I was astonished to learn that ONE OK ROCK (OOR) was returning to the road with a new album after a 3 ½ year hiatus. I’ve been a huge fan of theirs since 2015 and have never been able to have the opportunity to see them live, until this tour. Unfortunately, with just my luck, they had sold out of the pre-sale VIP tickets. On the bright side, they were still selling general admission tickets, and you better believe I bought them right then and there. It has been a while since I’ve gone to a concert, since the last concert I’ve been to was The Rolling Stones back in 2019 when Charlie Watts was still alive, along with the addition of the pandemic halting all concert events and venues. I was excited yet terrified because it was going to be the first-ever concert that I would be attending by myself. After months of preparing for what to bring, traveling expenses, and the infamous concert outfit, the day had finally come.
When I arrived at Emo’s in Austin, I was surprised at how many people were lined up to see OOR. I knew the fan base had grown since the pandemic but did not think it would contribute to a problem when it came to the day of the concert. There were lots of fans, so many in fact, they formed a line across the entire venue. Due to the sun, the heat, and how long people were waiting in line, the venue provided free water for anyone who needed it. As soon as the two hours were up, the line started rolling and I was in.
The tour announced the headliners would be Fame on Fire and You Me at Six, so it would be a while till OOR came on stage to perform. The concert ended up starting at around 7:30 p.m. as Fame on Fire hit the stage to perform. Fame on Fire did such an amazing job at their performance, and it really set the mood for what was about to come for their next couple of songs. They mainly performed songs off their newest album, Welcome to the Chaos, along with some covers, such as “Numb” by Linkin Park, totaling about 30 minutes of playtime.
You Me at Six was the next act to go on, and I was excited to see what they had in store since it would be the first time I’d ever seen them play. Unfortunately, not many people within the crowd knew who they were, totaling about 20 out of 200 people that knew the words and songs that they were performing. Josh Franceschi, the lead singer for You Me at Six, commented on stage, “That was by far the worst mosh pit I have ever seen. Which means I have two theories: one, you have no idea who we are; two, you are trying to sense what song you can mosh to.” The singer assured us that we would all have a good time if we were to listen to their music, which we eventually did, totaling 45 minutes of playtime till OOR was on stage.
It was 9:50 p.m. when they were setting up after You Me at Six had just torn down. Impatient as the audience was waiting after surviving heat stroke and two long opening acts, we were served water once again, due to the audience being packed like sardines waiting for the headliner to show. It was then that ONE OK ROCK finally appeared, and the audience went wild. One of my fears that I had anticipated for the tour would have a bad and bland audience, as I’ve seen it in some OOR concert footage in the states from years ago. This was not one of those cases, and the audience was alive throughout the night.
Setlist for OOR: Luxury Disease Tour at Emo’s Austin:
When it came down to the song choices for the concert itself, I already knew that they were going to debut songs from their new album, Luxury Disease. I had not expected them to perform the Japanese versions of their new and previous songs, as they usually perform the English versions in the United States. It also surprised me that they not only debuted an acoustic version of “Always Coming Back,” but haven’t performed that song since their Ambitions Tour back in 2017, making it one of the most sentimental parts of the concert. I was genuinely surprised at the fact that they debuted “Vandalize”, their newest single for the collaboration on Sonic Frontiers, a Sonic the Hedgehog game coming out this November, and I assumed they would keep it from playing on the tour, but I was dead wrong. The concert ended up closing with “Wasted Nights”, a classic of OOR concerts. When they were done saying their final goodbyes, everyone kept chanting for one more song, because it felt so short-lived. The band came out once again, only for Taka, the main singer of ONE OK ROCK, to call all of us crazy, and end the night with one of their songs from their album Ambitions, “American Girls”.
I felt as if the concert went by in a second since it was that much of an enjoyable experience, especially for it being the first ever OOR concert I had attended. I was so glad I got to experience this once-in-a-lifetime concert and had the opportunity to have Taka point me out in the crowd and sing “Vandalize” to me. Now I can die peacefully, knowing Taka had acknowledged me, and I got to check off going to a ONE OK ROCK concert on my bucket list.
Featured image by Destany Sanchez.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu