CONCERT REVIEW: Dethklock – Babymetal – DragonForce Live at the Masonic Auditorium 

I returned to the Masonic Auditorium for the second time in a few months to see an awesome metal show! I have mostly seen punk shows at this venue, which is odd, because it is perfectly suited for extravaganzas like the Mutilation on a Spring Night tour from Dethklock. Typically the tour features the headline band on their second go around the US along with DragonForce and Necrogoblikon but tonight we were in for a special exclusive treat. For two nights only and predating their appearance at Sick New World Festival, Baby Metal was going to grace us with a redux of the BabyKlock tour from 2023. So tonight we got full sets from Babymetal, DethKlock, and DragonForce. 

Due to a snafu with the new change in where the will call is from the main entry to the venue, I missed a bit of DragonForce, unfortunately. But getting into my seat I managed to catch the tail end of their set and as usual they were fantastic performers and musicians. I especially like the new singer, and they had their own heads in the house who air guitar along to their impossible-to-play songs. I suspect that on every date of the tour dragon Force has their own subset of fans that were coming in, also based on the extravagant merch options for an opener. 

Dethklok was up next and I was super hype! The band is really on top of their game providing top-notch entertainment value! The rampant and wild success of the Metalocalypse / Dethklock show ensured that there were their very own major fans in the room. This is the first time seeing the band for over 15 years where you could hear every voice singing most of the songs back at the band tonight! It’s no surprise these bands were able to pull two nights at this large venue of $8,500 people. 

As light went down, we were treated to an awesome intro that foretold of the music to come. The question was asked ” is DethKlock back? “ And of course the answer is, yes. As told to us by Brendon Small and in our several interviews with him lately he really prefers that the star of the show be Dethklock the band on the screen and not the players on stage, but it’s hard to ignore the massive talent on display. From the opening notes 🎶 of “Detheme” you knew it was going to be freaking bedlam! 

The band ran through a long set of all their classics and new songs! Again, such a badass group of master musicians led by Brendan, Gene Hoglan, and Nili Brosh! “Briefcase Full of Guts,” “Birthay Dethday,” “Hatredcopter,” “Murmaider,” and many more! It was the perfect match of visuals, comedy, and killer musicianship.  The was a ton of sick mosh action tonight too! I also particularly liked the interludes with Facebones talking about concert hygiene, drinking and drugs. It is not lost on Brendon that this is many fans first ever metal concert! Dethklok, please come back and kill us all soon! 

One of the best things about tonight was all the little tribes converging! I met a couple sitting with me who went to Japan specifically to see Babymetal once before! I met countless megafans, some in costume as the infamous trio! It was a great meeting of fans, all united for the love of metal! 

A buzz cast over the room as the lights again dimmed and Babymetal’s intro played. Heroines of the galaxy, loyal to the Foxgod, and here to make us feel good while kicking all the asses. There was a crosscut of Babymetal show virgins and die-hards! San Francisco, you were not ready for this!

After the intro the band launched into the start of “Babymetal Death” and it was wild! The band just shredded and played, shrouded in mystery behind masks! As Suzuka Nakamoto as “Su-metal”, Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal” and Momoko Okazaki as “Momometal” marched out, dancing to the beat and singing their hearts out, the energy went up another 20 notches. It was insane levels of metal musicianship and front-person talent times three. A giant video screen behind them helped them illustrate the songs and gave off planetarium-lazer-show-on-acid vibes the entire time. They plowed through their set of highlight reel songs, each more adventurous than the next. Not just cute routines, Babymetal is singling all live, not on tape while dancing, and many times pumping up the crowd. Those in the know broth flags, glowsticks, and other accessories that would not be out of place in Japan. Many of the songs fall under Technical Death Metal with a metalcore sheen in the chorus, but “Su-metal” did pull off a few of her own growls that at least for a second could put her next to Courtney LaPlante of Spirtbox. The rest of the backing band, rumored to be among the best metal musicians in the world on the DL, provided the gutturals, as well as ruling hard at their craft. 

Highlights of the set included “Distortion,” “PA PA YA,” “BxMxC,” “Monochrome,” “Megitsune,” and the insanely catchy and fun “Gimmie Chocolate!” 

The talent of Babymetal is undeniable, even if it’s just not for you. It’s cool if you don’t like fun, but don’t harsh anyone elses mellow, brah.