Archive for June, 2017

Not available in Europe, I had to hunt down the second Babymetal DVD (still have to get my hands on the very first) “Live Legend 1999 1997 Apocalypse” on import. 2013 was the big buildup year for Babymetal on the Japanese market. No longer a school project, although Yuimetal and Moametal was still part of Sakura Gakuin (until early 2015), Babymetal was now a serious enterprise. Featured on this DVD we find two concerts, the first having been captured at the NHK Hall in Tokyo (capacity, 3,800) on June 30 2013 and the second at the Makuhari Messe Hall (Capacity 9,000) on December 21, also in Tokyo. No opening acts. First show was dedicated to Yuimetal and Moametal (the date was close to their birthdays) and the second celebrated Su-metal (dito). This explains the slightly weird title of this DVD, since Yui and Moa was born in 1999 and Su in 1997. This being from 2013, you have to paus and consider how young they were. Not that you can complain. The girls were already complete professionals.

The first DVD (1999) includes the following track list: 1. “Babymetal Death”, 2. “Iine”, 3. “Answer For Animation With You”, 4. “Uki Uki Midnight”, 5. “Chokotto Love”, 6. “Love Machine”, 7. “Onedari Daisakusen”, 8. “No Rain, No Rainbow”, 9. “Catch Me If You Can”, 10. “Doki Doki Morning”, 11. “Megitsune”, 12. “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”, 13. “Akatsuki” and 14. “Headbanger!”.

“Babymetal Death” will always be a strong opening track and they certainly go for broke here. “Iine” is happy as hell and very very catchy. The obscure track (featured on both nights here) “Answer For Animation With You” is a nice surprise and I quite like it. “Uki Uki Midnight” has the crowd going again bigtime and then we hear Elgar´s “Land Of Hope And Glory” as some weird animated Babymetal mythology on Yui and Moa takes us to the special event of the evening, celebrating their birthdays (this is repeated but for Su on the 1997 DVD). So you get two songs here that has probably never been performed since. “Chokotto Love” and “Love Machine”, both pretty decent songs in my opinion and certainly well executed here. These were picked to represent the year 1999. “Chokotto Love” (performed by Yui) and “Love Machine” (performed by Moa) were songs originally released by Petitmoni and Morning Sesumi the year they were born. Here they get the full Babymetal treatment and you have to wonder how many pop songs there are out there that Babymetal could have a go at (how about a Tribute album some day, just for the hell of it?). By the time they launch into “No Rain, No Rainbow” the Kami Band (all dressed in white) is on stage. Not sure who hid in the black skeleton jumpers during the first songs, or if it was even prerecorded to some extent, but here is the real deal. This is true Power Metal and the theme continues in “Akatsuki” in which Su is the Queen of Kawaii Metal, posing like she has done it for decades. It really is quite extraordinary what they pull off at this early point in their career. The mayhem continues with the finale, as they wrap up proceedings with “Headbanger!”. Su striking heroic poses with her glittering mini mikestand, Yui and Moa shooting off smoke and confetti with slightly sinister looking guns (see Yui on top image). Looks like it is a lot of fun though and it certainly is a good visual. The Metal party is coming to an end and the public laps it up. Clearly, Babymetal is taking things to a new level. Throughout the show, we have had little bits of animated mythology thrown in (the instrumentals had not yet been introduced so the girls really had to work like crazy) and this evening ends with the promise of the concert for Su-metal on December 21 at the big Makuhari Messe Hall. The audience love it, it is quite a move. My guess is that many decided on the spot to attend that gig too.

Set list of second DVD (1997): 1. “Ave Maria” intro and “Headbanger!”, 2. “Doki Doki Morning”, 3. “Iine”, 4. Tamashii No Refrain”, 5. “Uki Uki Midnight”, 6. “Gimme Chocolate!!”, 7. “Answer For Animation With You”, 8. “Megitsune”, 9. “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”, 10. “Onedari Daisakusen”, 11. “Catch Me If You Can”, 12. “Headbanger!”, 13. “Akatsuki” and 14. “Babymetal Death”.

