ONE OK ROCK brings Japanese jams to Oakland, CA

Subarashī! That means ‘amazing’ in Japanese, by the way and is one word we could use to describe the night in Oakland, California on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022. Thousands of fans lined up around the famous Fox Theater hours before the doors opened, many wearing ONE OK ROCK shirts. It was very cool to see so much diversity; it felt like we were somewhere international.

Doors opened at 6:30pm and fans were raising their arms in excitement as they walked in. 

Built in 1928, the Fox Theater is an architectural gem and former movie house that underwent a $75 million renovation to reopen its doors in February of 2009. The renovations included amazing ceilings that look European, as well as large Buddha statues on the left and right sides of the stage. When the lights are dimmed during a show, the Buddha’s eyes light up. The visuals of this Theater reminded us of Paramount Theater in Seattle — another fancy venue, with a lot of history. 

The show started off with Florida band and perfect opener, Fame On Fire. They got the crowd hyped up by playing fan-favorites “Welcome to the Chaos” and “Plastic Heart”. The fans went nuts when they played a cover of Linkin Park’s hit “Numb”. 

The next band was English rock band, You Me At Six, who also had an awesome set. They got the fans rowdy and loud when they asked, “Y’all ready for ONE OK ROCK?!” The fans responded with screams, claps and dancing! They also played their hits “Bite My Tongue” and “Take On The World”, ending their set with “Beautiful Way”. 

There was a 30-minute intermission before the headliner and plenty of mic checks onstage. Fans were screaming at the mic check members, as well as the guitar tech. You can tell right away the crowd was more than ready. 

At 9:45pm, it was time! 

Fog rolled over the stage and the crowd cheered and whistled in anticipation for ONE OK ROCK’s entrance. The energy was raw and emotional, as three of the four members took to the stage, each adjusting their instruments in front of the waiting crowd. 

A few seconds later, lead singer Takahiro Moriuchi (aka, Taka) strolled out onstage, calmly positioning himself behind the microphone stand. The lights went dark and fans took out their phones to record, screaming with exhilaration. The band immediately launched into their first song “Save Yourself”, the opening track to their new album Luxury Disease. In fact, seven of their 15 songs from their set were off the new album. 

After the first three songs, Taka took the time to introduce his other band members. On the bass was Osaka-native Ryota; on the drums was Hyogo-native Tomoya; on guitars was Osaka-native Toru. Taka is from Tokyo himself. It was awesome to not only have Taka introduce the band, but each member talked to the crowd. One asked, “Do you like our new album?!” Another member yelled, “I love the Golden State Warriors!” The fans gave a large roar for them. 

The band kept playing hit after hit, including “Neon”, “Vandalize” and “Wasted Night”. Taka’s vocals were out of this world, sounding even more powerful and magnificent live. The concert concluded with a two-song encore, the band leading into their last song “American Girls” with an audience-wide chant for Oakland. It was a display of city pride that was inspiring to see. 

ONE OK ROCK is a truly special and sublime experience. Every performance, the Japanese rock band brings passion, culture and talent to every venue they stop at and the Fox Theater was of no exception. Every member of the group is so clearly talented, together creating a band that is definitely worth seeing in action. We highly recommend them if you’re a fan of rock ‘n roll! 


Photography by Arik Ruiz

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