Published Apr 25, 2010Any doubt that L.A.-by-way-of-Chicago pop rockers OK Go couldn't match their genius music videos in a live setting were soon quashed during their sold-out show at Toronto's Mod Club. With an arsenal of confetti shots, faux-fur-trimmed guitars with lasers shooting from them and debonaire outfits, the four-piece thrilled all those in attendance with an 80-minute set.
Opening up were Atlanta, GA garage/blues band the Booze, who impressed the early birds, but they couldn't measure up to Earl Greyhound's sonic bombast. A three-piece from Brooklyn, NY, Earl Greyhound looked like the type of mean motherfuckers you'd never want to meet, including a bass player who was like an estrogen-infused version of Doug Pinnick from King's X. At times, they came across a little too Lenny Kravitz-esque, but they really hit a peak with the track "Shotgun," which was the perfect blend of Black Crowes and Black Sabbath.
But it was all just grease in the gears for OK Go, as the flamboyant four-piece hit the stage with an introductory confetti shot and the fullest sound imaginable for a simple pop band. You know you're doing your job right when you get the crowd into a hand-clapping frenzy halfway through your first song. With a good mix of tracks from their past two albums, 2005's Oh No and this year's Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, OK Go have obviously perfected the art of a well-rounded live set. The band are particularly adept at mixing their high-tempo, boppy tunes with their more groove-laden numbers. Singer/guitarist Damian Kulash even came into the middle of the crowd to play the acoustic ditty, "Last Leaf," giving some fans an extreme close-up. In his trademark goofball way, he even stopped mid-song to pick up the mic stand, spin 180 degrees, and play to the other side of the crowd, leading several girls to swoon, "Awwww, how nice!"
Even their infamous treadmill video song, "Here It Goes Again,"didn't skip a beat. Sure, it seemed a bit, um, stationary compared to the chaotic, single-shot video, but it had most of the Mod Club crowd literally bouncing off the floor. Several of the songs from the band's latest album followed, including the ultra funky "White Knuckles," which sounded like Prince on a steady diet of Wonderbread, and the feel-good "This Too Shall Pass," sounding downright orchestral in comparison to the album version. A full crowd singalong also boosted it considerably.
A three-song encore was the highlight of an already highlight-filled night. When the band came back on stage with the world's coolest jackets (spelling out OK Go in huge lights) and the aforementioned faux-fur/laser guitars, they launched into "WTF?" The funky opener to their new album was followed by two more songs, but, really, after that kind of a re-entrance, nothing else matters.