The intro here is beautiful, and “Ave Maria” sees the girls walk out on a stage with a huge statue of the virgin Mary towering behind them (shades of Metallica, but this is Babymetal´s vision). The stage is indeed spectacular. We have to stop and ponder how unique it is for a band to play in front of 9,000 with a monster stage like this before the first album. The show begins with a surprise, as “Headbanger!” is performed in a techno kind of style (it is referred to as the “Night of 15 mix” on Wikipedia), not what you would expect. Not my cup of tea but things are quickly back to normal as they head into “Doki Doki Morning” and “Iine”. Then Su has her birthday moment and she picks a song from 1997 by artist Yoko Takahashi called “Tamashii No Refrain” as her cover. Good song too. “Uki Uki Midnight” follows and then the crowd is treated to “Gimme Chocolate!!” (the official video matches what you see here to a large extent, as they used this film for it). Clearly, this is history in the making. “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” includes some violent headbanging and it looks like Moa is in some pain but soldiers on. Come “Onedari Daisakusen” the Kami Band is on stage (I guess they used these shows to introduce them) and the set ends strongly with “Catch Me If You Can” before some additional animated mythology (this time about Su) leading into “Akatsuki”. It all ends on a high note with “Babymetal Death” performed with Su being crucified on stage in a very ritualistic piece of theater. I know that some religious fundamentalists have tried to make something out of all this but this is Japan, it is not to be taken too seriously. Come the finale, the virgin Mary statue falls (or half of it slides off). Very powerful image. Then the audience is informed that Babymetal will not only release their first album in February (2014), but they have booked not one but two nights at the super prestigious Budokan. The crowd must be in awe at this spectacular announcement. This way of doing things has continued. On the second night at the Budokan in March 2014, the audience was informed that Babymetal was leaving Japan for new adventures elsewhere. This was done in a spectacular way that was then continued on the introduction of the “Live In London” (2014) DVD. It goes on and on, it is all very beautiful and emotional (I admit I have shed a tear or two watching the Budokan finale, it touches me deeply for some reason).

All in all a spectacular release and I was slightly surprised to see just how good they were even in 2013. Not sure why this one has not been released in Europe since it is of some historical importance (not to mention how good it is). I have to assume that export sales from Japan are looking good though. But at some point Babymetal need to have all their stuff out there. This is the stuff of legends after all.

Watch the official trailer for this DVD on YouTube.

(Thank you Kalle for your support)


Took a snapshot of the growing Babymetal collection. This one is going to keep me busy for quite a while. I would say that the foundation is in place, now I need to go for the rare and obscure stuff (like Sakura Gakuin, the limited edition Babymetal singles etc). Also, the magazines and the books. I discovered and blogged about Babymetal for the first time back on March 9. I had seen some videos then and decided that I had to look into this. On March 15 “Metal Resistance” arrived and I was blown away by the sheer power of the group. On the same day it was announced that “Live At Tokyo Dome” was going to be released and the trailer for that was obviously awesome. On March 16 my first magazine popped up, Metal Hammer 293 with the big Metallica/Babymetal feature. On March 17 the “Live At Wembley” CD arrived and I wrote a detailed review. And finally, on March 20 “Live At Budokan” popped up. Well that nailed it.

I have never looked back. Babymetal is part of this blog now, like it or not. On June 6 I posted the “Live At Tokyo Dome” review and watched it go viral. It was translated into Japanese and Spanish and Trinkelbonker never had more visitors than June 6-June 8. I was quite stunned by the interest. Things are back to normal now but it is nice to see that Babymetal has that interest out there.

I do have a few DVDs that I still intend to review and the general tone of what you can expect is there for all to see. Babymetal is a unique phenomenon, nothing like it has existed before and who knows where this will all go in the future. It is very interesting though and it feels good to collect something with a bit of passion again.

(My image of said collection – thank you Kalle for your continued support)


I might as well say it. Su-metal has to be regarded as the leader of the pack now, The Ultimate female Metal singer. At 19, she has a full decade of singing and developing her chops behind her, and it has to be said that she is quite multi talented. Not many could ever hope to cope with everything that she is expected to pull off as lead vocalist in Babymetal. I recall the performance she did with Rob Halford a while back (one of the very first videos I saw with Babymetal), when she went up to a high pitch that is very rare (and that certainly has yet to be explored fully within Babymetal in the years to come). But when she sang “From Dusk Till Dawn” at the Palladium in Los Angeles the other day, she had that rare opportunity to take it to the limit, and she pulled it off with a consumate professionalism that is quite unbelievable, certainly very rare. There is a lot of drama in this song, and nailing it like that is not easy. I acknowledge her enormous range now and how she has matured to meet all future challenges. I have not said this before but I am saying it now. Su-metal is the greatest female vocalist of all time. The sky is the limit.

