Be sure to get a copy of Rockin’ On Japan Vol. 479 for the full experience of this amazing article. 

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Rockin’ On Japan 

Vol. 479 

2017 February

P. 112/113

BABYMETAL

Comprehensive 2016 Interview

Putting it simply, this is just not enough and with these 3 girls we can be sure that there is much more ahead. 

This was a year filled with a series of miraculous scenes. 

What do these 3 girls think of the events of this year as it comes to a close? 

We will also provide a detailed report on their 1st and 2nd days of performing with the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

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This interview took place in the morning the day after the December 6th 1st day London show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the morning of their 2nd performance. The interview was conducted over Skype and lasted for 90 minutes. 

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BABYMETAL’s 2016. When we look back on this year in terms of BABYMETAL history I am sure we will see ‘That year of 2016’ as being a year where the outstanding BABYMETAL phenomena enveloped the world. 

In 2016 BABYMETAL’s ‘Metal Resistance’ was released and become a major hit in Europe and America which was followed up by a World Tour which kicked off as them being the first Japanese artist ever to perform a solo show at Wembley Arena and which finished off of with 2 sold out shows at the Tokyo Dome. To round things off in a big way they were selected to perform in the UK tour of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

It became a daily occurrence for us to learn about the world wide activities and news about BABYMETAL through the respective news outlets around the world. I did some media coverage with the 3 girls in March of 2016 and the time following that until this interview flew by in a flash flow of excitement. I once again was blow away by the factors that made for this outstanding success of theirs which included their earnest steadfastness and the charm it generated as the girls would approach any stage even if it was in a land totally foreign to them with a direct and positive approach, as well as their mental soundness and raw toughness that served them so well. With that, I want to delve into how they themselves consider 2016 and how they actually think about how they have developed and grown over this year. What do they think about the 1-year period as it draws to a close? They spoke deeply and in detail about these topics. They spoke in a language that was full of fun and harmony but that also showed to a surprising degreee just how tough they have become. 

Q: 

Is it morning for you over there? 

3 girls: 

Yes!

Q: 

How do you feel following the 1st show?

Su-metal:

It felt like it had been a long time since we had performed away from home. I was a bit worried about how it would go but, as we progressed through the set list I could sense that they audience was getting more into the music and enjoying the show and I began to feel that from that point things would go just fine. 

Yuimetal: 

It reminded me a lot of how things were when we performed as Lady Gaga’s supporting act. And the early stage Festivals we performed at were also all away from home and so when I remembered that if we just plow ahead with our own BABYMETAL-ish flair that the crowds would follow along with us and so I was able to perform knowing in my own mind that everything would be fine. 

Moametal:

Remembering the early days, Moametal also starts to feel like she is going to cry. That happened in last night’s show as well. I feel there is no reason for us to get anxious or rush things and all we need to do is bring to everyone a performance that is ours and so that is how I want to do my best for the remaining 7 shows. Additionally, the members of RHCP are really wonderful people and I don’t mean that just as artists but as human beings as well and so I feel I can learn a lot from them. 

Q: 

The fact that you are performing with the RHCP is a huge news item and is being reported upon here in Japan as well. What were you saying amongst yourselves when you learned that you had been selected for this role? 

Su-metal:

We were talking like everything would be fine if we believed in ourselves and performed as we usually do to the best of our abilities. 

Q: Do you mean to say that there was no need to do anything special to work yourselves up for this and that you should approach it as the usual run of things?

Su-metal:

Yes, that’s right. 

Q: 

So, after finishing this first show was there anything about the performance that differed from the away from home shows you have pulled off in the past?

Yuimetal:

The range of ages was the same with everyone from small children to adults, but the type of music favored by the audience was different. We perform a type of music that builds up the excitement with aggressive and wild shows but many of the songs of the RHCPs are more of a slow build up resulting in the audience singing along. There was a bit of a  sense of frustration in that they did not immediately respond to what we would throw out to them. 

Q: 

Talking with you now, you all seem just like this is an ordinary day for you (laughs). You know you have one more stage to perform today there in London, right? Rather than being all nervous prior to taking on the challenge of performing on such a major stage you seem to be very relaxed. 

3 girls:

Hahahaha….

Q: 

We you able to ‘burn up every ounce of fuel’ <Kanzen Nanshou>? 

