Young Guitar’s Tokyo Dome report 2016 November
Be sure to pick up a copy of Young Guitar November 2016 and use this translation merely as a reference source.
Babymetal World Tour 2016
Legend – Metal Resistance
Red Night & Black Night
2016 9/19 & 20 at Tokyo Dome
Special report with exclusive gear analysis
The conclusion of Chapter 4 of the Metal Resistance! This is a thorough report on the live performances as well as the musical tools used by the Kami band in the Tokyo Dome 2-days that served as the final shows of BABYMETAL’s World Tour.
The three metal princesses singing and dancing on the Red night.
The explosive performance of the Kami gods roaring throughout the Dome!!
The curtains were raised on the 4th chapter of the Metal Resistance on April 1st, 2016 better known as ‘Fox Day’.
The World Tour that tested its metal with its start at London’s Wembley Arena proceeded to its final shows on the home ground of Japan!! In this report we will paint the happenings of these Metal Nights that spanned two nights filled with the grandiose performances of BABYMETAL that were honed and evolved through their world wide battles and filled with the outstanding performances of the Kami band!
Yuimetal (Scream, Dance)
Su-metal (Vocal, Dance)
Moametal (Scream, Dance)
Here we bring you a complete report on the totally unprecedented Metal Entertainment shows filled to the brim with surprises and emotions!
The appearance of a gigantic Tokyo Dome stage!
Tokyo Dome served as the location for the final shows of final stage of BABYMETAL’s World Tour. These shows spread out over two successive sold out performances made us all realize that ‘BABYMETAL has actually made it to this fateful stage.’
I personally am not a long term fan who has followed the back since the days when they were still doing live shows with the usage of pre-recorded musical sounds and so I have no intention of saying something questionable like, ‘I knew from a long time ago that some day this day would come!’. However, following this start with their solo show debut in front of the 300 person capacity venue of the live house known as the Meguro RokumeiKan they went on not to leapfrog their progress but rather to expand their activities through a very clever quick expansion in scale. They they went on to follow up on their 2-days of performances at the Nihon BudouKan (March 2014) which is when I reflect upon it a success story that enveloped the whole world and fills me with deep emotions considering all that led up to it. It is not like they had started out their journey adorned with glitter and jazz. And yet in spite of that I now want to clap my hands in a simple and honest sense of respect for them now appearing on this incredible Tokyo Dome stage.
The reason we have chosen to feature BABYMETAL in this magazine is obviously not simply because we were attracted by the phenomena that they have become, but more due to the fact of the existence of high quality Metal sound and high quality Metal guitars that are at the heart of their music. That said, the definition of just what is Metal is something that varies greatly from person to person. With the vast difference in the Metal of Bon Jovi and that of Cannibal Corpse there is obviously going to be things that some like and things that some equally dislike. In the same manner while you are welcome to approach and enjoy BABYMETAL’s music in any way that you want but let me say from the outset as a person who considers himself a Metalhead I was able to thoroughly enjoy the the singing, the musical performance and the presentation that I experienced at the Tokyo Dome, but no, wait, that simply doesn’t say it strongly enough. Let me say that it exceeded all that and the contents of the showed truly moved something deep in me with impact of the scale of the shows. Moreover, the center of the stage soars up t almost reach the ceiling of the Dome. This gigantic stage seems to be designed to raise the excitement of the fans gathered there. Further, we have been told that all songs from the 1st album, ‘BABYMETAL (2014)’ and the 2nd album, ‘METAL RESISTANCE (2016)’ will be performed over these two days without any songs being performed twice-no doubling over.
And then, the curtains come up. The song to start the event off with is ‘Road of Resistance’! With the red searchlights criss crossing around the still dark arena as the bold introduction blares out is nothing more like what one would experience at a Judas Priest performance of ‘The Helliion’. Even being well aware that this intro was born out of respect for this song does not tarnish the fact that one’s Metal heart is truly tickled by it.
And then the three girls, Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal descend slowly from the pinnacle of the stage that I have already talked about. The girls are performing on what could be called the sub stage located right up by the ceiling of the Dome, while the Kami band carry out their performances on the main, ground stage. In the latter part of the song the three girls who have now made their way to the ground stage rush out to the runways fanning the excitement of the over 55 thousand fans gathered to see them.
The girls work through the songs recorded on Metal Resistance till they come to the mid point with the truly pure Melodic Speed Metal song of ‘Amore – Aoboshi’. Su-metal appears projected on the LED vision monitor with white wings extending from her back whereupon she entrances her listeners with all enveloping vocals. With an overwhelming sense of speed the twin guitars of the Ookami (Big god) and the Shokami (Little god <stage names>) perform a thrilling refrain using open string guitars in a thoroughly beautiful harmony. This lead play was so outstanding that we can understand why Moametal said in a pre-show rehearsal that she thought, ‘I am worried your hands might fall off if you play like that!’.
