ONE OK ROCK Ambition Asia Tour Singapore Concert Review

Melted faces from the pits to the seats

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This Japanese quintet have come a long way since their debut album in 2007. For the uninitiated, ONE OK ROCK is a Japanese rock band consisting of Takahiro Moriuchi (Taka), Toru Yamashita, Ryota Kohama and Tomoya Kanki. I use the term “Rock “because the band have never had a consistent musical style aside from their base influences, which includes Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and even j-punk pioneers Ellegarden. Each OOR album have their own unique influences, e.g. their latest album Ambitions incorporated musical sensibilities commonly found in American pop-rock acts while their debut album Zeitakubyō drew blood with their edgier punk and post-hardcore sound. Recently signed to Fueled by Ramen (the same label that signed Paramore), OOR have done something that very few contemporary Japanese acts have done: break into the Western consciousness.

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ONE OK ROCK is no stranger in Singapore, this is their 4th concert here in our small island. The made their Singaporean debut in 2012 at *SCAPE as part of their “Start Walking the World Tour” – they played to a small but packed house. Their venues started getting bigger with each progressive Singaporean performance –  the *SCAPE followed by Hard Rock Coliseum and Fort Canning and in their 4th outing, they have finally moved out of venues and into stadiums.

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Unfortunately, there was no opening act to hype the crowd for OOR but the venue DJ’s selection of pop-punk and alternative anthems got the crowd pumped and ready. As the clock struck 8:30, the lights dimmed and the opening bass groove of Ambitions played. The crowd immediately surged forward and got into a frenzy – the crowd was deafening. And just like their Ambitions album, OOR transitioned into their first track Bombs Away– sung in English.

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To many old school One Ok Rock fans, the radical change in musical style in their latest album have them worried if the majority of the concert would be dedicated to their newer albums. Those worries were quelled with the stirring bass groove of Deeper Deeper and the all so familiar opening riff of Re:make, OOR did not forget their roots and the crowd went nuts – there was  even a mosh pit formed during the chorus of Re:make.

“ONE OK ROCK’s biggest show was indeed a great one. Hearing classics from Zankyo Reference and Jinsei X Boku is a sign that the band have not forgotten their roots.”
– Yongli Chang

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At the halfway mark, ONE OK ROCK stopped playing and launched into an extended instrumental – here’s something that only music nerds would catch: the instrumental is actually a mashup of musical sensibilities from all their previous albums, from the Taylor Hawkins-esp drum patterns to the classic 3 chord punk riff. It was truly a treat.

Three high intensity power ballads: The Beginning, Mighty Long Fall and We Are closed out the show – pre-encore.

But the best was yet to come, the band ran out for an encore and they played the perfect duo of songs to close out the Singaporean leg of their Ambitions tour. They played a funky pop-rock track from their latest album American Girls and Kanzen kankaku dreamer from their 2010 album Niche Syndrome.

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Once the dust has settled and the band left the stage, all I saw was an entire stadium of melted faces from the pits to the seats.

“But I really enjoy the show. They were on point and were as awesome as the last time I saw them in 2016”
– Amirul Hakim

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Setlist:

  1. Ambitions Intro
  2. Bombs away – english
  3. Deeper deeper
  4. Taking off – english
  5. Cry out – english
  6. Remake
  7. Clock strikes
  8. Bedroom warfare – english
  9. Wherever you are
  10. One-way ticket – english
  11. Bon voyage – english
  12. I was king -english
  13. Take what you want – english
  14. The beginning
  15. Mighty long fall -english
  16. We are – english

Encore:

  1. American girls
  2. Kanzen kankaku dreamer

Photo credits: JulenPhoto

By Chen KangYi

© POPCulture Online 2018

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