BABYMETAL – “Live at Wembley” (2016)

Label: earMUSIC

Review by Warren Mayocchi

April 2016. BABYMETAL release second album “Metal Resistance”, start their 2016 World Tour at the Wembley Arena, and become the first Japanese band to headline or deliver a performance at the venue. Twelve thousand people attend and break the merchandise sales record for Wembley. Fans in Tokyo also watch live as the concert is streamed to them. BABYMETAL have quickly gained a reputation as being an incredible live musical experience, and events like this increase their legend. With “Metal Resistance” being released the day before the concert, the mood in the crowd must have been massive – they certainly sound excited on the recording! With eight songs from “Metal Resistance” on “Live at Wembley”, the album is dominated by the band’s newer music. From the debut album we are treated to five tracks. Regardless of the source, all of them are imbued with the BABYMETAL live energy, which adds sufficient for the live tracks to be the preferred versions of many songs. Musically there is more crunch to the live versions, this works well, particularly on “GJ!”. When “Metal Resistance” was released “KARATE” and “Awadama Fever” were a couple of the best tracks and they also deliver the punch live. Most of the tracks are performed with only minor variations from the recorded tracks, though there are a few songs with bigger alterations including “The One”. I was most interested to hear how “The One” would sound in a live venue as the band had given the track special attention during development of “Metal Resistance” by creating an English version. The slightly heavier approach, and enthusiastic crowd do help the track significantly, but it is probably a song best heard in person for the intended effect. The crowd feature well in the mix for “Live at Wembley” and add to the captured excitement of the event. Even though the song selection for the album is dominated by “Metal Resistance”, looking at the set list for the concert, the band played a fairly even split between their two albums. Given we already have a live version of the songs from their first album, it is reasonable for them not to be included here, though the album would be stronger with the inclusion of all the live tracks – particularly “Catch Me If You Can”. I am surprised “Headbanger!” and “Onedari Daisakusen” were not selected for the Wembley performance over some of the other tracks – however it is impossible to play everything. The best way to revisit the Wembley concert will be via the video versions which do include the complete concert performance and the energetic visuals of BABYMETAL in full flight. The visual component of a BABYMETAL concert is hinted at on “Live at Wembley”; there are a couple of theatrical sections included on the soundtrack. Overall, a great collection from an epic part of BABYMETAL history.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. BABYMETAL DEATH
  2. Awadama Fever
  3. YAVA!
  4. GJ!
  5. Doki Doki Morning
  6. Meta Taro
  7. Amore
  8. Megitsune
  9. KARATE
  10. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
  11. Gimme Chocolate!!
  12. THE ONE – English ver.-
  13. Road of Resistance

 

Line Up

  • SU-METAL – Vocal, Dance
  • YUIMETAL  – Scream, Dance
  • MOAMETAL – Scream, Dance

 

Links

facebook.com/BABYMETAL.jp

twitter.com/BABYMETAL_JAPAN

babymetal.com/