Concert Review: OK Go at Design Miami/

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Design Miami/
December 3, 2009

Better Than: Stan Brakhage chewing bubblegum -- or just as good, anyway.

With all the mad dash that was Art Basel, I sadly only had time enough to catch OK Go perform one song in their five-day Design Miami/ stand. Thankfully it was the one song I wanted to hear. No, it wasn't "A Million Ways" or "Here it Goes Again." It was a single they released long before they got clever with their video clips. Their very first single, in fact, from their very first LP: the song called "Get Over It." 

And, believe it or not, five days later I still haven't got over how powerful it was to hear this power pop classic in the middle of a sea of high-brow design, accompanied by effects the likes of which no band has ever before seen. Yes, I know, that's a lot to digest in one sentence. And it was a lot for me to write. But OK Go has always been one of those bands who always deliver more than you ask for. So why shouldn't I do so too? 

As I wrote here last week, OK Go's Design Miami/ stint had them teaming with East-Germany born, London-based electronics wiz Moritz Waldemeyer for a far-fetched project incorporating lasers. I also mentioned that the whole she-bang was being backed by Fendi, and that the luxury house would be tricking out the guitar-guided lasers with fur and leather. 
Well, the lads sported some sporty axes all right.

And yes, those axes shot lasers a Jedi warrior would love. Furthermore, the notes they played also triggered an array of squiggling colors on a side-stage screen that brought to mind Stan Brakhage at his most obtuse, had he been chewing much bubblegum. Even more (here we go again), the guitars glowed like some ancient relic obviously picked up in outer space -- most likely at the intergalactic equivalent of Fifth Avenue. 

But it was the combination of lights and loud sound within the confines of a corner Design Miami/ booth which really made this some swell little spectacle. And I claim that's because "Get Over It" is one of the best pop songs ever written. Really. Think about it: the insistent hook, the crunchy beat, the roar of a chorus, and the perfectly apropos pop sentiment, all in one stunning three-minute romp. 

To have the Gen Y equivalent of Cheap Trick appear all lit up surely brightened my night. And unless I'm misreading those smiles, it brightened the night for some of the high-brow crowd too.  

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I've always found OK Go to be smart, self-effacing and fun to the last strum. 

Random Detail: For once both band and audience were impeccably stylish.  

By the Way: OK Go have a nifty new single called "WTF?" and its clip is as keen as can be. Find out all about it here.

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