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I had the utmost privilege of attending the third show of One OK Rock's current US headlining tour at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN on Friday, February 22, 2019.
If you are unfamiliar with One OK Rock, they are a primarily punk band from Japan and their new album "Eye of the Storm" just came out on February 15th! I recommend checking it out along with their older album “Ambitions” (my personal fave).
Supporting acts, Stand Atlantic and Waterparks, opened up the show, and if I’m being quite honest, I was mostly there for Waterparks. I listen to One OK Rock and Waterparks pretty often on my Spotify, but I’ve been a fan of Waterparks for a longer period of time so when my friend asked if I wanted to go to this show with her, I was quite ecstatic!
Let me start of with talking about the venue: Varsity Theater. Varsity Theater is in the heart of “Dinkytown” in downtown St. Paul. It has those classic bright bulb lights with the marquee signs out front and it’s quite a smaller venue compared to other shows I’ve attended. The theater has a very cool vibe and the decor makes you feel ready to party! Bright colors hang all over the walls with disco balls coming from the ceiling overhead.
Now, the crowd was definitely a different sort of crowd that I’m used to (compared to crowds at 5SOS shows). Everyone there made me feel more relaxed than anxious and it felt very refreshing to be surrounded by people who weren’t going to rip your limbs off if you tried to get closer to the stage.
Stand Atlantic impressed me for multiple reasons. First, they started their set two minutes before scheduled (which was nice if you understand how annoying it is sitting around waiting for bands for 30 to 45 extra minutes). Then, their energy was very much appreciated. They didn’t hesitate to go all in and being someone who had never listened to them before, I fell in love with their accents, the female lead singer and pretty much everything about them. They hyped the crowd up for the upcoming acts and I was pumped as ever for Waterparks and Awsten Knight to roast the crap out of me and everyone else there.
How we managed to get up to the third row from the back, I still don’t know! However, we were third row right in front of Awsten’s mic and there was no other place I’d rather be. As soon as I saw his silhouette and heard Otto drum, I was DECEASED.
Now, this may sound dramatic to some of you, but I’m serious when I say that Waterparks was probably the best set I’ve ever experienced and I saw 5SOS three times last year. I was jumping, screaming, falling in love from the time they set foot on stage til the time they left and when they left I instantly got flooded with some hard core post concert depression. Ultimately, this sucked because then I proceeded to drop $120 on Waterparks merch.
Also, Awsten Knight called us “cute as shit” and now I can die happy.
Anyway, my friend and I managed to also stay third row for One OK Rock and I’m actually even more shocked by that because obviously everyone was there to see them! I think maybe, respectively, 30 of us there were Waterparks fans, but I also couldn’t be too sure. Back to the point, One OK Rock’s set was also one of the most high-energy sets I’ve ever seen. They played song after song with no hesitation! I think they spoke to the crowd like twice? And usually I frown upon this, but somehow it was completely fine for me because I was just genuinely shook by their performance.
Don’t you just hate when you go to a concert and the artist is way worse live than they are recorded? Yeah, well, that’s completely opposite the case for One OK Rock. They’re extremely impressive live and honestly, their studio versions do them no justice.
If you have a chance to go to a show during this tour, I’d say just take the risk and do it because you won’t be disappointed and if you don’t know any of the bands I just listed then PLEASE do yourself a favor and look them up. It’ll change your life, I promise.