There may be hard core fans who want to see Metallica from the very front row, but there are also several thousand fans who have made there way here who want to see BABYMETAL. All that is left is for everyone to go all out in excitement.
I think it would be fair to say that to some degree or another many of the people here are because they want to know more about BABYMETAL
I seemed to recollect that I had heard somewhere that it would be prudent to, ‘be prepared for dealing with winter in Seoul’. That said, the coldness I encountered when I got off the plane following my 2 hour flight to Gimpo International Airport exceeded my imagination. On this outing I ventured out on a path that was separate from the main Hedoban overseas unit wherein I would be going on basically a forced march that got me in and out of the country in less than 24-hours. What is more, I was in the worst of conditions as I did not sleep at all the night before departing. I was somehow able to retain my sanity by getting a bit of sleep as I traveled from place to place.
I got off the subway at Seoul station which is located about 20 minutes from the airport and headed to small, tidy hotel about 10 minutes on foot from the station where I checked in. After unpacking my bags I rushed to track 1 of the subway and got on making my way to the Gocheok Sky Dome where the live show for today was to be performed. Since the subways in Korea were originally built based on technology provided from Japan they are easy for Japanese to use as well. The subway cars themselves were clean and nice in appearance. However, thinking that I could make my way to the venue using one line, I found out that the tracks separated at the Kuuichi station 1 stop before the nearest dome stop making it so I had to backtrack one station. Apparently the subway tracks branch off into differing directions when they reach this station. It is similar to the way things are set up on the Marunouchi line in Japan.
With this mishap and other occurrences I ended up finally reaching the Sky Dome at around 5:30. The periphery of the Dome just prior to opening the gates was filled with people standing in line for merchandise and staff members organizing the crowd with shouts over their megaphones. I am not sure what misunderstanding they may have had, but some booths were even selling penlights. The place was filled with a spirit of welcome for Metallica with flags printed saying Metallica lined up evenly spaced all up the slope and a gigantic Metallica flag plastered up over the main entrance.
I met up with Hedoban’s main unit and as we made our way into the venue we were met with a long winding concourse. It was a familiar and welcome sight to see similar to what we see at a Japanese baseball stadium with food and beverage booths lined up in rows. That said, the aisle was a bit narrow and there were not so many food and beverage booths to choose from. This is probably influenced by the fact that there are around 18,000 seats set up in the Dome.
The stands are much narrower than anything a Japanese person would imagine when thinking of the seating set-up at a dome type of baseball stadium. I am sure that such a close, narrow set up would provide for more enjoyment in watching a baseball game. With those thoughts in mind I descended to the ground floor using a short flight of stairs that were perhaps about half the length of those of the stairs on 1st floor of the Tokyo Dome. The artificial turf was covered with protective sheets to prevent it getting all messed up, but this was done in a very haphazard manner with areas where the sheets had already been pushed up exposing the turf underneath. Things used to be like this in Japan as well a long time ago.
I let myself relax and have a look around once I arrived more or less at the center of the standing area. It seems to me that there are not so many fans in attendance. It called to mind the way things were at the London Red Chili Peppers’ performance. The only difference is is that today’s show was not a sold-out event. I was pretty sure that even when Metallica’s show began that the stands would not be filled up.
People began to sing out in a totally instinctive way here and there. There is no way that one could film what was happening in front of us and remain calm doing so.
Even considering that though, one could not simply feel that this was an away from home show for BABYMETAL. The time schedule had been announced beforehand and so fans who were not interested in the girl’s performance would have no problem simply showing up later. And so one could only surmise that the fans showing up now were those who were more or less interested in BABYMETAL. And certainly there must be some Metallica fans who wanted to watch the show standing in the very front row. Regardless, there were many thousands of people here who came to see BABYMETAL. The remainder were here to just mosh out. The curtain on BABYMETAL’s 5th performance in Asia spread out over the 4 countries of Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and now Korea was now about to be lifted.
The highlight of the show was of course, ‘Karate’. The overpowering sound with the unparalleled vocals and dance overwhelmed the Sky Dome.
Amidst a rush of people that surpassed our expectations swarming toward the standing only floor moved by the power of BABYMETAL’s vocals, we were able to witness the familiar storyline taking place for the first time on Korean soil. The wave of excitement in the dome ramped up a degree or two.
The highlight of the show was of course, ‘Karate’. The overpowering sound with the unparalleled vocals and dance overwhelmed the Sky Dome. I was heretofore of the feeling that the Korean crowd was rather docile, but once things got going I was witness to the amazing, fervent excitement of the Koreans. As soon as the members appeared on the stage there were smartphones being raised all around the crowd as people struggled to get images of their first glimpse of BABYMETAL.
The first song was ‘BABYMETAL DEATH’. One was unable to not let out a ‘Ohhhh!’ of excitement due to the loudness of the performance sound. It was an explosion of sound that was clearness itself. I can not comment on how things were at the back of the dome, but at least in the arena area I can say that the state of affairs was of the optimal condition. The people who were raising their smartphones for pictures were now raising their fists in approval. Many of the people were well acquainted with the songs and were moving in accordance with the music. Other than these people there were those spread out over the audience who were calling out in excitement instinctively with the show. There is no way that anyone could be calming trying to film this performance in light of what was going on on stage.
What was interesting about this was that the people in charge of filming the show had obviously not done any kind of preliminary research and were totally unable to deal with what they were showing on the screen (speaking in detailed terms, I am referring to the persons in charge of switching the camera views). It was a total mess with them showing Yuimetal when Moametal was singing and vice versa Moametal when Yuimetal was singing.
But, this is something that can not be avoided perhaps. Before the performance of ‘Catch me if you can’ was the traditional Kami band solo. However, with the Bass Kami being covered by another musician for the day there was a bit of a strange feeling about the performance, but that was most likely just because I was not used to it and the 4 members went on to lay out a wonderful, new groove.
I felt the 3 girls put on a performance that exhibited a sense of leeway in their expressions. And that is not too surprising. But, that is just so, they have now learned so much about the meaning of, and their roles, in performing as opening acts for these big artists by accompanying the Red Hot Chili Peppers in heir UK tour. Their performances were even more stately and dignified than ever before.
Su-metal enticed the crowd to, ‘Show me a big circle pit’ along with Yuimetal and Moametal depicting the image of a large circle with their hands and arms. It was here that there was a bit of a mistake. Su-metal mistook the take in to the last chorus of ‘Oni-san Kochira’ and was 4 beats off. In the interim between songs the girls realized, ‘Ah, we screwed up!’ and their grimaced faces were truly cute. However, the 3 girls did not drag this mistake along with themselves. The vocals in ‘Megitsune’ were fantastically clear and far reaching and they went on to totally mesmerize the audience with heretofore untold levels of cute smiles and amazing performance with ‘Gimme Choco!’. They were unwavering in their performance.
