I’ve been listening to this band for a while, and when their songs were featured in the Rurouni Kenshin live-action trilogy, I knew they were gonna be big. Aaaaaaaannddd I was right, fast forward a few years, now they’re touring around the world.
Last year, they announced they were having an Asian tour on early 2016 and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! It’s about time a Japanese band comes to perform in the Philippines! I was pleasantly shocked when I found out Philippines was included. ‘Cause at first, I believed only a few people would be listening to jrock/jpop (Japanese rock/Japanese pop) music (and they are most probably animé fans too). Yes, the Rurouni Kenshin movies were a hit in my country, but chances are no one would be curious enough to check out the band, or so I thought.
So last Jan. 19, ONE OK ROCK made history and had their first-ever concert in the Pearl of The Orient. Taka, Toru, Ryota and Tomoya performed their hits and the Filipinos, to my surprise, sang along to all of their songs, and those include the lyrics in Japanese! I noticed that they altered some of the Japanese lyrics to English but it turned out that the fans knew the Japanese version better. Most Filipinos don’t even speak Japanese, unless you count “arigatou” or “konnichiwa” as “speaking Japanese”. LOL. But apparently, the Filipinos were well-versed in their songs.
My friends and I were situated at the back of the VIP standing section so for the most part we could barely see them, but who cares. HAHAHA. We were having tons of fun headbanging and jumping to the energetic music. The euphoria is definitely on a whole other level when you’re listening to it live as compared to just when you’re playing music from your ipod. And can I just say, Taka’s voice, as well as the energy of the whole band, didn’t waver one bit throughout the whole concert!! They most certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd and gave an awesome show! Fortunately, I somehow managed to get some “decent” shots!
As a long-time Japanese culture enthusiast, I feel so proud that finally a legit Japanese artist/group has now gained mainstream popularity in the Philippines aside from Utada Hikaru. LiSA (who is famous in Japan too) had a concert in Manila before ONE OK ROCK, but I think she appealed to mostly anime fans who happened to like jpop, but not music fans in general. But because ONE OK ROCK succeeded in fusing the traditional jrock with the sound of Western rock, they attracted more people to their music, even those who are particularly not into jrock.
Japanese music has surely come a long way in terms of popularity in my land as most foreign acts that come over are either from the US, Europe or Korea. After this concert, I’m positive that more Japanese artists will now make their mark and have concerts in Manila, and not just in the anime conventions.
Well, one thing’s is for sure, ONE OK ROCK will definitely come back. TAKAがそれを約束したのよ！(That’s what TAKA promised!)
Featured Image by JULENPHOTO