From optical illusions to Kermit the frog and endless pumps of confetti, Ok Go proved to be one of the most entertaining live bands during their sold-out show at Venue on Saturday night. The band, which is mostly known for their colourful videos and treadmill dances, was full of energy, charm and enthusiasm – and the audience loved every second of it.
From the start of the show, Ok Go used screens and projectors that showed mini-montages and videos. An onscreen introduction to the band was made by Kermit the Frog before the band opened the show with “Upside Down & Inside Out.” The screen came down, followed by huge cheers from the crowd as the band began to play their new single “The Writing’s on the Wall.”
Currently touring their new album, Hungry Ghosts, which will be released in October this year, the fans didn’t really seem to mind all the new material or the constant release of confetti. Lead singer Damian Kulash kept interacting with the crowd, and very surprisingly, the venue would be completely silent as he spoke. This was proven when Kulash had a Question & Answer series with the audience, in which fans got to ask the band questions, and everyone in the crowd could hear the audience questions. A polite Canadian crowd? Perhaps, although it was mostly the band’s ability to draw the audience in completely.
Ok Go was also one of the first shows I’ve recently attended in which phones were not constantly out – fans just took in the moments, and enjoyed the music, without snapping each second.
Ok Go has a charismatic stage presence that creates a spectacular show. About midway through the show, they played “There’s a Fire” entirely based on audience participation where they would record the audience and play it back to create a beat. The small venue was able to create an intimate feel to the show, and was a great location for all the audience participation. Kulash frequently left the stage to sing in the crowd, and played Last Leaf alone with an acoustic guitar in the middle of the venue. He nicknamed Vancouver “the Couv” and took photos of the crowd- posted on their Instagram and website. At one point, Kulash asked the fans to look at the screen and watch an optical illusion, later asking the audience if they saw or felt the effects of it. Ok Go closed their 17-song set with their most popular single, “Here it Goes Again.”
Ok Go was random, funny and highly entertaining to watch. The live production quality was great for a small venue, and the sound had no flaws. Their humourous over-the-top use of colourful confetti even took to the streets of “the Couv” – as happy fans walked out of Venue covered in them. For a small band known mostly for its eccentric music videos, Ok Go proved to be a band that should be known for its live shows as well.
Photo: Ok Go Facebook