Ok Go goes at it again ... and it's still just as good! [Review]

Ok Go goes at it again ... and it's still just as good! [Review]

Ok Go puts on a show that's more than just ok and certainly gets the crowd going



I first saw Ok Go in concert when I was at university back in 2007. It was just after they'd hit it big with their viral videos of choreography on treadmills and in their backyard, and I had memorized all the lyrics to every song on their self-titled first album. 

Now, nearly ten years later, as I packed in with the eager crowd in Kitec all that excitement of seeing them for the first time came flooding back, along with my memory of all those lyrics I'd assumed were long-forgotten. 

Lead singer Damian Kulash gets support from the crowd.
Photo: Desmond Cheung

With no opener, the band got right into it, setting the mood with dazzling lights and confetti canons which quickly filled the small black-box venue with glittering bits of silver paper. The mood was as electric as the lights as the crowd surged to the music.

After a few songs, lead singer Damian Kulash slowed things down for a more casual chat as he asked for questions from the audience. Calling on eager crowd members one by one, Kulash at one point put someone in the back in his place for yelling out of turn. "Excuse me sir," he said in his best teacher impression, "but I do not believe you raised your hand."

Then it was time to launch back into the set list, which covered a range of tracks from across the band's career. There were plenty from their first album, to the delight of old timers like me, plus newer ones and even a few from an upcoming album. 

At one point Kulash decided to get even more personal with the audience, and came down into the audience with an accoustic guitar to sing a slower song from the among the crowd. He seemed equal parts amused and bewildered by the sudden press of bodies as people surged towards him to take selfies. 

Damian Kulash gets up close and personal down in the audience.
Photo: Desmond Cheung

Connecting the audience to the performance didn't stop there. Next it was time for the crowd to take the place of drummer Dan Konopka. Following the directions of Kulash, the crowd called out in unison certain noises which were then recorded and looped to create a beat. 

Throughout the show, it was clear the band was there to please. They wanted their audience engaged and having fun, and their commitment to their fans showed. Bassist Tim Nordwind and guitar and keyboard support Andy Ross joined Kulash in answering questions from the crowd throughout the show, and took turns calling on the eagerly raised hands. 

And the band themselves were obviously enjoying the evening as well. At one point in the middle of the show they transitioned seamlessly from one of their own songs to a cover of Led Zeppelin's Black Dog. The band was having a blast, and it felt like watching them just letting loose in a jam session rather than worrying about a performance. 

Finally it was time for the encore. The audience chanted, clapped and stomped, calling through the darkened hall for the band to come back. And we waited. And waited. Murmers rose as we started to wonder whether they would be back on at all.

Bassist Tim Nordwind takes front and centre as the band revisits their viral dance choreography.
Photo: Kyra Campbell

But we should have known better. While the entire show had been one surprise after another, this one was the biggest yet. On marched the band, and the screen behind them lit up to show a familiar backyard garden as A Million Ways came blasting through the sound system. The band immediately launched into the choreography that sent them viral -- with plenty of laughs, smiles and a few awkward glances as they tried to remember the nearly decade-old dance routine. 

After three final songs, including current hit I Won't Let You Down, and a dazzling blacklight show, it was time to say goodnight. But as the crowd filed out of Kitec's Musiczone the audience remained energised. 

From beginning to end, Ok Go kept it light, fun and full of audience involvement. And they didn't even need treadmills to get up and running!


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