Archive for March, 2017

Babymetal_foxsign

Take a good look at this early promotional shot of Babymetal. They are posing with their own Fox Sign, which is different from the earlier finger positions of say Ronnie James Dio and Ozzy. If you watch videos with Babymetal this is the sign, and to make a point they actually created an instructional video about their own sign back in 2012.

I love the way they have created their own thing right from the early days. This is just one of many delightful details and when you present the whole package… KAPOW!!

(Image is official promotional shot)

Deep Purple´s new album “inFinite” is released in all possible formats, including the all important Cassette as a Limited Edition stunt.

Well I kinda like it…

Babymetal_metalresistancevinyl

Good day today. First Babymetal release on Vinyl to join the old collection (well, this particular collection has just started, but I am enjoying the heck out of it!). This is in fact a 12 track Double Vinyl version of their second album “Metal Resistance”, which is nice. This is a 2016 edition from earMusic in Germany.

Very visible cover, I like the thinking behind that.

(My image of said release)

Babymetal_rednightlimited_a

Available in a soon to be gone limited edition of 10,000 numbered copies, Babymetal´s “Live At The Budokan” CD/DVD release really is the ultimate introduction to this band. Captured at the Budokan in Tokyo in 2014, it represents everything that draws you in to Babymetal. But most importantly, this is just one big fat party from beginning to end. Of the two nights that has seen release as a double DVD package as well, this one is the best. Therefore, I am now buying a bunch of these and starting now I am dishing out copies to friends and family. I just know that this will go down well.

Babymetal_rednightlimited_b

I meet people all the time that asks me about Babymetal now (happened today) because of the blogging, and all I can say is just take a chance on the Budokan 2014 stuff and experience the insane beauty of it all. This CD/DVD package is the perfect start and if this audio and visual explosion will not perk you up then nothing will. If you like it you have much to discover and more is obviously on the way as we speak. If you don´t, give it to somebody else. But give it a shot. If I had still been publishing magazines today, I would have been all over this.

(My images of said release)

Babymetalday17

Good day today. Presented Babymetal to some friends and it is always interesting to see reactions. Played the second night at the Budokan from the “Live At Budokan” DVD and one thing I noticed was that it started to grow in stature on people about halfway through. The more traditional Metal songs found immediate support and it was mentioned that with lyrics in English there is nothing that can stop this band from conquering the world. That is an interesting observation and I would think that they could very well walk that path eventually to some degree. The energy of the performance was mentioned and the musicianship of the band was noted several times. A few more people arrived eventually and got to see a few moments from the “Live In London” DVD (Forum). These guys were quite stunned. One of them noted “I have never seen anything like it in my life”. True. Oldtimers are likely to enjoy a large section of the show no problem. Babymetal can be a bit of a shock to the system, but the energy of the show is very convincing. Thank you Kalle for a lovely evening (great food & drink).

(My images)

DP_Babymetalad

And here it is, the Agent Smart moment. If you know your television history you know that the Agent Smart character often said “Missed it by that much”, meaning he was soooo close to solving the case, but somebody else probably beat him to it (like his beautiful assistant, Agent 99). Found this half page ad in Sweden Rock Magazine (issue) 12 2016 from Playground/earMusic, pushing product with Jon Lord (“Gemini Suite” CD), Deep Purple “California Jam 1974” DVD) and Babymetal (“Live At Wembley” CD). There is no way on earth that I could have missed this ad, but apparently, I missed Babymetal by that much…

Well I am on the case now…

(My image of said ad)

Babymetal_BudokanDVD

Good day today (as mentioned earlier). Babymetal´s “Live At Budokan” double DVD set (two nights were filmed) popped up and it feels right to begin the visual live journey with this release. Produced in early 2014 the two nights were released in Japan as “Live At Budokan: Red Night” and “Live At Budokan: Black Night” on CD and DVD in January 2015, followed by Europe in October 2015. I have the double set now and spent three hours taking it all in tonight. I cranked it up and the Fox God took me on a Metal journey that I will not forget in a hurry.

Usually when a band plays two nights in a row the set list (or visuals) is not going to differ much, but here it is like two different events that could have been recorded six months apart. It is hard to comprehend that Babymetal reached this level of sheer professionalism this early in their career. Most bands would be lucky if they could peak with these sorts of highlights, this band kicks off their career on the international arena with it. In fact, the second night ends with a very moving animation/stage presentation in which the Fox God sends Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal to Europe in three red caskets through space or some strange dimension. All in all, few bands can compete with this today – the ideas are piling up in front of your eyes and the pace is relentless. Come the ballads and the majestic stuff, it only enhances the show.

This is a brilliant DVD set, now the journey will take me to the next level (as they have moved on since this was made), and that will be coming up next on this blog.

