London Blitz – Babymetal Live At Wembley (2016) DVD Review

Posted: July 12, 2017 in Babymetal, Classic Rock, Cool stuff, General, TV & Movies

I have been watching this DVD on a number of occasions in order for it to all sink in. I have also shown it to some friends to catch their reactions. I will begin there. Sunday July 9 2017. Visits an old friend (Lars), a professional musician (one of the best bass players in the country). Lars is a longstanding fan of Deep Purple, Paul McCartney etc and has a very broad interest in music. He has never heard of Babymetal. So I bring “Live At Wembley” and a few other Babymetal DVDs along and the Wembley show kicks off the night. Lars is notably impressed, he praises the musicianship before long and especially the rhythm section. Before the night is over he seems to be pretty convinced that Babymetal is the real deal. Tuesday July 11 2017. Visits a friend (Ove) that I have not seen in a while. Old school rocker, loves Kiss, the Deep Purple Family, UFO, Black Sabbath etc etc. Hardcore rocker. Is not aware of Babymetal. Same treatment, but with a slight twist. Ove is the owner of a sound system straight out of Hell. He cranks it up and it is like being in the friggin concert hall. Opening track “Babymetal Death” blows him away, he starts to ask questions. Eats it up. The night ends with him being a bonafide fan of Babymetal. These two examples are not isolated but I thought I could mention these reactions here since they pretty much mirrors what I have noticed in the last few months. That Babymetal has an enormous potential to draw generations of hardcore Metal fans in. Babymetal can draw people from just about every corner, and they are pretty much the only act that can deliver this although it will take some time. However, I would say that this is all happening right now and this DVD is going to help them on their merry way. The Babymetal Legion is growing fast.

The “Live At Wembley” DVD was recorded in London on April 2 2016, the day after the release of the second album “Metal Resistance”. Yet they still present a set that is based just as much on the new stuff as the old. Case in point, they head straight into “Awadama Fever” (a brand new song) right after the (extremely powerful) opener “Babymetal Death”. Then it is back to “Iine” and the early happy days. It all connects, the party vibe is way up there and the crowd loves them. They party on with the song “Yava!” which is another highlight from the new record. The pace is relentless, they know exactly how to get the party going. A nice interlude with beautiful lights and a piano introduction follows and then Su-metal hits the stage with “Akatsuki”. She looks so fragile up there as she sings the quiet part in the beginning, then it all goes haywire and we are in Power Metal territory. Blistering solos and theatrics makes it all an experience. And she is The Queen, she owns that stage. Then Su takes a rest and Yuimetal and Moametal hits the stage with the powerful “GJ!”, also from the “Metal Resistance” album. There is so much talent on this stage. These two alone could conquer the world, and so could Su. But right now it is all Babymetal and as the set continues with “Catch Me If You Can” the guys in the band gets a chance to show off. An opportunity not to be missed, and they deliver very powerful and skilled solos. Then the girls are back and the song ends with a happy yet monstrous blend that nobody else in this business can conjure up. Babymetal is totally original, and this song just nails it. The girls are great to watch.

The insane riffing in the ultra happy yet super heavy “Doki Doki Morning” drives the set on and Wembley have been transformed to a very happy place. Just Babymetal and 10,000 close friends sharing an unforgettable evening. Everything they do is catchy, and “Meta Taro” from the new album brings in a folk element that you could expect from Nightwish over a drum idea that is straight out of the 1970s. Add the girls and you have another classic in the making. Hell, everything they touch is going to be classic some day. After some silly (but we all love it) animations that draws from “Star Wars”, Black Babymetal (that would be Yui and Moa) assaults our senses with “Song 4”. I had a hard time with this for a very brief period, but I have embraced this as a bonafide Babymetal classic over time. Also, the girls wrote this one and they are cute as hell as they are all over that stage basically seducing the crowd into submission with their considerable Kawaii Powers. And if you listen closely, the guitar riff that goes on behind it all could be straight out of a Judas Priest album. The reggae bit is unnerving but short enough and helps empower the song in that very quirky way that was typical of early Babymetal. Su is back on stage for “Amore” and this is yet another Power Metal classic. This type of song suits her like a glove and she has a way to present her songs that is beautiful to behold. She really is the Queen of Kawaii Metal. “Amore” is also a vehicle for the guys to shine and I love the dual guitar solos (think Thin Lizzy with a touch of Yngwie Malmsteen). “Megitsune” follows and it has to be said that everybody I have ever introduced Babymetal to loves this song. It has something that is so unique, that Japanese thing that suddenly turns into a heavy super catchy song. Then there is the beautiful middle section and the very impressive routine from the girls. “Karate” is next and this is one of the true classics from the “Metal Resistance” album. Superb riffing that beats the competition to a crisp. I could not care less that the lyrics are all in Japanese, they sound great that way. Later on this tour, they would introduce some singalong action to this song, but they stick close to the original here. Compare it to the “Live At Tokyo Dome” set. Babymetal is slowly evolving to a smooth machine, ready to kill any crowd at any moment. “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” takes us back to the early days and this is a solid Power Metal classic by now. The drummer have to work for his money, no doubt about it. The main set ends with “Gimme Chocolate!!” and as we all know this is the ultimate party song. It all draws to an end with an emotionally charged “The One” in which the audience is being made aware that the show is streamed live to a crowd in Japan – they are all united in their love for Babymetal at this moment. Say what you will of Babymetal, they constantly come up with spectacular ideas and they always make it all look easy. This, of course, is hollowed ground and a major happening in their career. No wonder they decided to capture it on DVD. Preceeding “The One”, we are shown images of Babymetal from earlier visits to the UK. The journey that took them all the way to Wembley. This is a very powerful moment, quite majestic. Almost cinematic. They really do this sort of thing well and it goes back to the very early DVDs. Binge watch them and you will see how they have created this never ending mythology as they climb ever larger mountains. The Budokan, Wembley, Tokyo Dome. The list will grow. The conquest of Wembley ends with yet another bonafide classic, “Road Of Resistance”. More mythology, more everything. It is the ultimate moment of triumph. And the mother of all live endings (only eclipsed by themselves at Tokyo Dome later).

Final words. Sound quality and filming is top notch. Full points. This is one of the best live DVDs on the market today and Babymetal is clearly good enough to kill the competition. Nothing out there touches this today. Nothing.

View the official “Live At Wembley” trailer here. BBC Wembley report with Babymetal here. Swedish fans Wembley adventure here.

Other Babymetal DVD reviews on this blog: “Live At Tokyo Dome” here, “Live Legend 1999 1997 Apocalypse” here. “Live At Budokan” here.

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