With Christmas right around the corner, ONE OK ROCK still had one gig to play in Mainland Europe together with We Came As Romans.
The last gig of the year took place in the beautiful venue Paradiso in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I was particularly excited about seeing metalcore heroes We Came As Romans for the first time but seeing one of the biggest Japanese rockbands ONE OK ROCK made me extremely excited for the evening.
After being stuck in the queue for way too long because the venue thought it was a good idea to schedule two almost sold out shows to start at the exact same time we got inside just in time to see We Came As Romans' intro.
The band started with a song off of their self-titled album which came out earlier this year, 'Regenerate'. We Came As Romans knows two frontmen which can be quite an advantage when it comes to interaction with the crowd and stage energy. Both frontmen Dave Stephens & Kyle Pavone barely stood still the entire set. The band expressed insane energy and they got the crowd going exceptionally well. Both new and old songs were played as they continued their set with 'Fade Away' & 'Ghosts'. During these songs, ONE OK ROCK guitarist Toru came on stage to play a song with the band. Later, both bassist Ryota & vocalist Takahiro were invited on stage to perform together with WCAR. It became quite clear that the bands have become friends on the tour as Dave repeatedly stated that he was a bit sad that this was the last date on the tour.
The band continued to warm the crowd up with single 'The World I Used To Know' and hits from the last album 'Tear It Down' & 'Who Will Pray'.
As the set progressed, so did the crowd, more and more moshpits were created and the entire room was bouncing up and down. The songs were sung back to the band very loudly on both old and new material. 'Once again, we are We Came As Romans, thank you & we'll see you this summer' were Dave's words when 'Who Will Pray?' last notes were echoing through the venue. The band then played 'Hope' which was the cherry on top. We Came As Romans rocked the entire room and is absolutely capable of doing headliner tours. Let's hope they come back to Europe soon!
Approximately 30 minutes later the lights went out. It was time for the band of the evening, ONE OK ROCK! One by one the members entered the stage, along with the intro of 35vvvx & the absolute deafening high pitched screaming from the fans. The band played a very good set and at first, I couldn't believe the sound that came out of frontman Takahiro's throat. The guys went through their 17-songs set in rapid fire. One hit after the other was being played and the fans were loving it. Halfway through the set, frontman Takahiro left the stage and the fans were treated a dazzling instrumental performance by the remaining band members Ryo, Tomo & Toru after which the band took a step back. Hits 'Cry Out' & 'Heartache' were being played in a very calm & collected atmosphere. ONE OK ROCK is capable of rocking out aswell as play some slow songs very intimate. The party continued as the band continued to play both old and new songs. Unfortunately, every party has to come to an end and this one wasn't an exception. After 'The Beginning' the band thanked the audience and announced their last song 'Mighty Long Fall'. This beautiful song which is featured on the latest album 35vvvx was a nice way to end the set. Opening and ending the set with new songs, it was clear that this was a tour to support their latest release.
Of course when bands announce their last song, that's 9 out of 10 times not entirely true as the band will go off the stage just to come back for a few additional songs. ONE OK ROCK was no different. The band came back on stage after a few minutes to play an extra 3 songs. 'The Way Back', 'Be The Light' & 'No Scared' were being played. Energy wise, ONE OK ROCK couldn't match up to We Came As Romans but honestly that is a very difficult task and not necessary. The band succeeded in giving everyone a beautiful night out. They've been given the title as best Japanese rock band and they're more than worthy of it. If you get the chance to see this band live, I highly suggest you give them a chance
Written by Glenn van den Bosch
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