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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Japanese invasion

ORLANDO

It’s difficult to describe just how weird this band is, but let’s give it a try: Three young Japanese women dressed in matching black frilly party dresses, doing choreographed dance moves and singing — in Japanese — in front of a hard metal band, all of whom are dressed in ankle-length white robes and wearing white face paint. Someone described the resulting sound as Elmo fronting Metallica, but that doesn’t quite capture the weirdness of Babymetal. When the band broke into a couple bars of “Sweet Home Alabama,” maximum weirdness was achieved. Oh yeah, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were there, too.

JACKSONVILLE

Light shows aside, did the Chilis get as weird as they used to back in their punk-funk heyday? Nah. These are older, gentler Chili Peppers, distinguished elder statemen of rock, men who cordially invited former drummer Jack Irons to kick off the night with a 20-minute solo set. The group that really brought the battiness was opening act Babymetal, a Japanese pop-metal phenomenon combining an assembly-line girl group with white-robed thrash metal demons. Technically engrossing, in terms of both metal musicianship and ritualistic choreographic discipline, it was exactly the sort of fantastical freak show that might've accompanied the Chilis on some sweaty Lollapalooza back in the day. The heck if they didn't have the arena lit up and singing on their anthemic Karate.

CHARLOTTE

On the subject of opening acts, Irons’s solo drumming didn’t leave much of an impression on me... but Babymetal? I don’t think I’ll ever forget them. You should do your own poking around about this Japanese girl group/(very) heavy metal band, but let’s just say it’s like Dr. Frankenstein stitched together parts of Britney Spears, Megadeth, Nintendo’s stupidest games, “The Ghost in the Shell” and “Saturday Night Live.” I scratched my head, a lot. I laughed, a lot. But I couldn’t take my eyes off of them, and on the drive home after the show, it was Babymetal I was listening to on Spotify, not the Chili Peppers. Mostly, I think, because I needed to make sure I hadn’t dreamed the whole thing.

MIAMI

You think it can't get any crazier? Babymetal picked up four new additions: Nate-METAL, J-METAL, Flea-METAL and Chad-METAL.



AKASAKA - TOKYO - NAGOYA - OSAKA

J-pop metal group BABYMETAL have parlayed their meteoric rise into tour dates alongside Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now, they’ve announced plans for their very own Five Fox Festival set to take place in Japan over nine days this summer. In an interesting twist that could only come from BABYMETAL, there are strict conditions required to attend each of these dates. Specifically, the festival is broken down into categories by age group, gender, and dress code. For example, one date is reserved exclusively for males, another for females, and another for teenagers. Even more randomly is the day when only elementary school children and people over the age of 60 (um, what?) will be granted admittance. 

I have to admit, this is the most tempted I have been to return to Nagoya in decades.

Labels:

68 Comments:

Anonymous Mathias April 30, 2017 4:03 PM  

All these wonderful reviews and not one bootleg concert video link... How can this be Metal without dudes trading tapes (in the metaphorical sense)?

Blogger cheddarman April 30, 2017 4:05 PM  

I like how they sample traditional Japanese culture and make it cool again. They are Alt-right Japanese imo.

Blogger Mark April 30, 2017 4:07 PM  

Go Speed Racer, go!!!

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 30, 2017 4:16 PM  

Bootlegs are worthless for Babymetal. They broadcast the show from the future. We simply don't have the technology capable of transmitting their spiritual direct current.

WE ARE!

Anonymous MDZ1985 April 30, 2017 4:17 PM  

Last night in Miami, they were joined on-stage by Nate-Metal (on trumpet), Flea-Metal, Josh-Metal, and Chad-Metal. Forget 11, this cranked it up to 15 or so. There's a vid on Youtube. I can't wait to read the reviews of this.

Anonymous One Deplorable DT April 30, 2017 4:21 PM  

And here I thought, from the title, that this was going to be a rehash of the infamous WWII debate which happened long before I became a regular reader.

Oh well...guess I'll go listen to Gimme Chocolate.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan April 30, 2017 4:22 PM  

Do send pics

Blogger Pseudotsuga April 30, 2017 4:28 PM  

I looked at the fine print of some of those Fox Festivals: males only, females only, elementary school kids and over 60...
Is that common practice in Japan to restrict shows in that way?

Blogger RBM April 30, 2017 4:29 PM  

Vox: Do they have the sea-lift capability to actually invade the US?

