Rocking hard for their Singapore fans

GROUNDED ROCKERS: Before taking their leave, band members (from left to right), Ryota, Taka, Tomoya and Toru took a few minutes to walk across the stage repetitively, thanking the audience. (Photo: Aloysius Lim/LAMC Productions)

After almost one and a half years since their last show here, a crowd of 3,000 fans welcomed back Japanese rock band One Ok Rock for their Who Are You?? Who Are We?? tour at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel on Nov 22.

The night was scorching hot, yet the energy from both the crowd and the band was like no other. As the band’s introduction song boomed across the speakers, the crowd went wild as the members – leader and guitarist Yamashita Toru, bassist Kohama Ryota, drummer Kanki Tomoya and vocalist Morita Takahiro, better known as Taka to fans – walked onto the stage.

The band then kick started the show on a high note with Ending Story??, Nothing Helps and Deeper Deeper –all taken from their most recent album 人生×僕= (Jinsei kakete boku wa). As much as I wanted the band to keep playing songs from their new album, I was elated when they started singing songs from their previous two albums.

One song I was glad to hear was Let’s Take It Someday that is taken off from the band’s fifth album Zankyo Reference. First timers at the concert might have been taken aback when Taka asked the crowd to squat down and jump when he counted to one. This is routine for Taka, who asks this of the crowd every time the song is performed. It is the one thing that raises the concert to a whole new level.

Though the venue was already packed like a can of sardines, everyone tried their best to squat down. For a moment, the audience managed to get a glimpse of the band as we waited for what happened next. Then, the band started the introductory riff of the song and at the peak of the riff; Taka shouted “Three, Two, One, JUMP!”

With that, the whole crowd jumped up with fists in the air shouting to the lyrics of the song. I felt as if I was caught up in a raging storm as the ground literally shook under my feet with the people around me jumping and bumping into each other.

During their short breaks, the band took some effort to speak in English to get across the message of how appreciative they were of the huge crowd.

For an hour and 45 minutes, the band performed a total of 16 songs, wowing the crowd with their synergy and sound, from Taka’s dynamic vocals and Toru’s sleek guitar moves to the insanely powerful mixture of bass and drums that shook the ground each time Ryota plucked a string or when Tomoya stepped on his bass drum.  Apart from the heat and partial deafness I had after the concert, I was satisfied.

The concert ended on a soft note with their heartfelt song Wherever you are as an encore. Though everyone in the audience was reluctant to part, fans of One Ok Rock need not worry as Taka mentioned that they will definitely be back soon to play another show for their Singapore fans.