This past weekend, Japanese metal sensations Babymetal returned to the stage for their first shows in almost two years, following their incredible run of ten shows at the historic Budokan venue in early 2021. The duo, currently officially comprised of Su-metal and Moametal but featuring numerous other backing dancers and singers live, played two shows on January 28 and 29 at the Makuhari Messe, a convention centre located just outside of Tokyo.
The action-packed gigs had identical setlists, featuring a selection of tracks from all three of the band's studio albums so far - 2014's Babymetal, 2016's Metal Resistance and 2019's Metal Galaxy - as well as five new songs, two of which are yet to be released.
The two brand new tracks - unofficially titled as Light And Darkness and THE LEGEND, are presumably from upcoming new concept album The Other One, due out March 24.
Recent singles METAL KINGDOM, Divine Attack and Monochrome were also played, getting their live debuts at the January 28 show. What really has fans, talking, however, is a tease of sorts which may well hint at a big change for the band moving forwards.
Near the end of Babymetal's first show on January 28, two huge coffins appeared on one of the stages, which Su-metal and Moametal walked towards as part of the in-show storyline. At the second show on January 29, however, the plot thickened: a third coffin appeared, with a third figure walking towards it.
The moment was captured in a fan photo since posted to Babymetal's Reddit page, which you can see below:
The tease has sent Babymetal's fans wild, with some speculating that it could mean a new member is set to officially join the band full-time, bringing them back to a trio for the first time since the departure of Yuimetal in 2018.
"I've been asking for a permanent 3rd since I started following the group," says one on Reddit. "Seems I'm getting my wish." "We can only speculate now, but it can't be anything other than a third member announcement," offers another. "It makes sense. BABYMETAL is active again, they will tour with Sabaton and having a permanent member is always a good thing."
Many others have gone one step further, suggesting that Japanese media personality Okazaki Momoko, who has previously appeared as an 'Avenger' backing dancer for Babymetal, could be the third member. "It's pretty fun to speculate. I'm thinking Momoko is the most likely candidate," posits one fan confidently. "If Momoko does become the third official member I'd be so happy," beams another. "She's worked hard...she's the one."
A new full-time member? A part of the story? A red herring? Only the Fox God knows, but with that new album - and two recently announced Babymetal shows to take place around Fox Day on April 1 - we suspect we'll find out what the hell is going on soon enough.
Check out the full setlist from both shows, along with some pro-shot footage courtesy of Japanese news show Meshamashi TV, below.
Babymetal Makuhari Messe setlist January 28 & 29
1. METAL KINGDOM
2. Divine Attack - Shingeki -
4. PA PA YA!!
5. Gimme Chocolate!!
7. Doki Doki Morning
8. Light And Darkness
11. Ijime, Dame, Zettai
12. Road Of Resistance
13. THE LEGEND