ONE OK ROCK @ O2 Academy Islington

O2 Islington Academy
26th October 2013
Written by Rachel Yarwood

Introduction ~ Where Idiot Should Go
Ending Story??
Deeper Deeper
Nothing Helps
Let's take it someday
Clock Strikes
Be the Light
-Instrumental interlude-
Answer is near
Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer
The Beginning

Wherever you are

The anticipation for ONE OK ROCK's debut show in London was nothing to be doubted. From the information that ticket sales had sold out a day or two after they had officially gone on sale, to the excited line of fans and the even more excitable fanclub who had taken the trouble of drawing enough heart shaped clocks (for the bands' performance of "Clock Strikes") for each person to hold. 

As the main doors opened at seven, everyone made their way to through to pick their spot. It only took half an hour, by which point the stage crew had began their checks, for the back rows of fans to push forward in an attempt to get as close to the stage as possible. 
As 8o'clock loomed closer the ever familiar squashing sensation was becoming all the more real and as the lights were finally cut, throwing us all into a moment of darkness, the screams and cheers filled the air. 

"Introduction ~ Where Idiot Should Go" accompanied the band as they made their way onstage one by one. With each member appearing from backstage the screams grew wilder and the crowd pushed forward even more than before in their exhilaration. 
"Ending Story??" is the first song and began almost instantaneously once vocalist Taka had made it out onstage. The atmosphere was close to stifling as the crowd swayed dangerously from side to side and from front to back, but this did not seem to matter to anyone or the band, as faces glowed with smiles whilst fists pumped the air in time to the beat of Tomoya's drumming. 

The feeling was close to electrifying as ONE OK ROCK went from song to song playing with exuberance whilst the crowd sang their hearts out. Although the band's performance of "Clock Strikes" was the moment where the project organised by the UK fanbase came to light. As the opening ticking sounded, hands clutching the card with the heart shaped clock were raised, Taka himself being offered one from a member of the crowd held it up and seemed positively elated by the togetherness this brought to everyone in the venue for this song. 

"Liar" and "Answer is near" threw us right back in with indescribable energy. Ryota and Toru darting from either side and standing incredibly close to the front rows once again to interact with their audience who's energy still was not letting up as people jumped, danced, sang and threw their arms high in pure exhilaration. Nothing could stop Taka from encouraging as much participation from the audience as possible as possible. As lead front man and vocalist he did his utmost through-out the entirety of the gig to make sure that everyone joined in and even attempted, in humour it seemed, to make them crouch as far down as they could in order to jump as high as they could. This was definitely a challenge as the space was quite sparse but the crowd willingly attempted to wriggle themselves as close to the ground as would allow! 

ONE OK ROCK ended their main set with "The Beginning" which was an emotional song not just because the crowd once again showed their passion by singing along to every word but because it meant that this was pretty much the end of the show. 
Coming onstage after a matter of minutes to complete the show with one final encore song, "Wherever You Are", ONE OK ROCK gave a beautiful and mellow song to close with.  Swaying arms and warm smiles, this song truly was a perfect closure and as everyone gave their appreciation with copious chanting and cheering, the guys bid their farewell with a final promise that they would definitely return to the UK. 
ONE OK ROCK truly did rock the O2 Islington Academy in one of the most thrilling and highly emotional shows that the Japanese Rock scene here in the UK has seen this year so far. The way the fans tonight expressed their love for this music was something as memorable as the humbling words Ryota, Toru, Tomoya and Taka spoke about how much this show means to them. One thing that is a dead certainty is that everyone tonight had a brilliant time and cannot wait for round two.