(Photo Credit: B51 Photography/Mark Brown)
If you missed Saturday night's OK Go
show at Terminal 5, you should be suffering from "White Knuckles" of anger. You missed one of the most refreshing live performances I have seen in a very long time.
While waiting for the band -- comprised of Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Andy Ross, and Dan Konopka -- to hit the stage, fans were wondering what in the world was going on with a giant white screen/sheet that was hanging from the ceiling and blocking the stage. I knew on some level -- with a band that had produced the music videos OK Go had in the past -- that something was up, and "Up" is what it was..."Upside Down & Inside Out" was the opening number. The band performed behind a white, see through screen while digitally projected heads of the band were synced to the live performance. After the first two tracks, the screen went away, and from there, the audience was taken on a live music seminar.
Throughout the night, (and I have never ever seen such constant and intense interaction between a band and their audience), the band led the audience in three separate Q&A sessions. The house lights were on full blast, and Damian causally asked, "So does anyone have any questions?" The audience's questions ranged all over the place -- from meeting/working with Kermit the Frog to how big their shoes sizes are to how did you get picked to write a song for Hot Tub Time Machine
When the music returned, the OK Go journey was filled by more paper confetti and bubbles being shot into the crowd than a Yankees World Series parade. Songs like "Theres A Fire" were actually played with their iPhones and high-tech music gadgets whose actual names I couldn't even guess, but I didnt care because it made for a great sound. Anyone who thought that Damian Kulash was going to sit still the whole set was dead wrong because he then grabbed his acoustic guitar and started smacking his ass in the middle of the audience after he surfed his way throughout the crowd.
The real OK Go treats were saved for the encore. The band reappeared from behind the white screen which featured a collage of all their best video moments, wearing full body white paint suits. See the theme? White suits, white screen, "White Knuckles?" Not yet. The band came out and pulled off one of their classic video dance routines for the song "A Million Ways." The lights promptly went out again, and blue/purple lights came into effect, and the band was in bright neon green and red swirly suits for... you guessed it -- "White Knuckles."
OK Go is band that sounds even better live. You wonder how many bands can actually write creative material and still produce the videos they do. Is it a schtick/gimmick or are they the real deal? Maybe it's all three, but I would back this band all day long. It was one of the most refreshing/creative shows I have ever been too and would happily play along again. I will even write a few questions down before I go back.