The highlight of the show was of course, ‘Karate’. The overpowering sound with the unparalleled vocals and dance overwhelmed the Sky Dome.The unification of the people in the venue in the call and response section was of the highest level and fans were going wild raising their voice in exhilaration responding to the song.
Metallica was as to be expected even more amazing than this.
Each note of the final song, ‘Road of Resistance’ stimulated the venue as we headed into the end of the performance bringing those of us in the standing area to an ever deeper state of enthusiasm. The dignified introductory guitar riff floating out throughout the Sky Dome announcing the coming of Metallica was truly fantastic. And along with this, the vision of the 3 girls as they exited the stage shown on the giant screen was absolutely ethereal.
I think it can be safely stated that BABYMETAL’s first Korean performance was a success. When the show ended there were groups of people who were hugging each other due to the excitement (at a glance I thought they were Japanese) and there were girls wearing patch ridden jean jackets who were dancing crazily throughout the performance- something I have never seen in any other countries.
I was in such a high state of excitement because of the degree to which BABYMETAL had been so well received – even more than I had imagined – that I was amazed that Metallica could go even beyond this. The level of excitement and enthusiasm of the fans went way beyond even what I had just experienced making the venue feel like it was taking place in South America, leading me to believe that the 4 Metallica members would not feel too bad about this show not being sold out. They put on a performance that didn’t make one think that this was their first day of a World Tour and totally enthralled their audience. The screen which was of a scale the likes of which I have never seen before was truly effective and despite not making use of other special effects, the depiction of the 4 performers on this screen was enough to totally overpower the audience. There are certainly very few venues in Japan that would allow for this to be used.
The overpowering, explosive sound and performance of this band that envelops the audience while showing the band members to be having a good time attests to the broad appeal of the Metal genre. I was under the impression that Korean Rock fans loved ballads, but that does not seem to be the case. I am very envious of the unchanging fervor of the Korean fans.
BABYMETAL on TBS NewsBird / Hedoban 2015 Interview with ENGLISH SUBS
Watch the full report and interview on TBS The News Bird with BABYMETAL with english subtitles.
BABYMETAL Special Report and Interview on TBS “The News Bird” about their special performances in Europe at Kerrang Awards 2015 and Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2015 with footage from Sonisphere Festival in 2014 also, and Saitama Super Arena on January 10 of this year, in addition the report makes focus on the increase of sales of Heavy Metal music in Japan thanks to the exposure of BABYMETAL meeting other artists in Festivals.
Also in the interview Su-Metal talks about her level of english and the audiences overseas and the differences with Japanese audience, while Yui-metal makes mention to Kerry King from Slayer and how much he inspires her, and Moa-metal said that she is listening Limp Bizkit lately and investigating the band, her favourite song is “My Generation”.
Subtitles provided by Thomas Malone and Maron-Metal
“Road of Resistance”!
“Live at Budoukan ~ Red night”!
Overseas warrior training journey!
This can not be reduced simply to the genre of “Melodic Speed Metal”.
“Road of Resistance” which should be referred to as the greatest Metal Anthem coming of out Japan in recent years.
The clear and blaring sound of the “Red Night Edition” is knocking people over right and left.
The multitude of Miracles shown during the overseas warrior training journey that followed on the heels of the “Live at Budoukan ~ Red Night”.
Due to the fervent love call of “Hedoban” Kobametal answered our requests with a mail based interview about hints as to where Babymetal is headed following their “Legend 2015 ~ New Spring Festival” performance.
Regarding “Road of Resistance”
When did you begin to start creating “Road of Resistance”? I remember you saying before when we talked with you when you were working on the Babymetal album that “you had a song in the works that had an even higher BPM”. Were you referring to the “Road of Resistance”?
The basic form of the song was ready quite a ways back, but it took on the structure of a song in 2013, I think.
With Babymetal songs made up to this point you have incorporated things from a variety of Metal sub-genres. “Road of Resistance” has a 100% degree of pure so-called “Melodic Speed Metal” to it. Were you, Kobametal, personally pondering doing a “Melodic Speed Metal with Babymetal”?
With the songs of “IDZ” and “Akatsuki” that we have released in the past we already had incorporated Melodic Speed Metal aspects so I was not particularly making an attempt to do so anew with this song.
Is the Metal sub-genre of Melodic Speed Metal one of the types of Metal that you personally like? Also, what facets of Melodic Speed Metal attract you?
Personally, Melodic Speed Metal is a type of music that I have been listening to from a long time ago. With its high speed guitar work and drumming laid over with a melody I am attracted by, and I mean this as a compliment to this type of music, to its various components that are often called somewhat “uncool”.
The first time I heard “Road of Resistance” in London I was truly surprised, but when I heard the finished studio song with all the various sounds packed into it I was once again and further surprised. Were there certain things you were focusing on or any difficulties you may have encountered when working on it?
The point I was really trying to pay attention to was just how “Babymetal” could we make it sound. The difficult part was the high tempo of the song I guess you could say.
In Vol. 1 of “Hedoban”, “Kobametal-san’s selections ,” you selected Dragon Force and so I would assume that they are a band that you like and so I would like to ask you what you find appealing about them from your point of view?
It would be the fact that they do not let you down in your expectations of them and so speaking kind of metaphorically, it is like when you order a dish at a restaurant hoping to get the exact same taste that you got when you ordered and tasted it before. I feel that they have an originality that could be called the “Dragon Force beat” that they provide at just the right place in a song with just the right sound and melody.
In having the guitarists Sam Totman and Herman Li of Dragon Force collaborate with you on this song was there anything in particular you requested of them? Also, was that excessive “Baka Tech” (term for someone who is possessed with a unique and highly skilled musical technique) high speed guitar play born out of the instructions of a Kobametal who likes that kind of guitar technique perhaps? (laughs)
Since we were envisioning the incorporation of Dragon Force playing from the demo making stage I feel there was not much of a wide ranging change from the initial image. They worked very cooperatively with the requests made to them from the Babymetal side of things. Thanks to this positive attitude we were able to add in this wonderful guitar performance and I feel create music that is even more powerful.
Putting the lyrics of “Road of Resistance” into a massive song progression that could be considered a rather stereotypical has led fans to sometimes referring to this song as an “Anthem”. Were you deliberately trying to make this song into an anthem-like piece?
Regarding the sound of the song, when we were creating the theme of song we wanted it to start off with a lead in that had a strong sense of making an appearance like Judas Priest’s “Hellion/Electric Eye” followed by the appearance of a high speed Melodic Speed Metal sound like that of Dragon Force with a sing along where the audience can cry together with the band. Since we were attempting to make a song with this kind of image I think it was destined to come out as an anthem-like song.