Anonymous MDZ1985 April 30, 2017 4:31 PM  

Just wanted to point out that western media is missing the finer points of the upcoming fox festivals. The restrictions are only for the mosh'sh pit, or for a special seating area for the young children and seniors on that day. Everyone is welcome in general seating. So it's not as weird as most articles make it out to be.

Blogger VD April 30, 2017 4:34 PM  

Last night in Miami, they were joined on-stage by Nate-Metal (on trumpet), Flea-Metal, Josh-Metal, and Chad-Metal. Forget 11, this cranked it up to 15 or so. There's a vid on Youtube. I can't wait to read the reviews of this.

Good Lord, that was hilarious. The Chilis really went all-in on the costumes too.

Blogger Salt April 30, 2017 4:34 PM  

One Deplorable DT wrote:Oh well...guess I'll go listen to Gimme Chocolate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0ERg64grnY

Anonymous Silly but True April 30, 2017 4:59 PM  

First gen metalheads since dawn of metal could be in their _70s_ depending on their age.

There are people who can vote today who are freaking younger than Darude Sandstorm.

Anonymous MIG April 30, 2017 5:07 PM  

They are a little bit too old now. It's not the same effect now as a year or two ago.

Blogger James Jones April 30, 2017 5:22 PM  

Thanks for introducing me to Babymetal. I'm utterly addicted to them.

OpenID nightskyradio.com April 30, 2017 5:23 PM  

Flea-Metal completes the band.

Blogger Tom Kratman April 30, 2017 5:40 PM  

And you say the Japs had no chance of effecting a landing on the west coast. Harrumph!

Anonymous Jeff April 30, 2017 5:56 PM  

Being ahead of the curve on Trump was impressive, but Babymetal? Now the Supreme Dark Lord is just showing off.

Blogger JWM in SD April 30, 2017 6:19 PM  

Hmm...still prefer Bang Wa Cherry Chin Chin.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope April 30, 2017 6:22 PM  

I'm going start a countdown to the BabyMetal concert on my office wall. I'll refuse to tell anyone what the countdown is to, just for the lulz.

Blogger Michael Maier April 30, 2017 6:35 PM  

I agree. Such a letdown to read "Japanese Invasion" and it had nothing to do with the dead horse.

But Vox did that on purpose, certainly.

Blogger Nick S April 30, 2017 7:01 PM  

Is Yuyoyuppe Kobametal?

Anonymous Steve April 30, 2017 7:25 PM  

Babymetal picked up four new additions: Nate-METAL

Nate-METAL's catchphrase is "Domo arigato, sugartits."

Anonymous Eric the Red April 30, 2017 7:39 PM  

Ok, you keep pushing on Babymetal and Japanese groups in general, so someone has to push back. Japanese pop is derivative, meaning that it tries throwing a bunch of disparate but already-in-extent elements together in the hope that something will coalesce. Babymetal is a perfect example of how Japanese in general are innovative, but rarely if ever creative. The respective results of that distinction are vastly different: the former is tedious, and only the latter is worthy of consideration.

On a final note, if you like Japanese women, then just say so, without all the additional baggage of trying to portray them as exemplary musicians.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 30, 2017 7:57 PM  

Doki Doki morning, sir.

I said Doki Doki morning!

Blogger John Williams April 30, 2017 8:01 PM  

Vox: Do they have the sea-lift capability to actually invade the US?
They were further from invading the US than anyone thinks.

Anonymous Steve April 30, 2017 8:02 PM  

VFM #6306 - I sniggered.

Also, for some reason Eric the Red's advice made me think of the Billy Big-Balls corporate suit who thought he'd tell Hans Gruber what's what.

Blogger VD April 30, 2017 8:03 PM  

On a final note, if you like Japanese women, then just say so, without all the additional baggage of trying to portray them as exemplary musicians.

Always nice to hear from the gammas. Anyhow, I have always been perfectly clear about my tastes. I like Norwegian girls.

Not Swedish, not Danish, not Finnish. Norwegian.

I do not love Babymetal because I have a thing for Japanese women. Even when I lived there, I mostly went out with Western girls.

Anonymous Causal Lurker April 30, 2017 8:04 PM  

So it's "The Kitsune are All Right" tour in July and August. I'd rate it as at least five tails. Lots of energy and mischief.

I'll report to Malwyn for chastisement. The pun was just too bad to pass up.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 April 30, 2017 8:11 PM  

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!

They had a concert in *my state* last week and I HAD NO IDEA!

Goddamnit - it looks like they aren't coming back to Florida this year.

... at least I get to see Sabaton next month.

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 April 30, 2017 8:13 PM  

... oh god its worse than that - there was one less than 40 miles from me *yesterday*.

