Thursday, November 15, 2018

Babymetal - Black Mass, Red Mass, and Metrock 2015

Up next, we've got a series of shows that are really more about the audience than they even are about the band. First, let's discuss a couple of special exclusive events the band held for their fans, The Black Mass, and The Red Mass.

Split up into two separate nights, The Black Mass was a show where all attendees had to be males, and they had to be wearing face paint matching the Kami Band, and The Red Mass took place the following evening, where all the attendees on this night had to be females dressed in red. An interesting concept, having fan specific nights (something the band would continue to explore in another series of shows down the road, but we'll get there when we get there), but it certainly made for a couple of very unique experiences. Though that said, these are also slightly shorter sets than we've become accustomed to from the band by this point, so not every song on their usual set list at this time made the cut. And let's just say that the live version of Rondo of Nightmare, while still a lovely performance for The Black Mass, did feel incomplete without Mischiefs of Metal Gods preceding it.

In addition to these fan stipulations, the shows also took place in smaller venues again, making for a much more intimate atmosphere. And it's also neat now how the band finally has enough songs to where they can do back to back shows like this, and not have to have pretty much the exact same set list, just with the song order changed up, which aided in making each night stand apart from one another, with song choices that appeared to be tailored to their particular audience.

The Black Mass opened up with the curtains being pulled open, as our girls were already on stage with their flags in hand, and kicked off in epic form with Road of Resistance. And already, I could tell this was gonna be an awesome show just from the crowd interactions, where they would shout back along with Yui's and Moa's vocals in unison, sounding almost like a war cry every time. And the men's shouting continued in this manner on many songs, such as Uki Uki Midnight, adding this added layer of intensity that really complimented the songs in an awesome way.

Then we get to Megitsune, and there's this thing that I love that the girls oftentimes do on their smaller shows. When we get to the part where Su's holding the mask up to her face, she and Moa will sometimes do something to try to make the other laugh. Like I said, you don't always see this in their bigger shows that are being professionally shot, but you catch it quite often on fan videos recorded on their smaller shows.

However, these shows happened to catch them in the act on a pro-shoot, which was a real delight to see, as Su did something behind her mask on The Black Mass to make Moa burst out laughing just before she jumped back into her dance. But that was okay, because the following night, Moa got Su back by sticking her tongue out during this moment of the song. These are the kinds of things I really love about this band, despite how highly choreographed and planned out their shows are, those girls still go up there and goof around and have fun at times, and yet not only does it never get in the way of the show, it actually adds to the charm of their act, just seeing that the girls are up there having so much genuine fun doing what they're doing.

To speak on The Red Mass now, as I said before, the difference in the audience specifications really made for a pair of unique shows, and this was never more evident than during the all women's show. Right away you can tell the difference, as hearing all those girls screaming their heads off shouting along with the band made for a very different sound than what we've come to normally expect from the crowds at this band's events, and also highlights just how much of their audience usually consists mostly of males.

Probably the best audience interactions from both shows came during Ijime, Dame, Zettai, as these crowds once again sang in unison with Yui's and Moa's parts, creating this awesome effect where it was like Yui and Moa transcended as One with the audience, as the fans really emphasized the whole "scream" part of Yui's and Moa's official "scream and dance" title. But where you could at least still hear Yui's and Moa's voices during The Black Mass, on The Red Mass, with the women screaming back to them, Yui's and Moa's voices actually got completely lost in the mix during this song, so it really did feel like Su was singing with the fans as her backup vocalists, which really was cool as hell to see and hear.

One last thing I'd like to say before moving on is how the ladies totally outdid the men's adorable attempt at creating a Wall of Death on their show. The cramped quarters certainly didn't work in the men's favor on this occasion! But alas, these were definitely a pair of really fun as hell shows, and the fans really were a big part of that. And, well, let's just say that the fans being a big part of making a show special comes into play once again in a major, major way in this next show I'll be discussing.

So probably the most recommended show of theirs by most people that I've seen so far is from their set on the Metrock 2015 festival. I was curious what it could be about this set that makes it come so highly recommended, but needless to say, it didn't take long for me to see precisely what all the hype was about.

Right off the bat, the audience for this show is on a whole other level. I have never seen such a massive sea of people who were as in unison with one another as this crowd. Truly, this was The One personified, and both the girls and the Kamis appeared to be in genuine awe by this audience throughout.

The Kamis especially, just seeing their reactions by this crowd from the very get-go, you could see that they could tell this was something else, something special. And when we got to the Kami Band's solos for Catch Me If You Can, you could tell that they were riding the high of this crowd's energy. The guitarists were hovering playfully around Boh during his bass solo, really channeling the girls' usual playfulness on this occasion, which I've never seen them do like this before. And as to their drummer, Hideki Aoyama, he was just going to town on those double basses for his solo during The Red Mass, but he got so into it during Metrock that he actually tossed his drumsticks out to the crowd before retrieving another pair, which I got a huge kick out of!

And there were so many massive circle pits going on, I've seriously never seen circle pits of that size, let alone that many of them. And as impressive as the Walls of Death were on Legend 2015, the ones we saw here definitely take the cake. Seeing so many people charging at one another all at once was like seeing ants spill out of an ant bed after somebody just kicked the hill over.

So yeah, Metrock definitely lives up to the hype, this audience's energy is seriously off the charts, and seeing that wave of kitsunes pumping through the air in unison is unlike anything I've ever seen before. Just an awesome sight, and an awesome show, and it's awesome to see so many people showing such die hard love, dedication, and respect to such an amazing band, and it's awesome to see just how touched the band was in turn by the awesome show of appreciation the audience put on for them.

But anyways, that's all I've really got for this series of shows. Again, believe the hype, and definitely check them out if you haven't yet seen them. And as for next time, join me as I complete the Trilogy of the band's bigger shows that they held in 2015. See you!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed, the Metrock crowd are off the chain! 🀘🏻😎🦊 I love everything about this little concert, but I almost have to watch it with sunglasses on, due to Moas beaming smile throughout. Definitely a life goal : having more times ,where I'm as happy as Moa at Metrock 2015 😎

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