a Metal Live house.
I feel so fortunate that while performing I am able to take in the view of so many different types of people from young children to older metallers all enjoying the show together.
We are all humans, all the same. We can all have a great time together going beyond differences in race, religion and the environments we were brought up in. That is one of the charms of music.
I am proud of the fact that we can do this with Babymetal.
OK, now about the contents of this tour…
I am sure that the fans from Japan as well as the fans living overseas have verified this through videos uploaded to Youtube….but Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal are all continuing to grow.
Giving my own impression I would say that it goes without saying that Su-metal’s vocal range as well as her power have both increased but it is her “ability to convey her feelings to the audience” that has dramatically gone up.
However, it is not that she is particularly trying to sing more skillfully it is that she has a wonderful aura (presence) as a vocalist and frontman (frontwoman?).
The same goes for Yuimetal and Moametal. They are not simply dancing in unison with the songs, one can feel the the passion they bring to the stage, and the unshakable intent they have in exciting and entertaining the audience coming from the bottom of their hearts.
Being able to sing while dancing such wild and aggressive dances is something in itself that is no small feat.
Babymetal plays without MC…This does not simply signify that they perform “without a break time”, it means there is no place to slack mentally and there is no leeway to kind of zone out and no way to do things over…
If one is lacking in even one of the features of concentration, mental power, Kiai, stamina, guts, or passion one could not carry these performances out and yet the 3 members do it everytime.
I have an unlimited amount of respect for these 3 girls.
When I was a Jr. High/High school student I would not have been able to carry on and do my best the way they do… really this is not a trifling matter.
I respect the 3 members of Babymetal as artists.
There are also skills that we have acquired through these performances together with the girls.
We are not treated simply as a back band and are given emphasis as the Kami band, an important part of the Babymetal show.
And without mistake it is Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal that pull up and give significance to the existence of us, the Kami band.
It is a matter of course that our performing abilities and techniques are professional in caliber but we also perform with high quality not only loud, showy performances but also back up music and sound effects.
It is because of the incredible combination of members who can perform with these skills that we are able to play music as Babymetal that seems to surpass the human range of ability.
Not just playing as a back band but changing us into being an existence with value is the existence of the 3 members.
And also, this goes for the fans who are always supporting us.
Without your existence there would not be the Kami band that we are now.
Especially in Japan it is very rare that session musicians like us ever get a great deal of attention paid to them.
There seem to be a lot of people who do not understand the difference between a bass and a guitar.
Amidst this background it is because of you all that come to be recognized and regarded by larger population of people as being “BOH, the man who plays the 6 stringed Japanese bass”.
The house I live in, the car I drive and the beer I drink are all because of you, the fans.
I am playing the bass just because I like to do so.
This occupation comes into being because there is and artist and the fans who support and cheer on that artist.
My talk has gotten off track a bit.
Doing these two shows and I may be repeating things, of particularly deep impression was the increase in “the power to reach and affect the hearts of the audience” of the 3 members.
At the end of the London show we performed a new song that had not previously been performed.
In spite of the fact that this was the first time to perform the song and it was done in a country away from home, the song created a chorus call and response feature, the fans kept cheering after the song had ended like they didn’t want to leave, and so many fans were crying holding up their hands in the sing of Kitsune-sama moved by a song whose lyrics they could not understand. Seeing all of this I was convinced that we will see “these girls get ever, evermore great”.
I do not care a hoot about these opinions one sees such as “Babymetal is not Metal.” Or, “Well, real Metal is….”
These kinds of disputes are just ridiculous and there is no room or reason for debating about them.
These girls have gone to a place that is way beyond any of these trifling matters.
I personally have never considered what genre Babymetal should be classified as.
What I have interest in as a Kami band member (Bass no Kami) is “continuing to create Babymetal shows that are one and only, original and unique in existence together with the 3 girls of Babymetal and the world wide fans of Babymetal.” And that is all.
Further, I hope to continue to polish my playing skills and promulgate the Japanese 6 stringed bass to as many people as possible. If I can do these things nothing could make me happier.
The things I have acquired from working with Babymetal I hope to utilize elsewhere, and the things I get from other performances I hope to bring to Babymetal and the things I have gained through many experiences I hope to make use of in my own life.
That is the 6 string bass path of the bassist BOH.
Gratitude and thanks to all, feel the connection of all, provide dreams while chasing them.
That is my life.
And as you can see, my blog from today has become officialized.
I think this will make it possible for more people to be able to read my blog and that is something fun to look forward to.
By the way, my previous blog was translated by someone overseas, so I hope that will happen again (translator note: that appears to be the case)
I do not have the skill to translate such a long blog.
To all the fans throughout the world-let’s continue to excite and build up Babymetal together.
I look forward to seeing you all again at a stage filled with Love, Peace and Kawaii.
I have written earnestly so I would like to add one more comment…
I am not bald due to sickness. Do not consult with a doctor if you start getting thin on top when in your 30’s!
If you start to lose hair, just shave it off yourself. Do it openly. You will understand this if you do it.
(translator note: I know exactly how he feels as I did the same thing in my late 30’s. Good advice)