The chorus with “Woa Woa” makes a deep impression on one. At the Saitama Super Arena performance this turned into a huge group chorus with 20,000 members. Said in a favorable meaning, it seems to me that you created this with deliberately with Arena Metal in mind.
Up to now we have intentionally incorporated parts of the songs known as “Ai no Te” and the Death Voices into Babymetal songs so the fans could sing along together with the girls, but in the 2014 overseas tour I realized that “there were many foreign fans who wanted to sing along together from the beginning to the end of the show”. Especially in the overseas performances since the girls sing in Japanese and there is no MC this sing along part symbolically became a trigger for bringing Babymetal together with their fans into a unified, “The One”.
The lyrics of the “Road of Resistance” are of a type that has not been seen in Babymetal songs previously. Simply put, what is the theme of this song?
The theme of the lyrics is the image of the road that Babymetal has traversed so far and the road that they will continue to walk here on out and I feel that this is not limited just to Babymetal but to all who participate in the Metal Resistance with the message to them being one of encouraging them to “Believe in oneself and charge ahead”. This is a song that has an important meaning and serves as a thematic song in the Babymetal Metal Resistance.
“Road of Resistance” has a very strong feel of stately British Metal to it. Did this have anything to do with it being debuted in England?
Since the Live performance at the O2 Academy in London on November 8th last year was the final show in the WORLD TOUR 2014 and was done under the theme of it being both the ???? of Chapter 2 of the Metal Resistance and the introduction of Chapter 3, presenting it at this venue at this time for the first time had significance as being the theme song for the 3rd Chapter. Further, Yuimetal ardently expressed her wish that it performed saying, “It must be so!”. (laughs)
“Live at Budoukan ~ Red Night~”
I feel that the number of artists who can put out Live performance editions is rather limited. Do you, Kobametal-san, personally have any special thoughts regarding Live performance albums?
I think that Live Performance albums are interesting in that they offer a way to express differences in the way a guitar solo can be phrased or in the way the song arrangements can be presented. I may be possible to enjoy music even more by discovering the slight differences that occur in each performance.
“Live at Budoukan ~ Red Night~” is being highly praised by the fans and because of many people have come to be fans or have come to look upon Babymetal in a more favorable light. With this Live album were you aiming to “draw out the core musical essence of Babymetal”?
I was not in particular deliberately attempting to do so, but in that it contains all of the songs on the 1st album, “Babymetal” performed live without break, it could be said that it attempts to be a sort of “Best Live” album.
Idols often release DVDs but one doesn’t often hear of them putting out Live performance editions. Including the opinions of the 3 Babymetal members did you have????
With Babymetal I feel we have already come to the point where they can not be contained in the bracket of being an Idol band, and since in some cases I feel they are putting on Live shows that are richer and heavier than other rock bands I have absolutely no worries regarding this matter.
One of the jewels of this Live album is the involvement of Ted Jensen. Why did you think of asking Ted Jensen to work with you on this Live performance album?
This is also the workings of Fate, or rather the divine instructions of Kitsune-sama, I feel.
Incidentally, could you tell us how Ted Jensen thinks about Babymetal?
He said he feels they are an extremely unique entity.
I felt there were some differences in the way the sound was handled such as the way the sound was recorded and the way some sections were emphasized between “Red Night” and “Black Night”. If that is so, could you tell us why? And were these due to the ideas of Ted Jensen?
We did not deliberately set out to create a difference in the sound and I feel the sound on the day of the recording plays a big part in this.
Following the overseas warrior training journey
And then following upon the heels of the BudouKan shows the band suddenly embarked upon an overseas tour. Did you feel from before that this would develop into an overseas tour based on what came before?
I did think that eventually we would develop into performing overseas, but I thought it would take a bit more time to do so. The speed of things following the release of the album was very fast.
The staff at “Hedoban”’s sense of the outlook regarding Metal changed after experiencing the Metal Festival of Sonisphere with its gathering of everyone from small children to the elderly. Did you, Kobametal-san feel a change in your outlook toward Metal after experiencing Sonisphere from the inside realm of that world?
I discovered many things by experiencing this authentic English Rock festival known as Sonisphere. I actually experienced the fact that the Headlining act, Iron Maiden is a people’s band. I felt the wide range as well as the history and scope of Metal on seeing everyone from grandchildren to elderly grandfathers and grandmothers participating in the festival wearing Iron Maiden T-shirts.
There is an image that more than America that Europe has an enthusiastic fan base regarding Babymetal. How did you yourself feel about this?
Since each country has its own way of reacting to and enjoying Babymetal, it is difficult for me to say which country is the most enthusiastic about Babymetal, but I do have the impression that within even Europe it is especially Germany and England in which there seems to be a bigger ratio of fans excited about Rock and Heavy Metal. Through the tour I heard from various people from many different countries that when Japanese artists perform in Europe it is usually the Asians living in Europe or people who are interested in Japanese culture that come to these shows, but that with Babymetal the fan base is different.
Is there anything that you feel is interesting in the difference between the Japanese fans and the European fans?
That would be that they really “sing a lot”.
In England long time standing Metal media sources such as “Hammer” or “Kerrang” have been out and upfront in covering Babymetal. Please let us know your straight, unadulterated feelings regarding this.
I feel it is a great honor.
I am certain that you have received a great deal of foreign media coverage up to this point, and I would like to know if this differs from the Japanese media in any way?
There does not seem to be too much different in the way both the Japanese media and the foreign media cover Babymetal as being a unique presence, but I feel that since the overseas cultures do not have the concept of Idol that the foreign press tends to treat Babymetal more as an artist in their own right or as Metal band. And I feel that the overseas media seems to be more enthusiastic in their coverage.
Along with Sonisphere of course, I feel that Babymetal acting as the opening band for Lady Gaga was an extremely precious experience for the girls. How do you, Kobametal-san yourself feel about this?
Even if they differ in genres I feel it was an extremely important experience for Babymetal to be able to travel on a tour with an artist that is performing on the world stage.
In Japan the number of Metal fans who come to Babymetal shows dressed in Metal T-shirts has increased and because of Babymetal there are many former Metal fans who are returning to the fold so it seems that Babymetal has touched the hearts and minds of many Metal fans. What do you think about this situation?
I feel that this is a sign that the Metal Resistance is moving steadily ahead.
Are you still responsible for the BGM that is played as fans file into Live performances? And if this is so is there something that you are paying attention to in selecting the songs played following the overseas warrior training journey? There are cases of Iron Maiden songs being prevalent and with the recent SSA there were many Judas Priest songs played…
I am pretty sure that the songs selected are according to the whims of Kitsune-sama on that day.
