Akatsuki - Legend 1997
Amore - Live at Wembley
Catch Me If You Can - Makuhari Messe 2014
Tamashii no Rufuran - Legend 1997
Tsubasa wo Kudasai - Legend D
All phenomenal performances that I've gone back to time and time again, several of which actually made the cut in earlier drafts while I was still narrowing things down. But now, without further ado, onto the main list, starting things off with...
Syncopation - Big Fox Festival
Have I gushed over this song enough yet? God this is such a kick ass tune. Just from the buildup of that guitar at the beginning, teasing what's to come, you know you're in for something awesome, and something special. And then the music kicks in, and it's just full throttle energy on that stage. This is seriously just one of the coolest damn songs there is, and this performance gives me chills watching it. It's seriously like watching the most bad ass anime opener being performed live on the stage, and I love it!
Catch Me If You Can - Live at Tokyo Dome
I was so torn between this performance of this song, and the one from Makuhari Messe 2014. But in the end, I just had to go with this one, because holy crap do they just go above and beyond and put on a full blown spectacle with this song at the Tokyo Dome. Whether the girls are skipping and running around the stage, performing their choreography while being spun around, or calling out to the fans to join in on the action, they just accomplish so damn much with this performance, and make this song feel so damn big, while showing us just how versatile this band can be, changing things up in so many different and satisfying ways on just this song alone, yet doing so in a way that still stays true to the spirit of its traditional arrangement. Just a fantastic outing.
Meta Taro - Big Fox Festival
A big theme of a number of the songs on this list is just the sheer scope and scale that these performances manage to achieve, and that definitely rings true for this entry as well. This performance just feels so larger than life, and its atmospheric and transportive nature will leave your imagination running wild, as you forget you're watching this band performing on the stage and feel as if you've been transported onto a ship at sea, as they take us on an epic journey while we all sing along to their tune.
Babymetal Death - Legend 1997
This one is by far the band's most theatrical performance to date, and I love absolutely everything about it. I love how they took this song that's really just an introductory track, and they managed to transform it into an absolute epic, and a satisfyingly big show closer at that, through the sheer storytelling and visual theatrics on display. If the previous entry transported us onto the sea, this one transports us straight to Hell, in a true masterpiece of musical theater.
Song 4 - Live at Wembley
Of all of the performances of this song that I've fallen in love with, their outing at Wembley was by far my favorite, and the one that I've gone back to the most. And the extra cute factor of seeing Yui and Moa playing to the crowd in their broken English just adds to the overall charm, as those girls bust their asses putting on an absolute clinic, running from one side of the venue to the next, and making sure that each and every single person in that building leaves with the biggest possible smile on their face. The work ethic of these girls is simply inspiring.
No Rain, No Rainbow - Legend S
And now here come the tears. This is such a beautiful and all around stunning rendition, as Su-metal gives it her all and leaves her heart on the stage, putting on the performance of a lifetime in front of her hometown. If it weren't obvious to anyone before, this is definitely a star making performance, and one that, for me at least, solidifies Suzuka Nakamoto as one of the absolute best damn singers working today, blessed with one of the most powerful and most emotionally stirring voices on the face of this planet. This is Su's best solo performance, and you'll be raining tears by the end of it.
Tales of the Destinies - Live at Tokyo Dome
As much as my #9 entry accomplished in one performance, that was a song that had years to try out new things and figure out different ways to change things up, all leading to their awesome performance at the Tokyo Dome. This entry, however, is the only time this song has ever been performed, and they managed to accomplish just as much in that one flawless go, and without any added stage gimmicks at that, putting on one of the most satisfyingly complex performances in this band's history. This one just takes my breath away every time, and leaves my eyes welling from the sheer effort being put on in order to accomplish what they did here, in a performance that is almost overwhelming just to even think about. They had one shot at this, and in that one go, they put on an incredible awe-inspiring performance, and one of their absolute best ever.
Ijime, Dame, Zettai - Sonisphere 2014
Really, I'd love to just include their entire Sonisphere set in this entry, but if I have to narrow it down to one song from that set, then it's gotta be this. Sonisphere was a battle for this band, with so much working against them, from technical issues to having to win over a sea of die hard metalheads who were ready to write them off at a moment's notice. But through it all, they prevailed, and they won this audience over in a moment that feels straight out of the movies. I can barely even write about it without starting to tear up a bit, it's just such a stirring thing to see play out. But they pulled it off, and they won the day, and they won the hearts of this die hard audience, and cemented themselves as the real deal.
Over the Future - Legend D
I've mentioned time and again how this band can just get me so emotional and leave me a mess. But this was the first song that actually touched me in that way. And it's not only the first Babymetal song, but the first song ever to leave me in tears. This song is literally a dream come true, and it's just so touching to see those girls up there experiencing their dreams coming to life. There's so much history on that stage with this song, with Su-metal being a part of the band that this cover originates from, and this song being Yui's inspiration to get into the business herself, as she and Moa would use this song as their audition that would land them a spot in Sakura Gakuin, the band from which Babymetal was born.
And this history is even reflected in this song's arrangement, where it starts out with just Yui and Moa on stage, mirroring their audition, before Su shows up and makes her grand entrance, the veteran returning to perform her old song, in a gesture of acceptance towards her new bandmates who had looked up to her so long ago. And after learning all of that, to see those three up there performing their own unique spin of this song is truly the thing of dreams. You just can't make this stuff up.
Road of Resistance - Legend 2015
Theatrical. Kick ass. Epic. Emotional. Larger than life. All descriptors I've used to describe a number of the previous entries. All of which also to apply to this one, yet none of which come even close to doing this phenomenal performance justice when trying to describe it. Point blank, this isn't just the best performance this band has put on yet, this is quite frankly the single greatest live performance I've seen of any song, by any band, ever.
Not only is this performance Babymetal at their peak, this is metal at its peak, and those girls look like legends out there. Hell, this performance is what every single performer out there should aspire to. And the way they get the crowd involved and make them just as much a part of the show is second to none. Those girls' charisma and the commanding energy in that building is just off the charts, and it resonates all over and transfers through the screen to everyone watching at home. This performance isn't just an accomplishment, it's something more than that. Something greater. This performance is an inspiration, and I can't get enough of it. I get chills just thinking about it, I get choked up just listening to it, and I become an absolute wreck while watching it. Just, what a performance, and what a show, like nothing that's ever come before it.
So there you have it, my Top 10 favorite Babymetal performances! Did your favorites make the cut? Let me know! And while we're still ranking things, I suppose I should probably rank my favorite shows overall as well, seeing as how I've just finished reviewing them all. So if I were to rank, say, a Top 5, well they'd probably go a little something like this:
1. Legend 1997
2. Legend 2015
3. Live at Tokyo Dome
4. Legend D
5. Sonisphere 2014
And then I'd probably toss Legend S on the tail end there as an honorable mention. So yeah, those are my favorites from what I've seen. And with that, I think that about wraps up this series of posts looking at this band, at least for the time being. So thank you to everyone who joined along with me on this little journey of this band's history. And until next time, see you!