And I had nothing to do yesterday.

FML.

Anonymous kfg April 30, 2017 8:14 PM  

@VD: ". . .this is the most tempted I have been to return to Nagoya in decades."

I'd miss you unless I hung around for the second show.

@13: "First gen metalheads since dawn of metal could be in their _70s_ depending on their age."

Yeah, how old you are pretty much depends on your age.

A few years ago, out of curiosity, I looked up the results for my state's Senior Olympics, to find out what the standard was. I discovered that I'd be a contender for gold medals, so looked deeper into how the events were run.

In part, they are run as a seniors social event, which included . . . polka dancing.

And I'm all like "WTF?" That's what old people did when I was kid. What kids did when I was a kid was thrash out to Iron Butterfly, so that's what Old People behavior is now.

Hell, they play early Metal in the supermarkets these days.

Anonymous Jim Mortensen April 30, 2017 8:20 PM  

Definitely have slowly become a fan.
Two things to say about that particular video from Miami.

Sucks how much a smaller stage can affect a choreographed performance, their dance moves came across a bit stilted compared to other clips ive seen. Then again they could've been jet-lagged from being in another country.

Secondly, I couldn't help myself laughing (not in a negative way) when 'Su' did something which im sure works perfectly in Japan - ie holding the mic to the audience to finish the lyrics, doesn't work quite as well when internationally touring, though the audience did give a good attempt at getting vaguely recognisable syllables.

Though im sure that'll sort out the more they tour internationally, either they'll adapt the routine or everyone will learn the words.

Anonymous JRL April 30, 2017 8:22 PM  

Would these concerts even be legal in the US? Preventing access to a public arena based on sex or age....***LITERALLY SHAKING***

Blogger owlish April 30, 2017 8:47 PM  

I've got a fairly wide facebook feed. A couple of links to Babymetal have shown up, primarily with a "You Go Girl!" and "They've got an anti-bullying song" focus.

Blogger James Dixon April 30, 2017 8:53 PM  

This would be the second Japanese invasion. The first one was a completely successful solo invasion by Kyu Sakamoto in 1963. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C35DrtPlUbc

Anonymous kfg April 30, 2017 9:22 PM  

No chart toppers on it, but this was one of my favorite albums in '63:

https://e.snmc.io/lk/l/l/e9d6a6320801f5139ed8c1466bbce44c/2661156.jpg

One of these days I'll have to dig out and digitize it.

Anonymous Stickwick April 30, 2017 9:44 PM  

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ninety percent of the world's weirdness comes from Japan.

Blogger Phelps April 30, 2017 9:54 PM  

Corpse paint dress code?

I'm down.

Blogger James Dixon April 30, 2017 9:56 PM  

Other Japanese music some folks might like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgLawVqbZbE

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener April 30, 2017 10:06 PM  

These are sensations as hard to forget as they are to ignore.

Blogger Nate April 30, 2017 10:07 PM  

I HAVE TO HEAR BABYMETAL COVER SWEET HOME ALABAMA

Blogger Nate April 30, 2017 10:10 PM  

"On a final note, if you like Japanese women, then just say so, without all the additional baggage of trying to portray them as exemplary musicians."

Huffpo recently claimed that self-defense shootings were illegal because they denied the accused a right to trial.

That's not as dumb as your comment on Babymetal.

Anonymous MDZ1985 April 30, 2017 10:25 PM  

Nate, look for vids of their Jacksonville show. Leda did the opening bars of the song during the Kami Band solos, to much appreciation from the crowd. There is at least one vid on YT. I had not previously known that Skynyrd were from Jacksonville.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener April 30, 2017 11:09 PM  

Nate, here it is beginning at 01:09, but it only lasts a few seconds.

Anonymous Just another commenter April 30, 2017 11:49 PM  

@39 - Not sure if an absolute majority of WTF comes from Japan, but certainly their ultra-weird/population ratio is a world leader.

But they also have some very cool, nuanced, and zen-ish traditional stuff that's very interesting. The fact Japan produces katanas, the tea ceremony, and BabyMetal, is staggering.

But the latter is still not for me.

Blogger Nate May 01, 2017 12:19 AM  

"Not sure if an absolute majority of WTF comes from Japan, but certainly their ultra-weird/population ratio is a world leader."

as I have always said... we either bombed them to much... or not enough.

Blogger Scott Birch May 01, 2017 12:49 AM  

LOL and if not, why not? The West needs savingz

Blogger Dave May 01, 2017 1:02 AM  

I like Norwegian girls.

