I can’t even kid around about how much better the show at the Fillmore Silver Spring was than that ughperience in Philadelphia.
Before moving on: I have nothing negative to say about Babymetal’s performance at the Electric Factory. They weren’t at their best, and I think that Yui may have been battling some illness or other discomfort, but it was a certain percentage of the fans who created a less-than-positive experience for many others. It was nonetheless a very good and overall enjoyable show.
That being said, the Silver Spring experience was so completely positive that it should be bottled and sold (by a vendor other than GoMerch) as a curative for anything that ails ya.
Am I being biased because this was my first local show? Probably not; I may live in the DMV, but I share most transplants’ generally lukewarm opinion of lots of local things. And for what it’s worth, everybody I talked to at the after party who had also been to Philly agreed.
Now for the show itself:
Whatever was bothering Yuimetal on Saturday wasn’t bothering her, or at least as much, on Tuesday / Yuisday. I did see her reach toward her knee a few times, so maybe she’s dealing with an injury, and that would explain some of the off-ness at Philly. But she was absolutely crushing it last night and LOVED that there were so many kids in the balcony — Yuimetal was their personal performer, for the most part.
I was one human body’s thickness from the rail, so my view was close enough to count the treads in their boots (which seem to be awfully well-worn for teenagers’ footwear). The neat sum-of-their-parts that Yuimetal and Moametal bring together was extremely evident that up close; Yuimetal wants to do everything perfectly because that’s the right way to do it, and Moametal wants to do it well enough because her main concern is putting on the best show that she can. They were just on fire, and I once again lamented that their mic levels were just too low, especially during “GJ!”
Su-metal gets a little bit better every time she goes out. Her talent is always obvious, but management loves to give her really challenging vocals. It took her two years to get reasonably close to perfect on “Megitsune” live, and she may be ahead of the curve on “Amore” so far, but damn if she probably wishes she could get some of those notes back.
I still don’t like “Awadama Fever” all that much, but I found myself wishing that Choco never leaves the set list. I wouldn’t put it in my personal top 10, maybe not even top 15, but it’s such Peak Babymetal that it should always be there. And they have a blast with it.
“Karate” likewise still doesn’t excite me all that much, and I can’t even get behind the dance routine. Su-metal’s interlude and “everybody jump!” worked a lot better in this environment though.
Like, there were three guys who wore chef’s hats and kerchiefs, a little Mini Pati tribute, and they were as close to wota as I’ve seen at a North American show. The girls loved it, the crowd was mostly just trying to have a good time as opposed to back up some kind of idiotic shoulder chip, and if there was a successful WOD at any time, it must have been nothing but a big group hug. “Everybody jump!”? Everybody jumped. Lovely.
I was super happy to talk to two people after the show who didn’t want to fire me out of a cannon for thinking that “The One” is a boring live song. And let me clarify: It’s a great song. Fantastic work. But live, when they just stand there and barely even move their arms for seven minutes? I literally checked my watch (hockey game, but still).
The other big performance highlight (other than a nigh-flawless performance of “Megitsune”), I think, was “Meta Taro,” a song that I have not been kind to but a performance piece that I really enjoy. Really up close, there are some footwork sequences that would make an NFL running back envious, and it works really well with a participatory audience. Subtle little bit of genius in how that one was put together.
Oh, and much love to the Kami Band yet again. Their extended intro to “Catch Me If You Can” apparently stays fresh by them finding new ways to screw around. Philadelphia had Mikio picking for Takayoshi; DC had BOH hand-playing Hideki’s cymbals. Good times! Those two may love their jobs the most; Hideki sings along a lot, and BOH has turned into the fourth dancer.
A good number of folks joined us in not terribly well-organized fashion at the bar afterwards. I’ll take that knock because I didn’t reckon on it being highly populated by hockey fans, nor that the two levels would be confusing for people, but I think upstairs was actually too quiet to entice folks to head that way. All in all, though, it was a good time. I was compared to Diedrich Bader (note: I do not look like Diedrich Bader) and met possibly the only other person in history to have worn a Faith No More shirt to a Babymetal concert.
So even though it doesn’t matter to you probably, thanks to everybody for a really great experience. I tried to be a good fake host when possible, and I’m glad that people genuinely liked the crap out of @DaeMetal‘s buttons.