Babymetal in Utrecht (+Dream State)

Last week, Babymetal was touring in Europe again after a too long hiatus.

So after my New York experience and the Download Festival France near Paris in 2016, followed by their opening number for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Birmingham (two nights in a row) in december of the same year, and the shows in Osaka in october 2017 (no picture), I went to Utrecht to see their two shows there. After all, Utrecht is becoming a lucky place for me.

The best way to enjoy a show is to see it twice : once in the pit near the front row, and once from a balcony. Utrecht turned out perfect for this, thanks to the VIP passes on the first day.

Things you live from the second row central :

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– being told « beware » and hold the eclipse-adorned curtain as the roadies bind it to the rigging system

– wondering if it’s Su-Metal standing in front of you for the opening, under the mask (hard to say with the make-up and without seeing the ears)

– seeing the Kami’s faces under the hoods before they take them off

– marvel at Su-Metal commanding moves

– laugh when Moametal pulls her tongue out

– and when Moa makes a face at Su when they exchange places during Road of Resistance

– admire the amazing details of the costumes

– being pushed around when the crowd moshes

– hearing the crowd sing along most of Akatsuki and Megitsune 

– being head kicked by slammers who can’t hold their feet

– see Moa give back a smile to fan C1 at the front row and see him gush

– steal pics with a mere smartphone with ok results because you don’t even need to zoom

– feeling like you’re going through a washing machine cycle, ending up sore (sore sore sore sore!) and drenched.

Things you live from the balcony :

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– start the show a bit rested because you sat during the queue and before it started

– you can actually read the text from the opening on the curtain

– appreciate the choregraphy ensemble

– hear the music better

– jump and dance around without being moshed

Changes happened since the 2017 shows :
– The Kami band (backup musicians) now has proper costumes (since the Hiroshima shows in December), instead of the ragged white ghost-like robes.
– Yui was not there, and nobody knows if it’s only part of the new lore about the Chosen Seven not all appearing at the same time, or some other reason. Instead, the stage is occupied by two female dancers with costumes similar to Moametal, but without microphone. Her absence was still blatant in GJ! (normally performed by Yui and Moa, and there only by Moa with the dancers) and in Gimme Chocolate since they used to alternate, while Moa has to sing and dance both parts.
– the ladies (they’re no longer little girls, as Moa and Yui both turned 18 and graduated from high school) have new costumes too. No more red, no more frills, no more pigtails : all in black leather-like with gold linings, and head-dresses, making them look more like warriors of the Dark Side of the Metal Resistance. The new dancers choreography also look more martial.
– the new songs each have a different flair. Distortion (released as a single) is very fast metal with no backup singing, few singing actually. The one dubbed Elevator Girl by the fans is more idol pop-ish and very catchy. Tattoo, a Su-Metal solo, is more usual Japanese metal rock.

Opening band : Dream State

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Both days, Babymetal was preceded by UK band Dream State. They play progressive metal rock and are fronted by a vocalist who more than compensates her short size (I’m the same so hey!) with energy and a great voice. She even dared to surf on the crowd even though most people weren’t there for them (though on the first day, a girl at the barrier seemed to know their songs and to really be into them). They received a positive welcome from the audience.

I think they had some aftershows for fans, but I didn’t hear when or where.

Definitely worth checking their music and their shows if they play near you!