This past Tuesday marked the beginning of Babymetal’s tour of the United States. That’s pretty damn special for humble ole Kansas City, as it seems that we never get to be the start of anyone’s tour. On top of that, Babymetal is only performing at 7 other shows across the US before heading across the pond to Europe.
As expected, the crowd at the Uptown Theater was absolutely massive. Starting in the early afternoon, fans began lining up around the block to get a slice of the action that would take place in the historic venue. Once we finally made our way inside, the line for the merch tables already stretched throughout the venue. Luckily, the bar up-front wasn’t too crowded (I guess I like beer more than the average Babymetal fan)
We caught a little bit of the opening act, Skyharbor, but unfortunately didn’t get much coverage. Skyharbor will continue with Babymetal for the rest of the US tour. The real buzz was focused on the main act, Babymetal. As I said before, the United Stated leg of their world tour was only stopping at a few places, and fans came far and wide to see a band that hardly makes a stop in our great city.
For those not in the know, Babymetal is a kawaii-metal band, fronted by Suzuka Nakamoto as Su-Metal, Yui Mizuno as Yui-Metal, and Moa Kikuchi as Moa-Metal. The girls are backed up by The Kami Band, who is Takayoshi Ohmura, Leda Cygnus, and Isao Fujita on guitars, Boh on Bass, and drummers Hideki Aoyama and Yuya Maeta. It should be noted that the touring band did not include all members named.
Anticipation was high for our stars of the show. The Uptown is a fairly large venue, with plenty of space for a large crowd, but you had to be quick to get a decent spot to see the band. The stage was draped in a white curtain. As time grew closer to Babymetal taking the stage, the house lights went down and the curtain was emblazoned with “Metal Resistance Episode VII: Apocrypha The Chosen One”.
Then the curtain dropped with the band opening with “In The Name Of…” Now this is where the show gets a little odd. Instead the usual line up, consisting of the Kami band and the three girls, two back up dancers accompanied Su-Metal and Moa-Metal. Yui-Metal was absent! Yui was also absent from the last two shows the band played in Hiroshima. This has led to wild speculation that the band has kicked Yui out, or that they are reforming into a different type of band. Only time will tell, but the release of new music, combined with the absence of Yui-Metal has led to a lot of interesting fan theories.
Heavy Metal mysteries aside, Babymetal took the stage with an intense amount of energy and showmanship. Moa and Su, along with their dancers, dazzled the crowd and really worked the stage. The Kami band really has their metal chops down: the shredding guitar is really world-class. Boh’s mastery of his wild six-string bass is really something to be seen. And the wicked double-bass beats really hold down the metal vibe. Combine that with the theatrics of the backup dancers and cutesy singing and you really get a wild experience.
After opening with In The Name Of, Babymetal performed their latest release “Distortion” for the first time in front of a crowd, along with two brand new songs yet to be named.
Fan favorite songs “Gimme Chocolate” and “Karate” appeared towards the end of the set, and Babymetal wrapped it up with The One.
A lot of new material was debuted in Kansas City, but the set was extremely abbreviated with the band only playing 10 total songs. For a main act, this is really short, and it almost felt like a setlist from a festival. Again, this has led to speculation that the band is going in a different direction, although Loudwire has reached out to Babymetal’s management company 5B and confirmed that Yui-Metal is still in-fact part of the band. No word on why she has not been part of the US Tour, but it would appear that the band will continue their tour of the United States without her.
- In The Name Of
- Elevator Girl (working title, to be named)
- Unnamed New Song
- Gimme Chocolate!!
- Road of Resistance
- The One
Words by Dallas Hessel
Photos by Josh Chaikin