If one word could encapsulate the sold-out OK Go gig at the Belly Up this past Thursday night, it would be “confetti.”
So many colorful strips of paper snowed down on the audience that, by the time the house lights went up, fans were able to grab armfuls to toss up again while others successfully made “confetti angels” on the floor. Traces of this show will no doubt linger at the Belly Up for many days to come.
Ending a quick West Coast run to preview their new live show, as well as to debut songs from the upcoming album Hungry Ghosts, OK Go packed the Solana Beach venue and delivered on good times. Known for creating some amazing and iconic music videos (their latest seemingly an ode to M.C. Escher), the LA band managed to bring that magic to life on stage.
OK Go started their set veiled behind a thin, gauzy screen that projected animations as well as images of the members’ heads. A small area was roped off between audience and stage to accommodate the screen, which would come up and down throughout the night. It first dropped down dramatically to administer the first blasts of confetti during “The Writing’s on the Wall,” the band’s latest and infectious single that would be perfect on any John Hughes movie soundtrack.
Frontman Damian Kulash referred to the fans as “guinea pigs” for their new visual tricks. The designation was apt: an optical illusion projected on the screen during “Skyscrapers” didn’t seem to quite work. However, sampling the audience on the iPhone for “There’s a Fire” was a quirky hit. A highlight of the night was when Kulash took his guitar into the middle of the room for an acoustic, tender rendition of “Last Leaf,” asking for fans to illuminate him with their phones.
In a span of 75 minutes, OK Go delivered a memorable night featuring a decade-long catalog of catchy songs, a humorous Q & A session with fans, and of course, ever-exploding confetti cannons.
Bassist Tim Nordwind introduced friend and opener Myles Hendrik, an LA-based DJ known for spinning some high profile events. A wide range of songs and styles were selected to get people moving, including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Britney Spears, The Stokes, and House of Pain. Hendrik ended his DJ set with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “The Next Episode.”