With ONE OK ROCK announced to play at Warped Tour this year, everyone wondered if they would come all the way out to California just for a short set or if they would make something more out of it. Then in early May, they unsurprisingly announced a U.S. and Mexico tour, and VIP tickets were going on sale in two hours.
I knew I would have already moved back States in July but my job situation at that time was uncertain. Even so, I couldn’t miss ONE OK ROCK coming to my home state on tour so I immediately contacted some friends to see if they would be up for a road trip. Thankfully even with the time difference I was able to get in touch with everyone and we decided to do Sacramento and Ventura in addition to Warped Tour in Mountain View which we had already planned on going to. My friend was able to book the VIP tickets for Sacramento and I got the ones for Ventura. The VIP tickets surprisingly didn’t sell out as fast this time, perhaps because they were going on sale just a couple hours after being announced.
I flew from Texas to Sacramento on Thursday, the day before the concert. Stayed the night at my friend’s house which was only 15 minutes away from the venue. The next day, we hit up the supermarket to grab something for lunch and a few supplies for the upcoming road trip. We got to the venue at around 11 and they were in the process of unloading the equipment from the truck out in front. I was dropped off along with my Canadian friend so we could line up while my other two friends went to do some other things. As we passed by, Charlie asked us from inside the truck, “You wanna help?” I immediately agreed to it but of course he was joking and we all just smiled. After taking a photo of the sign in front of the venue, one of the staff people told us we had to line up across the street. There were already several people lined up over there. We joined them and tried to huddle under the shade of the one tree that was there since it was really sunny out. I conversed with those near me and it turned out that we would be seeing a lot more of each other throughout the weekend. At 1, the staff put out the merch ATM in front of the venue. It was selling a “dad hat” for $30 and a fanny pack for $25. The first person who bought from it got a VIP pass prize. This was the only “hidden prize” in the ATM. When I went over to take some photos, I could hear the band rehearsing inside. The staff reminded me that the line was across the street after I hung around a little too long. By this time my other friends had come back and at around 2, we switched out so my Canadian friend and I could rest in the car until just before 4:30 when VIP were told we had to be ready. They didn’t check names until about 5, and didn’t let us into the venue until after 5:30. When checking us in, they gave us the VIP badge and signed CD. The CDs were signed in gold this time instead of silver.
Once inside the venue, I went and bought the new shirts that they came out with for this tour and then joined my friends in line for our meet and greet. I was happy to see the backdrop since they didn’t use it in Portland. Our host for this M&G was a woman named Nat, and she explained the rules to us. No poses, no autographs, and she would try to take as many photos as she could.
I have to say the meet and greet this time was a bit disappointing because it was so fast. We barely had 10 seconds to talk with them. I had a bunch of things I wanted to say but didn’t really get to say anything at all because it went by so quickly. I said hi to each of the guys as I hugged them. I told them that I also saw them in Vancouver and Taka was like, “Oh really?” I tried to explain that I was the one who gave a present to Tomoya but the staff cut me off and rushed me to take the photo. I put my arm around Taka’s waist, sort of hoping that he’d put his arm on my shoulder or something but that didn’t happen. ^^; I would have asked him to if I had time, but again, everything went by so fast. I don’t know why but Ryota always looks stoned in M&G photos, LoL. He looked less than enthused in all my friends’ photos as well as mine. I thanked them after my photo was taken and then went to claim a spot at the barricade.
I was positioned towards the right of center, similar to where I was in Vancouver. My two friends were next to me to the right while another took a seat in the back. I asked one of my friends (who is taller) to switch with me after the opening act because I knew the girl next to me was going to be the type of fan who really crowds people. Her arms were all over the place. It’s fine to have fun and enjoy yourself at a concert, but please try to be mindful of those around you as well so that you don’t ruin other people’s enjoyment. Anyway, I was definitely right about her blocking views because she still managed to ruin a number of my photos even when there was a person between us.
Weathers was a very entertaining opener. I had only listened to one of their songs beforehand to get a feel for what hey were like. They had a Killers vibe (not a bad thing) and their vocalist is really fun to watch. Unlike ONE OK ROCK’s music however, I wasn’t really able to connect with the lyrics of their songs. Still, I think they provided some quality entertainment leading up to ONE OK ROCK.
After Weathers finished up, the OOR crew began preparations for the main show. At around 8:45, the background music died down and the same opening music from the North American Tour started playing. Lots of cheers as Tomoya took his place behind the drums, then came out Ryota and Toru. They jammed a bit before Taka came running onto the stage and started with Push Back. Excitement levels were at max as the audience sang along. And finally, I think we may have seen the last of those fringe pants, LoL. Taka wore a black tshirt, the same one he wore at the BBQ the previous day, which he also wore during the meet and greet. He only changed his pants.
