BABYMETAL – The SSE Arena, Wembley, London (2nd April 2016) – LIVE REVIEW

A few eyebrows were raised when it was announced BABYMETAL were playing Wembley Arena. Were they really that popular? The answer is yes as not only did they sell it out, they broke the all-time merchandise record for a one-day event at the venue.

The crowd is a mixed bag. It’s easy to spot flags from at least 7 different countries, there’s families, metal heads, groups of girls dressed up as the band and people just curious to see what all the fuss is about.

After a delayed start, the lights eventually dim and a video details the ‘origins’ of BABYMETAL and their goal to unite the world through metal. Three ghostly figures appear at the back of the stage but are merely a decoy as within the flash of fireworks, the actual band appear at the end of the catwalk and they immediately kickstart the evening by playing the infectious ‘BABYMETAL DEATH’, which sees the girls show off their unique style of head-banging, rocking forward in a type of bowing motion.

As their second album was only released the day prior to the gig, the concert is officially billed as the ‘Live World Premier’ and is even being broadcast LIVE in Japan. This really is a big occasion. From beginning to end, there’s no let-up in the music with the girls impressively performing non-stop for 1 hour 40 minutes during a 17 song setlist with everyone, including the band, getting their own individual time in the spotlight.

During ‘Catch Me If You Can’ each member of the band get at least a 5 minute solo, ‘Amore’, getting it’s live debut, sees lead singer Su-Metal in full-on power ballad mode. Towards the end of the set, ‘Karate’ and ‘Gimme Chocolate!!’ spark the wildest mosh pits of the night. The set ends with the only English language song of the night, ‘The One’. We also get an encore of new album opener ‘Road To Resistance’ with its call & response chorus and the night ends with Su-Metal telling the crowd, “We’re going back to Japan now, but we will always be with”.

BABYMETAL’s aim is to ‘unite the world through metal’ and maybe tonight they took their first few steps in achieving just this.

This BabyMetal article was written by Simon Bull, a GIGsoup contributor