Kawaii metal known also as idol metal, cute metal, or kawaiicore, is a music genre that blends elements of the heavy metal genre and J-Pop or Japanese pop music. What does this music genre mish mash add up to well BabyMetal of course!
The blend of these genres formed in Japan in the early 2010's. BabyMetal are considered the inventors of the kawaii metal genre. Since then and the formation of BabyMetal also during the 2010's time frame, the group's line-up consists of Suzuka Nakamoto as "Su-metal", Yui Mizuno as "Yuimetal", and Moa Kikuchi as "Moametal". The concept of the group is simple, if you have not been following along as it were, the group uses a fusion of heavy metal and Japanese idol genres. The trio of teenagers turned adults, Moa and Yui being 18 and Su being 19, have had their vocals be backed by heavy metal instrumentation played by the Kami band they have during their performances all around the globe. But that's not all not only have they formed back then, but have released two albums since, their self-titled album back in 2014 with their sophomore follow-up album "Metal Resistance" in 2016. In between releases, releasing various singles, music videos, DVD releases, plus constant coverage of stadium sized shows, to segments on television to radio to everything in-between.
In any case though BabyMetal had made the announcement of playing in Hollywood, California in the city of angels, Los Angeles, California back in March of 2017. Soon after pre-sale as well as general admission tickets would hit the inter webs, selling out in about 3-4 days time. Whereas their previous headliners from 2014/2016 sold out in a matter of hours if not perhaps 1-2 days tops. Their third headliner of their California visitation had sold out and after some time the day had arrived! As many fans were lining up outside the venue the evening before, others decided to show up at the venue a little later than that, arriving likely around 5AM to 7AM, if not later than that, showing up from 8AM until show time!
Speaking of which, the show time of the show did not happen until later that evening. Doors opened up around 6:30PM for the general public, while the VIP personal got in around 5PM. As people wrapped themselves around the outside of the venue, filling inward, getting bags, pockets, jackets you name it, checked out before entry, everyone was highly energized for that evening of highly entertainment. Fans piled into the venue, most lining up once more, to pick up some appeal for sale up front. A handful of t-shirts, a hoodie, ball cap, bracelet being the assorted merchandise available with a price tag of $35-$60 in range.
As those folks were grabbing their goods, other people picked up a cup of something to drink or something to munch on as far as eating, the Hollywood Palladium selections varied from pizza, nachos, hot dogs, popcorn, and soda pop. The air of the venue hallways getting filled with all but black t-shirts, sweat, and pure adrenaline. Everyone heading into the auditorium of the venue itself, to find a giant floor of emptiness. As two balconies on either side were held up people filling in left and right, as well as the emptied floor now filling up as well.
By 8PM on the dot though the opener of the night called Hellyeah, who formed back in 2006, consisting of Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, bass player Kyle Sanders, guitarist Christian Brady and former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul. Since way back when though, the band has gone on to tour, play shows, and release constant music with a handful of albums. Their set time ranging for 1 solid hour of material, ranging from the old to the very new. They ended their set with their namesake track, Hellyeah to get the crowd pumped up for the headliners of course, the one and only BabyMetal!
The crowd did take a liking to Hellyeah's performance and presents overall though. They raised their metal horns high in the air, as the band directed them too, shouting along to their gestures on the stage, as the band kept that angst of pure rock n' roll heavy metal pulsing through them. Hellyeah thanking the crowd with a Hellyeah remark, exiting the stage, as their gear, props, and equipment were tucked away for the night.
Around sometime after 9:30PM the lights dimmed down just a bit, then faded to black, as the music went silent. The speakers of the venue booming with the announcer of the headliners for that night. An introduction over audio was played loud, as the fans cheered with pure excitement. The Kami band each walking onto the stage, as they each started to play their each part of the opening number for "BABYMETAL DEATH"! Each of the three women slowly but surely walking onto the stage, cloaked in their namesake towel cloak, unwrapping themselves, revealing their skirted dresses, as the song broke out in full, getting all in ear and eye shot pumped up!
Because these girls can dance! They jump, run, dance right along to their choreographed pieces for each of their tracks played out before all who were there. They have got the energy, passion, and fulfillment needed to show their love and support that they have for not just themselves but for their fans as well. Fans in attendance this night, coming all the way from Japan, Europe, to as far as driving a long distance just to witness the trio of women that is BabyMetal! That is how much devotion and dedication that these girls mean to so many people it is impossible not to believe it at times. But it is real and legit true all the way. All to be said right here is all but true nothing but!
After the opening number BabyMetal went into about an hour long setlist of 13 tracks total. A lot of their works coming off the two albums they had previously released. A lot of the tracks being favorites by the fans, roaring with cheers, applause, and excitement to such as "Doki Doki Morning", "Megitsune", "Gimmie Chocolate!!". Along with other newer tracks like "Yava!", "Awadama Fever", "Karate", "The One" which is their first and only current track sung in English! Wrapping up the night with other noticeable tracks like "Sis Anger", "META! Meta Taro", "From Dusk Till Dawn", which had made its first official live debut, during this particular set list and headliner for BabyMetal, kept the crowd on their toes. While "Road Of Resistance" ended up closing out that night's performance.
"Road Of Resistance", closed out the setlist for that night, but brought in all who enjoyed it. As the infamous wall of death, were the crowd of on lookers is split down the middle, this time, the crowd being split quite largely. As the music erupted everyone charging forth at one another, pushing, shoving, then running amuck! Literally after the pushing and shoving died down, everyone then went forth running in a giant circular motion, getting their daily work out if you will, if not for most or all of those who were running in the circle. I know I took part, drenched in my own sweat of course but it sure was heaps of fun!
Besides that though the other tracks played before the wrap up track, did have the crowd singing along, jumping up and down, cheering their lungs out basically. Everyone there from the balcony sides to the floor below, were all in wonder to the sight of their favorite idol group BabyMetal. No one could have not been more excited than the person right next to that person. That is how much energy, excitement, and thrills were in that venue that night.
As for how BabyMetal's stage performances hold up back in Japan or the rest of the world. Well playing such venues as these three timer's for these headliners, go they were fairly decent ground to stand on. For the sake of their other showcases elsewhere, they put on more of a set up worth awing over. Having a much larger size to work with of course, their other stage presents made those other performances more thrilling and entertaining for the look. Whilst the feel of any of BabyMetal's performances just feels the same time after time. No matter how many times you have seen them live. They just get you each and every time.
Overall BabyMetal went on to put a great performance piece. This third time trying to see them was a huge success! Surely to be seen again and again for me, and for sure many, many others as well. Japan just knows how to get the reactions out of people with whatever they come out with. It works, and it works really well indeed.
1. BABYMETAL Death
3. Doki Doki Morning
4. Awadama Fever (w/Kami Band Instrumental)
6. META! Taro
9. Gimme Chocolate (w/Call & Response)
10. KARATE (w/Call & Response)
11. THE ONE
12. From Dusk Till Dawn (Live Debut)
13. Road Of Resistance