After 3 months of the incredible BABYMETAL show at Saitama Super Arena for "Legend 2015, New Year Kitsune Festival" three BABYMETAL Newswire group members but most important, big three BABYMETAL fans are sharing their Fan Review about the BABYMETAL show. First Jake Harris, who flew from the United States, and then Weerasak Buasomboon and Peerayoot Choeypoh from Bangkok, Thailand. Read their experiences in Japan, before, during and after the BABYMETAL "Legend 2015" event.
BABYMETAL "Legend 2015", Fan Reviews from USA, Thailand
Review by: Jake Harris from Dana Point in California, United States.
I was lucky enough to go to see BABYMETAL at the Saitama Super Arena on January 10th, 2015. I live in California. As most know, that means it's very hard for me to see BABYMETAL live as many times I please. I made a trip to Japan in the summer of 2014 to see them at Summer Sonic, and after they announced the Super Arena concert, I knew I had to go back. There was no way I was missing this concert. Everything worked in my favor and I was able to obtain a ticket through my friend from Japan, with the help of a good friend who also traveled all the way from Los Angeles to be there (I am very thankful for both of them). I came to Japan on January 2nd and left the day after the concert (I was on the plane back to the U.S. as I type this). This was my 3rd BM concert (Los Angeles, Summer Sonic 2014, Saitama). I discovered BABYMETAL around November 2013, so I was kind of late to the party.
The day started very early. I woke up at 4 am, caught the first possible train to the arena, and was there by 5:15. My friends had a car, so they were already there in the merch line. People had been waiting in line since midnight!! (such as superfan Kenji). By the time 6 am rolled around, the line was already humungous. People all lined up in hopes of getting some (or even all) of the awesome new merch. The merch types were very vast, death masks were even sold to replace the medical masks worn by people in Japan. By 7 The line for so big that it actually wrapped around the whole arena and had to branch out towards the train station. Many people were playing BM out loud and bracing the cold wind and darkness at 5 am to be in the line and get the merch.
At 9:00 workers came and Entered the front gates of the arena. As we peeked in we could see the stacks upon stacks of boxes filled with t shirts, masks, key chains, you name it. Workers all carried out the boxes and prepared the stands. At 9:15, the line was organized and tickets were checked (you could only buy one of each item and once you bought something, you could not go back in line and buy something again). By 10:00 the line was moving and the merch was being sold. I was able to buy everything I wanted. 4 t shirts, the BABYMETAL Kitsune mask, and the wall of death towel. I was surprised at how many people bought literally EVERYTHING there was to buy. Totaling up to about 500$.
There was also a separate booth for the sales of the Red Night Budokan Live CD and the Blu Ray Budokan DVD. The marketing scheme was genius by BABYMETAL's staff. With every CD that you bought, you received a lottery ticket. Those tickets gave you a chance to draw a ticket and possibly win a signed wooden plaque (with a drawing and their favorite phrase) signed by one of the girls. There was also signed drawings as prizes. I already bought everything to do with Budokan days earlier at Tower Records, and so did almost all the fans. However, people would buy 5 or more CDs just to have a chance at winning. Once they did not win anything, they handed out red night CDs for free! I had already bought mine, but it was very nice of them. I do appreciate it, because I plan on sending them to my friend as a gift. When someone would win, a bell would be rung and everyone would clap for the lucky person (while secretly hating them in their head), haha.
One of the best parts of the whole experience that was the Saitama concert was the fans. The japanese BABYMETAL fanbase is possibly the most dedicated and nicest fanbase I have ever seen. I thought I was a huge superfan, but compared to them, I am nothing! They absolutely live for this! The people in my group had gone to dozens of shows and support the band every chance they get; and hope for their success more than anything else.
I was interviewed many times outside of the venue. Being a 17 year old white kid from the USA, I was an easy target for an interview. I embraced it and went crazy for the camera yelling and claiming BABYMETAL was gosh to take over the world, you know, the usual. I also saw other international members of the BM community be interviewed. There were a good amount of foreigners at this concert, and the Japanese fans were very kind to us. I was even able to hang out with the famous/adorable Hiyo metal and her dad for a couple portions of the day. she gave me stickers! All, again, because of my amazing friends.
Anyways, let's skip to an hour or two before the concert. The cosplayers were all around the arena, even full families dressed as the kami band and BABYMETAL (the amount of cosplayers was amazing! These girls are role models to many young girls and even ones older than them) and shortly before the gates opened, the premium ticket holders entered the arena, led by one with a golden kitsune mask on a chariot!!!