On January 10th at the Saitama Super Arena (SSA) there were about 20,000 fans in attendance. This is something in the Metal world in Japan that has not happened recently for Live performances. What do you, Kobametal-san think of this excitement?
Since I have the impression that we were allowed to appear in the Loud Park event known as the “Big show” I was a bit worried whether we could fill out the arena with just Babymetal fans. And so when we were actually able to fill the entire arena with a sold out show I was filled with excitement.
I am sure that you are looking forward anxiously to the new overseas developments from May. And we here at “Hedoban” are looking forward both mentally and “financially” to this development (laughs). Is there a possibility of Babymetal venturing into unknown foreign countries?
Listen up! …. The “Red night-Black night” are truly Japan’s cutting edge Metal — Babymetal!!
The first chapter of the Metal resistance is compiled right here.
Our report chock full of emotions spanning 10,000 characters (referring to the number of Kanji)
Are you holding on tightly to the Neck Brace that was handed out to you at the opening day at the Budoukan venue?
Are you daily watching the “Live at Budokan” trailer?
The Metallers, no, all of the fans who witnessed the “Red night/Black night” are certainly proud of what they saw and are filled with excitement everyt ime they remember every detail they experienced that night that has become etched into their minds. I would like to talk about the “Red night/Black night”. Over and over and endlessly I would like to talk about it. I dedicate this 10,000 character report to all those fans who shared these nights with me and with all those true Babymetal fans who have been so fascinated with Babymetal. It is the hope of us at “Hedoban” that this report will serve as a source of reference for “talking about the Red night/Black night experience. Our true feeling is that this can not be captured even with 10,000 characters. So, we have entrusted out intent with the 3 girls of Babymetal, with Kobametal and as well with the entire staff that supports Babymetal!
We hope we will be able to see unapologetically and in all its glory the “True Metal” of Babymetal at the Mecca of Metal as was shown to us at the “Red night/Black night”.
On February 25th BABYMETAL’s first album went on sale. The night before this albums were first released for sale at Shinjuku’s Tower records. Toy Factory twitted on its official twitter site that a “Stupendous line of people” had formed outside Tower records. I couldn’t take my eyes off my Smartphone screen. I became so concerned with each passing second of the current state of affairs of Babymetal that I was unable to concentrate on my work. In a fortunate turn of events “Hedoban” Vol. 3 was scheduled to go on sale this same day. I received a mail from the editor on the day it was to go on sale which said, “It is amazing! Everyone standing in line at the cash registers are holding their hands the Babymetal CD and “Hedoban!”.
So apparently he had gone to Tower records to check on how things were going. I am quite certain that he wrote that mail with his eyes tearing up.
At the end of last year’s December 21st Babymetal solo concert, “Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai” held at Makuhari Messe it was announced by way of a video presentation that Babymetal would be performing 2 days at the Nippon Budoukan. For a large number of fans this meant they would have to wait patiently until March 1st until they would be able to experience once again (or for the first time) a Babymetal live performance. Of course some lucky fans would be able to see them before that at a joint show with Kinniku Shoujo Tai, or at their Singapore or Taiwan performances, but this is obviously only a very narrow segment of their fan base. Considering their rapidly expanding number of fans this scarcity of live performances is kind of weird.
Legend 1997 Su-metal’s Seitansai
For the ordinary fan the pace of Babymetal’s activities that they are aware of appear to be rather uneventful. It goes without saying that this pace is not anything like the 8-year intervals between albums that we saw with AC/DC but it does feel to one that the metal resistance that has been carried out up to now has been slow and kind of inching steadily along. That is why it is very interesting that in spite of this there has been this sudden increase in the number of fans.
There is very little information about Babymetal. They have no blog and even the official Twitter account only announces the bare minimum of information deemed necessary. It does seem kind of weird. However, that said, one can also be of the point of view that having a smaller amount of information makes things easier to organize and handle in your head. Having too much information can in some cases bring on fatigue or cause you to lose interest. It also may make it easier for new fans to get on the boat so to speak. It is not a simple of case of more is better when it comes to information. Fans who are starving for information tend to listen to the music and watch available video material over and over. That goes for the writer as well and I find myself repeatedly viewing “LIVE ~ LEGEND I, D, Z APOCALYPSE”. I don’t think that it was a purposeful intent to create a state of starvation in their fans, but I would say that most certainly the lack of information has served as a side effect playing around in the background of this rapid increase in the fan base.
And now we come to the long awaited date of March 1st. Due to the large number of fans perched on the edge of starvation the tickets sold out almost immediatelyThe fate of these 3 girls will be decided one the first day of this 2-day event, the “Red night Legend, Giant Neck Brace festival, the Tenka metal Budoukan Final”.
I was planning to get to the venue early to stand in line to buy goods, but since I was unable to sleep well the night before I ended up arriving after 3 O’clock. I really wanted to buy the legendary Budoukan version of the “Corset Festival” T-shirt but one look at the monstrous line of people made me give up on that idea. I decided to wait for a while outside the venue.
When I looked over the line of people waiting to buy goods I was delighted to see that there were people holding copies of “Hedoban” and even some reading it as they stood in line – a favorable scene to see. It appears that the publication side of the metal resistance is gradually making inroads as well. I had heard all this through mails from my editor before but seeing it with my own eyes actually caused them to well up with tears of happiness.
Had the octogonal center stage really been changed on purpose to make the “most superior metal stage on earth-the Budoukan” into a fighting arena, or colosseum?
OK, here we go-entrance time! My spirit of excitement has been building up to incredible heights.
As I approach the entrance I am handed a corset and told, “Please put this on as you enter the arena”. It is an obligation possessed by all who enter to wear their corset. When I entered the Budoukan with the corset wrapped around my neck I let out a expression of surprise as I had done when I saw Babymetal at Makuhari Messe.
There was a great octogonal stage positioned right in the center of the Budoukan, and there was a monitor hanging down from the ceiling. Surrounding the octogonal stage there were 4 circular stages in place which connected to the main stage by with aisles. The stage which was all done out beautifully in red and black was embellished with magic squares (Mahoujin). This is truly a work of excellence.
A center stage, and what is more, at a standing only style of concert, at an arena of the class of the Budoukan is an extremely rare occurrence. A long time ago ARB set up a boxing ring in the Korakuen hall upon which they performed and in more recent times Brahman put on a standing only performance at Makuhari Messe. However this may in fact be the first time that a concert has been put on with a stage set-up like this at the Budoukan.
The octogonal center stage deliberately draws out the elite status of the “most superior metal stage” and further helps to portray it as a fighting arena, or colosseum. When I reflected that this Budoukan performance would be a part of a story that began with last spring’s “Babymetal Death Match” and continuing through 2013 Summer Sonic a wave of emotions rose up in my chest.
