WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
Steelhouse Omaha brought the Babyklok tour to Omaha. Babymetal and Dethklok had never played Omaha, so this had been a long time coming for the fans of this co-headlining duo. So many people packed into Steelhouse for this sold-out concert. It was the metal event of the year for the Omaha metro area.
Guitarist Jason Richardson was the opening act for the concert. It could be corny or goofy, having only a guitar player onstage playing to a track, but Jason Richardson nailed it. He made it look cool with that red long coat and just shredding like a madman. He had a good vibe on stage, talking about how sick this tour is. My mind was constantly blown by how fast he was playing. Check out his latest album, II.
Dethklok was the first of the co-headline. In case you did not know, a show on Cartoon Network during the Adult Swim programming block called Metalocalypse ran from 2006 to 2013. The show was about this fictional band, “Dethklok”, which, in the show, was the biggest band in the world. This is Brendon Small’s baby, and he sings and plays guitar and bass on all the albums. During the concert, they had a giant video board showing all the band’s music videos while the Dethklok live band, featuring Brendon Small on vocals and guitar, played. The live band was obstructed in darkness, as it would be a distraction against the real Dethklok on screen. The whole band is made up of incredible musicians. The imagery was brutal, and their cleverly written lyrics fit what was being shown. One of the mainstays of the Dethklok live (and recording) band is drummer Gene Hoglan, who has worked with many bands such as Testament and Fear Factory. He is one of the best drummers in metal and this performance was truth be told. Sometimes in between songs, Facebones, the band’s talking mascot, would be projected and gave out tips on how to act during a metal concert and even get high in a trippy sequence. This was the closest we would ever get to the fictional band, Dethklok, and I was more than pleased by it. Check out their latest album, Dethalbum IV, and their new movie, Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar.
And finally, the audience was ready for Japan’s own BabyMetal. I knew of BabyMetal and heard a song or two prior to the concert, but I had never experienced BabyMetal and that is another animal in itself. BabyMetal are three young women, the core members, based around the Japanese idol format that has three singers who also dance, who goes by Su-metal, the lead vocalist, and Moametal and Momometal, who also scream and dance to the left and right of her. They are backed by this super heavy band called the “Kami Band”, which has their faces covered, similar to Slipknot. It was the most energetic show I had ever seen. The girls would just dance around onstage and sing, and the whole audience went nuts for it. There were a couple of mosh pits, which is ironic because it’s just three girls singing J-pop melodies over this fast and heavy sound. They have an enthusiastic fanbase, with some dressing up for the concert. I loved their synchronized choreography, which made it one of the most eye-pleasing metal shows to date. Go check out their latest album, The Other One. Shout out to Steelhouse Omaha for taking a chance early on during their booking shows and booking this one before they opened. I hope they take more chances on this one when they are booking because I’m not sure another venue in town would’ve made this happen.