At Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on September 15, 2023
The world is far from black or white, evil or benign. It is all mixed up. And then you get things that are mashup by design getting mixed up too, and you get BABYKLOK. What is it? It is the heavy metal music tour where animated metal band Dethklok performs with actual band that is behind their animated characters and then you add Japanese band Babymetal who pioneered J-pop and heavy metal mashup known as Kawaii metal. And combining these two you get BABYKLOK 2023. They slay their way through North America on their twenty-nine date national tour that began August 30 with support of virtuoso guitarist Jason Richardson.
Written by Andris Jansons
While New York City traffic erased my chance to see and hear Jason Richardson. I had a chance to witness a special performance by a very special band – Dethklok. Dethklok is a fictional melodic death metal band featured in the Adult Swim animated television series “Metalocalypse”, known for its satirical or parodic lyrical themes. The first official Dethklok album was released on September 25, 2007, entitled “The Dethalbum”. After some time off, the band released a new album this year called: “Dethalbum IV” and released a full-length original film, written and directed by Brendon Small, “Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar,” with a companion soundtrack.
Dethklok social links:
The note: Live band looks a bit different than animated version 🙂 Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, the creators of animated band are also the members of a live band with Brendon on guitar and vocals. I could probably think of many bands Dethklok could go on tour, and kawaii metal legends Babymetal probably would not have been on my list, but, oh boy, this was the match made in deepest corner of metal hell. Dethklok played their set by letting their animated version take over the visuals, as band had no spotlight on them and big screen on the stage showed animation. Yet, the connection between musician and crowd still persisted and the performance was received very well. Most songs on the setlist represented the original “Deathalbum” with my personal favorite “Murmaider”.
BABYKLOK tour show was about to enter a whole new level of excitement. Sold out venue grew in anticipation of the night’s headliner, kawaii metal pioneers and legends Babymetal. Band consisting of Suzuka Nakamoto as “Su-metal”, Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal” and Momoko Okazaki as “Momometal”, with Suzuka and Moa being original members and Momoko joining the band just recently. Bands style has received mixed opinions from the fans of the metal world, but the outpouring of support has been overwhelming as more and more people embrace their style. Kawaii metal has spread though Japan as more bands have adopted it and is starting to spread outside Japan to places like South Korea.
Whilst the bands setlist consisted of 11 songs, it was energy packed. As the band doesn’t tour stateside that very often as we would like to, the capacity crowd roared in appreciation between every song and fans ,girls and boys alike, screamed from top of their lungs. Opening song “Babymetal Death” was preceded by short video intro to help immerse in a Babymetal metalverse. It was followed by same high energy “Gimme Chocolate!” and “PA PA YA!!”.
Babymetal social links:
There were two songs from the last (fourth) studio album “The Other One” which was released back in March – “Believing” and “Monochrome”, while songs “Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!”and “Road To Resistance” wrapped up the performance.
BABYKLOK tour is scheduled to bring the metal mayhem to the city next to you until mid-October. Get your tickets here. https://www.thebabykloktour.com/
Photo gallery of Babymetal performance below:
Photography by Andris Jansons
Mon-Sep-18-23 – Toronto, ONT – RBC Echo Beach
Wed-Sep-20-23 – Grand Rapids, MI – GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Thu-Sep-21-23 – Chicago, IL – Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom
Sat-Sep-23-23 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival
Sun-Sep-24-23 – Milwaukee, MN – The Rave/Eagles Club
Mon-Sep-25-23 – Minneapolis, MN – The Fillmore
Wed-Sep-27-23 – St. Louis, MO – Saint Louis Music Park
Thu-Sep-28-23 – Omaha, NE – Steelhouse Omaha
Sat-Sep-30-23 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
Sun-Oct-01-23 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Tue-Oct-03-23 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Forum
Wed-Oct-04-23 – Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater
Sat-Oct-07-23 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival
Sun-Oct-08-23 – Las Vegas, NV – Pearl Theater at Palms Casino Resort
Tue-Oct-10-23 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theater
Wed-Oct-11-23 – Los Angeles, CA – YouTube Theater
Thu-Oct-12-23 – Los Angeles, CA – YouTube Theater