The stage set-up was a true spectacle and then when I looked around the entirety of the arena an even more mysterious scene met my eyes. The periphery of the stage seemed to my perception like a scene that had been recorded and shown to me in black and white. This was due to everyone in the audience wearing a black T-shirt or a black jacket thrown over their shoulders which were in contrast to the white corsets they were wearing. While I do not know how many people were in attendance, the vast majority were all dressed more or less the same. This also I can only express as being truly spectacular. This type of scenery is also one of the factors that goes into to constructing the world of Babymetal. By the way, if you were to come into the arena without a corset around your neck, one of the “Bonesman” patrolling the areana would point and gesture to you to quickly put it on.
These “Bonesmen” really carried out good work in the arena. Before the concert began they were walking around the arena carrying flags bearing the logo mark of Babymetal on them raised high in the air. They would lead people who had entered the arena to their seats and help them out. At times they would call out “Oi, Oi!” in a loud voice. From time to time their actions would appear on the monitor hanging from the central ceiling. This being seen by the fans in the stands helped greatly in building up their excitement and involvement with the event unravelling before them. This great attention paid to the fine details of putting a first class show is truly a wonderful thing. The result of all this attention to details helps to create a world that separate and removed from ordinary reality.
Somewhere along the way the arena has morphed from a concert venue into a sort of underworld theme park.
The concert has yet to start. I wonder what will things be like when it has finished.
The arena goes dark. A “Boneman” appears on the monitor and in a deep voice he says, “Kobametal Death” (I am Kobametal) Kobametal is a figure well known to our readers and who is best known as the porducer of Babymetal. However, Kobametal appearing on a large screen monitor at a performance is indeed a rare event. I do not know if he is someone who likes to be the center of attention or not but the fact that he has chosen to appear in form of a character is itself a really interesting idea. He goes on to announce that the “Neck Brace festival” that was in the past held at the Meguro Rockmaykan would now have its venue changed to the Budoukan where it would be called the “Giant Neck Brace festival”.
Next, we are informed through an oracle from Kitsune-sama that, “When the pitch black darkness transforms into a crimson red color, Babymetal is challenged with a further test conveyed by Kitsune-sama”. The Fox god continues, “There will be no stories or commentaries between songs, no encore and that from the time one puts the corset on your neck the battle will begin. Indeed we are already headed toward destruction…”. When I heard the word destruction I felt myself shake. The countdown to destruction…Wait a minute sometime in the past I bought a CD that had that as its title.
“Have you made preparations for your neck?” Is the switch about to pressed?
“I will ask you once again, have you made preparations for your neck?”
The audience growls back loudly, “Guoooooooo!”
“The Giant Corset festival begins now!”
With that the excitement building visual presentation of Kobametal came to a close and the countdown switch was pressed. Here the breakdown part of THAT song was played over and over in a loop. Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne—Ki—Tsu—Ne…….. That’s right, “Megitsune”.
No mistake about it, the most fitting song to be performed as the opening piece is none other than “Megitsune”. The circular stages rise up in a mysterious red light with the three girls posed theatrically. When the “Soiya, Soiya”, “Sore, Sore, Sore” begins the audience is in a festive frenzy.
For many of the fans here this is the first time to meet the girls since the Seitansai held at the end of last year. And there must be many for whom this is their first time to encounter Babymetal-their, “At last I am able to see them in person” moment. So how is it?! Just how incredibly cool is this?! Just how cute are they?! Look! Look at the way they move! All of it including of course the performance of the Kami band is of the highest quality found in Japan at the present time, isn’t it!
During the performance of “Doki Doki Morning” and following through “Gimme Choco” a vortex is formed in the Mosshu Pit. Since the arena is separated into differing blocks each block has formed it’s own respective Mosshu circle all of which are spinning around with incredible momentum. Babymetal fans refer to each other as Mosshu mates. And so Mosshing with this kind of intense energy is just a matter of course. “Zukyun!” “Dokyun!”
The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal has in an instant pierced the hearts of 10,000 fans. And this number shall most surely increase as time goes on. In “iine!” a laser beam was used which added a further feeling of theatre to the arena and immediately following “Kitsune Da O” one saw the incredible sight of 10,000 fans all together doing a Dogeza Hedoban. A true masterpiece of performance.
The girls got to take a brief break before diving into “Catch me if you can”. The long version intro provided the 4 members of the Kami band each ample opportunity to show their mind boggling musical skills. The sounds they were drawing out from their vast pool of abilities resonated deeply in the hearts of the audience propelling on the excitement the show. The 3 girls made their reappearance as the entire arena was thoroughly grooved into the heavy sound of the Kami band which served to further heat up the excitement. One could almost feel the Mosshu pit heating up tangibly on one’s skin.
After “Uki Uki * Midnight” it was time to unveil Su-metal’s solo, “Akumu no Rondo”. Once again I have to ask myself, “Just what is this aura, or presence that this teenage girl possesses”? As usual her standing posture is the embodiment of cool strength, but at this moment I felt she was attempting to reach an even higher level. She is truly in possession of a deep well of talent and at this point in time we yet unable to see how far she will go. This chaotic song rolls along with a viciously modulating tempo which she masters perfectly even while engaging and fixating the entire arena. She performed this very difficult piece with smooth ease. I have listened to this song since then repeatedly on CD but it is certainly quite a different animal from the one I heard performed with the blasting sounds of the live performance.
Black Babymetal composed of Yuimetal and Moametal then performed “Onedari Daisakusen” followed by the incredibly lighthearted and fun yet extremely wild “Yon no Uta” which was unveiled at this venue on this day. Ever since I heard this song for the first time“Yon Yon Yoyoyoyon” has been playing in my head virtually non-stop. And I truly appreciate the Metal reggae section that reminds one of the way the Scorpions did this many years ago. This too is metal. I once again recognized the fact that metal is a genre of music that is able to swallow up any type of music it encounters.
The split second that Su-metal screamed out, “Now, Akatsuki!”, fire flared up from locations around the stage. Akatsuki”. When Su-metal’s voice rides on the Speed, on the Metal everything heats up to a fervent pitch. I feel that I will fly up infinitely high riding on this accelerated vocal myself. Akatsuki has totally recharged me with vitality and I even have a heightened sense of courage surging through my chest. “Babymetal Death”. A low bass sound that seems to lead one into the very depths of hell resounds eerily throughout the entire arena as the audience responds with chants of, “Death!, Death!”.
