Hedoban vol. 12 Red night

Hedoban vol. 12 

 

Red night

Those who carry and take forward the 5-letter magical word of ‘METAL’

Thank you, Su-metal! Thank you, Yuimetal! Thank you, Moametal!

Thank you, the 3 guitar gods! Thank you, bass god! Thank you, drum god! Thank you, Kobametal!

Thank you for showing us this wonderful scenery….really, thank you, BABYMETAL!

‘2-days of Japanese Metal, Japanese miracles’ witnessed by 110 thousand fans.

‘2-days that are the envy of the world of Metal’ witnessed by 110 thousand fans. 

BABYMETAL brought to you by 110 thousand fans. 

BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2016 LEGEND – METAL RESISTANCE – RED NIGHT/BLACK NIGHT

2016 September 19 (Monday) Tokyo Dome/2016 September 20 (Tuesday) Tokyo Dome

A ‘Metal Gospel’ delivered under the name of ‘Tokyo Dome 2-days’

The following is a report on BABYMETAL’s 2 days at the Tokyo Dome brought to you by ‘Hedoban’ which has been moved deeply by the BABYMETAL’s ‘Metal Gospel’ time and time again in the past and which we will herein deliver to you to the extent possible, the maximum degree of appreciation and love for BABYMETAL in the truest form possible. This took place approximately 4 years since their 2 solo live performances of the ‘LEGEND CORSET FESTIVAL’ in front of 600 fans at the Japanese Metal sacred location of Mejiro’s ‘Rokumeikan’ on 2012 July 21. What took place on that stage on those 2 nights in front of 110 thousand fans? Just how big of impact were those 2 nights on the world of Metal? Further, what kind of compilation of performances did those 110 thousand fans witness over those 2 nights? With 30 color filled pages, ‘Hedoban’ will expound upon the ‘Truth of this Metal Gospel’. 

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Carrying and taking forward the 5-letter magical word of ‘METAL’…is this their fate?

‘A new Metal is born! BABYMETAL has uprooted and changed the concept of what Metal is!’ 

In 2013 with the decision to appear in Summer Sonic ’13 with the headlining act of Metallica, BABYMETAL goes all out to show their love of Metallica with their ‘May Revolution’. 

Following on the heels of their fateful meeting with Metallica at Summer Sonic ’13, they went on to perform, ‘Legend 1997 – Sumetal’s Seitansai’ on December 21st, 2013 at Makuhari Messe’s event hall. The towering goddess statue collapsing at the end of the show was an all-out homage to Metallica mirroring the goddess statue that crumbles to the ground in their ‘Damaged Justice Tour’ in the latter half of the 1980’s. 

At the end of the 2nd day of their first performances at the BudouKan in March of 2014 came the announcement that BABYMETAL would be performing at the Metal Festival, Sonisphere in the UK with Metallica billed as the headlining act. 

In August of 2015 they experienced the awesomeness and greatness of Metallica witnessing them from the extremely close proximity of the stage side when Metallica played as the headlining act at the tradition-rich UK Rock Festival, Reading Festival 2015. 

It was about 25 years ago. On New Years Eve of the year that the album monster Metal album , ‘Metallica’, known more commonly as the ‘Black Album’ was released and has gone on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide that, for just one time and one time only, that on December 31st, 2016, Metallica performed on stage at the Tokyo Dome. 

Following this, Metallica went on to completely rewrite the world map of Metal in one fell swoop. It has now been 25 years since this band shook the Tokyo Dome bringing us to September 19th and 20th, 2016. This Metal Dance unit, BABYMETAL, who are carrying on their backs the 5-letter magical word of Metal and accompanied by 5 gods, have come to blast out Metal at the Tokyo Dome like it hasn’t experienced in 25 years. 

Metal will shake the Tokyo Dome for the first time in 25 years.

‘Metal Gospel’ comes to the Tokyo Dome for the first time in 25 years.

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BABYMETAL- you who carry and take forward the 5-letter magical word of ‘METAL’…

To start off you mission, begin by completely repainting the world’s Metal map!

 

Hedoban vol. 12 Red night

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~ with all the BABYMETAL love there is ~

What exactly did the writer of this article feel in that space that attracted 110 thousand people over 2 shows? 

Also, just what took place on that stage and the coffin-shaped runways set up in the center of the Dome? 

This report will record what happened with all the BABYMETAL love there is. 

The numerous ‘Moments of Truth’ that dramatically occurred on the stages of these 2 days at the Tokyo Dome.