(My image of said release)

Respect

Posted: March 18, 2017 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Magazines

Babymetal_Wembley16ad

Having discovered the greatness of Babymetal I now have to confront myself with a few questions. Like, I buy a lot of Metal magazines and yet I missed out on this for well over a year at least. Why? I have looked at some magazines and it took just a few minutes to find Babymetal articles, live reviews and ads for concerts etc. Why did I avoid checking them out? The truth is that I could not get past the name and the general image and on top of that it is not easy to take in new stuff when you have listened to Metal since 1971. A friend of mine said the same thing today, it was the name. Having looked into this in some detail now, I can appreciate just how hard these people have worked for the success.

Well, you live and learn.

(Image shows 2016 ad for the Wembley show that year)

Babymetal_wembley

Got the latest Babymetal release “Live At Wembley” in the mail today. Recorded in London on April 2 2016, the day after the release of their second studio album “Metal Resistance”, it was a major step in the career of this band in Europe. Let us get the history of Babymetal straight. They were formed in 2010 as a fusion of Metal and a Japanese genre called Idol (this is now called Kawaii Metal), the players are called The Kami Band. The girls that front the band were quite young, hence the name of the group. Lead singer Su-metal (real name Suzuka Nakamoto) was born in 1997, the other girls, Yuimetal (Yui Mizono) and Moametal (Moa Kikuchi) in 1999. The first, self titled, album was released in February 2014. At that time they had visited Singapore at the end of 2013, the second visit outside of Japan. The song “Gimme Chocolate!!” became a viral YouTube phenomenon (over 68,000,000 hits now). In early 2014 they performed two nights at the Budukan in Tokyo (Ozzy Osbourne is said to have seen one of these shows). This was soon followed by Stateside gigs with Lady Gaga and they even visited Canada as opening act for Metallica and Slayer. A first vist to the UK and the Sonisphere Festival took place that summer plus shows in Paris and Cologne and other cities. Last gig of the year was performed in November at the O2 Academy Brixton in London were they performed “Metal Resistance” (written by DragonForce) for the first time. In January 2015, the Budokan shows were released on DVD. In June 2015 they performed at the Metal Hammer Golden Awards. The second studio album was released on “Fox Day” (April 1 2016, The Fox God is kind of a mascot, like Iron Maiden´s Eddie) and on April 2 they headlined their first show at Wembley, selling more merchandise than any act before them. In July they performed at the Alternative Press Music Awards in the US were they performed “Karate” and were joined on stage by Judas Priest´s Rob Halford to perform “Painkiller” and “Breaking The Law”. In September they headlined the 55,000 Tokyo Dome for two nights, selling out these shows in three minutes. These shows are to be released on DVD in April. In the last few months they have visited the UK again with Red Hot Chili Peppers (and jammed with them), they have played Seoul with Metallica and a major tour of Japan opening for Guns N´Roses. Upcoming tours include US shows with Red Hot Chili Peppers and Korn. Stay tuned for more news.

So, back to the Wembley CD. Does it work without the visuals? Yeah it does. I know that some old rockers will look down on me for supporting this band but one nice thing about being a rocker is that you don´t give a crap what other people may say or not. Babymetal may be seen by many as a joke, or as something that will quietly melt away, like most pop bands do. Well, this is not going to happen, these guys & gals has made major inroads on the Metal scene and as we all know, Metalheads are loyal as fuck to their bands. Also, the music is right in your face. Very well performed. On top of this you have the charming gals and a show that is so tight it is frightening. I mean these gals have to really work. I predict that Babymetal is here to stay for a long time. When you have your own thing, and especially when this pulls in people that normally would avoid Metal, and you get that big interest going from people of all ages, how can you not win? The rest is up to clever business sense and careful marketing. And you can not say that they do not have a clever hand watching over their fortunes. Also, when you have a packed Wembley singing back to you in Japanese, that is quite something.

I guess the Wembley set is to make a point and to be part of the merchandise for upcoming tours. What you have are 13 songs picked from two studio releases and it is highly entertaining. Hell, even the narrator (lovely voice by unknown woman) is so spot on it is just silly. Everything works. This show is a freight train of Metal on steroids, with a cute edge that will never be surpassed. I, for one, will gladly introduce this to everybody. And I will certainly give DVDs to the kids in our extended family. And yes, based on what I have seen and heard so far, I would gladly see this band live. You need to inject some fun into your life and Babymetal is all about giving you the ultimate experience of Metal Happiness. And that my friends, is not a bad thing.

(Added Babymetal as a category on this blog today)

New live release from Michael Schenker coming up on March 24, “Fest Live”, recorded in Tokyo last year. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley are all featured on vocals, making this just a little bit more special for the fans.