Manila’s music scene reached new heights last September 26, 2023, as the internationally acclaimed Japanese rock band, One Ok Rock, took over Smart Araneta Coliseum for an unforgettable night of music and feels. One Ok Rock’s “Luxury Disease Asia Tour” in Manila was a concert that will always be remembered by the tens of thousands of fans who came to witness the band’s electrifying performances.
Even before the event started, there was a buzz of excitement outside the arena. Fans, some of whom had been waiting for this moment for years, filled the venue with a buzz of anticipation. The diverse crowd, united by their love for One Ok Rock, showcased the band’s global reach and the universal appeal of their music.
The excitement peaked as the time for the show drew near. The lights dimmed, and the crowd erupted in a deafening roar, feet stomping that the coliseum was shaking as One Ok Rock made their grand entrance. The band’s frontman, Taka Moriuchi, with his signature charisma and a captivating presence, immediately commanded the stage.
The concert kicked off with “Wonder”, “Save Yourself”, and “Taking Off”, and the audience was hooked. As expected, One Ok Rock’s performance level was nothing short of extraordinary. Taka’s vocals soared through the venue, conveying raw emotion in every note.
Toru Yamashita (guitar), Ryota Kohama (bass), and Tomoya Kanki (drums) showcased their immense talents, creating a musical experience that transcended language and time.“It’s been a while Manila. We missed you so-so much, baby! And tonight, we finally made it with you guys. So, we only have a short time. We wanna make it great with you guys!”
Throughout the night, One Ok Rock took fans on an emotional trip, performing an array of their most beloved hits through the years. “Let Me Let You Go” and “Clock Strikes” had the crowd swaying in unison, while “I Was King” and “Renegades” ignited a collective surge of energy.
In between the powerful sets, the group would take turns on the mic to welcome and hype the crowd. Mid-concert, they each spoke in Filipino, much to their PH fans’ delight.
“Kamusta kayong lahat? Masaya ba kayo dear? Ako din masaya! … So may tanong ako sa inyo. Ilan ang sa inyo ang nabili na ang bagong album? Nagustuhan nyo ba? Naibigan nyo ba ang bagong album? Thank you. Mag enjoy tayong lahat ngayong gabi! Let’s have fun tonight, thank you!”, said Kohama.
“Kamusta kayo, Manila! Good to see you guys. Namiss ko kayong lahat. Namiss ninyo din ba ako? Thank you for coming out tonight. And thank you for waiting for us. I am so happy to be back here… We love you guys so much. Thank you Manila!” followed by Yamashita.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a One Ok Rock without a punch of humor. Kanki followed his group members with, “Mabuhay, Manilaaa! Maraming salamat! Masaya akong nandito para sa inyo. I love adobo! I love sisig! Mahal ko kayong lahat, salamat sa inyo! Handa na ba kayo? Handa na ba kayo?!! Okay.”
Then, they followed with their songs “Neon”, “Vandalize”, and “Make It Out Alive”.
The emotional depth of the band’s lyrics and melodies struck a chord with concertgoers, many of whom found solace and connection in their music. It was a testament to the band’s talent for evoking genuine emotions through their music.
“Thank you for being here. Manila, you guys aregreat! I love it. It’s been a while you know. Five years… It’s such a long time. We have bad experiences. Like COVID. Now we can sing without mask. ,” said Taka Moriuchi. “Thank you for having us tonight.”
One of the best moments during the concert was the acoustic rendition of “Your Tears Are Mine”. With the last few lines of the song left, the lead singer pointed the mic to the audience, commanding the crowd to sing. Like an anthem waiting to be sung in unison, Araneta Coliseum echoed with the beautiful voices of One Ok Rockers. It was a touching moment, that even Taka Moriuchi acknowledged as “beautiful”. He then followed through hit after hit, with performances of “Change”, “The Beginning”, and “Stand Out Fit In”–a song that got the crowd jumping!
The concert wasn’t just about the music; it was a visual spectacle as well. The stage design was a straightforward band set-up, but the stunning lighting effects and mesmerizing visuals on LED screens lit up Araneta. These visual elements added an extra layer of excitement and engagement to all the performances, making the concert a multi-sensory experience.
“You guys are best. We love you guys so much! This song is gonna be the last one for tonight. I really hate it, too. But we have to finish it. We’re working on a new album. Less than three years, we are definitely coming back here again. We hope to see you soon. We love you guys. I hope you guys are safe today and the future.” The band then performed a beautiful rendition of their songs of “Wasted Nights”, and the emotional “Wherever You Are” as an encore.
Then, the audience was surprised by another encore! “Actually I have a question for you guys,” said Taka. “Are you guys still alive? It’s been a while since we last played this song. Are you guys ready to rock & roll?”
After that, they played a fitting finale “Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer”, as the crowd erupted into thunderous applause. Definitely, the long wait for the band’s tour stop in Manila was worth it!