The story of how I stalked them all the way to Manila.
As this is a much awaited concerts we’ve been expecting, I soon arranged a group discussion with my other fan-friends spread around Taipei, Manila, Surabaya, and Singapore back in September 2015 when the band announced their Asia Tour 2016. We were kind of expecting it since it’s been almost 3 years since their last visit (2013) but in the end it was a major disappointment since this time they decided to skip Indonesia 😦
This year, ONE OK ROCK went on their promo tours in these Asian countries: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore. And because my fan-friends are mostly based in Taiwan, Philippines, and Singapore, I decided to come see the band only in those countries as I’ve never been visiting Taipei and Manila and those cities offered VIP seatings I would like to try the experience so I can compare it to my sort of traumatic festival experiences before.
So here we go, I’ll start with how I managed to purchase the ticket 🙂
In the beginning, we’ve already anticipated flood of fans as the band have been super active in promoting their new album around US, Europe, and Asia. So of course, we expected the growth of massive fanbase around Asia come flooding the toured countries and we would have to fight for our coveted seats/zones (unlike in Kuala Lumpur 2013 I still could get the Yellow Zone, 2nd best festival zone even after tickets went on sale months after). I was lucky to have friends in Manila since they were able to provide me informations available in local language; when, how, and where the ticket would go on sale that made prep of the online purchase smooth sailing.
As predicted we had a harsh 2 minutes battling other fans when the online server started selling the tickets, however it wasn’t as brutal as purchasing my Taipei ticket that cost me half a day refreshing the page while kept on getting error messages T^T. I will write about it if I have time. Ahem, back to the ticket hunt in Manila. I got kicked out of the server a couple times before I managed to get in and purchased a seat in Zone 117. I was over the moon thinking that I’ve successfully secured a good seat in the closest to the stage Zone and will be able to have a great view of the band
Toru without having to queue so early like the VIP festivals 1 – 3. But in reality, the management changed my strategic seating war-zone position 😦
See how there’s additional empty Zone (116) before 117? Yeah, that hurts. There were only like 5 or so people in that zone and I felt so cheated when I arrived in the venue thinking that I had a great advantage of seeing the band by buying VIP ticket. Nope, it wasn’t worth time-spent, price, and value for a VIP seat since in reality it was far from the stage. No more buying VIP SM Ticket next time. Lesson learned.
The venue was huge. I mean, it’s an arena and it can occupy around 10.000 – 15.000 fans. Still it felt like new and sophisticated. As big names have performed here, I assumed Mall of Asia Arena is the best venue for art makers to perform in the Philippines. So kudos to ONE OK ROCK to be able to perform in this place for their first visit!
ONE OK ROCK didn’t sell any of their album or dvd during Asia tour. They were only selling stickers, t-shirts, beanies, and towels which weren’t really appetizing to me personally. I remember they were selling dvds during their 2013 Asia Tour since I bought them because it was the right time since I didn’t have to pay for shipping from Japan, but sadly not this time.
They were playing mostly songs from their newest album XXXV and a couple favorite songs like Wherever You Are. Complete setlist can be seen here:
I especially felt so touched when Taka and Toru played Heartache. Originally, I wasn’t a big fan of this song, me think fans are making too much hype on Rurouni Kenshin (
don’t kill me, fans). But played acoustically at that time, it was so touching I felt the shiver ran through my spines. I even had to video it just to confirm that I would feel it again playing it later. And yes, I still do.
Some things that were a bit off was that during this tour, they didn’t even bother to intro themselves or greet fans in local language like they did back in 2013.
During the concert only Taka said some sweet bits here and there to the fans, like you’re beautiful, we will be back, which were then repeated in Singapore (it felt kind of scripted, not personal). In the end Tomoya did scream, “Mahal kita!” while running off the stage, but really, it was kind of awkward.
Yes, we know so much about them already but an intro is a really good channel for them to connect more to the fans. I still remember vividly when Taka said he loves Nasi Goreng (fried rice) in Jakarta and screaming “Malaysia boleh!” while jumping 2 meters on stage. Ryota sang Indonesia Raya to gain attention *love* from Jakarta’s fans. And Toru’s “Mari bersenang – senang!” (Let’s have fun!) in Jakarta. It was so memorable and special. It was a very-short yet intimate moments of fans and ONE OK ROCK. It’s the tidbits that keeps us loving
wanting them more. ONE OK ROCK please, please, next time greet us more personally like you did before.
Secondly, how short the duration of the concert compared to 2013 lives. They still sang the same numbers of songs, that’s alright. But I remember it was a bit more than 2 hours back in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta with the intro and them taking time off here and there sitting around watching the fans, and how I felt so spent after I skipped the gym the next week. This time in Manila and Singapore, they were kind of rush it to an hour and a half so I felt like when we were finally warmed up, it’s over.
Overall, they rocked the performance and a lot of their new songs in XXXV such as Mighty Long Fall, Cry Out, Take Me to the Top, Suddenly, and Heartache that I thought wouldn’t be as fun as Jibun Rock, turned out they are great in lives justifying the hustles I went through going there.
It’s just next time, again, no more VIP seating from SM Ticket ^^;;;
See you again in Asia, ONE OK ROCK! We love you ❤