Checked out some property in Hammerdal (Jämtland County) today, and I quite like what I saw. This just might be it…

To be continued?

(Thank you Kalle)

Today I want to acknowledge the fact that Babymetal´s video for “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” will pass 20,000,000 hits on YouTube. For a Power Metal song that is not bad at all. It was uploaded on November 26 2012 and the actual single was released in early 2013 in Japan. Within 14 months they had sold out the Budokan in Tokyo twice. I quite like this song.

The response for the Babymetal “Live At Tokyo Dome” review that I posted on this blog on Tuesday night sent the traffic through the roof, literally 10 times higher than normal yesterday (and the first couple of hours of today looks great too). It was picked up by some Babymetal sites and an English speaking forum. It was also translated to Japanese on a blog over there in two parts (first time that has ever happened). I noticed a couple of minor errors in the text that I have fixed today (nothing major, but when I noticed them it was easy to fix and I do want fans to respect my work). Pretty sure this has happened because of the Babymetal Database feed that picks up everything that I post on Babymetal within an hour. This particular post started to travel and it means that Trinkelbonker are now on the radar in some quarters that never really knew it existed. I did send the link to earMusic in Germany, basically telling them that they could use the review or parts of it should they want to when the time comes for an European release. That would be up to them. In any case, glad to be able to support Babymetal in my own small way.

Still fighting a cold and a nap today turned into nine hours of additional sleep. Guess I needed it. On a good note I did receive yet another package from Japan and this one had the much anticipated Babymetal DVD “Live Legend 1999 1997 Apocalypse” in it. I will check it out tomorrow, too late to crank up the volume now. Also, my head is not quite in the right place. God I hate colds. Still, not a bad start of the day.

Then I found out that the Tokyo Dome review I posted yesterday has gone viral. More on this soon.

Since I only discovered Babymetal as late as in March 2017 (still kicking myself for my late arrival too), I was knee deep into checking all this out when the official trailer for “Live At Tokyo Dome” popped up that very month on the 15th. It was obvious that the band I had just fallen in love with had done serious business in Japan. Two nights at Tokyo Dome (110,000 tickets sold) is quite awesome. I now know that it took over 1,000 people to carry out this operation. The stage itself – taller than most buildings in my city, a beautiful yet monstrous creation – built and taken down inside 24 hours before and after these shows (Red Night on September 19 and Black Night on September 20) for this to have worked out at the prestigious arena. I mean, clearly somebody deserves a friggin medal for what they all accomplished with the stage alone, never mind making it all work. Having said that, I think some kind of bonus feature on this DVD package (released in April 2017 in Japan, I just got my copy a few days ago on import) would have been nice, some behind the scenes stuff. But on to the DVD. Let us begin with the track lists of the two nights for easy viewing.

Red Night (Disc 1) – 1. “Road Of Resistance”, 2. “Java!”, 3. “Iine!”, 4. “Syncopation”, 5. “Amore”, 6. “GJ!”, 7. “Rondo Of Nightmare”, 8. “Song 4”, 9. “Catch Me If You Can”, 10. “Gimme Chocolate!!”, 11. “Karate”, 12. “Tales Of The Destinies” and 13. “The One” (English version).

Black Night (Disc 2) – 14. “Babymetal Death”, 15. “Awadama Fever”, 16. “Uki Uki Midnight”, 17. “Meta Taro”, 18. “Sis. Anger”, 19. “Akatsuki”, 20. “Onedari Daisakusen”, 21. “No Rain, No Rainbow”, 22. “Doki Doki Morning”, 23. “Megitsune”, 24. “Headbanger!” and 25. “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”.

You will notice that I counted 25 songs over two nights. That is really what happened here. They did not repeat any numbers on the second night, so this was really a massive showcase of pretty much every song that they have ever released. The winners must have been the fans that bought tickets for both nights. Watching this on DVD works fine too, and here it is. Two completely different shows in two days. Imagine the work involved for everyone to pull this off. As for the girls, that is a lot of moves right there. But this is Babymetal. This is the level of sheer professionalism that we are seeing here. They are a cut above the rest, no doubt.

