Babymetal conquer Rock On The Range
Venue: Mapfre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Babymetal plant the flag for the Fox God on their first trip to Rock On The Range
Babymetal just don’t give a shit. The festival slot – an industry euphemism for, ‘get up, get on with it, and fuck off,’ clearly doesn’t have bearing in the Fox God’s world, because for the last four, maybe five minutes their backing band (Gods Of Metal or Kami Band depending on who you ask), have been playing the same elaborate drum-roll in anticipation of Su-metal, Moametal and Yuimetal taking the stage.
Despite all this, the immaculately-presented centrepieces of this Japanese metal phenomenon are still hanging back on the side where a amount of gawkers – from industry-types to a wildly diverse selection of fellow Rock On The Range acts – who have turned up to see what the hubbub is about, and it’s the same out front, too.
How did this happen? What’s evident is that in the time since the video for Gimme Chocolate broke the internet over a year ago is that Babymetal, whatever you think of them, aren’t going away anytime soon. That’s because, again – whatever you think of them – there’s something so visually arresting, so outrageously heavy, and so hallucinogenically strange yet wildly entertaining about it all that even the most hardened metalheads here seem powerless to resist.
And it isn’t long before the pit becomes a conveyor belt of smiling crowdsurfers – four or five at a time – being dumped onto security. It’s hilarious to watch, but if there wasn’t something truly brilliant about it all it just wouldn’t work. The age of the Fox God is upon us. All hail.
All photos by Stephanie Cabral.