I entered the arena with my group around 5 and as soon as I entered i could feel the hype building. People were chanting and high fiving the Babybones walking around. We walked into the arena and I was immediately astonished by the size of it. I still have trouble remembering that the girls who I saw play in front of 1k people in Los Angeles could sell out an arena of this size. There were also Babybones with huge BM flags who sprinted around the arena, leading the crowds in chants to pump us up (as if we weren't enough already). Then as 6 approached, it was time. The largest BABYMETAL show to date was about to begin.
As the lights turned off all 20,000 of the sold out crowd stood up immediately and went insane. The concert started with a nice montage of BABYMETAL's journey over the past year, and their rise to this mega fame they have reached now. Then, on the stage, a huge screened played animations of coffins descending, one by one, and the girls emerged in Black Kimonos.
The concert was legendary. That's all I can really say. There were many extended versions of songs (such as 4 no Uta) and a rare version of Iine where the girls actually performed the rap part followed by Sumetal exclaiming (yo yo yo. Babymetal's in da house!). During Akumu No Rondo (my favorite BM song) Su stood on the huge bridge (more details later) and ascended into the sky! The setlist was pretty huge, it featured the new song played at Su's b-day concert (Bubble Dreamer) and the adorable dance that goes with it (it's cuter than Gimme Choko!). The setlist also featured a 3 song encore finished with incredible new song "Road Of Resistance" (the biggest wall of death I've ever seen, by the way).
Here is the setlist for the concert:
(I feared they would have to take out songs to make way for the new songs, however they just added them on with the usual songs!)
01-Megitsune (Extended Intro)
02-Iine (Rap Bridge + Call & Response)
03-Bubble Dreamer (Tentative Name)
06-Catch Me If You Can (w/Kami Band Instrumental)
07-Uki Uki Midnight
08-Yon No Uta
09-Mischief Of The Metal Gods (Kami Band Instrumetal)
10-Akumu No Rondo
12-Gimme Chocolate (w/Call & Response)
13-Ijime Dame Zettai
15-Doki Doki Morning
16-Road Of Resistance (Wooh Extended Bridge)
(There was also a part where the Kami Band performed their really cool solo song). This concert featured a highly increased amount of crowd interaction by the girls, especially Sumetal. It added a more personal feel to the concert.
The performance by the girls and Kami Band was flawless as usual, that is a given with BABYMETAL. They are such terrific performers. What was equally amazing was the stage; It featured an evil "broken down castle" looking backround adorned with "THE ONE" symbols. In front of it was 2 bridges branching out to the sides so the girls could stand on them and the kami band as well. However, what was really amazing was the huge red bridge that descended from the ceiling, revealing a walkway for the girls to a small stage in the middle of the arena. This allowed the pit to be surrounding the stage and for the fans to be very very close to the girls, something Budokan or Legend 1997 did not supply.
At the end of the concert, they announced a concert in June at the Makuhari Messe large stage (mosh pit only!) and that their World Tour starts in May.
To sum it up, it was the best concert I've ever been to. The moment of 20,000 all singing "whoaaaah" together during Road Of Resistance is something I will never forget. I met amazing people, got awesome merch, and saw BABYMETAL live. Is there anything better than that?!? My review does it no Justice, you just have to go see for yourself the experience that is BABYMETAL. It featured tons of fire, fireworks, great singing, a great setlist, and a crazy crowd (I don't think one person wasn't singing along the whole time). It was definitely worth my trip and I know I'll be at Rock on The Range in the US to see the girls rock the faces off of the crowd and continue to spread the BABYMETAL Kawaii virus to more metalheads like myself around the world. I hope they stop by Los Angeles on their World Tour. Either way, I'll support them no matter what!!!!
I hope you all have a chance to see BABYMETAL one day. Thanks for reading! \y/ Kitsune's up!
The first time of life in Japan for BABYMETAL concert at SSA.
May be a destiny from Kitsune-sama. As a term of BABYMETAL’s addiction for a year, with a big help from my friend who live in Japan. Finally me and my party who addicted to BABYMETAL have a chance to see the concert with our own eyes. This concert "Legend 2015 -New Year Fox Festival- BABYMETAL live at Saitama Super Arena” is the biggest concert ever held. (the ticket buying is a lottery system that required to register and then it will random who will get a chance to buy ticket, freaking brutal)
With a low cost airlines (in that time my back was like a stone worst seat ever). I arrive to Japan one day before concert (January 9), nothing to do except sleep at the hotel room (tired and I want to make sure that I will be full energy for this concert). The next day (January 10), my friends and I heading to Saitama Shintoshin Station next to SSA by coldest ever mid-morning (For people who came from tropical weather country like me). After arriving, first thing I see was the souvenir queuing at the front of arena.