Su-metal:

We have not yet performed with all we have, I feel. We will just give all that we are able to perform and then watch the reaction of the audience. 

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By going through this process time and time again we learn how that we should approach this reaction or that reaction in this or that way. 

Q: 

You must feel a sense of leeway and confidence born out of having successfully making it through this 1 year period of 2016. 

Su-metal:

(laughs) Yes, but it is true that 2016 seemed to be the year where we played the biggest number of live shows. This year’s World Tour had the greatest number of live shows in it. We performed a lot in America as well. 

Q: 

I want this interview to be mostly about how you feel looking back on 2016. Can I ask each of you in succession to give us a brief summarization of how you see 2016 looking back on it?

Su-metal:

Speaking in very brief terms, I feel it was a year of great change. That includes changes in my own feelings as well. For example, in the Festivals that we have appeared in the past it was always accompanied by a feeling of, ‘What is this thing called BABYMETAL?’ with many people in attendance having never even hearing our name. However, I felt that this year many came to the shows with the mindset of ‘I have heard that BABYMETAL is apparently really something amazing’. Up to recently I always felt a bit of being at a loss and bewilderment when we played at a show away from home, but now it is more like I feel we have to go that extra mile conversely just because we are somewhat well-known. That is because I felt we had to live up to the expectations of people coming to us with the mindset of, ‘these girls are supposedly really amazing’. I felt constantly that we had to provide shows that topped even what we had done up until this year. 

Q:

Su-metal, you as the central figure must carry the burden of symbolically being the biggest member of BABYMETAL. Did you feel that the pressure or rather the sense of responsibility around this role change this year?

Su-metal:

Up to now there were many instances where I had to present a formation that was perfectly crafted, but speaking about the feeling this year it was more like since I felt each live performance was a raw, living thing that from that perspective I needed to lead us along and had to pull out ideas from within myself a bit more. At the beginning I was at a bit of a loss at times but as I learned firsthand that each live show was a one time only affair I was able to realize that each venue was totally unique and different in the response of the fans and began to enjoy that aspect of things. 

Q: 

How were things for Yuimetal and Moametal?

Yuimetal:

There were many shows where just hearing the name of the venue like Wembley Arena or the Tokyo Dome awed me just knowing of the scale of the venue. There was an increase in the number of occasions for many people both within and outside of Japan to come to know us and I was a bit uneasy and anxious about knowing that at places like Wembley Arena that we would be performing as the first Japanese artists to do so and would be laying down a legend. However, with the conclusion of each live performance I gained in confidence and the level of trust in the staff-san and the members grew as well making me feel stronger as we went along. The events of this year made me want to travel ever farther down this path. 

Moametal:

I really felt that the environment around us had changed greatly. It is how Su-metal stated a little earlier, the number of people who had come to know us had really grown in number. Because of this I became anxious considering just how we should go about delivering BABYMETAL to everyone. But, I felt that better than worrying about things that it was better to just plow ahead. And so I think it was a good thing that we had a lot of away from home shows this year. My thinking really changed due to meeting so many people as we moved from Wembley Arena to the RHCP tour. This is because I realized that it is not that we as BABYMETAL have to adjust ourselves to our surrounding environment but rather that we have to learn not to change even as the surrounding environment does so. I feel that we have to aim at ever higher goals while not changing who we are. 

Q: 

Moametal, you said in a previous interview, ‘no matter what kind of situation we face, we can only move ahead’. It seems that this attitude has grown stronger over this 1-year. 

Moametal:

Eh, no, I don’t feel like I have grown that strong, you know (laughs). I feel I was only able to make through this year because Su-metal and Yuimetal were by my side. Because these two strong girls are by my side I feel that I too want to be strong. I would be best if all of us are strong together, right? (laughs). And that is why we will continue to get stronger and stronger. 

Q: 

As you have just stated the unified bond of power of the 3 of you is one of the main strengths of BABYMETAL. In that regard, how do you feel that you have grown stronger this year?

Su-metal:

Ever since we have started to go out on these World Tours I have felt in an undetermined way that whenever we make eye contact with each other that we know what the other is thinking. I think this is something that we have trained ourselves to be able to do ever since we began doing these away from home shows way back in the day. And so I think this unified bond between the 3 of us itself is something that we have developed to a high level of completion from quite some time ago. However, I think it is recently that we are able to read the atmosphere of our shows in a more unified manner. It is like we can direct the show in this way or that according to the feel of the crowd. There were times in the past when we could not get that same unified of the audience. But, recently we are often told by those watching the shows that even though we haven’t verbally said anything between ourselves that, ‘Wow, you were able to raise the excitement of the show together’. That ability is something that comes from feeling the atmosphere of many shows taken from our experiences in doing so many performances. 

 

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Q: 

Su-metal, you performing and singing in the central position have carried a big load of responsibility up to this point and from the point of view of this unified group cohesiveness that has grown in this year, has the significance of what you must deal with changed at all?

Su-metal:

Yes, well, the final thing we are aiming at is the same for all of us. While that is not something that we can yet see, it is something that we know lies on the path that we have walked so far and so… well, actually this year was the first time I ever got nervous doing a live show. At Wembley Arena for the first time, or rather the first time in many years, I got nervous. Up to now, I feel that usually I would just find myself performing on stage without knowing exactly what it was all about, but at Wembley Arena I finally felt the immensity of what it was all about. (laughs) At that time I was greatly encouraged on by these two. 

Q: 

Eh, so when the show was over did it seem different to the 3 of you? 

Su-metal:

Wembley Arena was, as you can imagine, a show that would determine how we should approach 2016 and the fans at Wembley determined that for us. I was very happy about that. I felt a sense of relief, like, ‘’Ah, now I can see the road to take’. I felt that I then knew how to proceed. At the beginning the audience seemed in a state of chaos and there was a sense of an unsettled blur, but through our songs the fans came together as one unified whole. When you perform on a stage the scale of Wembley Arena the audience is not made up wholly of hard core fans. It was there that I felt, ‘Ah, our music is something that surpassed the boundaries of countries’. This gave me more confidence in our music. 

Q: 

Wembley Arena took place the day after ‘Metal Resistance’ was released simultaneously around the world and was set timing-wise as the frontal attack for 2016 was getting its full-fledged start. In other words, I feel that you must have felt the pressure that the whole battle that awaited you for 2016 hung in the balance scales of how this live show went. 

Su-metal:

Ever since we began recording the album I felt that we were heading out into a new challenge. This 2nd album was us as BABYMETAL created something new that only we could do based on the tours we had performed and on the various types of music that we had studied. In fact, in truth, this was the beginning of our challenge and was to be the real start line for us. I feel that there was perhaps a sense that we also had to change. 

Q: 

That is truly how it is. I think that you had to create a world view that was unique to BABYMETAL, show a performance style that only BABYMETAL could perform and connect with the world-wide fan base as you dove into a challenge on a scale that was of a dimension different from what had come before. So, of course you would feel nervous. 

Yuimetal:

This is the same for the album, but we ourselves also had to keep our core essence as it always was in ourselves as BABYMETAL and in the passion we put into each and every live performance but we also had to absorb and include as much as possible the areas of respect we have for all the various people we have come in contact with. The main core doesn’t change but we have to raise our level of skillmanship based on the what we have taken in from outside sources. In that sense, we felt we had to make bigger changes. 

Q: 

In the midst of all that, ‘Metal Resistance’ was received with high praise around the world. As BABYMETAL got bigger and bigger I can imagine that the 3 of you must have felt like this existence known as BABYMETAL was starting to charge ahead with a will of its own. What do you think about that?

Su-metal:

The hurdle set by or for BABYMETAL got higher. The only place for us to express ourselves is in our live shows. So, how to go over that hurdle is something that we fretted and concerned ourselves with with every show. As you can imagine all kinds of things can happen at a live show, but those are not things you can make excuses about. 

Yuimetal:

That is true.

Moametal:

Yes.

Su-metal:

But, just exactly because we were successful with those live shows we are now able to be where we are. However, this situation is something that in actuality I have come to think of as a scary situation. 

Moametal:

That is because live shows are ‘live’, living things. We have gotten so that we can talk with each other during the shows – recently, that is. That came about following Wembley. 

Yuimetal:

Ah, yes, that is so. 

Moametal:

Up until then we would talk about how to approach things after a live show had finished. But, from around the time of Wembley we started talking about our approach about things during the show. We came to talk amongst ourselves about what direction to go based on what we observed about the mood of the fans. 

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And so, we are now able to calmly deal with things as they come up during a show. 

Yuimetal:

Up to then we were only concerned with ‘attacking’ but now we have learned how to use the technique of ‘defending’ as well. (laughs) That doesn’t mean just huddling up in defense but rather doing things defensively with a purpose. We now talk amongst ourselves before a show and looking that overall picture we decide, ‘this is where we will play it safe’ and ‘this is where we will bring things to a climax’ and so we know clearly how to deal with the shows. 

Su-metal:

Comparing the shows to a battle it is like we have come to be able to conceive a fighting strategy. Up until recently we have come out with all guns blazing but now we properly attack things starting with the small stuff first and depending upon the reaction of the audience we are able to move accordingly. If the fans are really getting into things we are able to adjust our fighting stance, or something like that. We are now able to consider a wider range of actions. 

Moametal:

For us, from the outset we considered our shows to be battles but now we are able to think about and use a variety of approaches making it much more fun. I feel the time I have to reflect upon myself during live shows has increased. It is like getting items in a game. I feel like I have gathered up quite a few over the years. 

 

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Q: 

Having watching your live shows over this year I felt that you each had an individual kind of set of boundaries that you challenged yourself with, but with this year it was more like the 3 of you were moving as one unified unit. Don’t you think in that meaning that your sense of unification has grown much more than before? Having been asked so, how do you feel about this point of view?

Su-metal: 

We were very acutely aware of the fact that if each of us just did our best in our own individual way that we would all be going in separate directions without any meaning. I think that the sense of just going all out in for what it is worth was of value and had some great benefit but I feel that at last the individual battles we had been waging have come together as a unified set of 3 and since we now have the feeling of, ‘the 3 of us fighting together’, that we have all become stronger in spirit. 

Yuimetal:

This is something I think about every year. With each increasing year I realize that BABYMETAL is something that I can not ever let go of, you could say. This feeling of really loving BABYMETAL just keeps getting stronger. It goes without saying that I am referring to the 3 of us but I also include the staff-san and the fans as part of this increasing sense of a unified group feeling. This year I felt even more than in the past that not only the 3 of us but also the degree of teamwork of everyone related with BABYMETAL has grown greatly. 

Moametal:

Up to now the way it has been with BABYMETAL was that each of us respectively did our best to the 100% maximum but by doing so these efforts would remain within the realm of BABYMETAL and not reach the outer world at all. I felt there were times where the true essence of BABYMETAL was not properly conveyed to the fans. In that sense, it would be better for each of us to give 50% of our efforts making for a total of 150% being delivered to the fans which I feel would be a much better state of affairs. 

Q: 

Up to now I have thought of BABYMETAL as being separated in terms of roles as one and then two. That means one member sings overwhelming songs while two of you perform perfectly synchronized dance movements while mesmerizing the fans. But over this span of one year I feel strongly that this 1 to 2 ratio of roles has faded away. 

Su-metal:

Up to now I felt that for the time being I had to focus on moving ahead. I had a sense of responsibility telling me that I had to keep doing my best. There was a strong sense of awareness that I had to lead the three of us onwards. When we were to perform at Wembley, and this was the case at other times as well when I felt nervous, they tapped me on the shoulders and said, ‘Everything is fine. Lets go out and do our best!’. I had always thought of them as being the little girls I knew but recently I feel they are more grown up than myself. It is because they are like this that I feel we have been able to become ‘the 3’ that we are now. It was like all of a sudden I realized that the two of them had grown into being adults. (laughs)

Q: 

(laughs) Returning again to the timeline, we see you touring completely overseas from spring in through summer. The summation of that being the 2 nights of performances at the Tokyo Dome. While the state of the relationships between the 3 of you has changed dramatically throughout this year the 3 of you have already spoken about how for the Tokyo Dome shows you were in the best state of balance and the highest point to unleash your power. Could you talk about that?

Su-metal:

When you get to a stage of the scale of the Tokyo Dome there is very little time for the 3 of us to get together. But, that said, I think it was because of this year’s tour that we were able to pull it off. In that sense I feel that you could say that it truly was a summation of the year. 

Yuimetal: 

When I first heard that we would be performing at the Tokyo Dome I felt that perhaps we were not yet up to that level of things. I wanted to be truly full of confidence and be able to perform at a level equal with that of the Dome. From there as we traveled around on the World Tour we learned a great deal, grew in power and the bonds between the 3 of us grew stronger and stronger as we headed towards performing at the Tokyo Dome and this really made me happy. I think the performances where we were able to exhibit the maximum of our current abilities were the shows at the Tokyo Dome. 

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Moametal: 

I was amazed that so many people would come and follow BABYMETAL around on tour and that overseas fans would come from their home countries to see us perform at the Tokyo Dome. We are of the mindset of wanting to give energy and happiness to everyone but it almost seems as if it is us who are given these things. I wonder if it is alright to be so happy and fortunate. But, once the Dome shows were over I felt that we would be able to go on to bigger things and this idea of going on to achieve even bigger goals was something the 3 of us talked about together. 

Su-metal:

This is the same for me. I simply feel that have not done enough. (laughs) I felt that with the 3 of us, with team BABYMETAL, we can plow farther ahead. 

Yuimetal:

That is how I felt as well. Being able to think like that is not such an ordinary thing, is it? For the me who existed just 1 year ago, or perhaps a bit farther back I am pretty sure just standing on the stage at the Tokyo Dome would have been way too scary for me. There are DVDs of artists performing at the Tokyo Dome where they show scenes from the stage looking out over the fans, right? Being able to see that scene for myself with my own eyes…well, wow, even though 2-months have passed since I actually stood on that stage even now I wonder in amazement if I actually performed there. When we were performing on the Tokyo Dome stage I thought that if we have fans who will support us this much that we perhaps can go on to even bigger things. 

Q: 

It seems to me that over this year the 3 of you come to know extremely well how best to present BABYMETAL. In accordance with that, it seems that rather than focusing on what particular stage performance you want to challenge yourselves with it seems to be that there is more of a significance in how you can best and most properly perform the particular ideal that the 3 of you have developed amongst yourselves. 

Su-metal:

Yes, that sounds right.. This is also an area dealing with intuition and feeling and so I am not able to express it in words so well, but giving it a go, I would say that exactly because the way we approach our live shows and our relationship with the fans has changed this desire to do ‘more and more’ is not in reference to the size of the venue. Of course we ‘put and burned up every ounce of fuel’ <Kanzen Nenshou> into the Dome shows, but once they were finished to me they were no different than our usual performances. It was a feeling of, ’Oh, we have finished this stage?’. And, ‘Alright then, lets move on to something greater’. I think all this signifies is simply that we have overcome another hurdle. 

Q: 

Do the two of you also have that same feeling? 

Yuimetal:

The feeling of nervousness when we appeared on the stage at the Tokyo Dome was greater than I had imagined. I honestly thought that my heart would just give out – it was just about that scary. With our other shows there is always a mixture of nervousness and enjoyment, but with these shows the feeling of nervousness was strikingly bigger. However, because I was able to feel the same way as Su-metal and Moametal about the 3 of us overcoming this major event together I was able to approach the shows with that shared feeling and I was able to get accustomed to the challenge while I was dancing to a degree greater than I had imagined. It is hard for me to put into words, but the feeling expressed by Su-metal’s ‘more and more! is also now a part of Yuimetal’s thinking. I have performed now on so many stages, all of which have helped me to grow at a rapid pace and so I feel I have now become strong enough in spirit to not be overwhelmed by performing at the Tokyo Dome and so I feel that is why I can now be of the mindset of, ‘more and more!’. I feel that is a kind of proof that I have grown and developed. 

Moametal:

As I was thinking deliberately on this just now I couldn’t answer for myself why I too am of the mindset of ‘more and more!’. But, listening to Su-metal and Yuimetal’s answers something came to me and that is that it is not that the Dome was such a big stage as our of 7 billion people on the planet 110 thousand people is a such a small number of people that we have been able to make contact with. The world is a much bigger place and so I feel that I would like to meet more and more people and I want to become even more a person who is the reason a person smiles. I want to meet more and more people. 

Su-metal: 

Talking like this as we are now and being able to listen to everyone’s ideas from the ground up I feel like I have understood that there is an actual reason for me to feel that I have changed. We took on many challenges in 2016. Before we departed on the World Tour I said that, ‘I want to return as a person suitable for performing at the Tokyo Dome’. But, in fact I feel that we returned having grown to a level that exceeds that by a bit. When we performed at the Saitama Super Arena one and a half years ago it was like, ‘Wow, we have made to it to this major stage’. But as we are talking now, I feel like the ‘me’ that has experienced performing in various countries overseas has grown to a degree that is a bit bigger than the scale of the Tokyo Dome. 

