Review By Kynan Arden
What do you get when you blend Japanese kawaii culture with brutally heavy metal?
Many people would think that’s out of the question, but that is of course absurd as these two areas manifest the oh so adorable power trio along with their monstrous mask-clad backing band: Babymetal. I was lucky enough to head down and witness the incredible stamp on Melbourne shores, joining fellow LGBTQIA+ metalheads whose numbers and energy would make old Maggie Court herself explode.
Warming us up prior to to the metal babies was the angelic vocals and filthy breakdowns of the amazing Reliqa. Having not being aware of those group prior to the show, I was, to put it lightly, blown away by the sheer energy that the group brought as well a deliciously hot dose of power metal ballads. Monique Pym’s vocals were powerful, backed by the vocalist thrashing herself across the stage joined by the equally hyperactive band mates. As well as the beautiful vocal performance, the instrumental arrangement gave the rest of the power to the music. The guitar shredded and wailed, the bass was lower than hell, and the drums were as always stellar. This Aussie group certainly should remain on the radar.
After a lengthy intermission, the lights dimmed as the tall monitor played a colourful animation detailing the birth of Babymetal in the most creative way, all before the trio marched into position and chanted the alphabet making up their name for the opening track, BABYMETAL DEATH. The energy of the metal triforce was immediately known, and I could not tell who was having the most fun between us and the girls. Knowing full well it is a staple for the group, watching the incredibly fun and creative choreography to such earth shattering, behemoth death metal accompanying them. The interactions between the trio and the crowd whilst keeping true to the layout of the performance showed their love and passion for the craft that they have been showing worldwide.
Su-metal, Moametal, and Momometal, the talented trio, showcased flawlessly synchronized dance routines that mesmerized the eyes of the audience, creating a captivating visual spectacle brimming with infectious energy. From the very first note, they had the crowd under their spell, transforming them into willing captives, eagerly embracing every second of the performance. The audience became putty in their hands, singing along with pure adoration, and their passion for the music was so profound that they generated more circle pits in a single show than I had ever witnessed before. The band's sheer talent and stage presence were a force to be reckoned with, leaving an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of witnessing their extraordinary performance.
The energy coming from the stage was met with an equally fervent response from the crowd, as they devoured the metal performance with a voracious appetite, as if it were their last indulgence. The collective screams reverberated through the venue, while legs bounced incessantly, horns were triumphantly raised, and mosh pits spun wildly throughout the entire set. Amidst the noise, one particular standout was the band's beloved hit track from their discography, Gimme Chocolate!, which ignited the atmosphere, causing the very roof of the Margaret Court Arena to tremble. Another shining moment, quite literally, occurred when the arena transformed into a sea of illuminating lights as it seemed every phone torch was raised high upon the band's request during a softer, more introspective segment of the night.
Despite the show lasting for a little over an hour, it felt like a fleeting moment, leaving me with an uncontrollable grin plastered across my face and my eyes fixated on the stage. There was never a dull moment throughout the night. Just when it seemed like the end was near, a dark intermission signalled the beginning of a two-track encore, preceded by a short motivational film clip emphasizing the significance of triumphing over darkness and heeding the words of the Metal Gods.
And then came the epic finale—the Wall of Death. As METAL KINGDOM commenced, the pits opened once more, prompting excited screams from the fans as they charged headlong into one another. Babymetal returned to the stage, presenting one final mesmerizing dance number, Ijime, Dame, Zettai, holding aloft flags adorned with their iconic logo. The blessed and appreciative voice of Suzuka Nakamoto, renowned as Su-metal, resonated throughout the arena, expressing heartfelt gratitude, and thus bringing the exhilarating show to a close. Babymetal, the embodiment of the Fox God's Triforce, delivered an unforgettable and visually stunning experience that should be witnessed by all at least once in a lifetime.