Saturday, April 11, 2015

OK Go at Terminal 5

Vocalist/guitarist Damian Kulash is from Washington, D.C., and bassist/vocalist Tim Nordwind is from Kalamazoo, Michigan. They met when they were 11 years old at a Michigan arts camp, where they had an art teacher who regularly said "Okay, go!" to launch their drawing lessons. Nordwind relocated to Chicago, Illinois, where he formed a band with drummer Dan Konopka. Kulash joined and the band was named OK Go in 1998. Three years later, OK Go relocated to Los Angeles, California, and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Andy Ross joined in 2005. OK Go's fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts, was released on October 14, 2014. The band is best known for its award-winning videos.

At Terminal 5 tonight, OK Go's show was filled with clever moves and masterful effects. As the houselights dimmed, a large sheet hung over the apron of the stage, obscuring the band. The show opened with a video montage of film clips of actors saying either "okay" or "go." Behind the screen, OK Go opened with "Upside Down & Inside Out." Thanks to cameras attached to the microphone stands, the audience watched massive close-ups of the musicians' faces as they sang the lyrics; during the later verses, the projections stopped and the audience saw through the screen to the band performing the song. Later, Kulash asked the audience to stamp feet, clap hands and hiss, recording these sounds on his cell phone and then utilizing these sounds as the percussion during "There's a Fire." Kulash crowd surfed during "This Too Shall Pass" and later sang "Last Leaf" solo from the middle of the audience. Three times during the show, OK Go fielded questions from the audience, who asked about shoe sizes, the inspirations for the videos, and working with Kermit the Frog. Confetti and soap bubbles were shot into the audience several times. For the encore, the four musicians wore white jumpsuits and performed a choreographed dance to "A Million Ways." For "White Knuckles," colored lights shone on the musicians and their white outfits mysteriously developed swirling neon green and red stripes. For the finale, OK Go invited members of the audience on stage for "Here It Goes Again." Throughout the evening, the quartet engaged the audience well, but overall the songs were lightweight pop songs with only intermittently interesting arrangements. OK Go's light-hearted antics and elaborate stage production proved more memorable than the songs.

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