Last night BabyMetal took over the Showbox Sodo. As I arrived at the venue I noticed a very long line stretching down the block and as I followed the line around the block and onto the next block I finally found the end of the line. It was literally almost the length of one entire Seattle city block! What an impressive number of fans (from children, teens, 20-somethings and 30+ adults) waiting to get into the venue for this show.
I will admit that I myself have been on the fence when it comes to BabyMetal. I’ve gone back and forth between, it’s just a gimmick, can I take this act seriously, to they are really good and then, what’s going to be next for this band. So I really wanted to talk to the fans last night to see what it is about this band that made them show up and gets them to listen to their music. I ran into the average music fan and also ran into some Seattle professional musicians who are also fans.
As I stopped and talked with some fans I found out that many had been there since early in the afternoon just to ensure they had a great spot near the stage, these were very committed fans. The first person I spoke with had driven up from Olympia, WA to see the show. He’s been a fan since 2014 so I asked him, what is it about BabyMetal you like? His response, “it’s not just one thing, it’s the entire package of BabyMetal”. He’s a big anime & J-Pop fan as well as a big fan of Japanese entertainment. He said he likes the singers/performers (who are the three talented young ladies; Suzuka Nakamoto “Su-metal”, Yui Mizuno “Yuimetal” and Moa Kikuchi “Moametal”). He likes the instrumental music and finds the musicians in the Kami band to be extremely talented. Then he said it’s how the entire BabyMetal performance is done as a production. Fans get a real show, with real talent.
Then I talked to another fan and he said he’d driven down from Vancouver, B.C. so he wouldn’t miss them on the 2016 tour. He basically told me the same reason as the other guy had before him about what draws him to BabyMetal and that was the resonating response from all of the other fans I talked to. As I entered the venue I ran into local musician, Kevin Preston of The Crying Spell, who’d taken the evening away from working on a new upcoming album to catch BabyMetal live. He said didn’t want to miss the chance to see them perform live. I did manage to find a few skeptics in the crowd as well. They didn’t dislike BabyMetal, but they weren’t truly convinced about them either, yet were curious enough to come out and see the show to see for themselves.
Many of the fans expressed they are also fans of the J-Pop genre, which is what BabyMetal is technically classified as but they blend J-Pop with heavy metal. They told me how they wished more of these artists would tour here in the Seattle area and that they would gladly go out to support them on tour.
So let’s get to the show. The band was supposed to go on at 9:00pm last night, but due to the overwhelming response in ticket sales, there was a delay to the start time to allow all of the fans who were still outside waiting in line to enter at 9:00pm, to get inside before the show kicked off. The show started a little after 9:30pm with “BabyMetal Death” and the fans were immediately sucked into the performance. It was like watching an entire room of people go into a complete trance as they moved in unison to the music. Almost all fans had both hands in the air giving BabyMetal the Kitsune (fox sign) and full attention. The music was amazing! The young ladies, polished professionals! Their moves were perfectly choreographed and their singing, was even better live than on their album. It was great to witness this show. Fans were truly immersed into their performance, unlike so many other shows today. I rarely saw anyone take out their phone last night. I did see a few, but I’d say less than twenty total. Partly I think it was because BabyMetal put out an announcement before the show that they did not want videos or photos during their show, but also partly because fans were just having that great of a time and had no reason to use their devices.
By the fourth song of the show, “Catch Me If You Can”, the crowd on the lower level in front of the stage broke out into a fully moving circle pit that engulfed half of the floor. Absolutely impressive sight! I have rarely seen that done in this venue, not even for some of the biggest metal bands out there. So again I say, impressive! The crowd was loud and excited during this show as well. Earplugs, you must wear them for one of their shows, it is that loud.
The band performed songs from both of their albums “BabyMetal” and “Metal Resistance”. The set lasted a little over an hour, had one encore song and then BabyMetal called it a night. The fans got a great show last night and I am pretty sure for those like me who were on the fence before the show, we’ve managed to get down and join the rest of the BabyMetal fans now.
If you’ve been wanting to catch this band live, you have a few more chances this year if you act quickly. BabyMetal is currently out on tour supporting their 2016 release “Metal Resistance”. They have ten more dates on their world tour left for 2016 which will lead up to the two final shows being held at the Tokyo Dome in September. The USA leg of the tour has just four more stops, 2 of which (San Francisco and Los Angeles) are already sold out. Their two appearances this weekend at Chicago Open Air and the AP Music Awards still have tickets available, if you can get to one of these locations for the show. Otherwise you will have to wait until their next tour to see them live. But I suggest, if you can make it happen, do it. You will have a great time watching this band perform live!
BabyMetal Setlist Seattle:
Kami Band Solo
Catch Me If You Can
Road of Resistance
Ijime, Dame, Zettai
“Metal Resistance” is available now, so get a copy!
Track listing for METAL RESISTANCE:
1. Road of Resistance
3. Awadama Fever
6. Meta Taro
7. From Dusk Till Dawn*
9. Sis. Anger
10. No Rain, No Rainbow
11. Tales of The Destinies
12. THE ONE – English ver.*
*available everywhere except for Japan