OK Go goes for it at the Calgary Stampede
By Gabrielle Domanski
The wet Calgary weather last Saturday didn’t manage to dissuade the eager OK Go fans from gathering early at the Stampede’s Coca-Cola Stage. The turnout probably could have been better but it was hefty nonetheless.
When OK Go hit the stage one’s attention was immediately drawn to their spectacular light set up. It was easily forgotten that we all stood outside watching a free gig, which was commendable.
Immediately the surrounding area was privy to the band’s catchy, melodic, indie-rock jams. A sea of hands arose from the audience and began enthusiastically clapping along to the beat. Every once in a while a cowboy hat could also be found bobbing along to the music.
The band sounded fantastic live but, then again, they are seasoned experts having originally formed in 1998, but having changed their line-up slightly in 2005 for their second studio release Oh No.
OK Go is perhaps most well known for their creative music videos, often including choreographed dance routines. Their video for “Here It Goes Again” features the band dancing on treadmills and won them a Grammy award in 2007, as well as remains one of the most watched videos on YouTube.
The originality expressed in the band’s music videos was evident in their stage performance as well, having enlisted various techniques to engage the audience. Lead singer Damian Kulash went out into the crowd, guitar and mic in hand, just to create a campfire feel for one of their slower tracks.
Another song was performed entirely on hand bells. It was a sight to behold and brought back memories of elementary school, when myself, and a few of my concert-going companions partook in that extracurricular.
Most notably however, was the band performing “A Million Ways” twice just to bring a group of four young audience members on stage during the repeat performance so that they could reenact the dance from the band’s music video. It was amazing to watch, but mostly it was impressive to see how down-to-earth OK Go really is.