It was relatively quiet for a while around Babymetal, pioneers of Kawaii metal blended with J-pop, but since the beginning of this year with the launch of their fourth album, ‘The Other One’, the band from Tokyo has been completely active again, in the spring as opening act of Sabaton and currently with a headline show in the UK and Europe.
Wednesday was to be the 2nd of 3 shows in the UK at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall. After an hour of queuing in the bitter cold, the doors of the Civic opened at 7:00 PM sharp, after checking backpacks and handbags, everyone was allowed into an anteroom of the concert hall where merch was prominently displayed.
The support band of the evening including shows in London was not a band that I’ve come across, but it quickly turned out to be a very positive surprise. The Scottish duo that forms VUKOVI. Presented a dazzling live show with very active singer Janine Shilstone who came across as quite sensual at times. A mix of pop and rock warmed-up the crowd in a very enthusiastic way. We got a mix of more recent work from ‘NULA’ supplemented with a song from the duo’s first album and two recent singles.
At 9:00 PM the time was ripe to receive the Japanese headliner of the evening, introduced by a video on the digital screen at the back of the stage. From the start the audience gave their all, well warmed up by VUKOVI.
We got a classic show from Babymetal with lots of choreography and a first song from the latest album halfway through the set, more specifically ‘Mirror Mirror’. A little further on in the rather short set, a second song from ‘The Other One.’ ‘Monochrome’, was performed while the crowd was asked to turn on the light of their cell phone and were filmed to appear on the background digital screen. Occasionally in between songs, singer Su-Metal came all the way to the front of the stage to speak to the audience.
Towards the end of the show the band performed their latest single, ‘Metali!!’, with Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine contributing. Unfortunately, no Tom Morello in person on stage, but a background video in which you could see the well-known guitarist in a white T-shirt.
The show ended after little more than an hour with ‘Road of Resistance’ where the three ladies each raised a flag with the band’s logo at the beginning of the song. A spontaneous and gentle circle pit was also formed a few rows from the stage with crowd surfers coming from all directions.
Babymetal presented a short but action-packed set with choreographies from start to finish.