Arts & Entertainment

OK GO Round Two

Layne Hillesland // Loyola Phoenix

The first time I saw alternative rock band OK Go in concert was magical. That night in June 2014 was one to remember, as it was my first time going to a concert alone. Despite being wedged between several older fans with beers in their hands, I was still enamored with the frequent bursts of confetti that were shot out from the stage during each song and the wild lighting techniques.

So as I got off at the Addison Red Line stop on April 3 to go to The Metro (3730 N. Clark St.) for another OK Go performance, I worried that I’d be unimpressed by the same tricks the band brought to last year’s performance.

Like last year, there were showers of confetti and multi-colored lighting that reflected off each screaming fan. But my worries were quickly cast away because the second time seeing OK Go proved to be just as magical as the first. The night was nowhere near boring, despite the band using the same techniques in their previous concert.Untitled2

Waiting hours for a headlining band can build up a lot of impatience. For my first OK Go concert, I mistakenly arrived almost two hours early (which is inconvenient when you’re by yourself, under the drinking age and quickly losing all your lives on Candy Crush).

On April 3, many concertgoers arrived early to claim a good spot and therefore shared my pain of having to wait a long time before seeing the band. The opening act, alternative rocker Brede Baldwin, took the stage at 9 p.m. Although the young teen’s smooth voice kicked off the night on a high note, the crowd seemed anxious to see OK Go, who didn’t take the stage until 10:15 p.m.

Untitled4During the set change, a white curtain unrolled from the ceiling and covered the front of the stage. Twenty minutes later, OK Go’s opening video projected onto the screen. Depicting several short scenes from various movies of actors saying “OK” and then “go,” the short video sped up and the crowd once again started cheering with anticipation.

From my view in the front row (yes, front row!), I could faintly see the four band members take the stage. The white tarp remained in front of the group while they performed the first two songs. Although the screen portrayed fun, psychedelic graphics, the audience was still itching to see the band. Finally, during the second song, the tarp unfurled and the first round of confetti shot out of cannons on both sides of the stage. The crowd screamed, and the excitement didn’t die down throughout the band’s entire performance.

OK Go has one of the best stage personalities and is an expert at getting the crowd hyped up. The band members give off a classic rock ‘n’ roll vibe with some of their early songs such as “Get Over It.” But they also aren’t afraid to explore an unorthodox musical genre with songs such as “Obsession,” which features lead singer Damian Kulash tapping a cow bell.

No matter what the the tempo of the song was, each band member radiated an entertaining and young energy (which is surprising since the band has been around since 1998).

The performance also wouldn’t be complete without the band’s witty humor. Kulash often took questions from the audience and always had a snarky reply to the (probably intoxicated) audience members asking, “will you trade shirts with me?” or “did you bring any treadmills?”

The band closed its set with “Turn Up the Radio” off its most recent album Hungry Ghosts, which dropped in October 2014. Yet even as OK Go played the electronic song, the mellow faces of each band member implied that they knew the night was not yet over. Their encore performance included a quirky dance number that had the audience laughing. While the four men interpretively danced and drummer Dan Konopka portrayed a budding flower by rising up from a squat with his arms flailing outward.

To officially end the night, the band played its most famous song, “Here it Goes Again,” as several lucky audience members were Untitled3invited to dance onstage and streams of confetti poured onto the jumping audience.

Even though it was less than a year ago that I had experienced all the confetti and trippy lights for the first time, OK Go proved that it never disappoints. Its performances are creative with the graphics and lighting choices, and the band members’ hilarious personalities add to the stage presence. Not only would I see OK Go’s concert again, but I would happily attend an OK Go concert every day for the rest of my life.

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