The Mann Center in Philadelphia was the spot to be on September 12 if you were looking for a night of metal to rock your socks off. The highly anticipated Babyklok co-headlining tour features Babymetal and Dethklok with Jason Richardson as support. As fans filed into the venue, it was so much fun to see so many dressed up either in character costumes from Metalocalypse or in classic metal and goth garb, complete with tons of spikes, platform shoes, and makeup.
Taking the stage first was guitarist Jason Richardson. You may recognize him from his work in Born of Osiris, Chelsea Grin, or All That Remains. He boasts a pretty hefty resume, so it was no shock that when he took the stage you were immediately hit in the face with a powerful guitar tone and crazy runs. Making it seem so effortless, he performed solo on stage and made sure to cover the whole thing throughout, running back and forth. It felt like such a treat to see him play, and it definitely makes for a great start to a show like this.
The next spot on this tour rotates between Babymetal and Dethklok. For Philadelphia, Babymetal graced the stage next. The last time the band were over in the U.S. was in 2019, so we were definitely overdue for a visit! Su-Metal, Moametal, and Momometal took the stage in matching outfits and immediately came out swinging with “BABYMETAL DEATH.” From start to finish, the J-pop/metal hybrid act gave the audience an insanely fun set full of cool visuals on the large LED screen on stage, synchronized dances, and an effervescence that would pull a smile onto you from ear to ear. Included in the setlist were some killer tracks that hit hard live such as “PA PA YA!!,” “BxMxC,” and “METALI!!” (a track ft. Tom Morello). At one point, the whole venue was even lit up with everyone’s phone flashlights. The crowd was definitely not ready for the set to end and were yearning for more.
Closing out the night were Dethklok. The band are quite animated—literally. For those unfamiliar with the act, the band actually comes from an animated series called Metalocalypse, which was featured on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network). The band have played a festival here and there (2022, 2019, and 2014) but havn’t toured since their headliner in 2012.
As for Metalocalypse, the last thing fans had was the last episode, “Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem” in 2013. The one hour rock opera definitely left some unanswered questions about the band and the series. After 10 long years, on August 22 of this year, it felt like Christmas came early! The movie Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar and the accompanying album Dethalbum IV were released, giving us some new tracks to look forward to hearing live on the tour.
The large screen on the back of the stage started up with a briefing from Senator Stampingston asking if Dethklok were back or not. Resulting in a yes, there were some other scenes that played out including a monologue from Charles Foster Offdensen (the band’s manager). When Brendon Small (Dethklok’s creator) and the rest of the band took the stage, fog rolled in, and they immediately started with the “Deththeme.”
The accompanying visuals were familiar to fans of the band as the easily recognizable intro. Wasting no time at all, Dethklok played through their set including some of my personal favorites, “Awaken,” “Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle,” and “Murmaider,” all while visuals from the show played in the background. The band themselves were not lit up on stage, keeping the focus on the animations. We got to hear some tracks from the new album as well, including “Aortic Desecration” and “SOS.” The band sounded fantastic live, and it was overall a really cool and unique experience. This tour was definitely not one to miss for metal fans.