Following this in a totally different feel we were treated to the stately and strong dancing of Yuimetal and Moametal with the modern, groovy and oh so low center of gravity Metal tune of ‘GJ!’. The matching of this low Metal sound with the cute vocals of the two girls creates a truly unique song. Next it is again time for a solo song from Su-metal. Su-metal and the Kami band perform an outstanding version of ‘Akumu no Rhondo’ with its irregularly timed beat highlighted by a machine-like, rough refrain. The show proceeds amidst a bewilderingly high paced pitch while treating us to dignified and stately sung vocals even as it suddenly plunges us into richly gothic and beautiful, dark underworld.
After this we dive into an introduction session by the Kami band leading into ‘Catch me if you can’. To start things out the Little god shows his technical skills with a tricky performance highlighted with aggressive arming. Meanwhile, the Big god moves from tapping into an avalanche of high speed shredding and concluding beautifully with a guitar arm up finish. (I have no idea what this sentence means, ‘Kids!?’,sorry). Heading into the last part of the show with the aggressive, attacking and heavy groove song of ‘Karate’, Su-metal invited the fans to sing the chorus saying to them, ‘Let us hear your voice!’. And while we have seen her rouse the audience into a fury in this natural manner before she now does it with such finesse obviously becoming second nature to her with her countless battles carried out overseas.
The show then came to its climax with successive combination of songs – the live debut of ‘Tales of The Destinies’ blending into ‘The One – English ver.’. ‘Tales of The Destinies’ is often referred to as being in the Progressive Metal vein and as being very similar to the sound of Dream Theater and the purely exquisite dance performances of Yuimetal and Moametal totally riveted one’s eyes as they performed with a skill that perfectly matched with this complex rhythm chock full of irregular beats. Further, what makes it possible for this song to come across in such a catchy and not overly obscure manner is due to the fact that smooth vocals and precise powers of expression of Su-metal are serve as its core anchor.
When the outro of ‘TOTD’ kicks in all of the clear neck corsets (these were handed out at the entrance before the show) worn around the necks of all the fans in attendance started to shine simultaneously, and in almost a sleight of magic moment the three girls suddenly appeared standing at the tip of each runway dressed in golden cloaks. With this the outro ties into ‘The One – English ver’ and everything came together in a perfectly matched sense of harmony with Su-metal singing in English accompanied by Yuimetal and Moametal’s chorus. Everything and everyone coming together in unison this dramatic, gigantic conclusion truly worked perfectly with the spacious form of the Tokyo Dome.
A stately finale performed all out, with no holds barred.
Now we move on to the second show, ‘The Black Night’. Prior to the start of the show there were numerous masterpieces of Metal playing as BGM and it was as we reached partway into Judas Priest’s ‘Leather Rebel’ following on the heels of Iron Maiden’s ‘Wasted Years’ that the song faded out and the arena went dark. These two monstrous works of Metal served as the prologue to the show, and the reverberation from these songs led into ‘Babymetal Death’n which kicked off the Black Night. Three figures dressed in white costumes appeared on the upper stages of the center stage set. Everyone was focused on these three figures…..but, the authentic three girls of Babymetal popped up one each at the tip ends of the ground floor runways all crucified on crosses! During the interim when we were all filled with excitement at the dexterity of this trick, the three girls gathered on the main stage and went on to immediately on to dance in a fervent manner.
Staring at the Big god as the next song, ‘Awadama Fever’ started I was able to see that he had taken in hand the original version of the E-II ARROW-7 Babymetal collaboration model. On the other hand, his partner in today’s show, the L god was making use of a Black colored Strandberg model with its characteristic shape. The L god is along with the Big god and the Little god a Kami band member who the fans are all very familiar with.
Yuimetal and Moametal’s ‘Sis. Anger’ performed near the middle of the show was absolutely fantastic. These two girls who could not be more further removed from this extreme Melodic Black/Death Metal sound that owes it roots to The Black Dahlia Murder if they tried, riled up the fans with perfectly timed screams of, ‘Don’t be messing around! <Zakken ja ne zo> and ‘You stupid idiot’ <Bakayarou> all performed while dancing in perfect symmetry. The fact that all these differing factors blend together without any sense of things being out of
kilter is truly mysterious. An awesome event is taking place at this time, I mean, the whole of the Tokyo Dome is roaring with the blast beat sounds and the tremolo riffs coming from the stage.