Tokyo Dome 2-days

Comprehensive report of…

‘The compilation of miraculous Metal entertainment’

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Going a bit past the scheduled start time for the show, at 6:21 the Tokyo Dome was plunged into a moment of darkness. 

The opening movie began to play amidst a roar of applause and excitement the likes of which I have never heard at any venue before. 

According to the movie, all of the songs recorded on the 1st album, ‘BABYMETAL’ and the 2nd album, ‘Metal Resistance’ will be performed over the 2 days. 

In other words, that means there will also be no repetition of songs in the set lists. 

One of the main points to consider for these shows is just what is possible with the extreme spaciousness of this venue. 

I was certain that I would be able to meet this day with a rational state of mind. Following the announcement at the end of last year at the Yokohama Arena that there would be solo shows at the Tokyo Dome and then the specified dates being announced at Wembley Arena all led to a building up of excitement for me. And thought the following nearly 6 months I kind of had a vague sense as I witnessed all that happened with the shows in America that these days were approaching. However, it was not until I actually had the view of the Tokyo Dome directly in my line of sight that the excitement was to suddenly swell up in my chest 

Tokyo on September 19th was hit with heavy rain and a coldness that was enough to cause you to shiver. When I arrived at the Dome a bit past 4 in the afternoon the areas surrounding the Dome were already buzzing with immense excitement. Seeing the areas around the Dome this filled with excitement was a first for me and that includes the Dome before baseball games as well. 

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It was virtually impossible to even know where to line up to enter the Dome and trying to figure out what the staff’s instruction were was equally futile. I was completely lost in the confusion. In the end, I was able to make my way into the Dome after about 30 minutes of struggle. Once I had settled down I realized that my T-shirt was completely stuck to me because of all the sweat. 

At the entrance I was handed a transparent neck corset. At the Nikon BudouKan performances everyone was given a neck corset when they entered the arena, but at those shows some people were given synthetically manufactured items while at this show everyone got vinyl  corsets embedded with white parts in the center that were designed to duplicate the Tokyo Dome itself. According to the explanation on the corset I was to understand that at some certain timing in the live performance this part of the corset would emit light. It apparently is the same type of set up as a Xyloband. However, I found out only later that not all of the corsets were identical with this one. 

My own seat was located on the second floor more or less directly behind the back net. As I was located near the ceiling, I assumed at this point that I would not be able to truly enjoy the sound of the show. This is because even in the best of situations this is not a venue that has the best sound. However, with advancements in technology it goes without saying that the level of sound quality has gotten better. In the past when I had seen such acts as MC Hammer or Guns N’ Roses perform at the Dome I would have no idea what song was being played when into each song and would have to wait till the refrain came up to know what song I was listening to. With the stage set up this time that is a center stage one there is still a fairly long distance to the stage. It would be fair to say that with this show it will not be possible to enjoy BABYMETAL as one usually does. That said, conversely, one wonders what kind of performance they will put on that makes the most of this spacious venue. 

Adding a bit about the set up of the stage, I need to explain that it has a circular stage located on the ground of the Dome out of which spread in equidistant placement 3 runways shaped in coffin like formats spreading out from the this center stage. And from this center ground stage stands at a towering height another tubular stage with a gigantic 4 part screen that fills in most of the space between the top of the stage and the ground, main stage. With this, fans are able to take in the movements of the members from whatever seat they happen to be in. 

The venue is basically without vacancy. Other than the ‘difficult to see’ seats located roughly where a foul ball would be hit to the right or left, the remaining seats are all packed with fans. The arena is packed with a huge number of fans where a quick glance would convince you that there are around 60 thousand people in attendance. 

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The SE flowing out of the speakers featuring the Metal all time hits of such acts as, Iron Maiden’s ‘Fear of the dark – 1992’, Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller – 1990’, Arch Enemy’s ‘Nemesis – 2005’ and Slipnot’s ‘Sick – 1999’ did much to add to the feeling that today would be part of the compilation of BABYMETAL’s work. And then, going a bit past the scheduled start time for the show, at 6:21 the Tokyo Dome was plunged into a moment of darkness. 

