November 13, 2014 BABYMETAL Take over Hammerstein Ballroom NYC 11-4-14
Japan’s BABYMETAL has become an international phenomena over the past year or so with their ever unique mix of Heavy Metal and J-pop. Comprised of vocalists Su-metal, Yuimetal, and Moametal, it seems everyone’s curiosity is running wild to catch these girls live as they continue their tour across North America. Stopping in New York City on Tuesday November 4th at Hammerstein Ballroom, BABYMETAL lured in a diverse crowd of fans, ranging from burly Metalheads to petite girls dressed up in tutus or anime inspired outfits ready to Rock-n-Roll.
With the crowd restless for the show to begin, suddenly the tension was cut as an introductory video began and the lights went down. Igniting excitement with a bang from pyrotechnics, lead singer Su-metal along with Moametal and Yuimetal arose from a platform on an elevated stage as “BABYMETAL DEATH” followed by “iine!” and “Uki Uki ★ Midnight” played. They did not disappoint with their choreography, inspiring some fans even to try and imitate the moves they stylishly displayed on stage. With playful energy flowing through the room all for BABYMETAL, the benefit of a full set allowed the girls to showcase their pure, heavy talent, with each member soloing. On “Akumo no Rondo,” Su-metal displayed her versatility by singing alone in a more dramatic tone without backup dancing from the other girls. “4no Uta” started up right after, but not before Su-metal had the fans repeat after her by singing “Yon Yon!”
Moving along at a rapid pace, the intro to “Akatsuki” was beautifully played for a few moments in a piano and violin/cello version. Emerging from the stage in a cape, while under the spotlight, Su-metal’s singing became heavier with a piano playing along in the background. Without the girls dancing during this song, an added sense of seriousness highlighted the composition as well the vocal performance. Complemented by the two guitarists shredding back to back, like a traditional Heavy Metal show, the crowd roared in appreciation. Looking around the venue, there were fans proudly holding up flags from different countries such as Sweden, Colombia, and Japan, showing BABYMETAL that their music reaches all parts of the world. The crowd went wild moshing, and everyone sang along, waving their fists and lights in the air, while moving to fan-favorite “Give Me Choco!” The girls amped the crowd up by throwing their horns up, and Su-metal had the crowd repeat after her, happily obliging by singing in Japanese. Climaxing the moment was a visual about the Metal resistance commencing upon the conclusion of the song, captivating the entire audience.
Soon after, ominous organ music played with choir singing while there was a black stage with red lights. The girls walked out in the darkness, outlined by the red lights, to a mosh pit including two guys in banana suits provoked by crowd-pleaser “Headbanger!” The crowd jumped along with the choreography, and at the end the girls crawled on stage as if they were defeated. Su-metal then slowly made her way to the top of the stairs to hit a gong, immediately sparking the lights to go on. The crowd chanted for one more song. Making everyone stand on their heels in anticipation, the screen dropped again, conveying a message about keeping alive the dream that the fox has shown them, along with pictures of BABYMETAL with Metal greats such as Metallica and Slayer. The screen flashed, demanding something of the crowd, and that something was “WALL OF DEATH.” Letting loose into a frenzy, it was a sight to be seen as the encore began with “Ijime,” followed by “Dame” and “Zettai” while Su-metal sang brightly under all the pressure of New York City and conquered the moment.
BABYMETAL is certainly a piece of culture that may puzzle some, be loved by many, but mesmerize all. Their wonderfully organized show was full of exhilarating music and synchronized dance that no one could deny. Do not hesitate: see BABYMETAL for the entertainment experience of a lifetime.