Babybeard: Adorable Assault on Australia Tour 2024, Melbourne, St Kilda Town Hall, July 1 & 2, 2024 – Live Review

When I first heard that Ladybeard was coming back to Australia in a new group named Babybeard, I just knew that I had to see what their 2024 Adorable Assault on Australia Tour entailed.

I had first discovered Ladybeard through the anime and cosplay community when I used to cosplay myself. I vividly remember witnessing a solo show that Ladybeard performed in Melbourne at the Spiegeltent in Collingwood. Impressing with his charisma, kawaii fashion style, his passion for Japanese culture, and his uniqueness, I have been keenly following Ladybeard’s journey since and relished in the thought of his Australian return and how that would play out.

Formed by Ladybeard in 2020, despite being a great Australian export to Japan, this tour marked the J-Pop/J-Rock group’s first visit to our shores. Proudly presented by Hai Entertainment, the tour is more of a mini kawaii community festival event with Babybeard as the headliner.

Over two nights on Monday the 1st and Tuesday the 2nd of July, the Adorable Assault on Australia Tour was held in Melbourne at St Kilda Town Hall. Supported by various Australian talents which included anime rock cover Melbourne band Hoka no Tea Time who aced their set over two nights despite only playing two songs, super cute Brisbane idol group A-Muse Project that had their own catchy original tunes and choreography to share, and American kawaii idol Paida hailing from Texas or ‘Space City’ who slayed with her sass and stage presence, plus her song ‘Planet Killer’ has been on repeat on my Spotify playlist ever since seeing her live.

After a talented and entertaining line-up, it was time for the main event and as Suzi, Mahri and Ladybeard stepped onto the stage in their super cute matching outfits. In an instant, Babybeard conjured cheers from the intimate room, visually and vocally impressing with their infectiously adorable yet feisty and fierce unique charm.

Songs performed throughout Babybeard’s set consisted of throwback tune ‘Nippon Manju’ from Ladybeard’s Ladybaby days, a Babymetal cover of ‘PA PA YA!!’, and original songs which included ‘NIPPON KARA KONNICHIWA’, ‘PIENNIZER’, ‘Twisted Kaiju Tale’ and ‘OPTISQUAD’. Admittedly, ‘Nippon Manju’ was a favourite due to its nostalgia alone and had audiences first pumping and dancing with glee. Babybeard’s choreography was mesmerising and although Ladybeard is the obvious centre of the group, the group’s songs have been composed and choreographed such in a way to still give fellow Babybeard members Suzu and Mahri the opportunity to shine as well.

If the cuteness and hardcore overload wasn’t enough to entertain you, Ladybeard made sure to remind you that he hadn’t forgotten about his wrestling roots. Yes, this large screamy and smiley kawaii idol is also a professional wrestler! So, when the group were ‘rudely interrupted’ and Ladybeard was challenged, he never hesitated to show his doubters who’s boss, even making use of his hair to execute some appropriately timed sassy hair flicks. Who knew pigtails would make surprisingly great weapons to inflict pain? Thankfully useful in Ladybeard’s case in defence against his unexpected opponents. The wrestling fight sequence was as entertaining as it was hilarious, particularly on night two where the ‘clean shaven’ wrestler was given a beard by Suzu and Mahri, which had the Melbourne audience cackling.

When Babybeard weren’t performing, they were showcasing their personalities during the Q&A portion of the evening. Suzu is just as sweet and cute as I imagined and Mahri was a lot cooler and sassier than I expected which I loved. During the second show, the group even tried to do a Tim Tam Slam together. Ladybeard being Australian was no stranger to the delicious chocolate treat but kindly instructed the girls and translated for them throughout all the same.

Overall, the Adorable Assault on Australia Melbourne visit was a super fun filled vibrant showcase of colour, personalities, fight sequences and music. It was great to see dedicated Ladybeard fans gather to support his new group Babybeard, while for many, this would be the very first time being exposed to the Japanese idol and essentially Japanese idol culture. I also appreciated seeing how many dedicated patrons made the effort of bringing their own lightsticks to enhance the experience.

Merchandise wise, there were plenty of affordable items available from the support performers and the main act. While you could preorder a tour t-shirt as sadly the merchandise did not arrive on time, there was also an opportunity available to meet Babybeard, get a polaroid photo taken and a slip signed by the members as a keepsake of the experience, which many leaped at the chance to partake in. I too had the pleasure of meeting the members and they were simply delightful!

Accomplishing their goal of subjecting Australian audiences to a super cute and bold assault on the senses, Babybeard thoroughly impressed over two nights in Melbourne and I genuinely look forward to their return to our fair city soon. I would be surprised if anyone left not a converted fan or an even more passionate fan then before, after being exposed to their undeniable charm and talents. I for one left their gigs smiling.

Presented by Hai Entertainment, Babybeard is currently touring Australia as part of the 2024 Adorable Assault on Australia Tour. They performed in Melbourne at St Kilda Town Hall on July 1st and 2nd, head to Sydney on July 3rd and 5th at Paddo RSL, and conclude the tour in Brisbane at Hanrahan Theatre on July 6th.
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Photography by Grant Alexander.

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