Following this, the opening movie began amidst an eruption of cheers and excitement that I have never heard at any show I have ever attended. In addition to the Japanese subtitles, the movie featured English ones as well for the fans that had come from overseas. The gigantic monitor screens employed as well as the consideration of their overseas fans, once again team BABYMETAL has gone all out in the attention to detail they give how BABYMETAL is presented. According to the movie, over the next 2 days all of the songs recorded on the 1st album, ‘BABYMETAL’ and the 2nd album, ‘Metal Resistance’ will be performed. Said differently, there will be absolutely no overlap in the set lists for the 2 days. 

nThe opening song about much was speculated here and there before the show turned out to be ‘Road of Resistance’. With this being the first time it has been played as an opening number outside of THE ONE limited fan club performances the reaction of the fans was one of thunderous, roaring applause. However, following directly after this an explosion of excitement erupted from the Dome that surpassed even this. Unbelievably, the 3 girls appeared on top of the tubular stage positioned above the main ground stage brandishing the familiar flags. No one in attendance expected the stage to be set up like this. I was able to take in a view of the 3 girls directly from the front and based on its relation with our seats this upper stage must have been a very tall one indeed. The unsung heroes of the Kami band were literally the support that upheld the circular tower above them. <There is a play on ‘En no shita’ that can not be translated without a 3 page explanation, sorry>

The heating up of the Dome accelerated as fire spurt out from the pyros one after the other matching with the signaled count of ‘1, 2, 3, 4!’. Su-metal, who always sings this song with a cool, detached look on her face was smiling away this time and I was able to see that in the sing along part in the latter half of the song that Moametal was also smiling. Just seeing them performing like this was enough for me to almost begin to cry. The sing along part directed in a guitar-led fashion went on longer than usual. 

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When the introduction for ‘Karate’ started I heard the immediate well up of an earthshaking roar from the crowd like I had heard time and time again on the west coast of America. I am sure that the 7 members felt in a tangible way the significance of this middle tune sound. 

It went on and on and on. And then Su-metal screamed out. She brought the song to its climax with a scream of, ‘Come on! Bring it on!’ <Kakatte koi ya!>. 

As I imagined the sound quality where I was seated was not very good. With the sound pressure being low I had the sensation that the sounds were being played out at a distance far from where I was sitting. That said, the thoughts and feelings of the 7 members standing on that stage were delivered directly to me and the spirit of this innocent and free-from-care stage performance that we had all been waiting for with so much anticipation caused my heart and mind to quake with excitement. 

When the next song, ‘Yava!’, started up the outer periphery of the stage began to rotate making it possible for everyone in attendance to be able to see the 3 girls from the front. While I mentioned earlier that the Kami band was there performing in a formation that kind of surrounded the stage under the circular tower with them obviously faced outwards. With this format it becomes exceedingly difficult for the members to make visible verification of the other members’ movement as well as making it hard to make eye contact with one another. I pondered over just how difficult a task it must be for them to pull off this complex ensemble with this kind of stage set-up. However, the Kami band did not show even a hint of this being a burden. This sense of the hidden ‘awesomeness’ of the Kami band that does not easily come across in simply in their music was none the less communicated to all of us. With the song, ‘iine!’, an overwhelming number of laser lights flooded the entire interior of the Dome and the entire collection of fans raised all at once their arms in a Kitsune sign pose during the interlude.

 

Hedoban vol. 12 Red night

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 In shows of this kind scale one usually sees sections of the crowd that don’t really get into the action, but today this was certainly not the case. The 55 thousand fans that had packed into the Dome here on this day were most definitely almost to a person a hard core fan. Everyone without exception was raising their hands in a Kitsune sign. This kind of reaction is not something you come across in ordinary circumstances. 

In the mid part of the show we were treated to performances separated into Su-metal solo songs and Black BABYMETAL songs performed distinctly. The one that really caused one to stand in awe was, ‘Amore – Aoboshi’. A huge roar of applause burst out when Su-metal appeared on the screen standing on the most upper stage of the tower with wings spreading out from her back. In spite of these wings being in fact created through synthesis with an illustration, the design of the wings, the way they balanced so perfectly with Su-metal’s body and the aura that powerfully emits from her all came together as one single unified whole that completely convinced the viewer that what one was seeing was real. And of course not only Su-metal, but also the performance of the Kami band was also truly amazing. In particular, the ensemble played in the interlude by the two guitarists as they faced each other was something that gives one goosebumps of excitement. 

Outside of the ‘THE ONE’ limited live performances this was the first time for the girls to perform, ‘4 no uta’ since they performed it at Wembley Arena. Said in a good, positive way, I can say that I really enjoyed the slightly ‘out of place’ feeling of the song. Although it can be said of all the songs contained on the 1st album more or less that I was of the feeling of, ‘I can’t believe I am seeing this being performed at the Tokyo Dome’ – that sense was especially strong with this song. In perhaps the most peaceful atmosphere in a BABYMETAL show yet, they divided the fans into 4 teams with such names as, ‘the Happy 4 <Shiawase no yon> team’ or ‘the Delicious/Vitamin C <OiC no yon> team’ upon which they carried out rounds of ‘4 calls’. The facial expressions of Yuimetal and Moametal throughout the performance from beginning to end were ones of relaxed cuteness. 

