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Alright went: OK Go rocks Brandeis

By Alex Norris

Section: Arts

October 8, 2010

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

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I didn’t think about whether I had moved my laundry to the dryer. I didn’t think about whether my car was going to get ticketed. I didn’t think about the homework I wasn’t doing. I remember thinking about those things walking in the door, but when OK Go started playing, I stopped. I thought vaguely about controlling the seemingly independent movement of my feet, but soon gave up the effort as inherently flawed. I didn’t think about the poor people who would have to clean up all the confetti falling down around me, nor did I think about what kind of a crazy trip those guys had to be on to decide to play a song on hand bells. I thought about those things later. For a couple of hours, though, I was blissfully unaware of anything but the music.

I’ve heard people describe the decorations at their high school proms by saying “you couldn’t even tell it was a gymnasium.” As the catchy rhythms and soulful melodies of OK Go washed over me Saturday night, I never once doubted that I was in a gym. There were basketball hoops and a light that looked like it was going to fall down the whole time. Nevertheless, it was a gym filled with music, and it says a lot about the zeal of the band’s performance that the Gosman gym seemed like the happening place to be.

I don’t like to describe music and the nature of campus publications do not require me to. If you were at the concert, you know what the music sounded like. If you weren’t, it won’t happen again anyway, so you don’t need me to tell you whether to see it. The boys from OK Go played a mix of their older, faster music and songs from their newest album “Of the Blue Color of the Sky,” which tends to be slower (with some exceptions, like their newest single, “White Knuckles”). They mixed crowd favorites, like “Here it Goes Again,” with relatively unknown songs (like “All is Not Lost”) and had some fun in between—a hand-bell-only performance of “What To Do,” a sing-along to “This Too Shall Pass,” bringing up a student to play guitar for the last part of “Here it Goes Again,” and crazy light-up jackets and guitars for the encore. That’s actually one of the best parts of an OK Go show, in my opinion—they always appear to be having fun. No doubt it’s just a cynical act put on by musicians seeking to exploit our desire to see any bit of unsanctioned personality from our artists, but I appreciate it nonetheless. Front man Damien Kulash had a good rapport with the crowd and was able to be funny in a way that didn’t come off as condescending or disdainful of the crowd (a common failing).

The more chronological amongst my readers might be wondering why I have neglected to mention the opening act. They can go on wondering. The Postelles provided a good warm-up for the main event, giving a solid rock performance and keeping the crowd that had arrived by that point entertained. It would have been nice to have the two performances a bit closer to each other, but that never happens anyway.

If you like OK Go as much as I do, you no doubt liked this concert as much as I did. It was well put on and a lot of fun. If you don’t like OK Go, you probably didn’t like this concert. For you I can only offer the good news that it has now been finished for nearly a week. It is my honor and privilege for my last Brandeis Fall Concert to have featured a band as much fun and as dear to my heart as OK Go. Student Events still probably gets too much money though.

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