In 2014, BABYMETAL hit the scene like an adorably decorated brick to the face and everything in metal changed. This was beyond visual kei and unique from metal in the West, it was an amalgamation of everything we loved most about J-pop, visual kei, metal, and dark fantasy rolled into one group.
Fast forward five years, and after an intense start of being dragged by metal loyalists only to be praised and embraced by the undisputed leaders of the industry and musical genre, Asian Junkie was invited to witness the Los Angeles stop of their Metal Galaxy World Tour at The Forum in Inglewood. This arena show would be our true introduction to the visual bomb that is BABYMETAL.
The initial VCR provided a history of the group, a fantastical story of the birth of BABYMETAL in ultra-futuristic intergalactic animation, but most there likely knew the deal already. Then the band appeared. Not just BABYMETAL but the KAMI BAND, and dear god did they rock. I could feel the fury coming from the speakers just as much as I could feel the heat coming from the pyrotechnics as the band played their guts out.
Still, everyone was there to see these two (plus an “Avenger”) young women command the stage and rock the night. So when SU-METAL and MOAMETAL stepped out onto the stage decked out in their famous lace and holo costumes, with crystal spikes in their hair, the reaction was appropriately raucous.
BABYMETAL started with “FUTURE METAL,” “DA DA DANCE,” and “Megitsune” before the split in the VIP General Admission floor section of the arena made sense. The stage lifted and began to move, causing the crowd to scream as it every so smoothly rolled forward through the gap, bringing the girls practically right into their faces. Suddenly there were no nosebleed seats as the stage brought them past the center of the floor toward the seated area of the arena.
A massive unit of laser and lights rinsed the girls as they danced, sang, and cheered their way through their set-list, all the while the stage moved back and forth like a great wave, bringing BABYMETAL with it. We all stood in awe as they rammed their way through songs such as “Elevator Girl,” “Shanti Shanti,” “Kagerou,” and “Starlight.”
Of course, the ever popular “Gimme Chocolate” drove an audience of hardcore metal heads to transform into screaming stans as the girls performed their initial viral hit. They continued with their newest release, “PA PA YA,” that was surprisingly intense live. “Distortion” and “KARATE” followed suit, while “Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!” was exactly as expected — hardcore, loud, and a damn good time! They exited after “Road To Resistance,” lights dark, balls of flames extinguished, stage unmoving.
But of course, they were not done yet. SU-METAL thanked the audience and fans for their continued support, in a sweet humble voice she stated they were so happy to be in LA performing and to see so many fans who had come to see them.
They then finished the show with the absolutely beautiful and melodic “Shine” and, finally, “Arkadia” to complete the night hard, fast, and 100% metal.
Thank you to Amuse, Toy’s Factory, and Biz Media for allowing Asian Junkie to cover this amazing event.
Note: Photos included in this article were shot by me and approved for publishing by management. Thank you for allowing us to publish these photos!
Video: American Daimyo