A Dream Come True: One OK Rock Ambitions Asia Tour 2018
I'm an old woman trapped on a young adult body. With that, you can tell that I don't like alternative rock, post-hardcore, pop funk, emo, you name it. I hate that kind of music that makes my ear wax pops out. But, I don't like classic either. Maybe, I'm an alien. However, I've made an exemption. I'm an anime addict and it's an SOP that I'll listen to every OST (original soundtrack) to the anime I'm watching even if it's a rock or somehow a bit classic. So, I started loving rock songs and later on bumped to One OK Rock.
I researched the band and started listening up to the very extent that I downloaded their songs and made it as my alarm and chose NO SCARED since Taka is screaming on the first three words, GIVE ME MORE!!!!!! It works, well sometimes. Then, it became a habit that whenever I'm pissed off I'll listen to their songs and it should start with THE BEGINNING.
The band's very first Manila Concert, the 35xxxv, was held two years ago. I couldn't afford the money to buy tickets since I don't have a job at that time. It was depressing actually and I didn't open my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for 2 weeks because the green-eyed monster in me will start to appear every time I saw pictures of them attending the concert. Then, my sister @goiinmary called me and said that Taka made a promise.
A promise that gave me hope that I'll be able to see them performing on stage, live.
And finally, the "See you next time!" will be fulfilled by the time they announced the dates of their Ambitions Asia Tour. I was able to buy a VIP Gold Ticket good for two, one for my sister and one for me, on their concert last January 29, 2018. It was a dream come true event and yes, my first time to see them perform live, so imagine how wild and ecstatic I was on that night.
The line starts at 4:00 PM and ends at 6:00 PM for the PULP Royalty, Platinum and Gold Ticket holder. There were freebies for the VIPs and merchandise sold on the inside. Honestly, all the merchandise are so expensive, $34.84 for the Shirt, $11.23 for the Bowler wristband and $23.23 for the tote bag. I was planning to buy the 3 merchandise for myself alone but realized that I have a sister left in our home and plead that she wants a shirt too. So, goodbye tote bag and hello 3 shirts and 1 Bowler wristband. Indeed, it was very painful for my wallet and up to this very moment, I can still feel her pain and agony.
Before the concert started, my sister and I already made friends with our fellow OORockers. We met the OORockers from Pangasinan and decided to separate our ways and was able to gain new friends again while lining up. They gave us Ambitions stickers which we put on our face and a pretty girl who look like Bae Suzy approached and asked me if she can go with me and my sister. She experienced some technical error wherein her ticket was detected to be void and instructed by the management to wait for a while. We waited for her for 10 minutes.
Since we arrived inside the arena a bit late, we were on the third line and people were super tall! And again, I'm a province girl, I was able to find a way to make it on the front on the Gold Area, all the three of us. Oh well, you can't blame me! We also had new found friends and some of them are from Cebu! They had a one piece of yellow tape and gave it to my sister. I was desperate on looking for a yellow paper and yes, the Ambitions sticker that was given to us saved me from being left behind.
When the white lights turned off and violet shades of spotlight appeared, people were screaming at the top of their lungs and that includes me as well. And when Toru (guitar, lead), Tomoya (drums, percussion), Ryōta (bass guitar) and Taka (vocals) finally opened with "Bombs Away", the crowd went wild!
"This is the end of you and me
And I'm never going back
Before my broken soul begins
To fade to black"
After that explosive opening song, Ryōta performed a bass solo and then “Deeper Deeper” was played followed by “Taking Off” and lastly, “Cry Out”! That was just the first four songs as an opening number. The hype was so high that the crowd was screaming, singing jumping and headbanging. The fans on the upper and lower box were standing. Well, no one can resist staying in their seat when One OK Rock gave us that kind of opening.
Then, each member greeted us in Filipino. They said in Filipino that they are all happy to see us and hope that we will enjoy the concert since they prepared it well just for us. Taka was last to greet us and later he said, “Is this Tagalogo?”. And we all responded, “Tagalog!”. They were so cute and I enjoyed and appreciated their greetings in Filipino even though they were having a hard time pronouncing every syllable.
The performance resumed with Toru’s guitar solo of their old song “Re:Make” that made me realized how awesome he is. I was only fantasizing Taka and then a bullet hit me and said, Toru is so handsome and cool! But then again, when Taka sang “Clock Strikes”, I’m back on my Taka fever again because of his impressive vocal range. Aside from that, he sang with full emotions and same goes to Ryota and Toru who never missed a single string even though they were headbanging and spinning and Tomo who also never missed a single beat.
“What will we have?
Believe that time is always forever
And I'll always be here
Believe it till the end
I won't go away and won't say never
It doesn't have to be friend
You can keep it till the end”
Next was the “Bedroom Warfare” where I was jumping and sang with the band even though my voice is awful. Then one of my favorites was played afterward, “Wherever You Are.”. And at that moment, I cried. It felt surreal at that time that I was at the MOA Arena and I was watching my favorite Japanese Rock Band performs on stage.
