Concert Review: Babymetal, May 12, Danforth Music Hall


With their mix of J Pop and extreme metal, Babymetal are a totally gimmicky band. They’re also a total thrill to watch live.

The Japanese band, fronted by three teenage girls who first came together in the pop group Sakura Gakuin, took to the stage following a Star Wars inspired opening video which described them as “unifying the world with a new type of heavy metal,” and while that’s probably a bit of a stretch, they certainly seemed to unify those in attendance and it’s hard to argue that their blending of two disparate genres isn’t at least a little bit novel.

The audience was an interesting mix of people who were full on fans and the curious onlookers who wanted to see what all the fuss was about, though the former probably outnumbered the latter. There were  people clapping and chanting “Babymetal!” before the show had even started – it’s been awhile since I’ve seen that kind of fandom at a show. I even noticed a few people who seemed to be cosplaying, including a guy I saw on the subway ride home (who I assume was at the show) apparently dressed as a character from Fullmetal Alchemist. I’ve never seen that show before and know practically nothing about it, but I deduced all of this based on the fact that he was holding a Fullmetal Alchemist bag and had some kind of Powerglove looking metal hand thingie on his arm. I’m not really sure why he was wearing this; as far as I know, there’s no connection between that show and Babymetal other than the fact that they might appeal to the same demographic and that they both have the word “metal” in their names. It seemed a little odd but really, all of this seems a little odd to me. Then again, I once dressed up as Star-Burns for a Halloween party a few years back so who am I to judge?

Lead singer Suzuka Nakamoto (AKA Su-metal AKA  the one who always stood in the middle) had the best voice of the trio and highlighted it on a few solo turns throughout the night  – she’s obviously the Sporty Spice of the group. The other two (Yuimetal and Moametal) are full of energy and vital to the show but also essentially backup singers/dancers. Because they were moving around the stage so much, it was pretty clear that they weren’t singing live all of the time, but for the sake of a stage show like theirs, a little bit of lip syncing is understandable.

After playing for nearly an hour and a half (with a few breaks factored in during their set), the band bid the crowd farewell with a cheery sounding “See you!” right after buttering them up with lines such as “I had so much fun tonight!” and “I will always remember this night!” Not terribly metal as far as stage banter goes, and you’d probably never catch the guys in Mayhem or Gorgoroth saying stuff like that, but it was entirely appropriate for Babymetal and representative of their sugary sweet, cartoonishly cute take on metal.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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