“Headbanga!” We must be coming close to the end of the show. I was already filled to the brim by this time. Just as Kobametal had declared, this show had proceeded as a non-stop, no MC heavy metal onslaught. In the interval before “Headbanga!” Yuimetal and Moametal were running around the periphery of the stage calling out “Hedoban, Hedoban!” stirring up the audience.
It was at this time that a problem occurred. There were only two girls on the stage. I didn’t at first realize that Yuimetal had disappeared from the stage. Some of the people around me were also starting sense something was wrong tilting their heads in confusion. Where did Yuimetal go?
The performance went on unheeded but there was some kind of commotion going on amongst the fans located near the stage. At this time I was still unable to get a grasp on what was happening. What I heard later was that during the pre “Headbanga!” interval Yuimetal had slipped and fallen off the stage. I was unable however to verify what had happened at that time from where I was sitting.
Su-metal and Moametal performed “Headbanga!” to the end without Yuimetal. The lights in the arena went out and stayed out for some time. I was thinking there is probably one more song to go.
From my perspective I knew there was some sort of accident but it was still unclear to me. My mind went blank-was the show just going to end with things the way they were? Throughout the audience people were yelling out, “Yuimetal!” here and there. These individual calls gathered up naturally into one big Yuimetal call that enveloped the entire arena.
After a few minutes had gone by the lead in for “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” started up. Even with this the audience was still all worked up. On the other side of the darkness appeared the three figures of the girls. The whole erupted in an unbelievable roar of, “Guooooooooooo!!!!” As I stood there overwhelmed and in a state of stunned amazement right in front of me the preparations for IDZ were moving ahead without fail. Yuimetal and Moametal were crouched down in runner’s starting positions. Wall of Death followed by the “Dame” jump-this all feels like a dream. This whole flow of confusion pressed upon me. I was all confused and upset with the excitement of Yuimetal’s accident and I felt for some reason like Moametal had also fell down with all of this seemingly impressed on my memory in a lump sum of detail.
The narration from the Metal master went on to state that the “3 girls had conquered the Tenka Ichi Budoukan” had achieved the status of “Real Metal” bringing this narration to a conclusion.
I was unable to believe all the events that had occurred right before my eyes. I remember thinking this is what is meant by having one’s mind go completely blank almost like being in a trance. I think there must have been a large number of others fans who felt the same way as I did. With that the countdown to the “final chapter of the metal resistance” had begun. I was unable in my state of mind to follow what the narration went on to say however.
While the length of the concert was just about exactly 1-hour, in consideration of all that had happened it certainly didn’t feel like just 1-hour. I have read what has happened with this accident as being part of the great power that has become part of the Babymetal legend when I reflect upon it now.
Even when the lights went on in the arena, I was unable to return to ordinary reality.
2. Doki Doki Morning
3. Gimee Choco
5. Catch me if you can
6. Uki Uki Midnight
7. Rondo no Akumu
8. Onedari Daisakusen
9. 4 no Uta
11. BABYMETAL DEATH
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
A conclusive ceremony that spreads out to the final and a thorough homage to X Japan.
The first chapter in Metal resistance opens the door to a new form of metal beauty.
Justice of summation
March 2, 2014
Every seat in the arena is filled. Everyone here is hoping to become a witness to history.
The night before March 2nd I was filled with an incomprehensible excitement and ended up drinking too much. There was no way I could get through this night without drinking.
As you can imagine I was completely concerned with the situation surrounding Yuimetal every since my encounter with it at the first performance. However, I had received a twitter saying, “yesterday we are sure you were really surprised but Yuimetal is now completely fine and healthy” which even included a picture verifying this claim. Twitter is certainly useful in these situations. With my feelings of uncertainty being wiped away from my mind I went drinking with a friend. With that and a feeling of being one of the chosen ones I made my way to the arena. I was once again unable to buy a T-shirt.
In the same manner as yesterday, the stage was a center stage layout. But there was one part that was different. A barrier had been set up alongside the runway leading up to the stage. All of the fans felt a feeling of relief knowing that safety measures had been taken. All that is left is to wait for the start of the show.
This is the second day of the Budoukan performances so I am wondering what will be the ceremony prepared for this Black night Legend “Doomsday”Justice of summation show. Every seat is filled. Every fan here is here with the intention of becoming a witness to Babymetal history.
While waiting for the show to begin I was pondering on the hidden meaning of “Doomsday” that had been inserted into the subtitle. From before I had been concerned about the homage to X Japan that had been repeatedly introduced into the Babymetal world. “Crimson night” and “Black night” were certainly created based on the “Blue night” and “White night” concerts held on Dec 30 and 31, 1994 and the roots for the Neck Brace definitely came from Yoshiki. And I certainly can not be without remembering Toshi’s scream when considering “Akatsuki”. However, I keep getting the feeling that there is something more hidden and contained in this term Doomsday. And I am sure this will be revealed in tonight’s performance. I may in fact have missed something from yesterday’s show.
I knew from reading an interview in a magazine that Kobametal is a big fan of X Japan. Even before become a producer I got the feeling that he had the quality of being a big fan of X Japan. He expresses his love of music very openly without playing down his deep appreciation of heavy metal. This is actually a very big point. This gives him a very unobtrusive almost air like quality in his approach to producing Babymetal that is not just one of producing them as a product. Metallers are extremely sensitive to this air like quality of producing. The Metal music market when looked upon world wide is a very big market and yet each band that has succeeded has done so with a production quality similar to the one possessed by Kobametal. The atmosphere surrounding big bands such as Iron Maiden or Metallica all very much feature this quality. The reason we Babymetal fans are able to trust the entertainment provided by Babymetal is perhaps found in this quality.
One performance is already finished and from today this vast Babymetal story will begin once again. And that is absolutely the way things must be.
“Doomsday-From the gigantic magic circle the sound of gong emanates out announcing the final stage of the Metal resistance”
The lights go out in the arena and the narration begins. Yesterday’s “Crimson night” performance, excepting for the accident that happened, was a simple and straightforward stage without excessive dramatic touches. Today’s performance looks like it will develop into theatrical one flavored with movies.
“The Metal soul burning in the dark of the night turns into the crimson flames and all is consumed in flames”.
The picture story theatre begins. Today is one period in time. One story ends and from today once again a vast story begins. It must be this way.
“The time remaining has become very scarce…”
From before I had a thorough premonition that today something would be coming to an end, but when I actually heard it coming through the narration my chest was hit with emotion.
The first song was “Babymetal Death!”. The arena immediately turned into “Hell”. My mind and body shook with the fact that today’s setlist differed from the day before. In the next song, “iine” Su-metal nonchalantly threw out the ominous word of, “Doomsday”. By the way, yesterday the word was “Budoukan!”. This is one of my favorite moments, when one can peer into the extremely scarce moments of “essential” Su-metal.
