The line snaked around not one, but two blocks. People of all ages, shapes, and sizes stood waiting for the doors to Electric Factory in Philly to open. What was the reason for this gathering? BABYMETAL and their 2016 World Tour, that’s what!! With their third consecutive sold out appearance the faithful, me included, were primed and ready for SU-METAL, MOAMETAL, and YUIMETAL to bring the party Kawaii-style. The air crackled with electricity as everyone waited. No silly openers to sit through tonight, no sir. Just 14 songs of BABYMETAL greatness.
As I made my way through the throng of bodies I managed to grab a seat next to this lovely young couple, Tung and Joyce, who flew in that morning from Georgia just for this show.
I don’t know who was more excited, me or them, to be honest (me…it’s always me!), but I do know they were a pleasure to hang with for the brief time I did. Then the lights went down and the KAMI BAND started playing “Babymetal Death” as the girls filed out one by one. From here they launched into hit single “Doki Doki ☆ Morning” which drew cheers upon cheers and had the packed to the gills floor area jumping up and down and moving as one.
Latest album Metal Resistance was well-represented, starting with “YAVA!” which gave us a very danceable groove before my absolute favorite (and current ringtone!) “Awadama Fever” was next and may or may not have had me screaming like a total fangirl (sigh…it did). So far we were off to a fantastic start. The energy level both onstage and in the crowd was through the roof and I was loving every minute of it.
One of the heaviest tunes in the BABYMETAL arsenal riff-wise followed with “GJ!” which featured YUIMETAL and MOAMETAL by themselves They then left the stage leaving SU-METAL to do “Amore” on her own. Wow, man, wow…this girl can SING!! Definitely one of the night’s best songs.
When I recovered from that amazing vocal performance I found my friend Nina downstairs. She was there with her daughter and stated she wasn’t really a fan prior to the gig. Oh boy did that change in a big hurry! It simply can’t be helped. The debut made its return with the industrial-flavored “Catch Me If You Can” and “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”, a favorite here among the A&GS staffers, and one where the band truly gets to shine. They are phenomenal musicians and it shows, especially here. Sandwiched between these two was another new cut and Maestro standout “Meta Taro”. To say I was in musical heaven was putting it mildly, dear readers…
…And then “KARATE” hit me right in the chest with a front kick, Johnny. This was by far one of the most high-energy and heavily choreographed numbers of the evening, and we in the audience were not shy about showing our appreciation. SU-METAL used this time to speak to us in her adorable accent and rile us up to sing LOUD! Two of the group’s most popular tunes were up next in “Megitsune” and the worldwide smash “Gimme Chocolate!!”.
I don’t think I need to tell you how nuts the place went when this one started. I don’t know how these girls do it; I was exhausted just watching them. Thankfully they gave us all a chance to regroup with epic slow song “The One”, sung in English to close out the regular set. Again…SU-METAL…the girl can SING!!
After the chants of “BA-BY ME-TAL!! (dun, dun, dun-dun-dun)” the band and the girls came out for one last kicker with “Road of Resistance”, prompting another crowd sing-along. This is also one of the shreddiest tunes on the new disc. When it was over all three young ladies took turns thanking Philly and said goodnight with their oh-so-cute patented, “SEE YOOOU!!” I can honestly say that BABYMETAL delivers live even more so than on record. I will also say that this was, without a doubt, one of THE best shows I’ve seen in 2016. There are only eight U.S. shows remaining, and nearly all of them are sold out. If you don’t catch this tour you’re making a terrible mistake, that’s all I can say.
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO
LIVE IMAGES: AMUSE INC.