Tickets were a bit expensive, but oh well – how often do Babymetal come to the UK right? Maybe the money will help put them through school or pay for their driving lessons or something.
Arrived in Brixton a few hours before the doors opened, met up with luke and basically just walked around and explored Brixton a little – there wasn’t a whole lot to see, but there were some interesting looking hipster restaurants, one of which we would end up eating at. We ended up at ‘Bukowski’ who specialize in burgers, and though there was a little bit of a wait… yeah.. it was a pretty damn good burger, i got one with candied bacon, jalapeno mayo, cheese, onions, etc etc. Still not quite as good as patty and bun, but I did have to think about it for a little.
Onward to the gig, the rain was coming down pretty hard, we walked over to the o2 academy to find queues spewing from each side of the venue, with the actual queue for people who have tickets so long that the line started from the right hand side of the building and went literally around the block til it was starting to flow onto the left side of the venue – at one point there venue actually had a circular queue around it, and people couldn’t even work out where the join, that’s how bad the situation was. We would be left standing in the rain for way too long, maybe an hour and a half, until my hoodie had completely soaked through, I think i’ll bring something more waterproof for the next gig. Once finally inside, we would play the waiting game again, standing around for approximately another hour or so until everyone finally got their asses into the building.
The crowd was shockingly more ‘metal’ than I anticipated, weebs literally nowhere to be found, only rockers decked out in babymetal T-shirts and the occasional fox mask – all the stereotypes were there: punk rocker, 30something bald guy that probably rode in on a motorcycle, skinny white guy with long hair and goatee, fat goth chick with choker around her gigantic neck… There were hardly any japanese people around either, if not for the shirts one would easily be fooled into thinking this crowd were waiting to see metallica or similar.
The lights finally dimmed, and we were presented with a fake starwars sequence filling us in on what I can only assume is the lore or plot of the Babymetal tour, something about saving the world using true metal, with aid from the fox god – ridiculous, but then we were a bunch of twentysomethings about to mosh to a trio of japanese school kids who average age 15, so I guess the lore being presented is the tip of the iceberg.
After possibly an eternity, the band appeared, clad in white outfits and with faces not dissimilar to that seen in Detroit Metal City, a barrage of drums and riffs and the girls emerged from the floor to a rabid crowd. The next 80 minutes are a blur, they basically played their entire album, with a few extras worked in here and there both to let the crowd and girls take a breather, and for the band to have some fun. Highlights of course were Ii ne, Gimme choko, onedari daisakusen, dokidoki morning, ukiuki midnight…. the whole thing was good okay.
There was fire effects, fireworks, dramatic lighting, strobes, girls waving flags, capes…
The crowd was loving it, with a majority singing along to at least the chorus of most of the songs, and there was certainly no shortage of fox hands, jumping and traditional push shovery.
As expected, there was an encore after the show, for which the girls played Headbanger, then just when we though it was all over, another video began to play, documenting the success of phase 2 or some shit… the video would continue to play, finally ending by signalling the start of phase 3 (presumedly 3rd world tour) and announcing a new song called ‘the one’, get hype. The song itself was pretty good, with some catchy bits for the audience to sing along to, but I suspect the entire audience was just exhausted by the relentless shoving, jumping and mosh pits that had occurred over the last hour or so (I personally thought I was going to pass out at one point after throwing myself into the pit).
Overall, great show, shame about the 3 hours of waiting for it to start but that’s more the event organization than any fault of the girls themselves.