Sing-along with Taka

I’ve had a little preview of tomorrow night’s show by watching cellphone videos of Tuesday’s show in Chicago and Thursday’s show in Toronto. It’s changed my expectations for the show in NYC.

When I saw ONE OK ROCK in Pittsburgh, they opened for two other bands. Maybe a quarter of the crowd knew who they were, and maybe half of that were die-hard fans like me. Up where I was on the front rail of the balcony, there were only two of us who knew all the lyrics in both languages.

Somehow, it never occurred to me that the four solo shows of the North American Tour would be filled ONLY with die-hard OOR fans—who have been waiting years for just this tour.

Oh dear. Talk about pent-up enthusiasm.

Near as I can tell, at both shows, well, Taka didn’t really need to sing at all. In fact, during some microphone problems in Chicago, the crowd carried the song. Taka also seemed surprised by all this. He stopped after one of the Japanese verses of Heartache to tell the crowd, “You guys are really great.” At the Toronto show, same place, he tells them, “Perfect”.

OTOH, in the new all-English lyrics version of Cry Out, the spliced-in section in the middle really threw the fans. Taka’s singing one thing in English, and the fans are singing to the alternate line in Japanese. I’m wondering if they’ll switch to the mixed-language version for our show.

Standing in the queue outside the club in Pittsburgh, it seemed like I was the only one who recognized the guys as they came back to the bus with their take-out from the Asian restaurant down the street. It seemed like I was an outsider.

To gather with 1,999 equally rabid fans—many of them fans for many more years than I’ve been following the band—is going to be a completely different experience.

My train for NYC leaves at 5:41 tomorrow morning. At the venue, the doors open for VIP Meet & Greet ticket holders at 5:30 tomorrow afternoon. We meet with the band at six. There should be enough time to stash our swag at the coat check, and stake out our places on the floor before doors open for the hoi palloi at seven. The show starts at eight.

Listen for me screaming and singing along. You might be able to hear all the way back here in R-town.