BABYMETAL played its second show of 2016 in Japan at Shikiba Studio Coast in Tokyo, also was the first "Apocrypha, Only The FOX GOD Knows" of the year. The sold out show for THE ONE Members Project showed off the live debut in Japan of "Amore" and "META! Taro". Read the review of our collaborator Hitoshi Sugioka.
BABYMETAL at Shinkiba Studio Coast, "Apocrypha Only The FOX GOD Knows"
As I mentioned in previous Fan Review (visit Fan Reviews section), I live in Tokyo which makes easy travel to BABYMETAL shows because most of the shows are in Tokyo. As always, when the shows are in work days, I ask for day off just when I received the call from Kitsune-Sama. You must know that in Japan since 2014 we have to run for lottery tickets, and if we are lucky we have the chance to see BABYMETAL, if you, you could miss the whole Japan Tour just like happened to me last year. Can you imagine yourself losing 8 lotteries in a row?
At the day of the show usually wake up very early in order to fix duties and then head out to the venue. Attended earlier, arrived around 11:00 in the morning. There was people and fans around Shinkiba Studio Coast, not very much people like in overseas shows or big shows in Japan.
When the Goods booth opened headed to the section to get my Tee because I couldn't get the first edition of the Tee because I wasn't summoned to attend. After Hitoshi got his new favorite T-shirt of BABYMETAL, decided to wait. Met a few more fans, exchanged some information and experiences while the minutes slowly passed by. Then after around one hour, we got into the venue. My first time at Shinkiba Studio Coast, looks very nice, like a club.
Before the show started (About 10 minutes earlier) I always try to read my "enthusiast" setlist to see if they play what I was thinking or not, obviously they played a few songs in different order but considering my knowledge about them was easy to guess. The show started with high level of energy with "BABYMETAL Death", in particular in this song the drums and in specific Hideki's double pedals were very noticeable, probably a small problem in the audio mix, but in the other hand was really energetic listening the pedals so clearly. The moshpit activity was seen increased after the guitar solos, I personally was very active.
Following BMD, one of my favorites, "Gimme Chocolate". Still pedals were very loud but with more singing the sound got balanced. Moametal seems to be the one who really enjoys this song, I wonder if she imagines eating chocolate while she performs (Laughs). Mikio Fujioka's guitar sounds are flawless, the "harmonix" effects are incredible, I'm glad he is able to use them in the live shows since the studio version sounds different. The bridge arrives, "Are you there!?, Come on Shinkiba!! Scream!!" said Su-Metal, everybody tried to fill the band with vocal energy screaming their best. I have no idea what Moametal said, but Yuimetal as usual said "Motto, motto!" (More, more!). After the call & response the climax of the song, the crowd explodes! The energy of the song fills my heart.
The next song is "Yava!", the first time live in Japan as "Yava!". In this song, in opposite to occident audience, in Japan we scream "Yava! Yava!" and "Chigau! Chigau!" as the song indicates. I think is more enjoyable this way, the hype is bigger.
After a few seconds of waiting and darkness follows "Uki Uki Midnight", the energy and Pop mix with Metal continues. Takayoshi Ohmura seems to enjoy this kind of songs, Ohmura san seems to enjoy the kawaii segment of the live shows! (Laughs). A few times during the song Su-Metal interrupts her vocals to scream "Come on!" and point the microphone to the audience to sing along with her.
Lights off, orchestral music follows with blue lights. I was expecting the debut of the new sister of "Akatsuki", "Amore" continues! The official debut in Japan and I was there! After the first segment of vocals the audience explodes and again explodes when the music from guitars starts. The song is much more faster than the album version, it seems faster live! By very far the fastest song of the group. I cannot explain my feelings when the song stops, there is a moment when the song stops - do you remember the album version? -, Su-Metal stop singing for a longer time compared with the album version, at first thought that "something wrong with the music happened", but fans started to clap and scream, this was obviously an idea from Kitsune sama! "Amore" is not over yet. I believe the pause was in real time, approximately for 10 to 15 seconds, at the venue was like an eternity where the silence and emotions brace you and makes you think in important moments in your life. Then her voice returns, and makes you feel saved from previous darkness. Her voice is angelic, so soft, so sweet, so nice, so deep, so lovely that increase and increase until the music return with the powerful melody! Amore is excellent live!
