Metallica Live 2017 in Seoul with Babymetal

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Today (15th Jan) is our 12th wedding anniversary. A few days ago, I got startled when my daughter said that she was a teenage girl; no, she is not in her teenage yet in US age and she is 8 years old (she is 10 only in Korean age calculation). It made me accept indisputably we had been married more than 10 years. Yes, time flies as arrows. To celebrate our perfect married life (only two quarrels over 12 years. isn’t it?) we have been to a special event: the Metallica World Tour Live 2017 in Seoul last Wednesday. To tell the truth, my wife had no interest in Metallica before. But she agreed to go with me when she heard that “The opening stage will be Babymetal.”

Babymetal is Japanese metal idol (yes, I can hear someone shout What?) band. The band consists of three teenage Japanese girls: Suzuka Nakamoto called as “Su-metal,” Yui Mizuno as “Yuimetal” and Moa Kikuchi as “Moametal.” Someone called the genre of their music as “kawai metal.” Yes, they are kawai(cute), but that is not the all and I think their music is not a joke; no, they are really brilliant. Since their debut in 2010, they have built very successful career as a metal band. The success might be due to many supports from the metal legends. They performed with Metallica, Judas Priest, Chili Peppers and so on; imagine that you are working in a place filled with only 50s (and more) and one day suddenly here came three lovely teenage girls as new recruits…

The event was held in Gocheok Sky Dome.

It is the first (and only) domed baseball stadium in Korea opened in 2015. It was my first time to visit there and was really good stadium than I had expected. But it is located in the outskirts of Seoul so the access is very inconvenient and the parking space is very limited. The live ended around 11:30pm and I had to take a cab.

The opening stage of Babymetal was very impressive to me. But frankly the audience response was not so great. I wish Su/Yui/Moa-Metal were not disappointed too much; It was not your fault! I think there were many issues about it. First, their stage started on time but audience entrance was not completed till then; it was very cluttered. The audio setting of the opening stage was not good (especially for vocals); I can hardly hear Su-Metal’s lead at my seat (the second floor). And she spoke in English… At the first live of Metallica in Seoul (in 1998), It was very famous story that James asked “Are you tired?” and audiences replied “Yeah!” (Sorry Su, it’s not your…) Moreover, I think many fan of Metallica who came to the live didn’t know them and many of them were orthodox metal fans. Although their music is very positively accepted widely, there are someone who adhere to their definition of metal and cannot accept the new at first. I hope Babymetal come to Korea for an one-man live in the near future and be with their royal fans – including me.

The main stage was awesome. Although still the audio condition was not perfect, the most impressive thing was the huge screens. They set 6 (maybe) huge screens (I’m not sure what kind of screen was) and covered whole stage. It was the biggest screen that I had ever seen in my life; It was bigger than the HD score board screen of AT&T Park. And the picture quality was crystal clear.

It was my college days (around 1993-1997) when I listened to Metallica most. To tell the truth, I don’t have much knowledge of Metallica after 2000. I was really happy to listen to the drum and guitar solo of Master of Puppets live. The intro of One with bullets of laser was fantastic. The encore with Enter Sandman and Battery was thrilling.

However, my best moment was with Unforgiven because I believe it is the most suitable song for my country Korea nowadays. I want to close this post with ‘the’ part of Unforgiven that I want to tell ‘them.’

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never be.
Never see.
Won’t see what might have been.

What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Never free.
Never me.
So I dub thee unforgiven.

PS: One more thing I want to mention is the photo/video policy of the event. It was totally photo and video free event (at least no policy was noticed). I think only events in Japan or Japanese artists do not allow photo taking in the event. I guess it might be related with many business issues but I think it is more beneficial to artists to let fans take photos and make it spreading at the live. Because the time has changed and the most lucrative business is the live itself: to make audiences come as many as possible.