From heard about the “Amazing” queuing of the Japanese , today we got it by ourselves. From the ending of the queue, you must walk around the arena for 2 rounds and you must stay in a line for more than 4 hours but when you reach the point for buying item, it take time not over 3 minutes because you can say only “I want all” (Do you think you can say better than this? Haha) then my money flew awayyyyyy (as fast as light and fasted in my life).
Souvenir that I bought from concert , some of them will be reward for the winner of BABYMETAL real fans contest on the our Facebook group “BABYMETAL X THAILAND” (do you want to join now?)
After my wallet has nothing inside it, it’s time to walk around the arena. I wondering that this concert maybe the weirdest with the variety of audience such as Metal head with long hair wearing a tight denim jeans, Emo group with the cool hairstyle, Wotage (Idol’s lover) group who come with the many color light sticks, Cosplayer , Family which parents with three children and some groups there are grandparents come too, Students. It’s very strange that many people with many styles come to see the same thing (or you don’t think so?)
Before the concert begin to form a row for enter the arena, there is an interest thing happening, the group called “The chosen one” who be a member of the BABYMETAL official site that selected from random to be a first group to enter the arena but the special thing is before they enter there is “the Kitsune parade” in front of the row. Everyone in the parade have a special cover and there is only lucky one will get a golden Kitsune mask and sit on the parade car. This scene will make everyone (freaking) jealousy.
After “the chosen one” parade, it’s the time for normal fans (including me) to queuing for entering the arena. i and my friends, we are all in the stand area called “Mosh’sh Pit Zone”. Unfortunately, not everyone get the same zone. I and 2 of my friends stay in zone A, 2 girls stay in zone B and the last guy stay in zone C. In this case, I will explain the arrangement of area in the concert that the front area separate in to left area and right area which call zone A and B and back area in the same point called zone C and D (zone A B C D are stand area)and at the center of zone A, B, C, D there is a mini stage where BABYMETAL walk here for performance many times in concert. The background on stage make like an ancient church (very beautiful) and at the left side, center, and the right side there is a red Japanese bridge (the center one can lift up down). From this whatever stage you stay, surely you can see 3 girls from close range.
About 18.30 pm. After warm up with the big playlist of metal songs, it’s the time to mosh. In this concert there is only 2 videos for break the show, the first is mentioned for the successful in recent years and the second video is show before the last song mentioned the battle of The One in the war of Metal Resistance (it is the video before wall of death which has a great and cool gimmick, I will explain later). Besides these 2 videos, the time about 2 hours is the pure live performance.it start from a voice say to fox god and it appear a 3 coffins from 3D laser graphic (awesome) followed by the appearance of Su-METAL, YUIMETAL, MOAMETAL in black Kimono walking across the center bridge that lifted down from the air toward to the mini center stage. Then everyone in stand area run toward to that stage because they want to see the girls as closed as they can (me too, laughs)
Immediately they took off the black Kimono and three strokes from Kami Band at the back of stage. The show starts with the main song “Megitsune” that make the earthquake in the arena from whole audience’s jumping. Follow by the big chaos of mosh pit that appear everywhere in the stand area, make whoever that’s not ready must run away from this thing. The voice of the girls in Lyric “Sore Sore Sore” seems to be disappear from the audience’s voice that shout together in the same lyric.
Not over 10 seconds from the end of the first, The girls and Kami Band don’t let audience to have a time to break with Iine! That make everyone sing and dance like a crazy. In the mid of the song there is a surprise with Rap lyric that don’t use in a show for a long time with make a call & response to the audience. Follow by the new song that still have no official name (but the fans call Bubble Dreamer) with a kawaii choreography “carry the watermelon (Yes, I name it by myself)” which has a metal music that make everyone smile, laugh, and shouting for this.
After three group songs, it’s time for solo song. Start with Su-metal song: leader of BABYMETAL with song “Akatsuki”. A song in Japanese metal style that this time has intro with piano before the metal part (this make me think of X Japan ) and a highlight of this song is twin solo from Kami Band (that day guitar line up is Leda and Ohmura) and they don’t make audience disappointing with each signature style playing that make the emotion up to the maximum level. many audience express their feeling by making an air-guitar. The other highlight is a bass drum rhythm from Aoyama, the awesomeness drummer that i give him max 10 scores. I stand there and feel like he stomp my heart with this blasting twin drum (Laughs).
