Live Report Exclusive

BABYMETAL at The Warfield, San Francisco

23/10/2019 2019-10-23 02:00:00 JaME 767 views Author: Jungho Kim Photographer: Jungho Kim

BABYMETAL at The Warfield, San Francisco

BABYMETAL returned to rock the San Francisco Bay Area with a night to remember.


© Jungho Kim

BABYMETAL returned to the Bay Area on October 4th, playing to a nearly full venue at The Warfield in San Francisco as part of the METAL GALAXY WORLD TOUR. The floor was packed shoulder-to-shoulder and the balcony area almost packed to capacity.

Concertgoers' fashion choices varied wildly, with some donning the familiar metal uniform of jeans and a black tour T-shirt, while others dressed in plaid skirts and black tops with double ponytails, resembling MOAMETAL.

Opening for the night was Avatar, bringing their own blend of rock and metal to the stage along with their royal Viking aesthetic to prime the crowd for the coming of BABYMETAL.

The lights dimmed and the crowd cheered as the Kami Band made their way on stage with SUMETAL, MOAMETAL and the Avenger walking slowly behind. Silhouetted against the backdrop of the BABYMETAL logo, the girls immediately brought the venue to life with their rendition of Megitsune.

During the opening number, SUMETAL brought out her silver fox mask briefly before the lights exploded in a burst of red, orange, and white. The next two songs were Elevator Girl and Shanti Shanti Shanti. The group kept the crowd pumped with their acrobatic dancing, smiles, nods and a few quick glances into the eyes of their fans.

During a short break, the Kami Band performed a sizzling guitar solo, setting the stage for BABYMETAL to return for Kagerou. This was followed by the reverb-laden intro of Starlight while the onstage screen shone blue, eventually transitioning into a beautiful galaxy background with flashing lights and echoing vocals adding to the cosmic ambience as SUMETAL sang, “We’ll never forget shining star.”

As Starlight came to an end, the three members of BABYMETAL exited the stage while a melodic, upbeat, synth-laden version of FUTURE METAL, the opening track off Metal Galaxy, played during a short break. This unexpected interlude was accompanied by a blocky, glitched out black-and-white animation. Hidden amongst the graphic elements of the video were the lyrics:

We are on an odyssey to Metal Galaxy,
please fasten your neck brace to head bang.
Are you still playing the guitar?
This ain't heavy metal,
welcome to the world of BABYMETAL.


The crowd cheered as BABYMETAL came back onstage and jumped into a live-only rendition of the intro for Gimme Chocolate. Several glow sticks waved to the beat while much of the crowd videoed the girls in front of the BABYMETAL logo before the first chorus. It quickly became apparent this was going to be one of the main crowd pleasers of the night, especially for one person who lost his shoe while crowd surfing.

PA PA YA!! was next and it prompted die-hard fans to break out their pink towels and wave them to the beat. The floor of the venue began to shake as the people jumped up and down. The energy was reaching its limit as a small mosh pit formed near the stage while fans at the very top of the balcony danced wildly. As the song ended there were huge applause from the crowd, some of the loudest of the night.

The last song from Metal Galaxy that BABYMETAL would play was Distortion. This started with the performers silhouetted against a blood red background and saw them being back-lit by strobing flashes as they danced.

Next, KARATE kicked off with a soft intro while people waved their hands back and forth. MOAMETAL and the Avenger slowly crawled to the front of the stage during the bridge, after which SUMETAL yelled to the crowd, “everybody jump!” as the band went back into the chorus again.

Speckled blue lights illuminated the crowd during the opening of Head Banger! Down in front of the stage, the crowd momentarily mimicked the bowing motion that the girls were performing before starting up the mosh pit again.

Then came a few moments of silent darkness before the lights came back on to highlight SUMETAL standing on stage alone solo for a piano version of THE ONE. Behind her, blue and orange shooting stars flying through space collided with one another, creating an ever-expanding universe that was consumed by a black hole as the intro began.

As SUMETAL sang, “You’re the only one,” fans waved their phone flashlights in the air, creating a beautiful sea of floating lights.

“Thank you, San Francisco!” shouted SUMETAL as the Kami Band let rip another guitar solo while MOAMETAL and the Avenger entered from either side of the stage. When the song finally came to an end, the band and crowd exchanged kitsune signs and the lights quickly dimmed.

A few members of the audience began to leave the venue but BABYMETAL soon returned to the stage for the encore, Road of Resistance, which began with the familiar slow beat of the drums and droning guitar.

The screen flashed red, highlighting the group as they filed back onto the stage holding BABYMETAL flags. Harmonized guitars took the band into the song proper. The crowd chimed in on all the “whoa, oh oh oh” refrains and there was one last wave of crowd surfers before the song reached its final crescendo.

“We are BABYMETAL! Thank you for having us, thank you so much!” said SUMETAL in her sweet farewell message to the crowd, and with that, it was over. Movie-style credits rolled on the stage screen as the house lights slowly rose.

The Warfield crowd slowly emptied onto San Francisco's Market Street where the smell of bacon-wrapped hotdogs permeated the air and the sultry sound of a busker’s saxophone hung in the crisp autumn night.

Set list

01. Megitsune
02. Elevator Girl
03. Shanti Shanti Shanti
04. Kagerou
05. Starlight
06. Interlude: FUTURE METAL
07. Gimme Chocolate!!
08. PA PA YA!!
09. KARATE
10. Head Banger!
11. THE ONE ~Piano ver~

Encore

12. Road of Resistance

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