OK Go Exudes Viral-Video Enthusiasm In Concert Too
Photos by Jack Gorman
OK Go Warehouse Live April 19, 2015
A camera that was affixed to Damian Kulash's microphone plastered the lead singer of OK Go's sweaty forehead onscreen behind him as he fielded questions from the crowd halfway through the band's set Friday night. During the Q&A session, audience members learned that his rock-star idol is Sam Cooke, that the band maintains its awesomeness through the love of pizza and puppies, and that Kulash has no interest in disrobing onstage.
"Take it off!", yelled a young woman who had been tapped by the band.
"That's not even close to a question," Kulash laughed. "People very frequently go, 'Hey, will you play this song?' And because there's a question market at the end of it, they think it's a question when, in fact, it's a demand...But you're not even fronting with the question mark."
Standing in between two mesh screens, onto which animations and videos were displayed throughout the evening, OK Go serenaded a packed Warehouse Live for 90 minutes Friday night, captivating an enthusiastic audience that was undeterred by the torrential downpour.
For their second song, the front mesh fell away and confetti was shot into the crowd as they played "The Writing's On the Wall." The band itself was still for much of the show, allowing the visuals to amuse audience members' eyes while the group focused on the music.
During "I Want You So Bad," the backing screen depicted a kind of three-dimensional Tetris game, with the viewers taking on the point of view of a falling block. It was the kind of scene that made you reconsider abstaining from mind-altering substances, if only momentarily. (Only kidding, Ralph!)
Kulash and crew even recorded the crowd stomping, clapping and hissing to use as the percussion in one of their songs, complimenting the crowd on its aptitude for sounding like a drum set. And despite performing roughly 20 songs, the band made plenty of time to interact with their fans.
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To be honest, I never gave OK Go much credit before Friday night's show. I saw their videos and assumed it was all a shtick, that their creative videos were compensating for a lack of musicianship. But that couldn't have been further from the truth.
Though they had already convinced me, the band's faithful cover of Led Zeppelins "Black Dog" near the end of their show further bolstered my opinion of their abilities. It's amazing that these guys weren't performing in a larger venue, though it would be difficult to find one big enough to house this much creativity.
While OK Go was entertaining a houseful of fans Friday night, they made a new one in this skeptic. Hopefully they return soon and will be welcomed with the same fervor they experienced over the weekend. By then, I'll know a few more songs.
Personal Bias: I didn't really have one walking in, but I do now. OK Go's live performance was just as fun as the band's music videos.
The Crowd: Well-behaved and receptive to the music. The rain must have weeded out the fair-weather fans who would have just talked the entire time. So here's to rain!
Random Notebook Dump: If you absolutely must take pictures or video, could you at least stand in the back of the crowd?
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