The next song after solo song from the leader, now it’s time of Duo girl with “Onedari Daisakusen” Rap metal like Limp Bizkit style, who don’t jump I think he will be a man who insensitive for sure because there is the two little cute girls that cheer up you all the time like this. Follow by the song that Kami Band can show their skill “Catch Me If You Can” and “Uki Uki Midnight” which has spider-like step dance and laser beam at the mid song. i would say any song that play, the audience can sing or shout and dance along all of them. The song later is a Duo song “4 no uta” which Moametal and Yuimetal run like crazy to every area of stage. Especially in the middle part of the song the girls run cross the left and right bridge even the mini stage to cheer up the audience. At this point many people act like a dying man. when the girls cheer up, they cheat the death then shouting and Mosh surf like they are immortal. This time is very peak especially verse “Yon Yon” everyone shouting this lyric together very very loud.
However, it seems the band and the girls know that if the fast song is longer than this it might be many people that can’t stay until the end of the concert, so after kami band solo, it’s the time to silence all the arena with the “Akumu no Rondo” that Su-metal transform to be a queen and spell the whole audience with her voice. I swear that in this period of time there is no any sound from any audience. Everyone stand silent, they can do just only listening.
After the break it’s time for the last first ending and the most first peak of this concert. They shot all of the audience with the heavy machine gun from “Headbanger” which make everybody bow down for respect and headbang like a crazy. “Gimme Chocolate” the most popular song in global of BABYMETAL which anyone can sing and ends with the Wall of Death anthem “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” which everyone run into the other side like a center of madness whirlwind. it’s very crazy even some of metal band can’t make this thing like this. (I’m in that W.O.D. and I think it like a tornado)
After the first set list and say goodbye (falsely) with sentence “SEEEE YOUUUUU!” (the band unique) Fans who survive or some who resurrected from the death are together shout for encore “We want more!!!” repeatedly for about 10 minutes. The girls are back and offer what the fans request with “BABYMETAL Death” which make the one resurrect and shout like crazy for Death (Des)! Death (Des)! Death (Des)! After that say good morning in Metal style with “Doki Doki Morning” (I think who stand near the base speakers will be catapulted from the drum beat by Aoyama). this song show the cute of metal head from the headbang at the beginning then dancing and waving a hand in hook pattern “Rin Rin Rin” in exactly with the rhythm.
Then the lights on the stage was close and turn in to the video present on the big screen (as I say that in this concert there is only 2 videos except the announcement at the end) which mention to the ancient war style ( they call “Senkogu”) the picture in this video come from the merchandise shirt and towel. At first I can’t classify but when they zoom in the pattern show the face of many legend metal band consist of Metallica, Megadeath, Antrax, Judas Priest even though Slipknot. All of them are in the war, this gimmick when they show what it’s mean it make the whole audience shout and yell for out loud. (At first I don’t want a towel but now I really need it, laughs)
After the video, then concert is coming to the real final part with the highest emotion of all audience from the intro music that coming out with 3 girls who’re back with the logo flag look like the generals in the war to command the army with the song (it can’t be any song except the new song that be anthem of all The One “Road Of Resistance” which coming with the most massive wall of death in this concert. (if they combine all of stand zone, may be we will probably see the historical wall of death) at this time everyone don’t care anything. They try to put all energy they have like this is the last thing they can do. I have some word now in my head “livegusm”.
At the end of the concert, Normally, will be announce about the next path of BABYMETAL. In this time except the information about World Tour 2015 and about the place to go and the Mosh’sh Pit only concert at Mahakuri Messe. There is a picture of the girls with new costume that wear a black fox ear and the black hood that the fans should be interpret the meaning by themselves. I think this is full of everything that a great concert should have.
The conclusion, this is the most enjoyable concert in my life including the most weirdest I ever seen. While the ground audience mosh’sh and mosh’sh, audience on the upstand waving their light sticks by the rhythm. When you see this two different things in the same place, it can say in a word except “awesome” .
Whether you are a fan of rock or metal, or a fan of Idol. This is a concert you should go at least once in your lifetime. I swear for this !!
Ps. I’ve seen the girls in very close range. A word cute or pretty or beautiful isn’t enough. I should say they are “angels” from the heaven, I swear for this too!!