Well, a lot was written about the London concert already, but I gotta throw my 2c in too.
The concert was unbelievable. I still feel a little sore 5 days later (when I started writing this), and this for me is one of the measures of the concert's awesomeness.
Our day was long, much longer than we initially planned. We meant to get there around reasonable 3 PM, but it kept escalating into an earlier and earlier time. Eventually we settled on 11:30, but as we woke up around 9 AM and checked online to see pictures of people already lined up we got into panic mode and hauled our asses to the venue as fast as possible.
We got there a bit past 10 AM, with some 20-ish people in the line before us, half of them Japanese wotas apparently. In the first few hours the line kept growing at a pretty slow but steady pace and by noon we were up to some 70 people. I won't write much about how we spent the day, but I'll just say that after breaking the ice with our line neighbours we had a pretty damn good time. You can't go wrong hanging out with like-minded people all excited for the upcoming experience even when basically sitting in the same place for 8+ hours. We were lucky to be right next to the side door so we could hear sound checks and rehearsals throughout the day pretty clearly. The "Meroikku ja nai, kitsune san
" line from Ii-ne breakdown sounds really damn brutal even when played without the backing track.The London Babymetal line
, some 30 minutes before the doors opened. And that wasn't even all of it. If you know what to look for you can kinda spot us near Superman holding the sign (which we contributed to with our amazing colouring skills).
The long wait paid off well. As we agreed in advance, Berry went straight to the stage, I did a quick detour to the merch shop where I bought 3 t-shirts, shut-up-and-take-my-money style (we knew which ones we wanted in advance too). Less than a minute later we were reunited in our fantastic spot right in the middle of the stage, second row just behind some Japanese fans. Being at least a head taller than them I had a pretty much unobstructed view of the stage. I couldn't have asked for more. Berry was happy enough too with only people about her height in front of her.
The room filled up quickly enough. Apparently it took another hour before the concert started, but I lost track of time by then. It was already hot enough and I knew it would only get hotter.
Finally it did start, with the intro movie projected on the screen covering the stage. There was a voice-over reading the text, but it could hardly be heard. Once the movie ended and BABYMETAL DEATH started playing, with silhouettes of the band projected on the screen it all went mental.
It wasn't one of those gigs where the crowd slowly get built-up for the grand finale. It wasn't one of those where the crowd burns out after the first 2 or 3 songs either, no. Here, the whole house was at their 100% from the very beginning and would stay like this, in fact only to get more and more crazy towards the end. I wish I could read the band's minds when they realized they had nothing to do in terms of winning the audience and that everyone loved them unconditionally from the second the music started. Must be an awesome feeling.Here's one of the many Intro + BABYMETAL DEATH recordings.
Skip to 1:45
for the music start. Note the first crowd surfer appearance in under one minute.
The setlist that followed was similar if not identical to the Paris and Koln shows. Basically the full album was played, no MCs, no nonsense, no rest for the audience.
01. BABYMETAL DEATH
03. Uki Uki Midnight
04. Kami Band Solo #1
05. Akumu No Rondo
06. Onedari Daisakusen
07. Kami Band Solo #2 + Catch Me If You Can
09. 4 no Uta
11. Doki Doki Morning
12. Gimme Chocolate
14. Ijime Dame Zettai
I did say the audience was at 100% from the beginning and only got more into it as time went by. I wasn't kidding. Starting with Megitsune it was a total madness, with crowd surfers dropping towards the stage every 30 seconds or so. I got a few boots to my head and one right in my face and I laughed at it. The encore call was solid. As is the British fashion, it spelled out quite selfishly "WE WANT MORE". But nothing could be more true, and the message was clear.
Those initiated into the BABYMETAL ways (meaning some 95% of the crowd) knew what Ijime Dame Zettai performance meant. For the remaining few the simple instructions were projected on the side screens - prove your loyalty in the wall of death. The audience was loyal:Babymetal Is Not For Babies
My one regret of the concert is that I was not a part of it, or of the mosh pit in general. But I could not be in two places at once and I wouldn't have given up my beautiful watching spot for any money. My other regret is that I don't have my legendary
black brown hair
any more. But I can do some good headbanging without them too.
The only complaint I could have was the sound quality, it wasn't very clear and a lot of the time the vocals were drowned out. It could have to do with where we were located as in a lot of the fan videos vocals are much clearer than what I remember. But at times when the sound was good it was amazing. Akatsuki and Akumu no Rondo gave me 100x the chills live than they usually do.
The concert was streamed live to a number of venues in Japan (with nearly 2000 fans watching and moshing with us) and thanks to that two official videos (Iine and IDZ) leaked into the wild. They keep being deleted from yt and other sites, but PM me for a link that so far proved stable. Otherwise, wait a few months until the whole concert inevitably gets released, most likely together with the Budokan one.
Once it was over I was drenched in sweat. Quite literally, I could and did wring some out of my shirt. Good thing I had a fresh dry t-shirt to change into or the walk back to the tube on a chilly evening could have ended miserably. We met some of the people we hung out with in the line and they were going for an afterparty in a pub, unfortunately we had to go catch a bus to the airport and then a 6 am flight straight back to work.
I've been to quite a few metal concerts in my life but this one easily topped all of them. The energy and dedication of the audience and the sense of fun could not be compared to anything else. I don't ever want the memory of it to fade, it left me so high on life that the everyday mundane shit became completely meaningless.
It's quite unbelievable what BABYMETAL has become, from the Sakura Gakuin silly gimmick off-shot group 3 years ago which I did not dare to have any hopes for, to the fully legit act taking the world by the storm that they are now. They did not have much crowd interaction during the concert, but it you watch that official IDZ footage look at Suzuka's face at the end and you'll see how she's holding back pride and happiness. Thinking about this makes me a little teary eyed too.
Long story short, if you can, go see them and go all out at it, it may be the best experience of your life.