Babymetal are fresh off the Glastonbury stage and were welcomed to London this week. The venue is lacking space even at half 7, which is surprising for a Tuesday evening. The almost full crowd, is a crowd to take notice of. We’ve got metalheads, J-pop fans, people dressed up as unicorns, the list can go on; but I love that so many kinds of people can come to love the same music.
Sleep Token open up the stage with an extremely atmospheric performance. Dressed in dark hoods and masks, they don’t break out of character once throughout their 30 minute set, as we hear beautiful male vocals with a powerful range singing expressive love songs. The harmonies from the backing vocals compliment the set well, and the energy from the rest of the band bring the stage to life. With still some work to polish their themed look and stage presence, they were a good opening choice for this gig.
Next up were Swedish melodic rockers Amaranthe. With a voiceover introducing their set, each take the stage individually, before heading straight into their track ‘Maximize’. As quite an odd choice to support Babymetal, I see their reasonings as we head deeper into their set. With three vocalists, you get a full range of styles; you’ve got powerful, clean female vocals, a screamer and a male 80s glam style vocalist whose voice can fill the whole venue with ease. Their stage presence is undeniable, and they interact really well together on stage, particularly in their track ‘GG6’ where two of the vocalists are competing with each other throughout. Finishing their set with one of their most popular songs ‘Drop Dead Cynical’, I think it’s fair to say the crowd enjoyed their set – just not may be what they usually listen to. With more of a ‘glam rock’ appeal and full on long-haired windmills at every angle, they’re a band I’m personally excited to see more of.
Now, for the main event, Babymetal take to the stage and open with quite an old track ‘Megitsune’. As soon as the music kicks off, the crowd goes wild and Babymetal own the stage. We’re also met with the rumoured since Glastonbury third member of the band, who executes the sharp and fast choreography perfectly in sync.
The stage is lit up with fire cannons as the fast riffs of ‘Distortion’ bring the audience to life. As did new track ‘PA PA YA!!’, which was greeted with a mighty roar from the crowd. Automatic pleasers ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’ and ‘KARATE’ got the audience singing like it was their native tongue. Watching a metal crowd screaming about chocolate is a sight to see, but one of my favourites from the night!
Taking the tone down with some piano aspects for ‘The One’, we are able to hear the impressive vocals from Sui-Metal as she takes the stage alone.
We finish the set with ‘Road To Resistance’ as they each walk out to the stage after a moment of darkness with a large branded flag. It’s an impressive track to finish their hour long set, and definitely leaves the crowd wanting more. With the energy not dropping for an instant, I leave impressed with their stamina, fun choreography and catchy tunes. I know they’re young, but this amount of attention to detail to their set takes them to another level.
Photos by Tina Korhonen.