By Eric Farrales
I have been to a good amount of concerts in the past but the most recent I attended was ONE OK ROCK’s 2017 North American Tour which took place at The Warfield in San Francisco. ONE OK ROCK’s style is much more different than typical Japanese rock music but rather a more Americanized punk rock feel, which reminds me of my high school days when I listened to a lot of it. Since the venue wasn’t too far, my friends and I drove to the Warfield in heavy rain.
For those that are unfamiliar with the band, ONE OK ROCK is a Japanese rock band that started back in 2005 at which they were at first an underground indie rock band. As the years went by, they began to slowly rise in popularity both in Japan and worldwide. Some might recognize their songs as featured in the live-action movies of Ruroni Kenshin and the Black Rock Shooter game for PlayStation Portable. Although originating in Japan, the band recently signed with American music label, Fueled By Ramen LLC which is home to Panic! At the Disco, 3OH!3, Against The Current, Twenty One Pilots and Paramore.
The concert venue had two lines that divided the VIP from the General Admission and Balcony attendees. Luckily, my friends and I got a good spot in General Admission as the line began to build up. Getting inside the venue wasn’t as chaotic as I thought it would be since everyone was entering in an orderly fashion. This venue particularly didn’t allow bags of any sort.
OLN revs up the crowd
As we got into the standing pit area for the concert, there were already good amount of people inside the area but it wasn’t as bad as the stage was still visible. The entire area was pretty spacious which was good for the acoustics to reach other areas of the auditorium, as how many concert venues should be. Opening for One Ok Rock was Our Last Night, which was an American band and their performance roused and warmed the crowd with original song selections, including a stellar cover of Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive”. After their amazing set, it was prime time for ONE OK ROCK to take the stage.
Tune up to tune out
It wasn’t long until each member came on stage and began warming up by tuning their instruments. The entire venue went crazy as Taka, the lead vocals, took his rightful place. The band performed numerous songs that ranged from their newest album, “Ambitions,” to a solid amount of their older songs. What was really surprising was they also performed their Japanese songs despite it being a North American Tour and having just released a U.S. album. It was a great treat for the attendees to hear them perform their classic songs as well.
This concert was similar to their first ever American concert in Los Angeles which took place at Club Nokia back in 2014, only this time I wasn’t in the balcony area and since, they have risen more in popularity. I found this show more enjoyable as the feeling of euphoria seeing one of my most anticipated bands up close and personal is nigh unbeatable. I would have gotten more of the experience if I had gotten the full VIP experience, including a meet-and-greet and all that jazz. Security was perfect. At no point during the entire performance did the crowd get out of hand.
Overall, I would say that this was one of the best concerts that I have attended by far. It was so surreal to me and I was moved by every song they played. The wave of feels was spectacular to say the least. I definitely look forward to their next performance in America as they seem to come almost every year.