Also, again tonight there was a Kami band session worked into the set list and the L god showed his own unique flair by doing what he does so well- mixing and weaving high speed strumming into the structured phrasing of the music. On the other hand, the Big god starts off with long tone chocking and proceeds to get down on his knees on one of the runways where he puts on a high speed shredding performance.
The heat of this session cools down for the time being with the introduction of piano special effects leading into the masterpiece ‘Akatsuki’. Su-metal beautifully sings the lead in part with 5 spotlights trained on her and when she screams out, ‘Akatsuki da-!’ everyone in the dome felt the underlying strength of her passionate vocal abilities. And later when she performed the ballad, ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ which had not been performed since she sang it at the BudouKan shows I am certain that the balanced mixture of tenderness, sadness and power with which she sang it completely satisfied all the fans who had been waiting and anticipating it for so long. Further, the guitar solos in these 2 songs reveal an homage to X Japan’s ‘Silent Jealousy’ and ‘Endless Rain’ and the extended harmony built up exquisitely through the relay, back and forth style of guitar solos by the L god and the Big god were also most definitely highlights of the songs themselves.
‘Doki Doki Morning’ performed with extremely active moments by the 3 girls on the highly placed and not so spacious sub stages on top of the set carried quite an impact and it was from here on to the last song of the night that things plowed into a smoking hot progression of events. From the intense sense of oneness created throughout the entire dome beginning with the intro ‘Oi Call’ springing up in ‘Megitsune’ to the following, ‘Hedobangya!’ there was already a special feel in the air when Su-metal began singing. From the piercing eyes of Su-metal looking around the gigantic dome as she sings, to Yuimetal and Moametal’s execution of highly professional dancing that has been calculated right down to the very finest detail and yet flowing over in expression – there has not been a hint of dark clouds over any of it as we come to the final minutes of the show.
The figure of Su-metal standing without moving a muscle, holding the mic stand up in the mid part of ‘Hedobangya!’ was truly a stately, dignified sight to see!
And then, the song that drove the nail in the coffin with one deadly blow- the last song, ‘Ijime, Dame, Zettai’. As with the previous night the neck corsets worn by the fans glowed, this time with a red light, as the intro kicked in bringing a colorful sense to the show. When you pop back to your senses you realize that Yuimetal and Moametal are crouched downing a runner’s starting position at the tips of two respective runways and as the rhythm breaks in they dash at full power toward the main stage. They dash a distance that is the longest in the performance of this song amidst flames shooting up at every conceivable place ending with the three girls all converging in perfect timing with the flow of the song. As if to meet the joining of the girls the guitarists perform a twin lead that echoes in the dome and echoes in the hearts of all in attendance. It is impossible to fully explain the awesomeness of the excitement created by this song.
With all the songs on the set list having been performed the three girls walk along the runways carrying out the ‘We are?’ ‘Babymetal!’ call and response to all reaches of the dome. In conclusion they once again return to the pinnacle of the stage set up and ring the gigantic metal gong which triggers the eruption of a gigantic explosive sound and the launching of fireworks. And with that the World Tour which started in April of this year comes to a close.
As a result the second night was occupied by a large number of songs from the 1st album, ‘Babymetal’ and so I can not say that I do not understand the feelings of envy expressed by the fans who only attended the first night as the 1st album certainly contains for the fans a sense of being a particularly special, you could even say a fate filled, album. The album ‘Babymetal’ especially has a sense of being a kind of ‘Best of’ album for the band at the time of its release and is packed full of the classic songs up to that point in time. And moreover, the period required to the release of the next album of around 2 years was relatively long and allowed for the songs to come of age. However, I feel that both nights displayed wonderful performances respectively and were filled with surprises and emotional qualities and so my honest impression is that there is no way to say this one or that one was better than the other considering we have never seen such an unprecedented succession of Metal Entertainment at such a huge scale ever before.
I am sure that the songs on ‘Metal Resistance’ will grow in the future into equally special songs and all we can expect is that they will continue to develop to far exceed anything we can imagine.
Babymetal World Tour 2016
- Road of Resistance
- Amore- Aoboshi
- Akumu no Rhondo
- 4 no Uta
- Catch me if you can
- Gimme Choco!!
- Tales of The Destinies
- The One – English ver.
- Babymetal Death
- Awadama Fever
- Uki Uki Midnight
- Meta! Meta Tarou
- Sis. Anger
- Onedari Daisakusen
- No Rain, No Rainbow
- Doki Doki Morning
- Ijime, Dame, Zettai