The thing that set OK Go apart from their perfectly serviceable opening acts last night at the Metro (The Booze and Earl Greyhound); that sets them apart from any live performance I’ve seen recently, is that these guys know how to play.
I don’t mean instrumentation, although they have that down -- I haven’t yet met an OK Go song I didn’t like -- I mean they know how to PLAY.
You’ve seen the treadmill video, and the Rube Goldberg contraption that recently went viral. Both have that something that goes on when they take the stage. There were no treadmills last night, no dominoes or paint guns (although the confetti blaster drove the crowd nuts), but that same spirt of fun turned everything they touched to gold.
The intimacy of the space of the Metro made a difference of course; we landed prime balcony seats, so we could be geezers and sit on our bums while the rest of the crowd crushed in tight on the floor. Their playing to a home town crowd also contributed -- OK Go gave their first CD release party at the Metro, and opened for folks like OMD on the same stage -- and they seemed happy to be home in Chicago. But it was more than that.
They were having fun, and they let us in on it. Like the best kind of far away friend who shows up for a weekend and fills the house with laughter and long nights and all kinds of catching up. Or that time when you were 10 and you spent whole summer afternoons choreographing dance routines with your big sister until you achieved perfect synchronicity.
They did that thing all of us should be doing every day when we get busy with our work, whatever work it is that makes it all matter. They did that thing Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi calls flow.
Jesters, artists, seers. They remind us.
Thanks, guys. Needed that.
Saturday 17 April 2010
p.s. OK Go is on tour, OK? Go!