Live Review: One Ok Rock - Heaven, London 05/12/2018


The queue for One Ok Rock’s show at London’s Heaven had already begun to form when I walked passed the venue with my friend on our way to the Southbank at 11AM. So when I enter the venue, about thirty minutes after doors open, and the room is already three quarters of the way full. It’s always admirable when fans are so dedicated to a band, that they make sure to get there early, to get good spots, but this also means the openers, Scotland based Vukovi, get to play to a huge crowd. 

When Vukovi take the stage, and I have never seen a band with such mesmerising stage presence so early on in a set, but front woman, Janine Shilstone was impossible to keep your eyes off from the start. Dressed in track pants, a mesh black top and a bright orange bra, alongside glitter under her eyes and Harley Quinn inspired hair, she has show stopper written all over her. The crowd falls in love with the singer quickly, and while many of the people in the front rows don’t seem to know they’re music, they’re happy to engage with Janine. When they finish their first song, a girl even shouts at the group, “I love you already!!” The energy the crowd were giving the group did not falter, Shilstone was engaging with them for at least half of the set, taking their phones and recording herself on them, and getting them to call and return with her throughout the set. Having never heard of the band before, I was absolutely blown away and there’s no doubt in my mind that this band is going to absolutely blow up in 2019.

When Vukovi finished their set, the crowd seemed genuinely disappointed that they were leaving the stage. But after a few minutes the atmosphere in the room changed to anticipation for the night’s main event, One Ok Rock. After a very long feeling thirty minutes, it was finally time for the boys in One Ok Rock to take the stage. As soon as the venue lights dimmed, the room was filled with screams. You could barely tell what was happening in the crowd as almost every audience member had a mobile phone in the air, hoping to capture every moment of greatness the group was about to produce. The set was filled with songs in both Japanese and English, and crowds of all different ethnicities knew all the words to every song, regardless of the language it was being preformed in. The band’s stage presence was like nothing I had ever seen before, and they each seemed to have a very clear on stage persona that they took on. With a crazy light show, rock music and boy band vibes, including synchronised scissors jumps, One Ok Rock are a whole other beast. Seeing rock music performed in a whole different realm was quite a beautiful thing to withhold. One Ok Rock are not a band to ignore, they’ll be touring most of North America at the end of February and most of March, and are worth being checked out, regardless of what kind of music you listen to, there’s something in One Ok Rock for everybody.

Words and Photography by Sara Feigin