“Wherever you are, I always make you smile
Wherever you are, I'm always by your side
Whatever you say, you're always on my mind
I promise you "forever" right now”
And I shouted, “THANK YOU LORD FOR EVERYTHING.” while raising my phone with a yellow light. The crowd was full of red and yellow lights. The Cebuana girl on my right side turned her head on me but I ignored her. I was crying because I never thought that this day will come very soon. I was able to regain my composure when “One Way Ticket” was played. I was back on jumping and singing and screaming. Everyone did the same.
One OK Rock doesn’t really know the word rest and then breathe because Toru, Ryota, and Tomoya gave their guitar, bass and drum solos that will definitely make your mouth form an O. They indeed showcase impressively their talents with their instrument.
“Bon Voyage” was known to be the next song to be played when Taka did their choreographed headbanging slash dance steps together with Ryota and Toru who were still playing instruments amid the change step and headbanging and Tomo did his precise drum beats.
Another crying moment happened when I heard the instrumental introduction of “I Was King”. It’s one of my favorites! The background was the animated music video of “I Was King.”
“When I was king
I was king
We had everything
If I go down
I will go down fighting
I’ll go down
Down like lightning”
Then, another favorite was played, “Take What You Want”, a song of a dying relationship. It was a sad song and Taka sang it with a sad emotion. The spotlight was on Taka alone and Ryota, Toru, and Tomo stopped playing their instruments. Taka started singing.
“Come and gone, the perfect storm
On and on never ending
Open doors empty arms
Don't look back no pretending
I don't want anything in our broken home
Not the memories or the things we own
Not the picture of us on the wall
So take what you want”
Then he stopped singing and looked down. It seems like other fans see it as an opportunity to express their love by shouting, “I LOVE YOU TAKA!” but, Taka did not start singing again if he hears a single noise. There was a guy who shouted, “Putngin mo!”. He just cursed Taka! Shame! It was an indeed shameful act. It took a couple of minutes to hush the crowd. On the other part of the globe, it only took 30 seconds of silence but in PH it took a couple of minutes. Hard-headed Pinoy. And when the crowd was silenced, Taka started singing then and we turned on again our yellow and red lights.
“Can you hear me? I'm trying to hear you
Silence strikes like a hurricane
Now I'm singing for you, you're screaming at me
It's hard to see your tears in the pouring rain”
Taka told us that only 3 songs left and asked for a countdown with him. And it started with the popular official soundtrack of Rurouni Kenshin: The Origin, “The Beginning” (another favorite) and followed by “Mighty Long Fall”, another official soundtrack of Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno. And that tandem made the crowd went wild. The Gold was busy headbanging. I thought my head will going to roll out of my neck or one of my nerves will break. I can’t refuse and say no since that Cebuana girl already put her arm around my shoulders tightly. The Platinum and Pulp Royalty performed the ‘wall of death’. Taka gave a signal and the Platinum and Pulp Royalty began to form a big circle and second later, everyone started counting down, in 3, 2, 1 and they ran off to the middle and jumped and screaming with hands on the air.
The last song was an epic too. Taka told us to sing “We Are” with him but eventually, he let us sang it in unison. By the time “We Are” was released, it stayed number one for two weeks (correct me if I’m wrong) on the MYX Philippines. Well, it deserved to be on that spot for a long period since it has a message to every young generation that their worth is not based on what other people or the society is saying. It’s a reminder that you should be proud of who you are and what you are capable of!
“Never tell yourself
You should be someone else
Stand up tall and say
I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid
So never tell yourself
You should be someone else
Stand up tall and say
I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid”
Then the lights went off and the band members left the stage. We turned on our yellow and red lights while shouting, “Encore! Encore!”. And yes, they returned to the stage and played with the upbeat “American Girls”. Taka was so cool. Then the instruments stopped playing and Taka changed the lyrics to, “Come and break my heart, you Filipina girls!” and Taka was smiling as those eight words come out in his mouth. And the crowd went wild specifically the ladies, including myself of course!!!
The last song played as a finale was the “Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer”. Another rock old song that made everyone gone wild. And as the music ends, we all clapped our hands! One OK Rock deserved it. And the four went on stage again carrying some stuff to be thrown to the crowd excluding Taka. Toru threw personalized guitar picks, Ryota threw the towels which said to be the towel they had used on that night to wipe their faces and Tomoya threw a pair of drumsticks! I was screaming, “Hey! This part, please! Please! Please!". But unfortunately, Tomoya threw it on the left side of the lower box.
If I were able to catch any of the of the objects thrown, I’ll surely buy a frame and put it there to preserve the important object. Then, the band picked the banner made by Philippine One Ok Rockers in which lots of fans expressed and jotted down their messages to the band.
Taka, Ryota, Toru, and Tomoya made a deep and longbow. We gave the band what they deserve, a big and loud applause from us. Tomoya shouted, “Mahal Kita and then Taka said this, “See you soon!”, and we all shouted with joy!
And yes, they will definitely be back since they will release their new album “Change” on the 16th day of the month of February 2018. I’ll surely attend the concert no matter what. I still have plenty of time to save money.
Now, if I were to rate the concert from 1 to 10, it will definitely be 12! It’s worth to remember and worth to take a risk. I was indeed a ninja since I was able to photograph and video the concert. Luckily, my phone was not corrupted. It only had 800MB left after the concert.
The next day, I became an adolescent boy with a husky voice. I also got a hangover which is still ongoing and I don’t know when I will sober up.
✏️ kneelyrac ✏️
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