Not appearing in the set list yesterday, “Answer for Animation with you”, was performed today with the 3 girls flying all over the gigantic stage in every direction. While I would love to be able to more closely observe each girl’s expressions and movements, the speediness with which they move makes this impossible. There is just so much information that enters into one’s field of vision at a Babymetal performance. Even though there are just the 3 girls on stage it feels like an unlimited space spreads out before one on the stage. So, I often feel like I may perhaps be missing something that I should have seen. I think this is one of the reasons all of us tend to repeat over and over some scenes when watching a recorded video format. The number of view counts on Youtube for “Gimme Choco!” is an amazing phenomena but much of that is probably due to this natural desire to re-watch parts of the performance. The picture story theatre portrays the pair of Yuimetal and Moametal extremely excited watching the most recent version of their favorite Anime, “The happy grape man” in the Cyber city of A-Ki-Ba.
Grapeman challenges the girls to show him real reggae and he will reward them by teaching them the real way to arrange the number 4. With this, the two transform into Black Babymetal and go on to perform “Onedari Daisakusen” and then “4 no Uta”. Happy 4! The cuteness of Yuimetal and Moametal was so outstanding that even today I felt a rush of infatuation. The picture story theatre begins again. Both screens show a story of a young girl carrying a cross of despair with a soft yet strong ballad playing in the background. It would appear that this is a new song.
Su-metal’s voice completely blends her heart with the song. The emotions that bubble up from within her build up to their limit and expresses this song straight and honestly as a 16-year old girl would. While it still might not yet be a 100% perfect performance, her emotional posture strikes right to the core of the hearts of all who hear it. When she was singing “Akatsuki” I could swear that there were huge streams of fire shooting up behind her. I promise I am not lying.
As we enter the second half, they fly right through “Catch me if you can” and into “IDZ”. This rich and dense stage show leaves one bored for not one single second. This style of performance reminded me of Yoshiki’s famous quote of, “the aesthetics of a moment”.
In this completed stage we find a rich and dense style of beauty that has been fostered over nearly 40 years of Heavy Metal history. When I first saw Babymetal exactly 1 year ago they were already in possession of the ability to transmit a very powerful and attractive charm. Babymetal has progressed this far due to a strong belief in themselves. The result of that is that they are able to fire up and entrance 10,000 fans in a live show. Now the scale of their stage shows are 10 times or more greater than they were then. We believed for a long time that this would be the case.
“We are ! …Babymetal!”
When I came to my senses I realized that we are almost at the end of the show. I seems I always feel this way. The girls pleasantly sing out, “See you!” and make their lightfooted exit from the stage. I was happy beyond measure. I want to express my appreciation for having met Babymetal. Kitsune-sama, thank you!
One of the factors of attractiveness of Babymetal is their “style of beauty”. This is not a “Style of beauty Metal”. That is to say it contains the essence of Metallica’s theme of the destruction of the goddess and X JAPAN’s Speed Metal sound and many of the other great parts of the Metal movement that have so excited the world. This so magnificently completed stage is built on the foundation of a style of beauty that has been fostered over almost 40 years of Heavy Metal history. It can be said that the world of Babymetal is a form of entertainment that is built based deeply on the past history of Heavy Metal. And that is why they are able to engross and entrance us to this degree.
And further, today is a special day. Everyone in attendance today knows that this is not the end of things. The narration begins again. “The crimson flame burns up everything, and when this land is completely engulfed in a pitch black darkness at last the moment of fate shall come to us…we are heading to the final chapter of the Metal Resistance”.
As soon as the narration began, the entire arena became completely silent. “Kitsune-sama said, ” With that the Gong is rung making a divine oracle like statement that the curtains have risen on a new legend.
This brought on an uproar from the audience. This eruption of cheers from the fans came at the moment when it was announced that the Legend would be starting up again. On both of the screens a new character was seen and this is the mother of Kitsune-sama-”Godmother”. “You are the one who banged the Gong”. With this the crowd erupted into laughter and a very pleasant mood spread throughout the arena. Amidst this aura of new hope that filled the arena the audience began the calls for an Encore.
“Doki Doki Midnight” started. Isn’t it a heart warming gesture that the song that commemorates the start of Babymetal is selected for the initial Encore song? And now we know that the group will continue to exist. I felt like I would cry. They continued with one more song. The last song of the first chapter of Babymetal and their first major debut song, “Headbangya!”. That’s right, the 3 girls sent out a wolf smoke signal of the metal resistance with this song.
“Hedoban, Hedoban, Banbanbaban!”
The performances of the first period of Babymetal continued to this point. The audience had their eyes riveted on the form of this performance. The shows have now completed transformed into a ritual. Every single fan was watching quietly over this pattern of events in an atmosphere of dignified seriousness. Even with the conclusion of the 2nd song of the Encore the lights in the arena stayed off. “Shall we now talk about the totality of the Metal Resistance?” After a short span of time began the “History of the fierce fighting of the Metal Resistance”, or, a history of the activities of Babymetal. “The media, politics, economy and indeed everything in this land was under the control an enormous entity known as “Idol” and its dark and overwhelming power. Everything other than Idol songs were considered to be harmful and Metal was no exception.
I read this over and over and could recite this narration from memory even now. “The prayer of the messenger requesting the reinstatement of the rights of Metal reached the ears of the god residing over all Metal matters, Kitsune-sama, who went on to give the name of Babymetal to Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal a unit given birth on the theme of fusing together Idol and Metal and brought them in to this land. Kitsune-sama provided Babymetal with numerous trials to make it possible for them to take possession of true Metal”.
10,000 fans were gazing at the monitor in the center of the stage in silence. The narration goes on passionately as scene after scene of momentous episodes in Babymetal history reeled by on the screen. “Traveling down this pathless path, the girls changed ever single challenge they faced into Legends and the sight of actions struck deeply into the hearts of all witnessed them”.
Oh, that’s right, this is reality. This all really happened. This was not a work of fiction. “Kitsune-sama spoke divinely to Babymetal. The first chapter of Babymetal in this land has come to a conclusion” and with that 3 coffins began to descend slowly from the ceiling of the BudouKan. It appears that the girls are being summoned to a new land. “Doomsday-time has come”, it seems the time has arrived. For whatever reason, the narration now continues in English.
“Screaming and Dance-Moametal”
“Screaming and Dance-Yuimetal”
“Vocal and Dance-Su-metal”
Dressed in new costumes each member is introduced. When the 3 girls have entered into the coffins they are raised up high. This is now nothing other than a ritual. In the background orchestral music is playing. Every fan, every single one of them was watching this in solemn silence. In conclusion the narration goes on to say, “Babymetal, say Goodbye”. The crowd moaned in awe, “Eh..!”
