By DARREN YAMASHITA, Special to The Rafu
Japanese rock band One OK Rock performed at the Fox Theater in Oakland as part of their Luxury Disease North American tour on Oct. 19. Fans began lining up for the sold-out show at 6 a.m. and by the time the doors opened, the line stretched for a quarter of a mile.
Debuting in 2007, One OK Rock Is composed of lead singer Takahiro “Taka” Moriuchi, guitarist Toru Yamashita, bassist Ryota Kohama, and drummer Tomoya Kanki. “Luxury Disease” represents their tenth album release, which reached #1 on Japan’s Oricon weekly chart and Billboard’s Japanese Hot Albums chart after its September 2022 release.
After support acts You Me At Six and Fame On Fire performed, One OK Rock hit the stage shortly after their scheduled 9:45 p.m. start, opening with “Save Yourself,” the lead track from “Luxury Disease.” The band performed eight songs from their new album, including “Renegades,” which includes singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran as a co-writer.
Taka, who speaks excellent English and recently purchased a home in the Hollywood Hills, spoke often between songs and all band members took time to address the crowd in English, with Tomoya professing his love for Oakland’s Lake Merritt and the Golden State Warriors (and the crowd as well).
The crowd, composed predominantly of 20-somethings, was lively throughout the performance, with cellphone lights waving all the way to the back of the balcony during “So Far Gone” and a jumping frenzy during “Stand Out Fit In” that even got the normally seated balcony crowd on their feet. The crowd seemed to hit their peak during the opening phrase of ONE OK ROCK’s 2012 breakout hit, “The Beginning,” immediately launching into a loud sing-along. They were urged on as Taka climbed onto the barrier to lean into the crowd.
One OK Rock ended their set with the anthemic “Wasted Nights,” the theme song for the 2019 Japanese film “Kingdom.” The live rendition was an appropriate choice, allowing Taka to show off his stage presence and vocal range and power.
The stage lights were raised to a large ovation after a five-minute break, but before the encore began, Taka hopped down to the crowd to check on a fan that was having a non-serious medical issue in the front row. After a few minutes, Taka and Toru began the encore with a vocal/guitar duet to perform “Always Coming Back” and the entire group completed their 15-song performance with “American Girls,” taking their bows just after 11 p.m.
One OK Rock’s North American tour spanned 23 cities in 32 days, including stops in New York, Dallas, Toronto, and concluding in Los Angeles.
Photos by DARREN YAMASHITA