Q: 

That is amazing. (laughs) It truly was an incredible year, wasn’t it? 

Su-metal:

It really was a period of many successes. That said, I feel that exactly because we have come this far we must be compelled to aim ever higher and the burden from the pressure that comes with that does show its face sometimes. I want to do my  best to be able to exceed this period of successes next year. 

 

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I watched the 1st and 2nd day performances with the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

This is a thorough report that follows the 3 girls as they continue to develop as they step onto the explosive stages they have been selected to appear on!

BABYMETAL appeared as the guest artist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in their UK tour. And while I am not the artists performing,  just thinking about it frightens me into stone cold paralysis. There is simply no way that the girls were not full of apprehension and self doubt. Wondering just what kind of shows these girls who took this challenge upon themselves would put on propelled me, with a desire to see them first hand, to drop everything and make to London to see their 1st and 2nd performances. 

The 1st day performance. I made my way to the O2 Arena. While I was able to spot BABYMETAL fans who had come from Japan for the show here and there, the vast majority of the people present were local RHCP fans. Thinking to myself that tonight’s stage would most likely prove to be a tough environment for BABYMETAL – I made my way to my seat. The stage set up was an extremely simple one. There would be no use of screen effects nor ?? and all there was on the stage were BABYMETAL flags standing in the background. Contrasting this with the Tokyo Dome shows I saw in September really bright home the realization that this was to be an away from home performance. The show started out with ‘BABYMETAL DEATH’. The floor of the viewing area was not even half filled up yet. But this did not seem to bother the girls in the least as they surveyed the venue with calm, detached eyes followed by their usual performance carried out as outstandingly as always. Seeing them perform the ‘B – A – B – Y – M – E – T – A- L.’ sharply and without holding back in their movements for some reason sent tingles up and down my spine. They followed this up with the popish, cute ‘Awadama Fever’ and when Su-metal’s crystal clear voice resounded throughout the venue the first time viewers began to gradually get a sense of how to enjoy the existence of this thing called BABYMETAL. Watching from the standing area I was able to see that many of the people in attendance were starting to bob their heads. But what shook the atmosphere that was largely of a sense of checking things out and trying to get a grasp on things out of its placidity was ‘Megitsune’. Appearing dressed in Kimono-like costumes with the Fox masks backed by this melody that evokes the ‘Wa’ of Japan immediately drew the crowd into the charm of BABYMETAL. Without giving a hint of a care about this being an away from home performance, Su-metal aggressively fanned the excitement of the audience. Questioning the crowd, ‘Are You Ready? and being met with an inadequate response, Su-metal again drilled the crowd with ‘Are You Ready? O2 Arena!!?’ throwing in clapping and jumping into the mix. Just where does the tenacity and courage to do this come from? There is no doubt that this stirring up and egging on the audience really changed the mood of the venue. It dawned on me that the crowd had grown in size until it reached to the back of the arena. I felt like I had witnessed firsthand the instant that BABYMETAL had overcome a huge obstacle. Then with Moametal and Yuimetal joining in actively on the call and response in ‘Gimme Choko!’ the reaction of the audience rapidly heated up. 

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The responses to the girls rapid fire and unreserved shots of ‘Louder!’ and ‘One More!’ were almost funny in how large they were in volume. These girls are amazing – they are able to stately and without any sense of timidity pull this kind of performance off in spite of this being their first time in this venue in front of a totally unknown kind of audience. Seeing them perform in this manner truly moved me. Next was ‘Karate’. And although the meaning of the Japanese lyrics of, ‘Seiya, Seiya Tatakau n da. Kanashiku natte, Tachiagarenaku nattemo’ could not be comprehended by the audience in this foreign country, I was convinced that the sense of ‘Tatakau’ <fight/battle> was more than sufficiently conveyed through the performances of the girls themselves. The cheers following this song were one step louder and enthusiastic than before. With the girls performing the 7 songs up to and including the last song of ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’ to the full extent of their abilities made one feel that there is potential for them to take it even further. There is no doubt that this night’s performance served to enhance the girls’ confidence greatly. The following night’s show amazed me and showed an even greater level of growth and development. 