Amazingly, both nights work well as they are. Not one single song feels like it is out of place. I can imagine that we may have seen some songs for the last time here, especially once they have got a third and a fourth album out. I suspect that “Live At Tokyo Dome” will be seen as a vital document of everything that has gone down in history right up to this moment. As such, it is very unique. But as I said, both nights worked very well.

As with the “Live At Budokan” shows, both nights are introduced by the guy in a black skeleton jumpsuit wearing a mask on the big screens. He lays down the law. On these very nights, there will be no encores. No filming allowed etc. Everybody will put on the official neck corset, a gift that everybody can keep after the shows. Amazingly, everything will end up working like clockwork. No phones in sight! Only in Japan…

Red Night opens with “Road Of Resistance”, girls on top of the stage with their flags, each positioning themselves on their own platform. Then all hell breaks loose as the song kicks in in ernest. Drones capturing all the action from on high, pyrotechnics going insane. It is one hell of an opening. A brief moment with the Kami Band out front and the girls are on stage (downstairs) to end the song there. Then you have the second song “Java!” with rotating stage, frantic stage moves and that weird Ska type rhythm. Then, Boom, it all continues with the insane “Iine!” complete with snippets of rap that is only there for bigger effect of monstrous riffs coming in. It is all high paced and entertaining with lasers and lots of worshipping going on. “Syncopation” follows and I really like this track. It begins with a pulsating heart that beats faster and faster and Boom, they rock. This is Metal and Pop fused beautifully. I think they could lift this song to represent this release. Then we have Su-metal taking over the top stage for “Amore” and it is beautiful. Very theatrical. Again, loads of fireworks, loads of guitars. She is the Queen of Kawaii Metal. “GJ!” sees Moametal and Yuimetal take on the crowd and they are cute as hell as they bring down the house. This reminds me of Queen. The big singalongs are very arena friendly. Some very cool moves here and I like the pumping riff. “Rondo Of Nightmare” follows and Su-metal is in full Queen mode again. Rotating stage, flames reminding you of Budokan. Very dramatic. “May the 4th be with you” a voice says (there is more, this is Babymetal after all) as they borrow a bit of cultural history from “Star Wars” as only they could and Yuimetal and Moametal are off doing their thing again with the catchy “Song 4” which is the most childish song they have done (and the reggae bit is a bit unnerving, but I know it is there for effect). Very cute, with a relentless Judas Priest type riff holding it together. They are all over that stage saying Hello to the crowd, it is a celebration of life. The fact that they pull a song like this off is amazing. Then you have the Kami Band doing their thing and “Gimme Chocolate!!” has Su-metal talk in English. “Hey guys. What is up? Hey everybody clap your hands. Let us sing together now. Are you ready Tokyo Dome?”. Maybe this song will be picked to represent this DVD? Or maybe they are just moving out to the big world little by little, and Su communicating in English being a result of the international work? I like it. I always loved the part where the girls are running all over the stage during the guitar solo of this song and it looks like so much fun. This is an insanely energetic version of this song. Then you have “Karate”, perhaps the coolest song in their catalogue. I love the girls moves as they dominate that stage. They pull it off, no need for video trickery at all. Another majestic singalong and Yuimetal looks genuinely moved (almost to tears?) and that touches my heart to see. They must be in awe of the love from the audience, always so supportive, always there for them. It is a family. The very intricate “Tales Of The Destinies” will never be a hit and they really push the audience with this Progressive Rock here, but the band pulls it off and the girls makes it all look great. They have a humour here that is priceless. This leads in to “The One” and the girls all appear in Golden outfits and makes full use of the long walkways/platforms that are designed for moments like this. Su is a very emotional performer, and here she is so precious. And so powerful. And this is the big finale of the Red Night, as 55,000 lights appears in the arena from all those neck corsets as they lit up on command by remote control. The visuals are amazing. It is a beautiful moment in their career. It goes on for quite a while but this is the true connection between the people on that stage and the 55,000 that are there to show them just how much they love them. It all ends on this Epic note.

