Mixing music, media, and technology, OK Go put on an energetic and interactive show at the Ogden Theater on Friday April 24, 2015. Playing behind a screen of projected images and live video streams of the band members for parts of the show, this tech savvy pop band delivered an impressive musical range and progressive artistic performance that pushed the boundaries of the performer/audience barrier. Opening with “Upside Down & Inside Out,” a single from their newest album Hungry Ghosts released in 2014, showcased the band’s foray into the electro-pop sound that defines bands such as Foster the People and Cut Copy, which is a departure from the alternative pop-rock feel of their previous albums. Other songs included “Skyscraper,” “This Too Shall Pass,” “A Million Ways” and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.”
Although the opening song was full of riotous energy, this evening with OK Go had many moments where the band wasn’t playing music at all. They held Q+A sessions in between songs, calling on audience members to ask whatever their hearts desired. This led to front man Damian Kulash telling a story about how he threw such a crazy party once that his furniture was ruined because of drunk MMA fighting, and that his girlfriend and dog ended up sleeping on the roof because it was “safer” than being in the house. Vocalist and keyboardist Tim Norwind admitted that the band’s favorite cat is a Calico, and that their favorite city to play was Chicago. Someone call their agent – what a scandal! It got even more intimate when Damian came down into the crowd to perform an acoustic song, sans amplification, to a gently swaying cell-phone-clutching audience.
But the whole night wasn’t one big Kumbaya jam session. Displaying their love for technology and redefining the term instrument, they performed a song using the recorded stomps, claps, and yells of the audience as the main drum beat. Their cover of “Black Dog” was perfection, from the lighting to the rock and roll energy that emanated from Damian, frequently led the audience to accompany him in his long echoing wails. The band ended the night with a live performance of their unforgettable choreographed dance for the music video of “A Million Ways,” which was responsible for rocketing them into stardom with over 2 million views. Overall, OK Go put on a fantastic and unforgettable show filled with incredible energy and charm that has put them in a category of their own making.