South Side ballroom goes super kawaii with Babymetal!
Avatar got the night rolling at 8 p.m. on the dot to an already packed room. Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, they are a band of extremely talented musicians masquerading as a sideshow. This is my first live experience with Avatar and I was not disappointed. Seeing all the photos coming off this tour had me very excited of the show. Johannes Eckerström is a well versed showman and an extreme faces aficionado, but he doesn’t let that overshadow his vocal talent. The show these guys put on is something to behold. They run a minimal stage set up and let the performance speak for itself – and it spoke volumes this evening. There wasn’t much movement across the stage and there were no member side changes to speak of, but each member put on a proper show. The only noticeable error was the sound cutting out stage right a few times early into the first song, but the house fixed the problem quickly. This band is not shy and will play to your camera if they see you, which makes for some beautiful media. “Statue of the King” stood out the most to me from crowd reaction. I genuinely love the twist they’ve put on the music they make and I can see why they are an international favorite.
Babymetal took the stage promptly at 9:15 to a wall-to-wall uproar of excitement. I heard, “This is the best Tuesday night of my life!” yelled from the crowd behind me. I’ve been wanting to see this band for some time, so I was extremely happy to catch them on this tour. Suzuka Nakamoto’s voice sounded very healthy and full and Moa Kikuch brought her vicious screams to the stage. She carried all of her screams through the full notes with intensity. I was pretty dumbfounded by the conditioning of these women, they did not once seem to be winded or even slightly bothered by all the movement. The first song that really sent the crowd over the edge was “Gimme Chocolate.” The crowd ate it up and craved more. There is a mid-set video break for some change overs and well deserved rest from all the choreography they do. They hardly stop moving the entire set. “Karate” was the next song that seemed to be a crowd favorite with everyone fumbling for their phone to get a video. This was also one I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a fun song and the dance is quite entertaining. The session musicians for this tour are some of the most talented musicians I have seen live in some time. They slayed every note from beginning to end of set and are due some solid credit. All in all, I was extremely pleased with my first live experience with Babymetal and look forward to hopefully many more encounters.
This tour is a duo of colliding continents and an amazing show from start to finish. You’re going to get some insane musical talent and all the theatrics that go with it. Grab some tickets and catch this in your town!
– Brently Kirksey