“to Japan, Japan, Japan…..”What is this?! What in the world is happening!? This seemed to be the mood in the arena and my head was thrown into confusion. On both of the screens appeared the words, “Babymetal Japan”. Next the words of “Legend “Y” Yuimetal Seitansai (Birthday festival) and “Legend “M” Moametal Seitansai”. Next on the screen appeared a world map moving away from Japan and on to…Europe. While my mind was in a state of confusion to the end and I don’t remember clearly what took place, it seems that the Seitansai were going to be held in the countries of Europe. Babymetal’s Metal resistance on this land has come to a conclusion and it is now time for them to continue their warrior training in foreign lands.
When I looked up I saw the the Hi no Maru flag of Japan. Alright this is not bad, Europe is great idea!With this the curtain came down on 2 days of performances in the BudouKan. Even though a few months have passed since then the incredibleness of the event stays with me. I have no idea how I am going to be able to convey this in writing. Anyway, we have once again been witnesses to the creation of a Legend. Of that I have no doubt. “Japan, Japan, Japan…” for quite some time this “Japan” echoed in my head. I am sure that those of you who are familiar with X JAPAN will understand this. That is this reverberation of “Japan”. Their live performances begin with a narration. The orchestra that was playing in the background was an homage to “Amethyst”!
At the 2 days concerts “Blue night” and “White night” held at the end of December 1994 at the Tokyo Dome, X JAPAN used this “Amethyst” as their opening song. This song was released in 1993 and was included in YOSHIKI’s solo album and was also released as a single. While this song was playing each member of the band was introduced with a female voice narration as they made their entrance onto the stage. And then the narration went on to echo, “X JAPAN, Japan, Japan…” followed by the performance of their first song in the Set List. And then, one more thing. In yesterday’s narration the phrase, “heading toward destruction” was used. In January of 1992 at their 3 days of concerts at the Tokyo Dome and when X JAPAN was still going by the name of X they used exactly this phrase as the title of the concerts. Not Mega Death. Babymetal’s final concert in this chapter can also be considered to be one performed under the name of X and of “heading toward destruction”.
Now, I see, all is connected. The lights in the arena went on and if one looks up one can see the Japanese flag, the Hi no Maru. Not bad. Not bad. Europe, sure Europe is an excellent choice. Show the entire world this new type of Metal that was born in Japan! Show them this incredible entertainment packed full of Heavy Metal history! Babymetal is a group with whom it is possible to draw a straight line right into the history of Metal. As a form of Metal renaissance this will become a movement that totally envelops the entire world. There is no doubt about this and it is coming soon. The age of Babymetal will come into existence without fail.
1. Babymetal Death
3. Answer for Animation With You
4. Onedari Daisakusen
5. 4 no Uta
6. New song
8. Catch me if you can
9. Uki Uki Midnight
10. Gimme Choco!
11. Akumu no Rhondo
13. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
14. Doki Doki Morning
The summoning ritual
“Hedoban” or “Head Bang” magazine is a heavy metal music magazine published in Japan. It is well-known among BABYMETAL fans especially in Japan that, in the past issues, Hedoban provided EXCELLENT interviews and reports of BABYMETAL.
So far, regular issue was published 4 times, a special issue once. This talk show was held in commemoration of the special one. In the past, I posted on FB partial translation a couple of times to introduce some of awesome interviews and articles from the magazine. Vol. 1 of Hedoban was sold out, got some premium, and is sold at very “good” price on internet lately. The reason why they are extremely knowledgeable with BABYMETAL is simple and crystal clear – editor in chief is a huge fan of BABYMETAL. So are editors and writers. In this panel discussion, they discussed mainly what was not written in the special issue.
The writer who was one of the panelists said he always tries his best in writing, and is always crying when writing article. Of course, nobody knows if he is actually crying, but we can feel his emotion and high spirit between the lines of what he writes. When BABYMETAL went to Europe in July, Hedoban formed a team of as many as seven guys that was composed of editors, writers, and photographer. Usually, to report festival in overseas, they team up with local staff externally, but, for BABYMETAL, they sent the whole team to Europe from Japan. Photographer mentioned that, usually, there are some best angles with any artist, which means the pictures taken from other angles than the best ones should go to trash bin.
However, in case of BABYMETAL, he could use any pictures that were taken from any angle. The girls were genuinely photogenic. I strongly agreed with the photographer, because when I capture screen shot of BABYMETAL from DVD or YouTube, they look always brilliant regardless of angle at any moment Chief editor and writer witnessed the show at Sonisphere. When the girls appeared on stage while Kami Band was playing “BABYMETAL Death”, they saw that Su looked over the crowd and then quietly smiled. That was the smile like the one when martial arts fighter encounters his opponent on the ring, according to them. Photographer teased chief editor and the writer, and asked if that actually happened or not, because he could not confirm it by any fancam video. The guys strongly insisted that it was a true story.
I personally would like to trust those guys. Photographer said that he could tell if the artist on stage was in tense or not based on his experiences. He told that the girls did not seem to be nervous at all, rather, they looked totally relaxed at the opening. At Sonisphere, he was allowed to photograph basically during the first 3 songs. That was the case with all the bands there including Iron Maden, Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, etc. But, for some reason, in case of BABYMETAL, all the photographers were allowed to take pictures only for the first 2 songs. At The Forum in London, chief editor thought BABYMETAL were excellent as always, and he was strongly impressed that the crowd there was awesome, and said he was really happy to be there. Seeing the girls in Japan and in UK are different because the audiences are different, according to him.
Yoshiki who is a leader of a very famous Japanese rock band, X-Japan, was in the crowd at The Forum. BABYMETAL’s producer, Kobametal was greatly influenced by X-Japan, and it is said that so-called “dame-jump” during “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” is an homage to X-Japan. While BABYMETAL was performing on stage at The Forum, the photographer was watching Yoshiki carefully and found that he was smiling grimly at “dame jump”. Chief editor strongly felt that the shows at Sonisphere and The Forum would be the legendary shows in BABYMETAL’s history, and be a point of departure for them to go to the world, which I thought was totally right, together with the shows in Paris and Cologne.
Overall, it was a very good panel discussion in a sense that it was informative, stimulating, interesting, and funny sometimes. I just want to thank all the panelists there. There has been a rumor that there is something “sensitive” in relationship with heavy metal magazine “B” that is published by the same company as Hedoban. Actually, during the discussion, I felt that once, but, it’s irrelevant here, so let me put it aside.
I love Hedoban magaziine, anyway. For me personally, photographer’s comment “The girls were photogenic from any angle” was most impressive and 200 + % agreeable
Volume 5 of Hedoban is now in progress according to chief editor. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be awesome.