ONE OK ROCK “Eye of the Storm” at Hollywood Palladium (Live Report)

ONE OK ROCK
Hollywood Palladium – March 19, 2019
Concert Review by Nhu Nguyen

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At the L.A. stop of ONE OK ROCK’s “Eye of the Storm” North America tour, the band gave me everything I wanted from their newly-released album: power, punch and passion. When I first listened to the album, it didn’t rock me like some of their previous works. The album’s subdued, withdrawn feeling had me thinking… “ONE OK ROCK or ONE OK POP”? Judging by their previous live concert, I held some faith that the live versions would hit harder, and their March 19 concert at the Hollywood Palladium did not disappoint.

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The momentum of the night was sealed within the first five songs. The band blasted off their set full of energy with “Push Back” and “We Are”. The audience’s cheers grew the longer Taka held his climactic note in “Clock Strikes”. “Change” incited the crowd to dance in celebration, and the guitar in “Unforgettable” was infectious — the song so alluring live that I even wondered if the track was always that good. This was when I realized they gave me what I craved from the CD. There were certain moments in the album when I expected the energy to jump out, but it felt reserved instead. When hearing these songs live, the melody and vibe leaped out full force.

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The set list had a balance between hard and soft, electric and acoustic sounds. “Head High” started off with beautiful acoustic sounds (fans instinctively turning on their cell phone flashlights to match the atmosphere) then segued into upbeat mode as the song’s message grew confident. Things may have slowed down with the ballad “In The Stars”, but emotions were high as Kiiara, who’s featured on the song, joined the band on stage with her gorgeous vocals. The hard rock instrumental break performed by Toru (guitarist), Ryota (bass) and Tomoya (drummer) gave Taka a break, but ramped up the audience even more.

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Toward the end of the concert, it dawned on me that there seemed to be a unified purpose in the album’s “anthem-style” lyrics: they want you to sing along! Taka invited the crowd to join in the vocals throughout the night, and ONE OK ROCK’s naturally fun atmosphere on stage and with the fans is one of the reasons their shows are so enjoyable –- that connection is essential, and the band has never forgotten.

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ONE OK ROCK official website: http://www.oneokrock.com/
ONE OK ROCK official YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ONEOKROCKchannel
ONE OK ROCK official Twitter: https://twitter.com/ONEOKROCK_japan
ONE OK ROCK official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oneokrockofficial/
ONE OK ROCK official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ONEOKROCK

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