The innovation of OK Go

Review: Unusual stage elements added a unique kick to OK Go's show at the Westcott Theater on Tuesday.

It’s not often that confetti, hand bells and 3D glasses are found simultaneously at a rock concert, but Grammy-winning OK Go found ways to effectively incorporate them all into their 90-minute show at the Westcott Theater Tuesday night.

Taking the stage in vibrant blue, yellow, red, and green suits, Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, and Andy Ross began their 18-song set with “Do What You Want.” Crepe paper confetti shot off the stage and lead vocalist Kulash blew bits of the blue and red paper out of his mouth as he sang the well-known song from their second album, "Oh No."

Photo: Allie Hootnick
Hand bells were used to create a subdued tone for an acoustic version of "Return."

Small video cameras attached to the musicians’ microphones provided close up footage of the band members that was displayed on a screen set up behind the stage. Kulash’s camera provided a humorous shot up his nose and captured his animated facial expressions throughout the show.

Brushing off confetti stuck to his perspiring face, the front man yelled, “Yeah! It’s good to see you again Syracuse!” and introduced “Don’t Ask Me,” the second song of the show from their debut self-titled album. Easily transitioning into one of their new dance songs, “White Knuckles,” OK Go found a successful way to balance their older tracks with songs off "Of The Blue Colour of the Sky," their most recent album that was released in January. The old “Invincible” was paired well with the new “Needing/Getting” and “Back from Kathmandu,” although the songs’ styles differ.

As the group arranged a table with hand bells, Kulash announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for f---ing church,” before they slowed down the show with an acoustic version of “Return.” The simplicity of the hand bells was perfect for the remorseful tone of the song and the venue fell silent as the band played the song with intensity.

Keeping the show entertaining, Kulash worked his way into the audience after announcing that he hasn’t washed his sweat-soaked suit in a while and that it “smelled like several shows.” Appointing it “campfire time,” he serenaded the crowd with an acoustic version of “Last Leaf,” and then instructed those with the free 3D glasses to prepare for a premiere showing of their creative “White Knuckles” video.

OK Go began “Here It Goes Again” as the 3D music video ended and the memorable song from their famed YouTube video was one of the best received of the night. More confetti was shot into the crowd as they played old favorites, “A Million Ways” and “Get Over It.”

Taking the stage for an encore, the band illuminated the venue with black suit jackets and white faux fur-covered guitars that both lit up. They scanned the room with small red and green laser beams shining from the headstock of their guitars during “WTF?” and “In The Glass.” Closing the show with “This Too Shall Pass” amidst more shots of confetti, Kulash spit bits of paper out of his mouth and helped the crowd sing, “Let it go, this too shall pass. When the morning comes” before promising to come back to Syracuse again soon.

Video cameras on the band members' microphones projected up close and personal images throughout the show. (Photo: Allie Hootnick)

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