One Ok Rock

Venue: Fort Canning Park, Singapore
Date: 23rd January 2016
Promoter: LAMC Productions
Review by: N. Asyraf
Special Thanks: Andre, and the LAMC Productions team

You might not be familiar with ONE OK ROCK yet, but they fill stadiums overseas and it won’t be long before they do the same thing here in the Singapore. Double the size of the crowd attendance when they come here two years ago, I was impressed by how excited the crowd was. It took me back to the days when pop punk was a new found friend and everyone at the shows were excited to be there.

The band opened up with the short instrumental “35xxxv” before vocalist Taka joined them for the upbeat “Take Me to the Top”, both from the band’s latest album. The crowd were really up for the show, full of energy from the very beginning, jumping and screaming along. The band especially, were trying to keep the crowd interaction moving, making sure that everyone had a fun time.

Bassist Ryota had a demeanour that I won’t soon forget – coming out topless (influenced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea) he was really engaged in his performance and made his presence felt. Another little quirk I noticed was that he was constantly sticking out his tongue, particularly after some singing. Guitarist Toru was also happily running around the stage alongside Ryota. However it was Taka who was the real star of the show, his glistening clean vocals sounded immaculate live, just as they do on record.

There were a number of ballads and slower tracks performed such as “Clock Strikes” and “Last Dance” which really put the vocals to the forefront, and rightly so. Their acoustic performance of “Heartache” was one of the real highlights. Striped back to just Taka and Toru on stage, they had the crowd singing along to the chorus which was almost entirely in Japanese, certainly a first time experience for me.

Of course it wasn’t just about the ballads, there were a number of high energy rock songs to really get the crowd moving, from the ska-inspired “The Way Back” to the upbeat “The Beginning” and finally closing the show with “Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer”, after the punky “No Scared”.

Even though the show ended with their final track that left the crowd waving their hands high to the strum of the electric guitars, exhausted fans jumped and wailed at the night sky. Overall, the show left fans wondering how they just spent that night continuously jiving to one of the best rock concerts of their lives.