Then on to Black Night. How could you possibly top Red Night I wondered? Well, you open with “Babymetal Death” for starters. Everybody expects the girls to appear on top of that stage as the drama kicks off, and indeed it looks like they are standing up there. Then suddenly they appear on crosses at the far ends of the walkways. Then the insanity that is Babymetal kicks off like only they can. This is very ritualistic in nature, very tribal. In fact, for any fan of Metal, this is irresistible. There is magic happening here and they make it all look easy. Trust me when I say that what they do here is anything but easy. But they are so spot on it looks like the most natural thing in the world. Most acts would have needed a 15 minute break after such an opening but Babymetal just go insane with the happy “Awadama Fever” and “Uki Uki Midnight” (again, with rotating stage). The slightly militaristic (?) “Taro” has shades of Deep Purple (“In Rock”) and Nightwish at the core of the music, but it is very Babymetal. First singalong of the night and everybody is smiling on that stage. It is like you have entered the Twilight Zone of Heavy Metal, where everything is happy and carefree. I like to be in this Zone. It only exists right here. It will soon be a memory (for a guy my age, a decade or two passes in a flash, so I have the outlook of a 56 year old). It is all so precious, so very precious. Then Yuimetal and Moametal do Metallica style “Sis. Anger” and the power on that stage is enormous. This is cool beyond belief. The Kami Band gets to shine some more (very powerful introduction, I half expected to see Ozzy appear on that stage!) and then Su-metal is back for “Akatsuki”. Again, a touch of Nightwish, and Su being the Queen that she is. Rotating stage, guitar exchanges, pyrotechnics gone wild. Again, shades of Budokan. The set clearly has a formula. “Onedari Daisuken” by “Black Babymetal” is next – that would be Yuimetal and Moametal (are they preparing us for a side project here I wonder?) being adorable all over that stage. I quite like this, it is very pleasing to the senses. Su appears again for “No Rain, No Rainbow” at the far end of one of the walkways but she will end up on the very top of that stage before the song is over. As the Kami Band entertains us there must be a lot of elevator action going on but it is quite beautiful. “Doki Doki Morning” then follows and the girls are way up there doing their thing. It is so happy, it all goes back to the innocent days here. “Megitsune” was also an early song, but very grown up in structure (and a sign back then that Babymetal had a lot to offer). Here it is quite majestic, beautifully executed (amazing lights). I thought that the Budokan show would be hard to top but they are still right up there, still right on the money. But the song has evolved through touring and here we get another extensive singalong. Then there is “Headbanger!” and this is a biggie, very ritualistic, very powerful and touching all at once. Lots of smoke. Babymetal on top of the world. Su hailed as the Queen. I realize that we have travelled backwards in time here and it all ends with “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”. Babymetal has conquered Tokyo Dome. Twice. This night they take a long hard earned bow and they are met by so much love it is an absolute joy to behold. I hear that Su fell during the long goodbye but this has been edited out (just like Yuimetal accidentally falling off the stage at the first Budokan night in 2014 was cut out). It is all smiles and Su pulls a visual joke on Moametal as they take their goodbyes. “We are Babymetal” is finally repeated a few last times on the top of that stage, and it all ends with Su hitting the Gong with one hell of a bang. On the visual side, Babymetal has just ended another perfect performance on a high note. The audience is left with the message that Babymetal has new adventures ahead in their travels across the Metal Universe on their holy mission of Metal Resistance. Only the Fox God knows.

Final words. “Live At Tokyo Dome” is a game changer. They totally deserve to be this big all over the world, not just in Japan. With luck, they could end up like Queen, as the Ultimate Entertainment Package, only in a genre of one. This has the strength to last, the strength to captivate millions and give them some well deserved happiness on the way. The Metal fans, and yes we are mostly men, love this on many levels. We love the music, the Kami Band, the whole nine yards. But we also love the girls. For their professionalism, their personalities and the amazing performances. I think I talk for many fans when I say that I love them like they are family. They are like your little sisters or kids (a little bit depending on your age here). It makes you happy when you see them do well. And if anybody ever causes trouble, that would be the quickest route to a nearby hospital that you ever saw. We are one. Am I exaggerating too much? I don´t think so.

Babymetal is the best thing that has happened to Metal in decades. The world needs some happiness and here it is. The record companies that represents Babymetal in Europe and the US needs to pull out all the stops for this release. This is their “Made In Japan” (no pun intended, but I think it is appropriate to compare this to the Purple classic that changed their career forever back in 1972-1973). This is the big one.

Come this Fall, I fully expect just that. Anything else would be criminal. And if I can help out in any way, I am right here, ready and willing.

(Post moderated slightly to fix some minor details 24 hours after original posting, many thanks for the feedback!)

(Thank you Kalle for your support)