It’s the “final” year of Vans Warped Tour and ONE OK ROCK was invited to play. Warped Tour is special because it was the first tour that the band went on in the United States back in 2014. While tickets at 80 some bucks a pop was pretty expensive to essentially go see one band, it was happening in Mountain View which is practically my backyard so I couldn’t miss out.
When I first downloaded the Warped Tour app for the schedule, I was so excited because it said that ONE OK ROCK would be performing on the main Vans “Off The Wall” stage. Later on it would be changed to the Monster Energy Stage which was a bummer, and then it was changed a second time to the Full Sail Stage. It was rather disappointing that the boys got bumped from the main stage. If the scheduling and such weren’t finalized, I would have rather they not write which stage they’re playing on and just announce it at the same time as the time table.
In the morning my friends and I hit up the supermarket to get snacks and such for the drive down to Ventura later in the day. We reached the Shoreline Amphitheatre at around 12:30 but stayed in the car for a while since we knew ONE OK ROCK wouldn’t be playing until 3:30. This day I wore my Eye of the Storm North American Tour shirt because it has the band’s name written in large letters on the back. I wanted as many people as possible to see the band’s name, even if they were behind me.
We went in search of the band’s merch booth upon entering the venue. As written on the official account’s IG story, their merch was being sold at the official merchandise booth in front of the main stage. They just had three shirts for sale, the two new designs for this tour and the white shirt with the Eye of the Storm album art. The merch ATM was also set up there. After walking a couple times around the entire venue, we couldn’t find any tent for just ONE OK ROCK. It’s a shame since I was hoping to get to talk to them for more than 10 seconds and maybe get a few autographs.
We found our way to the Full Sail Stage and I was surprised at how large it was. There was tons of seating and much of it was in the shade, too, which was nice. Unfortunately I later realized that the stage was split into two, the Full Sail Stage and the Blackcraft Stage. They would alternate between stages so when one side was playing, the other side was setting up. It’s too bad the whole stage couldn’t be used, but with all of the seating (and shade!) that was available, it was still a chance for ONE OK ROCK to have lots of people listen to their music, even if they weren’t there to see them specifically. I have to note that the sound here was absolutely deafening. I’m so glad I brought my concert earplugs with me. Without them, I would probably be half deaf for a day or two.
My friends and I waited about an hour and a half for ONE OK ROCK’s performance. We sat down near the front and made our way closer to the stage as time passed. We took positions before The Vandals, the band playing before OOR, would take the stage. Didn’t get barricade but we were behind a couple who said they were leaving after The Vandals, and they agreed to let us have their spot at the barricade after. While the other bands were playing, we could see the guys roaming around in the back now and then. At one point, Taka was talking with John Feldmann. They hugged and Taka was all smiles.
For a bunch of old guys, I was not expecting The Vandals to attract the kind of crowd they did. There was lots of moshing and the people behind us to our right were quite unapologetic about bumping into anyone they could. There was one guy in particular who seemed to do it on purpose which was really obnoxious. We braved this rowdy crowd for our boys though, and it was so worth it.
It was funny when OOR brought out their equipment because whereas all the other bands only had their one instrument, OOR had multiple guitars and everything– the whole shebang! The only thing they didn’t have was their lighting setup. From where we were up front, we could see what their setlist was going to be and we were all excited that they would be playing Taking Off and Mighty Long Fall.
When 3:30 hit, the familiar intro to their Eye of the Storm Tour started playing and we cheered as the members came out on stage. Taka was wearing a Metallica shirt and Nike shorts. This look is so nostalgic now! As soon as the boys took the stage, a bunch of photographers came out of nowhere. There were seriously at least 12 in the photo pit. The other bands only had maybe two or three people shooting them, so it was quite obvious that the boys had gained a lot of attention. I even heard one photographer saying to another that ONE OK ROCK puts on a really great show. I was so proud to hear that but at the same time, all the photographers made it kind of hard to see, LoL. Two or three of them had video cameras so I hope we get to see some of that footage soon.
The set started off with Push Back. It was nice hearing Taka introduce themselves as, “We are ONE OK ROCK from Japan!” We cheered so hard for the boys and sang every single word of every song. Taka head banged along with Ryota during the interlude. Since I was up in front, I couldn’t see what was going on behind or how many people were watching, but we could hear the crowd sing back, “We are! We aaaare!” during the next song. We jumped and sang loudly during Taking Off. I think this is a great song for festivals or situations where the band wants to capture a new audience.
Before the next song, Taka thanked the crowd for being there and expressed his appreciation. He reminisced about how their first Warped Tour was in 2014 and how they played on the small Beatport Stage which was a DJ stage. He was happy that they were now playing on a larger stage. He encouraged the audience to sing along to the next song if they knew the lyrics, and if not, just jump or do whatever. He introduced Stand Out Fit In and Toru started playing the guitar intro. I really like the intro to this song, and how Taka always says “let’s go” before the drum beat begins. I hope this song connected with many of the people who were listening to it for the first time.
Taka continued to assert his dominance on stage with I Was King. After, with a foot atop his platform, the familiar three taps on the cymbals signaled the beginning of The Beginning. Cue a lot of cheering from the crowd. Taka was all over the stage, jumping around and even getting up really close to the audience on the side and standing up on the speakers that divided the stage in half. It was cute how he was kind of shaking booty in front of Tomoya’s drums during the interlude. The synchronized head banging with Toru and Ryota near the end is always cool to see up close.
Taka made sure the audience was still alive before diving into Mighty Long Fall. This is another great song to make new fans. Tensions built up as we got to the chorus. We all let loose during the chorus and Taka was not holding back either. This song is so much fun live. The last song was Wasted Nights, of course. I’m amazed by Taka’s vocal abilities every time I hear him belt out those powerful notes. Tons of cheering as the boys finished up their set and Taka took his usual video of the audience.
I’m so proud of these guys. They put on an amazing show in front of a large audience and I sincerely hope they gained many new fans this day. They deserve the world. With many people here probably listening to the band for the first time, I somehow felt it was my duty to cheer as loudly as I could for the boys and make sure people knew that this band is loved. All the singing really took the wind out of me though and I was so tired after, even more so than after the concert in Sacramento the night before.
My friends and I headed out after ONE OK ROCK’s set since we didn’t want to arrive in Ventura too late. That’s two down, and only one more until our tour was over.