Dethklok and BABYMETAL at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights, MI

Dethklok and BABYMETAL whip fans into a frenzy with an onslaught of metal on their co-headline BABYKLOK Tour with support from Jason Richardson.

Jason Richardson gets the evening started with a set of guitar wizardry as his fingers blaze a trail across the fretboard. Accompanied by only backing tracks with the drumming, he shows off his technical abilities and makes it look so effortless. Leading with the appropriately titled “Tendinitis,” the sheer number of notes being played is enough to give you tendinitis or at least some muscle cramps. “Ishimura” keeps the energy high before transitioning into a slightly slower song, “Sparrow,” which has a grungier feel to it with plenty of low notes. After another barn burner, “Titan,” he plays “Retrograde” which while still blazing, also features some slower sections and vocals. “Upside Down” finds Jason playing both heavy stuff and then a quieter section. He closes out this amazing set with “Hos Down” which once again showcases his mastery of the guitar with lightning-fast notes, along with more melodic passages. It is quite an impressive opening for the show.

Next up is the metal band BABYMETAL from Japan. The lights dim and an intro video plays that asks, “Are you ready to headbang?”. The crowd erupts as they take the stage and jump right into “BABYMETAL DEATH” with ripping guitars and rapid-fire drumming. Led by the trio of singers, Su-metal, Moametal, and Momometal, they deliver the dance moves while singing and screaming. While the songs are mostly sung in Japanese, the fans do not seem to care as they came to party and are bouncing and waving their arms in the air. The Kami Band of musicians that backs them are top-notch and the sound is dialed in tonight. There is also a large video screen behind them that shows animation throughout their set. Next is “Gimme Chocolate!!” which features some highly choreographed moves and has the singers trading off on vocals.  “Distortion” has pummeling drums with rapid guitar riffs, and even some male backing vocals.

They released a new album, The Other One, in 2023, and “Mirror Mirror” is one of the songs from it. After “BxMxC,” they play the more melodic song “Monochrome” which is also from their latest album. Throughout all the songs, the vocalists are constantly bouncing, dancing, and moving about the stage in mostly synchronized moves. Their energy is infectious, and the fans love it. “Metali!” is a brand-new song which is more upbeat and even gets kind of poppy with the vocals, but make no mistake, it still has plenty of heavy riffs. “Megitsune” has a more symphonic vibe to it. They start winding down their set with “Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!” Before the song, they lead the crowd in lots of headbanging, and during it, a circle pit breaks out and at the end, Su-metal lets out a loud scream. Wrapping up their set is “Road of Resistance” which has tons of guitar squeals and shredding and even gets the crowd singing along. The crowd shows their appreciation with loud cheers and putting up their horns in the air for this high-energy performance.

The lights go off and an introduction video plays before Dethklok takes the stage to deafening cheers and goes right into “Deththeme.” They follow this up with “Briefcase Full of Guts” and “Birthday Dethday,” both from their debut album The Dethalbum from 2007. Dethklok grew out of the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse. It is the brainchild of Brendon Small, who sings and plays lead guitar and is backed by Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan on drums, Nili Brosh on guitar, and Bryan Beller on bass. Visually, the show is highly focused on the animations playing on the display behind them, as the stage is densely lit such that the band is reduced to silhouettes most of the evening. However, the songs are still critical as they accompany the videos and feature extreme guitar shredding, brutal drumming, and thunderous bass, along with guttural vocals. It is a visual and sonic assault on the senses and the crowd is fired up.

Over half of their set is comprised of songs from their debut, with some songs from each of their other albums, and even “The Duel” from The Doomstar Requiem which has Brendon and Nili tearing it up on guitar, while Bryan acts like a conductor. Some of the other songs include “Awaken,” “Bloodlines,” “The Gears,” “Hatredcopter,” “Dethsupport,” and “Aortic Desecration.” The lyrics for many of the songs are often a bit over the top, and the videos tend to lean on the violent side. The fans love it and many sing along. One that gets a great reaction is the song “I Ejaculate Fire” which features just that in the accompanying video. The epic “Thunderhorse” is another song that the fans know well, and they respond with head-banging. Following “Fansong” and “SOS,” they finish it off with “Go into the Water” which once again has the crowd head-banging, waving, and putting their horns up. The band takes a moment to thank the fans and the fans respond with loud cheers and whistles.

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About Gary Pahlow 62 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.