Judas Priest with Babymetal

Venue: Zepp@Bigbox, Singapore
Date: 4th December 2018
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: Anna F.
Special Thanks: The LAMC Productions team

It’s quite rare for our little red dot to host two major rock acts on the same day for the same show. But when it happens, you’d be a fool to miss it.

In true Japanese fashion, Japanese kawaii metal band Babymetal commenced their set right on time, as they made a dramatic entrance and Su-metal, Moametal, and the third yet-to-be-confirmed member took their respective positions centrestage.

Formed in 2010, and with just two studio albums under their belt, Babymetal delivered a performance that was completely mesmerizing, even for non-fans, who definitely left making a mental note to delve deeper into their discography. Their dancing and choreography – though cheesy – included high kicks and air punches, accurately in sync, and everyone in the audience was headbanging along without a care in the world.

They performed songs like “Gimme Chocolate!!”, “META! Meta Taro”, “Megitsune”, and “KARATE”, and even though their set was just half an hour long, it was a total sonic assault from start to finish, especially with their backing band, Kami Band, made up of Takayoshi Ohmura, Leda Cygnus, and Isao Fujita on guitar, Boh on bass, and Hideki Aoyama on drums.

It was almost as if half the room were in attendance just for the cutesy-badass trio, now technically a duo since Yuimetal’s departure. But it’s really no surprise having witnessed for myself the sheer precision and absurdity the band put on display so easily.

Judas Priest then took the stage, as a banner with lyrics to “Killing Machine” was dropped and the heavy metal legends emerged with all guns blazing to a frantic fanbase, ready to rock and roll. Judging from their attire, you could say that they were basically hell bent on leather as their choice material for the night, most of them not even bothering to take it off after the first few songs, as musicians usually do when they perform here.

Currently on the Firepower Tour, following the release of their eighteenth studio album with the same name, the guys in Judas Priest don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Made up of Rob Halford on lead vocals, Ian Hill on bass, Scott Travis on drums, Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap on guitar, Judas Priest put on a show of massive magnitude, both sonically captivating and visually encapsulating. Glenn Tipton, who has been battling Parkinson’s disease, also made an appearance during the encore. Halford even brought his Harley Davidson on stage and wielded a lightsaber during “Rising from Ruins” for some added theatrics.

The toying around didn’t for a second distract the crowd from the insanity they were spoiled with, with regards to the musicality and sheer astounding ability of the band to perform at such an incredible level despite having decades of touring on their resume, and the fact that most of them are in their late sixties. They blazed through tunes like “Firepower”, “No Surrender”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”, and “Living After Midnight”, the latter of which closing out the thrilling night.

It may have just been one of the last times fans in Singapore would get to see the Priest here, but with their explosive discography that’ll live on for generations to come, one thing’s for sure: you know that as a fan, you’re never ever going to lose.