Monday, November 1, 2010

Ok Go Played Terminal 5 - Pictures, Review

Ok Go is unquestionably on an upward trajectory. Over the past year, the band released their latest record Of The Blur Colour Of The Sky, and despite the departure from their record label, managed to make a huge success of it. Bolstered by some notoriously fantastic videos, the band has been steadily building a following, and with good reason. The videos are one piece of a band that is a self-proclaimed multimedia experience, and thankfully, their stage show more than lives up to those claims. Saturday night the band played Terminal 5, and more than demonstrated their comfort with the big time.

In a way, playing a big room is a given for Ok Go: Their show has always been bigger than life, and often was a bit shocking when seen seen in a small room. Many of the elements that are epic in small rooms simply became more so in a larger setting. Confetti streams, LED jackets and laser guitars; all of these elements played out well in Terminal 5's vacuous space.

The more showy elements, however, were not the only thing that translated well to the larger room. The quiet moments did better in this large setting as well. When lead singer Damian Kulash dragged his guitar and stool to the center of the room for an acoustic turn, his willingness to be out amidst the fans was even more notable. Put differently: it's a hell of a task to drag a stool and guitar out into the middle of a room of 500 people, but if it's 1800 people, it's even more so.

All the above being true, the bottom line is that Ok Go can simply deliver musically. Small room or big room, this is a band that has an extremely solid hold on their setlist, and isn't resting on the laurels of backing tracks, or some sort of reimagining of their studio material. That, and a set of killer rock and roll jams that are perfect for the big stage.

Interestingly, the material from Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky was just as (if not better) received than the band's older material. Earlier in the year, we'd say that the band's fans still seemed somewhat fixated on the back catalogue, but that's clearly changed. Whether it be from video publicity or just greater traction by the record, tunes like "This Too Shall Pass", "White Knuckles", and "End Love" were met with serious audience enthusiasm.

We left Terminal 5 feeling one way: that Ok Go are exactly where they should be. Terminal 5 often feels to big for a band, or leaves one feeling like it's an oddball space that simply wasn't really designed for rock and roll. Quite to the contrary: apparently you just need to know how to fill it. Ok Go did exactly that on Friday night, and left us with little doubt that the next room they play might be even bigger.

More pictures in the HAD Archive