OK Go | 11.27.06

God, I love OK Go. Really, it's like they're my own children or something; when they're on stage, singing and dancing and making witty banter, I feel an upswelling of pride; it's crazy. (You should have seen the goofy grin I wore while watching my boys on the VH1 Video Music Awards.)


opening for Death Cab for Cutie
at The Pageant, St. Louis


On this night, even though they were the opening act, they managed to win more than a few converts from the largely pre-pubescent masses that pressed tight against the stage, anxiously awaiting their precious Death Cab for Cutie. Though not everyone was singing along (as, of course, I was), they clapped and cheered and even lit the room with their cell phones when instructed.

Tonight's set was culled largely from the band's sophomore release, Oh No. You've probably heard the story already, but real quick: The album was finished. Capitol wasn't working it; the songs weren't really going anywhere on radio. Then OK Go made a couple videos on the cheap, one of them dancing to "A Million Ways" in Damian's backyard, the other of them doing synchronized moves on four moving treadmills to "Here It Goes Again." Both videos spread like viruses around Cyberspace, but the latter won them accolades. Suddenly, they were back on tour, playing high-profile gigs like this one with Death Cab, or next spring's tour with Snow Patrol and Silversun Pickups. (Hits you right there, doesn't it?)

After the third song-the infamous treadmill one-lead singer Damian Kulash took time to praise the "miracles of pharmaceuticals." Just that morning, he revealed, he'd been without a voice-and now, look, here he was singing, and even hitting most of the high notes, including the falsettos! "This is where we make friends with all the old, stodgy fucks in the crowd," proclaimed Kulash before the band delivered its rendition of Electric Light Orchestra's "Don't Bring Me Down," a song which found Kulash jumping into the crowd before it was all said and done.

"Get Over It," the debut single from the band's eponymous debut album, wouldn't have been complete without OK Go's nearly legendary triple jump-executed with perfection by Kulash, bassist Tim Nordwind, and guitarist/keyboardist Andy Duncan-as well as an extended guitar jam outro. That very same Olympic-ready move kicked off "Invincible," a rocker from Oh No, while Nordwind led an audience clap-along for "Come On, Come On," the official set closer.

"We did not bring our treadmills, so fuck off," said Kulash lightly as the band and its roadies scurried to clear the stage of equipment. And so The Pageant crowd was treated to OK Go's original synchronized dance sensation, "A Million Ways." The roar of the crowd told me that 99% of these kids had never seen the dance live before, but that's OK-because they've seen it now. And once you OK Go, you don't go back. | Laura Hamlett

Photo by Todd Owyoung

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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