OK Go seems to have more fun than most bands. Not only have they found great success writing and creating music, they have also tapped into their nerdy sides, creating all kinds of toys and visuals to accompany their live shows, not to mention their epic series of viral music videos. With a new EP out and an album on the way, Los Angeles’ own visual rockers played two shows last week at two of the town’s best venues, The Troubadour and The Echo.
DJ Myles Hendrik opened the show at The Echo to an eager crowd. He delivered a solid set, jumping and clapping in an attempt to engage the audience, though it seemed like this may not have been his crowd. It is incredibly difficult to be the opener when a bigger band is playing a smaller show because nearly no one in the crowd is there because they saw your name on the bill. That being said, Myles Hendrik did his best and would be great to see in more of a club setting.
The show started with projections of a series of movie scenes in which characters say the terms “ok” or “go.” This went on for about 90 seconds until Kermit the Frog appeared on the screens to give the band a more formal introduction. OK Go then took the stage, and everyone went nuts. The group opened with a song from their new EP followed by an older track, “You’re So Damn Hot,” then a power set of upbeat songs including the group’s new single “The Writing’s on the Wall” and their breakout single “Get Over It.”
The visual aspect of an OK Go show even at a small venue is nothing short of spectacular. The sheer amount of confetti that filled the room was awe inspiring. During the first song and at least a dozen more times throughout the night, tiny shreds of paper flew from cannons on either side of the stage, and without any hyperbole, by the end of the show about six inches of confetti were covering the stage and venue floor. For about 10 minutes after OK Go left the stage, fans stuck around and threw what was probably beer-soaked confetti in the air.
The band also had several cameras on stage, including a small one on singer Damian Kulash’s microphone pointing back at him. From song to song, these close up images would appear on the screens, interspersed with song lyrics, movie scenes, and neon geometric shapes. It was incredible to see something so large scale in such a tiny room.
Towards the end of the set, Damian brought an acoustic guitar out into the middle of the crowd and sat on a makeshift platform to sing the ballad “Last Leaf” while surrounded by fans. He even made a point to appease those taking pictures by changing the direction he was facing halfway through the song.
OK Go put on a show Los Angeles will not soon forget. It was an incredible night filled with surprises and enough confetti to give a recycling obsessive a heart attack. As someone who considers himself pretty green, I’d say the waste of paper was well worth it.
OK Go’s new album Hungry Ghosts will be available in October, and the band will be making an appearance at the Santa Monica Pier later this summer, so keep an eye out for new things coming soon from one of LA’s best indie entertainers.
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