How many times can I say “This was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to!” before that statement becomes redundant?
I do say it about a lot of shows; perhaps it is just because I am a music lover and I love a live atmosphere more than anything as it gives an artist the chance to truly show who they are (or who they aren’t in some cases) but this time I can honestly say it’s true!
The ONE OK ROCK concert in Los Angeles on February 7th, 2014 was one of the best concerts I have ever been to!
Rarely ever at concerts am I fully drawn in by an artist, to feel like I am encapsulated by their talent but these four lovely gentlemen from Japan managed to do that! With each members individual talent combined with their stage presence it was impossible to ever look away from the stage! At one point they even had me in tears. During “Clock Strikes” (one of my favorite OOR songs & the first song I ever heard from them) there was a bit where the crowd was singing and Taka, the lead singer, looked out over the entire crowd and he seemed surprised and amazed; like he was amazed that all of us were there for them! The emotion in his face, the power of the crowd’s collective voices – it honestly overwhelmed me and I felt so proud that it moved me to tears! Only the third concert that has ever made me tear up!
Unfortunately this concert was posted with many “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED” signs and they were serious about it because they were filming the, so for once I didn’t risk taking out my camera or phone during the show. Especially when they made an announcement threatening that “if we see a camera, we will end the show without warning!!” I really didn’t want to risk it, and I did not want to be that person for everyone else in the crowd! Plus I did not fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles for a show to end early because of the audience!
Although I must say that it was nice to enjoy an entire performance with my own eyes and not through the screen of my camera for once! I couldn’t be more glad that One Ok Rock was that band too!
In all honesty this night was a roller coaster of emotions, music has that effect on me! Starting from just getting to LA that afternoon to getting ready for the concert to then going straight to the concert that night, it was a whirlwind of a day but I don’t regret any of that one bit! It was a lot of fun that way. Doors to the show opened at 7pm with music at 8, and for some reason we decided to not leave our hotel until around 6pm. By the time our ride got us to the venue the queue was ridiculously long and I’m pretty sure the end of the line made almost a full loop back to the door! But what else should we have expected from a sold out show really?
Speaking of the number of people in the crowd I must comment on how amazing this crowd was. The entire audience was perfect, and I mean that in the sense of they weren’t excessively screaming, or singing too loudly and everyone cheered or clapped at the right times. It seemed that everyone in the crowd had the same mentality, that we were all there to see and hear One Ok Rock. Being able to hear Taka’s voice and not someone behind singing loudly and off key was ideal! Also being able to watch bassist Ryota and guitarist Toru’s antics and incredible performances without worrying about being mobbed by unruly fans was good too. I can hold my own in a pit but sometimes I just don’t want to! Unfortunately from my view I wasn’t able to see Tomoya, the drummer very much…the sides of the stage had him blocked off from me.
However during the band’s talk to the audience I don’t think I will ever forget Tomoya yelling, “I want an American girlfriend!” and then the ensuing shrieks from all the girls in the crowd. As well as all the other ridiculously awesome stupid things these 4 men said. I think the English word they know best would probably be the “F word” – let’s be honest about that. I’m not sure how many times they said, “This is f***ing awesome” and all sorts of variations of that!
The setlist for the night was amazing as well, containing all my favorite songs and some of songs I didn’t know. I will not guarantee this is 100% accurate as I recreated it off my own memory and other accounts, but I’m pretty sure the LA setlist for a night I’ll never forget is as follows;
-Introduction ~Where Idiot Should Go~
-Jibun Rock (じぶん Rock)
-Answer is Near
-Be the Light
-Let’s Take it Someday
-Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer (完全感覚Dreamer)
-Never Let This Go
-Wherever You Are (Encore)
All in all, ONE OK ROCK truly, well truly they rocked! I can only say it like that! I know that for the rest of my life I will be able to think of the fact that I was in the audience the night ONE OK ROCk played their first ever show in the United States and that…that’s a pretty good feeling!