The thing to bring to a state of tension and alertness once again was the solo performances of the Kami band at the beginning of ‘Catch me if you can’. The 3 members of the stringed instrumental section of the band spread out over the respective runways where they put on monstrous performances that drew in the attention of everyone in their area of influence. The time that they were able to display their best expressions of Metal were perhaps during these performances. This is a benevolent favor that is perhaps granted only to those big artists who are allowed to perform solo acts to their hearts content on these major stages. 

Even the song, ‘Gimme Choco!!’ which is usually positioned as a song that can be used to get things cooking and to provide excitement for the rest of the show was on this day used as a kind of bridge to the next song. Making use of the 360 degree revolving periphery stage in performing this killer tune this song tied in to the following big song of ‘Karate’. 

In the realm of progressive Metal the ability to dance to the music  is only in the hands of these 3 girls.

I think it would be fair to say that this song is the one that has grown and developed the most out of the songs on this tour. More than when it had been performed inside of Japan, and as it was at Wembley, the energetic, passionate eruption of applause when this song starts is an amazing thing and is something that I heard time and time again when they performed on the West coast of America. I am sure that the 7 members felt in a tangible way the significance of this middle tune sound conveyed by this song. With the heavy groove that hits one in the lower back as a backing sound, Su-metal filled us up with expansive vocals that were at once strong and powerful and yet filled with benevolence. 

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The masterpiece song for the band was the long awaited, first performance of the song, ‘Tales of The Destinies’. Due to the issues with the Dome’s sound circumstances there were parts where the sound did not quite live up to listening expectations. That said, the Kami band put on an amazing performance for this song that no matter how you think about it, could not possibly be performed on stage. Moreover, the 3 girls performing out front danced and sang this transcendent, gigantic epic of progressive Metal in an outstanding manner. Their ability to dance and perform this song with it’s complex beat without falling out of step signifies that they have delved into a new realm, a new dimension of performance. The ability to dance to progressive Metal is something that only these 3 girls can pull off. 

At the end of this song the neck corsets that we all were wearing were at last all lit up. A roar of excitement and amazement growled out as the whole of the Dome of was lit up with white lights, followed by a monstrous swelling up of thunderous applause. It was a spectacle of that level of wonderment. These kinds of methods are often used in the shows of other performers, but the scene unveiled here was unlike anything I have experienced before. The reason I say this is that with other shows these next generation lights controlled by wireless technology are usually in the form of wristbands, and so while they are beautiful when they light up they lose their unifying impact with everyone swinging them around. However, for us at this performance, the lights were wrapped around our necks. The very fact that we could not sway them around freely was an integral part of their performance impact, and they fulfilled their role lighting up the arena equally throughout the time required. It created a great sense of solemnity. This fit perfectly with the image of the song and was a wonderful performance effect. 

With this state of affairs the only song remaining to be played was of course what came next. That is, ‘The One’. At last the time for this song to be performed at the Dome had come. At the tips of each of the three runways the girls appeared dressed in costumes highlighted with golden colors where they proceeded to walk toward the center stage. Ever since I hear the studio version of this song I have always looked forward to how it would be performed live and I felt that this performance of it even surpassed its unveiling at the Yokohama Arena. 

Upon reflection after the show finished I can say that it was a non-stop round of emotional excitement. While I have some misgivings about the sound quality that remain even now, I can say unequivocally that the 7 members of this band have the undeniable ability to evoke emotions that surpass how well they dance, or how well they sing or how well the band performs. The attractiveness of  BABYMETAL has become a phenomena that can not be explained in simple terms. 

It goes without saying that of course everyone has their own way of feeling and perceiving a show. 

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While I can not state that I encountered these girls at a very early stage, I can say that looking back and digging through my memories I can say that they were always an entity that struck deeply into my heart. Speaking conversely, from the viewpoint of fans who have only come to be enchanted by their music recently they are certainly a huge Metal entertainment form of music that can be enjoyed without over examining things. I think either approach to their music is just fine. You can enjoy their music and performance from whatever angle you approach them. That is BABYMETAL. With the excitement of the show running around my head, I wandered around the streets of Suidobashi in the horrendous rain wondering just as before what exactly is this thing called BABYMETAL.

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