In September I hit up the 9:30 Club to see OK Go for the first time since they opened for Phantom Planet during my freshman year at Bucknell. Back then they had just had their first single “Get Over It” get a good reception from the rock world. Who would have thought they would go on to become music video wunderkinds. And confetti enthusiasts.
They didn’t have an opener – a ballsy move that puts a lot of pressure on their set. It was shorter than I would have expected given that set up (17 songs) but still highly entertaining.
Their stage show boarders on overwhelming. There is a lot going on. Crazy lights. Video projections. More confetti than you’ve ever seen before. I’m talking exponentially more confetti than you see at a Flaming Lips show. At the end of the show there was a solid 4-5 inches of confetti on the floor around me, like we were stuck in a snow drift.
They played their first two songs behind a screen with some projections. Then the screen dropped and the confetti cannons started. I only own their debut album, but even the newer non-singles were instantly likeable, at least when distracted by a lot of confetti.
“The Writing’s on the Wall” was an early highlight. The lead singer climbed into the audience while singing “This Too Shall Pass” and later went to the middle of the crowd with an acoustic guitar to play a slow song before making it back to the stage for a rocking rendition of “Get Over It.” For one song they recorded a drum beat on the spot via crowd noises. They paused for a tongue-in-cheek Q&A session. It was all endearing, if bizarre. The singer told stories of going to the old 9:30 Club as a teen to see Shudder to Think all the time.
They played all five songs from their recent LP plus a few more from their new album that drops in Oct. and ended their three song encore with “Here It Goes Again” (sans treadmills).
I have a copy of Lena Dunham's book but haven't had a chance to read it yet. But I've been following all the brouhaha because it's hard to avoid. FWIW, Cathy Young's article in Reason is the most reasonable thing I've read on the controversy.