It’s easy to forget that Ok Go is a Chicago band. When I try to name some bigger acts that hail from this city, my mind immediately hits the big three: Wilco, Smashing Pumpkins, and Fall Out Boy. Maybe it’s because Ok Go moved their home base out to LA a few years ago, but they’re mostly left out of the conversation. However, when Chicago’s forgotten sons returned for their show at Metro last Friday, it was like they never left. The sold out crowd certainly helped them feel right at home, and lead singer Damian Kulash had a lot of great things to say about the city. He even reminisced about their debut album release show on the same stage back in 2002.
I’d never seen them play live before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did not think that I would be treated to an A/V explosion that delighted my eyes and ears. The band puts a lot of effort in to making sure their fans get a whole lot of bang for their buck. Screens displaying a crazy light show are set up on the stage, the confetti canyon is working overtime from very early in the set, and the band is as tight as anyone, delivering perfect versions of their songs.
When the band came out they were shrouded by a white screen flashing projections of their faces. I was right up next to the stage, so the video was a bit lost on me. I would recommend standing a couple rows back if you plan to go to one of their shows, so you don’t miss any of the fun. It was pretty cool, and part way through the second song the screen came down, revealing the members of the group in all their glory. The projections moved to the side screens and the crowd went wild. By the third song the confetti cannon was in full effect and it only got crazier from there.
Since they have such an intricate stage production, they don’t mess with the setlist too much. They have fun with it, though, and the way they interact with the fans is great. Lead singer Damian Kulash came out into the crowd for “Last Leaf,” and you could see being back in Chicago meant a lot to him and everyone else in the band.
Ok Go is a lot of fun. I definitely recommend checking them out if they stop in your town, and give their latest album Hungry Ghosts a spin. It’s much different than I expected.
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