Next up was We Are. This song hits you emotionally on so many levels, no matter how many times you hear it. Taka had taken a bit of a tumble in Portland a couple nights before and in a photo the day after, he had an ankle brace on. I had actually wanted to ask him if he was OK during the M&G but didn’t get a chance to. It was pretty clear that it did have an effect on him though because he didn’t jump off his little platform and do the splits mid air like he usually does for this song. Throughout the entire concert, he jumped around the stage but didn’t do any large leaps off his platform.
Huge smiles on Taka’s face as he introduced the band while the introduction to Taking Off played. I hadn’t heard Taking Off outside Japan yet so I was excited that it was added to the setlist for this tour. Lots of jumping was involved. During Unforgettable, Taka started having some issues with his in-ear monitor. Between one of the verses, he went to the mic set up near Tomoya’s drums to give the staff some directions and I’m guessing that along with the trouble he had hearing, he lost his place in the song and couldn’t sing when the song picked up again. You could see he was frustrated because he mouthed the word “fuck.” His face quickly turned to smiles as the crowd cheered him on though and he tapped the side of his head with his index finger to jog his memory and thanked the crowd before starting to sing again when the next verse began.
For Clock Strikes, I think we may have a new record for the long tone. He averaged about 23 seconds up until now but while I haven’t timed it properly, I think it’s possible he may have gone 25 or 26 seconds this time! Either way, it’s always an experience hearing him keep that long tone. Wow. Next was Head High and while Taka had mispronounced “fly” as “fry” every single time during the previous tour, he was able to pronounce it correctly this time. It doesn’t look like they’ll be doing the long, slow intro for Take What You Want anymore. I suppose it makes sense, especially overseas, since it’s hard to get the crowd completely silent anyway. Stand Out Fit In started in the same manner as before with each of the members saying a little intro. Everyone except Taka has a little cheat sheet taped at their feet next to the setlist, which is kind of cute. I really wish Taka would do the “oh oh ohhhh oh” before the final verses like he did at the orchestra concert instead of hyping the crowd to jump. I personally think that that part is one of the best parts of the song.
The instrumental was the same as the one used last time, but that’s fine. It’s a really cool jam. I wonder if they will have a new, longer one for the Japan Tour or if they will keep this one. After, the intro to Giants began playing. This song debuted during the European Tour in May (and the setlist is the same as Europe’s), and it replaces Grow Old Die Young. I like this song fine but I have to admit that it’s kind of weak live because the oh oh’s with the crowd doesn’t sound as nice. Maybe my opinion will change after I hear in Japan when there are tens of thousands of people doing it, but as it is, with the smaller crowd it feels kind of lackluster.
I love Tomoya’s drumming at the beginning of I Was King because he’s so into it. Change was once again the Japanese version. I wonder how they decide on whether to play the Japanese or English version. Regardless of which version though, the audience knows all the lyrics. Ryota came to our side of the stage and there was so much cheering for him. He smiled a lot and it was really cute. Tons of cheers when The Beginning started playing. Again between verses, Taka gave some directions to the backstage staff to make adjustments to the sound. He had the audience sing the “nigirishimeta~” verse. I like how he removes one of his in-ear monitors to actually listen to the crowd sing.
Taka hyped the crowd again before playing Jaded. There was lots of singing and jumping. This is the song that people in the front on Toru’s side need to be aware of because between verses, he will squirt water into the audience. Before he would put water in his mouth and spit it out but this time he squirt the water directly from the bottle. Either someone told him that spitting on people isn’t really a good idea or he’s realized that he has more range with the bottle, LoL. My friend and I got splashed, and Toru actually got the front of the stage pretty wet too so there were staff rushing over to wipe it up with a towel so that no one slips. More cheers for Ryota when he made his way over to our side again.
Last song of the main set was Mighty Long Fall. Yessss! They had neglected to play this last time so I was happy that it was added. Toru spit on us at the beginning… Um, yeah. Taka called for a wall of death but there wasn’t much room to part ways at the front. There was a lot of bumping into each other once the wall closed in but nothing major.
The encore was of course Wasted Nights. I swear, this is the ultimate shower song. It feels so good to belt out the chorus. Taka actually messed up a little near the beginning on the line “be afraid that you didn’t try” because he went up on “try” instead of down. As usual, the members threw picks and water bottles into the audience at the end. Tomoya threw his drum sticks and Taka his towel. I’ve noticed that Tomoya no longer uses stick grips on his sticks… I wonder why.
Well, that’s one down. Two more to go!
- Push Back
- We Are
- Taking Off
- Clock Strikes
- Head High
- Take What You Want
- Stand Out Fit In
- I Was King
- Change (Japanese ver.)
- The Beginning
- Mighty Long Fall