With a mixture of rock, rap and high energy beats, ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D returns to take Anime Next by storm, gracing the first con night with a live concert that shook the masses. The concert opened first with ‘In My World’, the ending to Ao no Exorcist which got the crowd jumping to the awesome rhythm of the guitar and drums. Vocalist SHiNNOSUKE stood middle of the stage with his guitar with RYOTA at the left and drummer in the middle back of the stage. Support guitarist KAT stood at the right.
SHiNNOSUKE’s voice is clear and the lyrics are fun and catchy. The other members provide background vocals while jumping to the beat.
Most of the MC’s was done by SHiNNOSUKE in understandable English with some Japanese. He shared about their musical journey through the years. He noted that they went through many hardships which drew sympathetic awws from the fans. However, he noted that they were happy to be back and playing music for us all which got everyone cheering.
During the song numbers, SHiNNOSUKE encouraged the crowd to jump, clap and wave their hands and they were eager to oblige. At times he would encourage the audience to sing along or ask questions, “Did you enjoy the music? Tanoshimi?” which prompted more cheering and applause.
After ‘Breathing’, SHiNNOSUKE revealed that it is their 10th year anniversary and they were happy to share it with Anime NEXT. During the intros of the other members, U spoke English, reciting from a book. He shared that he likes American music, like Bon Jovi and wants to sing ‘It’s My Life’. He asks, ‘Will you please sing with me?’ To the surprise of everyone, he proceeded to do the familiar drum number-while standing-with KAT riffing on the guitar. U sang the chorus with everyone joining in.
RYOTA shared that it was his first time in New Jersey and that he loves it which got the audience cheering. U joined in to talk about having fun at the casinos. He asked everyone to buy the tour t-shirts or teach him how to win in the casino which made everyone laugh.
The songs which were chosen were choices throughout their career from ‘Complication’ to ‘Breathing’. It was great to hear the different styles of music. It isn’t to say that the sound of ROOKiEZ has changed. No, but that their music style evolves with a mix of punk rock and hip hop. Evolves to fit the lyrics and the tone. It is wonderful to be able to to hear the range of songs live.
Everytime SHiNNOSUKE introduces the songs, the fans would cheer. However, when ‘Fight against yourself’ was mentioned, the crowd went wild. Evem when he spoke Japanese, everyone would cheer. Even if we couldn’t understand the phrases exactly, we got the feel of what he was trying to say.
They ended their main setlist with a crowd favorite, ‘Complication’, the opening to Drrr!!. However, the excitement was high when they encored with ‘Realize’, the ending song for Yowamushi Pedal.
- SHiNNOSUKE: I went through many countries and conventions but New Jersey and Anime NEXT is special to me.
- 1. IN MY WORLD (Ao no Exorcist ED)
2. ZERO SATISFACTION
3. Remind (Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road OP)
6. Reclimb (Yowamushi Pedal OP)
8. song for… (BLEACH ED)
10. Fight against yourself
11. BUMP ON da STYLE
12. Hands up
13. Buchiage mikusutchaa
14. Complication (Drrr!! OP)
EN1. Realize (Yowamushi Pedal ED)
EN2. Stand up
It’s amazing to be celebrate the return of ROOKiEZ and most importantly, to able to share in the 10th year anniversary concert with them. For new music and more lives, keep playing, ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D!