ONE OK ROCK at Manchester Academy 2

live report - 26.01.2018 00:01

Screams of approval ring out for ONE OK ROCK!

It’s a sold out room in Manchester and the evening's support act have done a great job of getting the crowd into the right mood for introducing ONE OK ROCK.

Opening with Bombs away, Tomoya’s drums boom out through the Academy 2, with a perfect balance of sound shared with the rest of the band. Taka wastes no time in addressing the audience, constantly moving to the front of the stage to reach out his hands and show his emotions.

Throughout the early songs, ONE OK ROCK are animated as you’d expect from a four-piece rock band. Keen to show their ability to change the tone of a performance, they soon set about creating a perfect wave. They blend into the more subdued Bedroom Warfare, taking it down another notch for I was King and then going fully acoustic for Hard to love, including a bow-played bass for Ryota.

Marking the halfway point of the set, Taka starts singing solo, quietly, words familiar to fans across the hall:

“I don't want anything in our broken home
Not the memories or the things we own
Not the picture of us on the wall
So take what you want”

A long pause followed for atmosphere, a very long pause that led to a bit of confusion among the audience. Was the equipment broken? Were they waiting for the audience to sing? We’ll probably never know. The crowd have already started on the next couple of lines but we need to wait a little longer before Taka starts up again, but when he does, the strength and clarity of his voice blows everyone away and after the chorus ends the rest of the band pick up their tools and play along with the rest of Take what you want.

Following this break, it's up to Toru and Ryota to get the audience back into an upbeat groove, which they handle perfectly with an instrumental jam battle.

Heading into the finale, Taka announces that only two songs remain. Given that we’ve yet to hear breakout single Mighty Long Fall and the anthem We are, it doesn’t take a genius to guess what’s coming up. Heavy guitar riffs and a crowd sing-along are a perfect end to what has been a set full of variety in pace and style, but leave the crowd wanting more.

Fortunately, ONE OK ROCK subscribe to the western tradition of the encore, and we’re treated to one last dance in the form of American Girls with the occasional lyric swap to ‘British Girls’ causing half of the audience to scream in approval.

Set list

01. Taking Off
02. Bombs away
03. Clock Strikes
04. Bon Voyage
05. Bedroom Warfare
06 I was King
07. Hard to love
08. Take what you want
09. INST
10. The Beginning
11. Jaded
12. Mighty Long Fall
13. We are

01. American Girls
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Manchester - United Kingdom
Manchester Academy 2
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