Words and Photos by Jose Serrato

The highly anticipated BABYKLOK Tour kicked off this week in Texas and if you didn’t already have tickets, you missed out on a show that had sold out way before the tour started. BABYMETAL and DETHKLOK joined forces on an end of summer tour that will take them across the country for the next six weeks. Dallas fans braved the 100 degree heat and stood in a line that wrapped into the parking lot of South Side Ballroom on Thursday night. 

It’s been 10 long years since DETHKLOK released new material, but everyones favorite animated metal band are back and the wait is finally over. Along with the new album, Dethalbum IV, co-creator Brendon Small wrote and directed the new film, Metalocalypse: Army of the Doomstar, as well that will also include a soundtrack release. Two albums and a full length movie were released within days of each other a couple weeks ago. It only made sense that a tour had to happen.

Other than a few one off shows, DETHKLOK haven’t been on a full on tour since 2012. I had no idea what to expect as I walked into the venue that was already filled up as soon as doors opened. Walking into the main room I passed the merch table that was surrounded with fans buying up everything they could. It’s not often I see this venue completely filled this early in the night. There was definitely an excitement in the air. Making my way through the crowd, I finally ended up at the soundboard area where I would photograph the show from. I didn’t know why we were shooting from this far back at first, but as soon as the lights went out, I knew the reason.

The giant screen behind the band started up with a clip asking if DETHKLOK was back. Well, are they? The crowd erupted to ensure that yes indeed, DETHKLOK is back! The government type characters asking this question continued by saying the number of DETHKLOK fans are increasing and they must be stopped. We all know they can’t be. The band quickly made their way onto the stage and broke into the song “Deththeme” from the expanded edition of The Dethalbum release. Synced with the animation, Small and crew ripped through 17 very loud and brutal songs. There were as many horns in the air as there were phones from fans who have waited a decade for this night.  

While DETHKLOK were off the road, Japanese kawaii metal pioneers BABYMETAL have spent the past decade making their way up the metal scene around the world. Are they metal? Are they J-Pop? Is this theater? Yes, to all of it. With their unique take on metal, BABYMETAL have gotten the attention from the midwest metalhead to metal royalty like Rob Halford. 

Straight from the METALVERSE dimension, the band released their fourth full length album, The Other One, this past March. With a masked band behind them, SU-METAL, MOAMETAL and MOMOMETAL hit the stage to a giant roar from the crowd that almost immediately had crowd surfers coming over the barricade. Fans were engaged in a way I’ve never witnessed before. Screaming with their hands in the air, the crowd gave the entire band all the energy they needed to get through 11 blistering songs. Perfectly choreographed, the show was an experience to remember. Even with a language barrier, the band was able to engage with the Dallas crowd just as well or even better than American bands. The faces of those up against the front barricade told me everything I needed to know about what this band means to their fans. BABYMETAL is here to stay for another decade and beyond.