Sonisphere 2014: Babymetal

Sonisphere welcomes the latest bonkers Japanese export

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Hitting up the main stage early on today are the YouTube sensations Babymetal. But could they pull it off live?

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past year you’ll no doubt have heard of Babymetal. If not, here’s a quick summation: three teenage girls fronting a very technical metal band. Sounds good, right?

That being said, clickbait articles and crazy YouTube videos are one thing but this is a Sonisphere crowd full of Iron Maiden fans who love nothing more than heavy metal and throwing horns. And it appears that’s what Babymetal are about too. Opening the set on a video parodying the iconic Star Wars intro, the folklore of the band was revealed with the Legend Of The Fox God and the Metal Resistance that started in Japan. Babymetal are that resistance…

Whatever your opinion on J-pop, you cannot deny the talent from the actual musicians on stage. Chugging riffs, widdly guitar solos, exquisite drum fills and nothing but energy. Of course the focal point is the tightly choreographed trio of Kawaii metallers running around the Sonisphere main stage with Cheshire cat smiles and constant horn throwing - despite altering it to slightly look like a fox.

YouTube smash hit Gimme Chocolate of course receives loud cheers and even a singalong from the dedicated down front, but today it was much more about curiosity. This is Babymetal’s first ever UK show so it’s pretty much a given that over 90% of Knebworth has never seen them live before. And the crowd loved it.

Pits were opening, horns were being thrown and not one bottle of piss was angrily hurled through the air. The songs might not be the eargasms the band would like, but the fun rating is through the roof with even grown men in Carcass t-shirts having a boogie.

Whether they’ll stay around for long is up for debate, but for half an hour on a Saturday Babymetal made the impact they needed.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.