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!
It is ACTUALLY HAPPENING. Just when I thought ONE OK ROCK has performed in every country except mine, they released this! Moreover, I’m pleasantly surprised to know that they have a lot of fans in the Philippines! I’m guessing they knew about the band from the Rurouni Kenshin live-action movie series (which I think appealed many, whether they read the manga/watched the anime or not). It’s great that the Filipinos are now more open to Japanese acts, compared to before when only anime fans liked jpop/jrock. Although ONE OK ROCK’s songs are mostly in English now (with a mix of Japanese), to me, they still have that jrock vibe to them. And that’s what makes them awesome! Not to mention their high energy performances!
I know I have not done a decent job updating this blog in the last weeks.. but now thankfully I get to share another good experience! 🙂
In my trip to Japan last March, I made it a point to witness a local concert and see how the Japanese appreciate music.
Luckily, with some help from my super kind Japanese friend, we were able to acquire tickets to LM.C’s Perfect Rainbow Tour.
LM.C, composed of Maya and Aiji, is Japanese Visual Kei band whose songs were featured in animes such as Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Red Garden, and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan.
The Heaven’s Rock Café where the concert took place was a quick walk from the Saitama Super Arena. It’s a small live house for mini concerts/gigs. LM.C items were being sold outside the venue.
When we got inside, we proceeded to the locker room where we deposited our stuff. I was told that when you’re in the live house, it is just an empty space and a stage, so carrying your stuff in there won’t be wise, especially when the room’s gonna be jam packed with people. Basically, it’s a whole hour (or even more) of standing and cramped space! But I guess that’s just how live houses are, which kind of makes sense because if you’re gonna be in a concert (especially at a rock concert), it’ll be such a killjoy if you just sit through it.
By the time we were inside, the place is already full of people. But even so, I could clearly see the stage from my position even though I was standing at the back of the room. That’s how “small” the live house was. Unfortunately, taking pictures is not allowed so I just settled with this picture of the event board outside Heaven’s Rock (and some concert merchandise :p) as a memento for this event. 🙂
The concert definitely did not disappoint. For the price I paid to be there (which was around 5500yen), it was all worth it. LM.C performed for almost 3 hours and thankfully because of my Japanese knowledge, I didn’t quite feel left out especially when they were taking a break and interacting with the fans. Another thing that struck me aside from the interesting music that LM.C does was the energy of the crowd during the whole concert.
Many of us know that the Japanese are generally quiet, shy and introverted kind of people, so I thought maybe they’ll just bob their heads during the performances. I realised how wrong I was as soon as the first song played. Maya and Aiji started with a very jumpy song, and the crowd went nuts! I mean I’m used to wild crowds as I have been to many rock events before but this was nuts, as in WEIRD. Why, you may ask. Well it’s because their movements were SOOO CHOREOGRAPHED and I’m like “did I miss the fan rehearsal, or something?”. LOL! They would all wave their arms in the same direction, at the same time, and even bang their heads together!! Just imagine me and my friend, in a pool of people with everyone around us crazily head banging and they would start (and stop) all at the same time. Moreover, when LM.C played their famous song, “88” (opening song of Katekyo Hitman Reborn), they immediately took out their glow sticks and waved it all together!!! It’s as if they all have mental telepathy, like, “Guys, it’s time to bring out the glow sticks, it’s for this song!!”
And then it hit me. These fans must have been to almost every concert of this band. What dedication and such a strong fandom. For them to come out every time just to see these guys play is really something. Here in the Philippines, when there’s a concert, almost everyone just screams and sings while the artist performs (trust me, go watch live footages of Manila concerts, you’ll see what I mean 😉 ), with the occasional waving of smartphones as an alternative to glow sticks ( but most just whip them out to record videos, which is quite sad I think). Japanese fans may not be as loud as the Filipinos, but they certainly don’t come last when it comes to fandom commitment!
2015 would not definitely not fall short of international music acts coming to the Philippines.
Here’s a couple of international artists who’ll be performing:
1. Michael Bublé
The multi-awarded Jazz artist will be performing in Manila this January 31st!! 🙂 I wanted to go but it’s too expensive… T___T
Don’t worry Michael, I’ll get rich first and then I’ll watch your concert… hopefully… someday…. (>.<)
Surely, many teenage fangirls are soooo excited this February.
WHAAAAATTT??! Even T-Pain is coming over?! I’m not sure if this is his first time, but Philippines is getting tons of international artists doing concerts over here, I couldn’t keep up with all of it. :O
4. Boyce Avenue
Okay, I know them because they’re very popular in Youtube and do a lot cover songs, but I happen to have a copy of their first original album 😉 They’ll be spending Valentine’s Day here in Manila and on the next day they’ll be in Davao City for another performance.