Must be those Minnesooota roots, don'tcha know.

Anonymous Cantostop May 01, 2017 1:20 AM  

BABYMETAL REACTS TO YOUTUBERS REACT TO BABYMETAL
https://youtu.be/r6UZFkrv9-E

As one commenter wrote, kawaii level 9000

Vox how did you first hear about them btw? I'm always interested in new music but don't know any avenues really except maybe Pandora..don't use social media.

Amazing

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( don't trifle with me, son. i'm a professional, certified 4th degree black belt in the ancient Hebrew martial art of Kibitz Maga ) May 01, 2017 2:18 AM  

39. Stickwick April 30, 2017 9:44 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ninety percent of the world's weirdness comes from Japan.



Florida Man respectfully disagrees.

https://twitter.com/_FloridaMan

Blogger Eskyman May 01, 2017 2:31 AM  

If they come to my neck of the woods, I'm going to see them come hell or high water.

The Dark Lord has my eternal gratitude for introducing me to something I'd never have found on my own, and which absolutely enthralls me. Though I too am attracted to tall, willowy blondes- I'd make an exception for those lovely Metalbabes! Su's voice also sends tingles... of a most agreeable nature.

(Now listening to The One, eng. version, on Amazon. Prime customers get the Metal Resistance album for free! Yay! I have no resistance to that at all!)

Anonymous MDZ1985 May 01, 2017 2:38 AM  

I find new bands mostly through blogs (including this one) and You Tube. And radio still, since D/FW's public station has a music-playing sibling that plays actually good music.

And reddit. The Babymetal subreddit keeps mentioning Perfume (also from Amuse) so I dove into them yesterday. Technopop with huge production values. And Babymetal's choreographer. Right up my alley.

Anonymous Anonymous May 01, 2017 2:49 AM  

Their next gig in the US is a solo show at the Palladium in Los Angeles in June. Sold out but resale prices are not yet crazy.
General Admission, which is the optimal BABYMETAL concert experience.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 01, 2017 7:27 AM  

Leave it to the Japanese who can create "fantastical weirdness".

Anonymous Andy May 01, 2017 9:24 AM  

I just don't get it.

Ah well.

Blogger totenhenchen May 01, 2017 9:50 AM  

Baby Metal is about as metal as Vox is Italian.

Anonymous fop May 01, 2017 10:25 AM  

Those Jap girls will never be rock and roll. At least they will never be as great as the greatest unsung rock and roll band of all time, the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 01, 2017 11:35 AM  

Babymetal - this is what would have happened if I had leveled up my Personal Assistants in Phantasy Star Universe to 9999

Anonymous SU_METAL May 01, 2017 12:04 PM  

HERRO CREVERAND!!!

Blogger JP May 01, 2017 12:52 PM  

@Leo my best concert ever was in those conditions. I missed Megadeth because I had no idea they were in town. So I hopped a bus to Michigan, went to a tiny club next to a laundromat, and moshed in the most packed venue I've ever seen. Later caught Dave's guitar pick, somehow lost it, hiked to a motel 6, and took a bus home. It was a blast.

Blogger JP May 01, 2017 12:58 PM  

If anyone wants to see why ethnic diversity =/= intellectual diversity, look at Japan. 99.9% Japanese, countless subcultures like the metalheads, cosplayers, traditionalists, Victorians, etc.

Blogger JP May 01, 2017 1:03 PM  

I showed Babymetal's Karate to my wife the other day, even though I wasn't yet sold on it and said as much.
20 minutes later she was buying their CD from Amazon.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 01, 2017 2:01 PM  

James Dixon @36: "This would be the second Japanese invasion. The first one was a completely successful solo invasion by Kyu Sakamoto in 1963. "

Then this would be the third, the second being Pink Lady

Anonymous Bellator Mortalis May 01, 2017 3:19 PM  

Vika (Ukrainian) plays Master of Puppets in Zurich -- on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIJPxxoF7dw

Biography here: http://www.yermolyeva.com/biography.html

Anonymous Clay May 01, 2017 4:04 PM  

OK. We have a propensity for Japanese girls...as has been observed over the years, but, you prefer white, blonde women.

I'll bet you the Bunny doesn't share your predilections.

Incongruous, at best.

Anonymous Opus May 01, 2017 6:08 PM  

I have a liking for the Frank Chickens - who if you are not familiar with them are Japanese girls based in England - very strange but enjoyable.

Anonymous No thanks May 02, 2017 4:36 AM  

21 Pilots still better music.

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