ONE OK ROCK played a total of 19 cities this summer across North America on the Vans Warped Tour. Their last stop in Holmdel, NJ was a bittersweet one, the last date on them being on tour.
As is tradition with Warped Tour, you don’t find out what time bands are playing until the day of the show – which means, your band could be the first band on right after doors open at 11am, or the last band on around 8pm! It’s all up to chance. On July 6th, ONE OK ROCK had a 30-minute set time starting at 12:35pm. ONE OK ROCK fans entered the venue and headed straight to the Beatport Stage or the merchandise tent directly across from the stage. The merch tent also let fans know the band would be signing autographs directly after their set at 1:15pm, and the tent itself would be closing shop by 3:30pm.
The great thing about Warped Tour is, everyone can experience all different kinds of music. For those who are not familiar with Warped Tour, multiple bands perform at the same time on stages all over the arena where it’s taking place. There is never a dull moment.
As both Japanese and American crew, working together, finished setting up ONE OK ROCK’s equipment, all crew guys stood at the edge of the stage, shirtless and sunburnt, arms around each other and took a bow. The audience clapped for them. This wasn’t the only show of comradery – the members of ONE OK ROCK clearly made friends with multiple bands too. Their many American band friends tweeted about ONE OK ROCK’s set time and stage and asked people to go out and support their friends, especially on their last show of the tour.
Throughout ONE OK ROCK’s stay on Warped Tour, they or their new friends would tweet and instagram photos together. Despite the language barrier, the American and Japanese bands could become friends, showing music is truly a universal language.
With a short set time, the band didn’t leave a moment to rest. They played one heart pounding rock song after another, captivating their audience and those lucky enough to walk by at the time of their set. The limited space between the stage and the sound tent was packed early on. With a sound comparable to that of American rock, yet having their own flair from Japan, it’s easy to see why on lookers would be curious to stop and listen to this virtually unknown (at least, in America) band.
Vocalist Taka thrilled the crowd when he jumped from the stage and onto the barrier, bringing him face to face with fans. He sang directly to them, and even held a hand or two. It was a very exciting moment for fans, getting so close to an artist from so far away.
Once back on stage during one of his MCs, Taka said, “We live on different sides of the Earth, but because of music, we met each other.” As he spoke about how this was their last show of Warped Tour, the sadness in his voice and the expressions on guitarist Toru, bassist Ryota, and drummer Tomoyo was evident. Touring the summer across America is an opportunity not many bands get, and ONE OK ROCK was clearly thankful to have met so many new fans in each city.
Along the journey, they made many new friends in numerous bands – can fans perhaps hope for a tour of an American band with ONE OK ROCK on the bill? Time will tell. ONE OK ROCK will be back in America playing KNOTFEST in October in San Bernardino, CA.
For more tour dates in North American, South America, and Europe, check their homepage: http://www.oneokrock.com/english/#liveinfo
Stuck in the Middle