After... "Sh sh shshsh! YONYON!" I thought the next song was "GJ!" like in London, but was YuiMoa with YonYon! Time to throw away your emotions and enjoy the happy moment! Was played the usual version, not extended.
After that, was time of the Kami Band! "Catch Me If You Can" instrumental introduction. Mikio Fujioka starts, slow solo turns into a very fast solo full of smiles and clown faces. Then Takayoshi Ohmura with his classic shredding and then BOH with an amazing bass solo! Hideki Aoyama was explendid, the best Kami solo of the show, the pedals sound very loud and he knew it! The girls get into the stage again to play one of their best songs live until today. I had clear eye contact with Moametal after she crawls between Su-Metal legs! Was an eternal eye contact, the sensation is like 2 ice cubes get into your body from your eyes to your stomach and back, sounds painful? (Laughs).
"META! Taro"! Another live debut in Japan, our first time ever and we were there! "META! Taro" wasn't my favorite at first listen, but after the live the song became very important. The choreography is very cute. Kami Band members seem to enjoy the song, specially Hideki. Su-Metal vocals are as always very good but she sings with cuteness and kindness trying to show all her cute charms to delight young fans, and she does! It's a very Sweet Viking-Metal song (Laughs).
After, follows "Ijime, Dame, Zettai". The introduction is in English. I don't like that, we are in Japan. Aside we know the overdure since 2012, or even earlier, should be played in Japanese like in previous years. Put aside my negative thoughts, back to the show, the angel returns, her vibrato is beautiful. Then guitars, drums, bass and "Aaaaaaaaahhh!!!" WALL OF DEATH!! The guitar solos during YuiMoa fight were flawless, the girls are growing and the fights are more intense!
Following IDZ, "KARATE". The groove is specially intense. The girls specially YuiMoa seem to enjoy this song very much. Moametal smiles at the audience constantly, while Su-Metal is immerse in her "dark" role in this song. Special feature is Ohmura san, I'm worried about his neck! (Laughs).
I thought Megitsune or Road Of Resistance will follow but followed "Head Bangya" for my beautiful surprise. This song is very underappreciated by the audience and band, must be played live more and more! After lights off transition, started "THE ONE", again as I said with "IDZ" intro, was sang in English. We are in Japan. But this time I understand, Apocrypha Shows are usually warm up shows for World Tour shows, but I think Japanese Version of the song must be played in Japanese land. The song is beautiful no matter the language Su-Metal sings. At Yokohama Arena was hard to notice since the girls were inside a pyramid but at Shinkiba Studio Coast was easy to notice how much they like the song, and how beautiful their black outfit is. I'm sure North American and European audiences will enjoy since the venues are small like Shinkiba.
I felt the last two songs passed too fast, when I realized the song was ending. Then a surprise, the girls left without "See You"! I'm not sure if this happened before, I don't know how to feel about it, but you are mentalized to listen their last messages and the cute "c-U" when the show ends, this show was different somehow, I wonder why.
APOCRYPHA - ONLY THE FOX GOD KNOWS SETLIST:
Newswire's Show Report, click here.
02-Gimme Chocolate (w/Call & Response)
04-Uki Uki Midnight
06-Yon No Uta
07-Catch Me If You Can (w/Kami Band Instrumental)
09-Ijime, Dame, Zettai
12-THE ONE (English Version)
Venue: The show was at Shinkiba Studio Coast. I have nothing to say about the place, was my first time there, I like it in general.
The Kami Band: The drums were too loud I think, but that is not problem of Hideki. I really like their performance on "Amore", they seem to enjoy the song. Perfect performance as always.
The Girls: Moametal was smiling all the time, her charm are the smile and he big shining eyes. Yuimetal as always with low profile, she was focused in her role, aside I couldn't pay attention to her performance since I was more in Moa's side, she always shines dancing her best. Su-Metal was perfect, she shows her quality on "Amore", which is my new favorite live.
Highlight of the night: It was rumored that Fredrik (Bass) and Herman (lead guitar) of Dragonforce attended to the show.. It was confirmed after the show thanks to their photos and tweets from the venue. Unfortunately I never noticed them in or outside the venue (Laughs).
Review by: Hitoshi Sugioka.