Influenced by bands like Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Good Charlotte and Japanese punk-rockers Ellegarden, the post-hardcore group One OK Rock formed more than 10 years ago in Tokyo when Takahiro Moriuchi (vocals), Toru Yamashita (guitar and vocals) and Ryota Kohama (bass and vocals) were still in high school. (The name comes from the time the band would practice.) Tomoya Kanki (drums) joined a year later, and then their debut full-length, Zeitakubyō (stream it below), arrived in 2007 with an accompanying nationwide tour of Japan. Since then, One OK Rock (above, performing “Mighty Long Fall”) have remained busy, steadily touring—playing stadiums in Japan and South America and crisscrossing the U.S. on 2014’s Vans Warped Tour—and recording. Their eighth studio long-player, Ambitions (stream it below), filled with soaring hooks and catchy melodies, comes out today on Fueled by Ramen. Don’t miss them on Sunday night at Terminal 5. Philly trio Cruisr open the show.
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Fueled by Ramen – Terminal 5 – September 9, 2011
Over the last 15 years, Fueled by Ramen has turned into a pop-punk and emo powerhouse of a label, releasing chart-hitting records for many great bands. Night two of its anniversary celebration welcomed VersaEmerge, A Rocket to the Moon, The Academy Is…, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship to Terminal 5. Chicago’s The Academy Is… played its debut full-length record for FBR, Almost Here, in its entirety, much to the delight of the fans on the crowded floor. Almost Here garnered a number of singles on the Billboard charts, including “Checkmarks,” “Slow Down” and “The Phrase That Pays.” For the record’s title track, heartthrob frontman Bill Beckett jumped up to the barricade and sang with a smarm of swaying fans.
Gym Class Heroes, the band that introduced the world to Katy Perry in its “Cupid’s Chokehold” video, played through its hits, including “The Queen and I” and “Cookie Jar,” and performed a new single, “Stereo Hearts.” Led by Travie McCoy and the group’s hype man, the group also included the first single off McCoy’s debut solo album, “Billionaire,” to a sea of swaying hands.
Cobra Starship, with a new album, Night Shades, not only played a slew of hits, including the new single “You Make Me Feel…,” but also went one step further than the other bands in attempting to break the world record for most people wearing sunglasses in the dark. Although I’m not entirely sure the record was broken, the NYC band’s high-energy, often tongue-in-cheek set was a great way to end a stellar two-day celebration for an exceptional label. —Kirsten Housel
Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com
Fueled by Ramen – Terminal 5 – September 7, 2011
Although it started in humble beginnings in 1996 by Less Than Jake’s drummer, Vinnie Fiorello, and a business partner, over the last 15 years, Fueled by Ramen has turned into a pop-punk and emo powerhouse of a label, releasing debut records for many great bands that have since gone by the wayside, as well as some of the genre’s most current recognizable faces. Night one of the celebration This Providence, the Swellers, the Stereo, fun. and headliners Paramore.
Both the Swellers and the Stereo had one of the harder tasks of the night—filling the large Terminal 5 stage with their four-man lineups. The Swellers did exceptionally well, led by guitarist Ryan Collins scissor-kicking and jumping as the band played a set of modern pop-punk gems that included “Fire Away” and “2009” from their acclaimed FBR debut, Ups and Downsizing, and “The Damage” and “The Best I Ever Had” from this year’s album, Good for Me. The Stereo, one of FBR’s pop-punk bands from yesteryear, broke up in 2004, and although last night’s young crowd didn’t seem to know such songs as “She Would Never,” “Tell Your Football Dad,” “1994” and “You’ve Got Some Nerve,” one industry vet looked like he was having the time of his life as he danced and sang along onstage to set-closer “New Tokyo.”
Paramore is the current poster child for FBR, having had both 2007’s Riot! and 2009’s Brand New Eyes blast onto the Billboard charts. Although the band went through some turmoil earlier this year, losing two founding members, such a glitch wasn’t even noticeable as the group played through its hits, with the pint-sized firecracker Haley Williams running the show. Paramore closed its set with “Misery Business,” Riot!’s superpunky, stellar first single that instigated the band’s success. —Kirsten Housel
Tags: A Rocket to the Moon, Cobra Starship, Fueled by Ramen, fun., Gym Class Heroes, Paramore, Photos, Review, Terminal 5, The Academy Is ..., the Stereo, the Swellers, This Providence, VersaEmerge
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John Janick and Less Than Jake drummer and lyricist Vinnie Fiorello met while attending the University of Florida in the ’90s. They had a common taste in music and decided to create a label to release albums by bands they liked. The only problem with sinking money into this venture was it left them with little cash to spend on food. All they could really afford was Ramen noodles, and, thus, Fueled by Ramen was born in 1996. It’s gone on to become the home of Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, Travie McCoy, Gym Class Heroes, fun. and a host of others. And to celebrate its 15th anniversary, the label hosts a two-night party at Terminal 5. Tonight’s show is sold out. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the celebration because you can still see Cobra Starship (above, playing “Good Girls Go Bad” for Much Music), Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is…, A Rocket to the Moon and VersaEmerge on Friday night.