07 March 2009

Fangirls On The Road, Day One : OK Go at the TLA, Philly, 3/6/09

Hello, all (those of you that are reading this, anyway). Again, sorry for the lack of serious posts - I've been superlazy as of late about actually sitting down and listening/paying attention to stuff.

Anyway, don't really expect any "serious" updates for the next week or so, either. My friend Rachel and I are currently embarking on what she likes to call a "fangirly roadtrip extravaganza!" and I'm just calling "we're following OK Go around on their tour for a week." Yessir, we are.

Your guides, Katy and Rachel.

So for the next seven days or so, expect updates from up and down the east coast as we follow those former-treadmill kids as they get their bums back onstage with some new songs (finally).

Day One : Philly

Let's meet our players.


Oppenheimer are from Ireland, or so I've heard (and their accent pretty much confirms that). I've actually wanted to write about these dudes for a while, as I saw them open for TMBG at the TLA over a year ago and was really taken by their set, but obviously that didn't happen. I will do that eventually, once I get to hear them a few times and pick up their record. Suffice to say that they were adorable onstage, with poppy, short songs (which is good, as I generally have the attention span of a gnat), filled with robot-voiced synthesizers and broken drum sticks and an airhorn solo. (Yes, an airhorn solo.) I'm excited to see these guys several times over; I think the crowd, mainly made up of pubescent girls, appreciated them.


I've met various members of Longwave at varying points in time, but have never actually seen the band live. They were short guitarist Shannon, because, as frontman Steve put it, "He's going to be a daddy any second now." Aww. Friend Keith joined them on guitar as well. A much slower, more rock-oriented set than the one before, I'm not sure it caught on quite as well with the teenies and fangirls, but Steve is wicked adorable and I sort of just want to hug him a lot for that.


I've written about OK Go several times before, about how I was super-into them a few years ago and now, not so much, partly because, I dunno', I maybe grew up a bit, partly 'cause I was a little bored. Ya' know, the usual. A band you love doesn't do anything new for a while, and you start to move on to greener pastures.

I think I'm sort of in love with them again. It was patently the opening night of the tour, with mistakes like frontman Damian fucking up the lyrics to his own songs and one Andy Ross breaking the gavel to his tubular bells. There were also a whole bunch of new instruments and gimmicks, such as the aforementioned bells, a large bass drum, handbells (poorest technique ever, but I was in handbell choir in college, so I appreciated it), and a double-necked guitar. And it was sort of difficult to determine where in the set we were - is this the middle? The end? The fake end? The encore? What's going on next? They were trying everything out, so. Understandable.

All of that aside, the new cache of songs sounds phenomenal. Somebody's been listening to Prince a lot, I can tell you that. But more than that, they are somehow much more...emotional. Damian, God bless him, seems to have turned down the "sexy rockstar" thing a bit in favour of a more humanised version of himself, something which, judging by the solo love song he played (and pleaded with his bandmates to keep on the record), seems to have a lot to do with being married for going on three years now. And that's refreshing and interesting to see. Bringing in a whole new set of odd instruments can seem gimmicky and then just pretentious if not done right (indeed, I said to Rachel, "If none of this works out, I'm gonna' laugh." Sorry, lads.), but they did play them right, in the right amounts, for the right songs at the right times. That takes planning and thinking.

Also, I'm definitely past the "droool" phase, but man, if that "I want you so bad I can't breathe" song didn't make me fucking weak in the knees.

So am I excited? Yes. Very. It's a step in a very good direction for them, and I'm eager to see how the rest of this test run goes. Fingers crossed for them.

More pictures are here.

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