Having successfully carried out the 1st day’s performance there was nothing for the girls to be afraid of and so in the 2nd night’s show all they had to do was to sincerely pursue whatever is required to grab the hearts and minds of ever more fans as they put on the best show possible. While the show stage with the curtain being raised on the opening song of ‘BABYMETAL DEATH’, with tonight’s show I could not see even a speck of self doubt as the 3 girls scanned every nook and cranny of the venue and from the very outset of the show directed all of their energy onto the audience. On this day as well there most definitely were a large number of people in attendance who were seeing BABYMETAL for the first time but this time the speed at which the audience was drawn into the charm of the performance was dramatically faster. The size of the reaction  of the audience serves as an accelerator to raise the energy level of the show itself. This was something I felt from the performance of the Kami band as well. In and above being from the outset a band made up of exceedingly talented musicians it seems that the interest paid to the band by the RHCP fans on the 2nd day helped to bring more emotionality to the band even than usual resulting in the Kami band putting on a truly spectacular performance. In the day’s 3rd song, ‘Catch me if you can’ the self initiated clapping and joining in with the sing along began at an early stage and there were decidedly more people than the previous day head banging along with the band’s performance. By adding more parts to the call and response section of the song the osmotic penetrating power of this song grew drastically in strength. In just one night BABYMETAL was able to clearly and with pinpoint precision zero in on what they needed to do and adjust their performance accordingly. This occurrence at this away from home venue in the UK where they hadn’t played for quite some time is testament to the extreme importance they placed on these shows. The fact that they never slacken up or take it easy for even one song or even one single phrase even when they are appearing as a guest act is the same with how things have been up to now, but their ability to grasp the mood of the audience and immediately implement what needs to be done into their performance has increased to a surprising degree. 

 

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When it is the right time to stir up the excitement of the audience they are able to do so with precision, and when it is time to let their emotions take flight they do so without pulling punches. It is precisely because they overcame the hardships of the 1st day filled with nervous tension that they were able to put on such an emotion filled performance the 2nd day. One this day every member of BABYMETAL was able to put those emotions into their singing, their dancing and their performances without a hint of holding anything back at all. They succeeded in creating a sense of unification with everyone in the venue that exceeded the day before in the ‘Jump’ part of ‘Megitsune’ and the call and response of ‘Gimme Choco!’. While simultaneously cooly and rationally considering the harmony and overall balance of their performance the girls are now able to expose, without any sense of covering things up, the raw, passionate emotions that reside within themselves. That is what live shows are all about, and it may in fact be that this was a challenge meant for the girls to re-realize how important it is to shake up the hearts and minds of the audience. 

At the first day’s show, RHCP’s Anthony expressed his thanks to BABYMETAL for accompanying them on this tour during his MC talk, on the 2nd day, Flea appeared on stage wearing a Fox mask, while Josh wore a BABYMETAL T-shirt during one of the shows. I am certain that they felt how much BABYMETAL had grown with each passing show. By the time of the Manchester show, the 3 girls actually appeared on the stage with the RHCPs and performed alongside them. 

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Moreover, at the final show of the tour, Chad appeared on stage dressed up in Kami band cosplay attire and proceeded to perform a Judas Priest cover song together with BABYMETAL. That is absolutely fantastic. 

BABYMETAL is a unit that been able to carry out the Metal Resistance by redefining the concept of Metal as being something that is also a form of entertainment. Up to this point in time the 3 girls have completely comprehended this fact and have provided us all with performances that are all a very high level of completeness. However, with this tour they have transformed into a unit that can express an even more bare and raw performance that truly shows the essential qualities of what live shows are all about. On the 1st day at the London performance they felt the possibilities of this. Then, at the 2nd show the were able to shift into being able to spill out somewhat from the here to fore BABYMETAL way of doing things and to be able to enjoy doing so. Su-metal’s vocals have grown in emotional depth while Yuimetal and Moametal’s dance performance have surpassed the realms of harmony and synchronization and have evolved into the realm of expressing emotion and allowing us to feel the qualities of physicality. They have gained an new confidence knowing that they are more than able to traverse the world without having to rely on large scale stage sets or gimmicks. I am quite certain that their upcoming live shows with Metallica and Guns N’ Roses they will show us ever developing performances. It is becoming ever more difficult to take your eyes off of BABYMETAL. 

This is a syndicated post. Read the original at Babymetal/Sakura Gakuin – All Things Japan2016-12-31.