As One OK Rock brings the North American leg of their “Eye of the Storm” tour to a close, I have finally recovered enough from my experience to give you the rundown on the show and how amazing it was. Honestly, since I have seen the quartet live once before, I went into this knowing what level of live talent to expect, and I can tell you 100 percent that I was not disappointed. Admittedly, I had no idea who either of the opening acts of the show was, though it seemed like there were quite a few younger people in the audience who were excited to see Waterparks. Maybe I’m just “getting old,” but the band just didn’t quite strike a chord with me and I resigned myself to waiting politely and patiently for One OK Rock to hit the stage. Once my guys came out and started right in on the crowd with their anthemic “Push Back,” I was right at home.
One OK Rock just has a WAY with a setlist. From the moment they take the stage all the way through the encore, the audience is fully engaged, right there with the band on the musical journey they lead everyone through. Even during slow songs and calmer moments of the show, there’s just SOMETHING about the energy in the building, a connection, and it seems like everyone is on the same wavelength throughout the entire performance. Never once was there a lull, and luckily, no technical issues came up to interrupt anything as the band played their set. I was extremely pleased to hear a few older songs from earlier albums peppered throughout the show this time around, including the band’s song “The Beginning,” which has been one of my favorites since it released in 2012. I love that despite the band’s growing popularity in America, they are continuing to play some of their old tracks that feature more Japanese lyrics.
For me, the show hit the emotional highlight of the night when they played “Take What You Want” from their previous album, “Ambitions.” That song has a lot of personal depth for me, and hearing it live after the last year I have lived gave me some closure on a few personal issues I didn’t realize I still needed. I know that I was not alone being “in my feelings.” A few of my concert buddies definitely had their own personal moments during the show. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll never stop saying it: One OK Rock just has a way of connecting with people that transcends the level of most musicians of our time. My connection to them is something extremely personal and special, and I feel so lucky to have caught them on tour again this time around. Another highlight was when they performed their single, “Stand Out Fit In” and each member took a moment to explain the song, saying it is a track about being different makes you feel “not good enough” but that you should be happy to just be yourself, even if it isn’t easy. I think people need to hear that message. I’m glad they are spreading that kind of positivity to their audience around the world.
Even after the show, the crowd didn’t want to leave. People lingered for a while in the building before making their way outside, shooed half-heartedly away by the security team, who I would like to add, were AMAZING. I’ve been to a lot of concerts and events and I can honestly say that the security team at the Hard Rock in Orlando were so accommodating and mindful of the audience from the time we all got in line outside to the time we left, so shout out to a great staff!
I’m so glad that my second time seeing One OK Rock was just as lively and fulfilling as the first, and I hope that I will manage to catch them many more times as their popularity across the globe continues to grow.