Friday night, September 26th, Alternative-Rock group, OK Go, rocked a packed house at Terminal West. The group is currently performing smaller shows before the release of their fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts, set to come out mid October. During their concert they performed a few songs from the album that have yet to be released and the only thing I can say is wow. The songs definitely have more electronic undertones than songs off their previous albums, but judging by the crowds reaction Friday night there is no problem with the change in sound.
This was my first time seeing OK Go live and I honestly had no idea what to expect, but the energy they carry in their music videos is nothing compared to their energy on stage. They truly personified what it means to be a band in the 21st century with heavy use of visuals throughout the show. The whole concert was interactive with impromptu Q&A sessions in between songs, serenades from inside the crowd, and a final dance party on stage to end the night. The crowd loved every second of it, and watching everyone file out of the venue I don’t recall seeing anyone without a smile on their face, or confetti in their hair.
I had a chance to talk to Tim Nordwind, the band’s co-founder/bassist/vocalist/air drummer extraordinaire, before the concert. We chatted about their upcoming international tour, sleazy dance clubs, and why Christopher Guest is one of his biggest heroes.
So you’re coming up on the last leg of your tour, what’s next?
Tim Nordwind: Since July we’ve been playing smaller more intimate shows, so next month is sort of the end of that. Then we start back up in February, we’re going to Europe, Russia, Japan so we’ll be doing that for a while. When we come back we’re going to be doing another state wide tour that’s going to be in bigger theaters.
How do you change your show up between bigger and smaller theaters?
Tim Nordwind: The show we’re doing now is actually designed for bigger places and we’re kind of just cramming it into smaller places, but it’s a super interactive, highly multimedia show with like a lot of confetti and video. I’m hoping that when we get into bigger venues the interactive part can stay the same. I think the interactivity is kind of a key component to what we do.
Your fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts, comes out next month. Which song off the album that hasn’t been released yet are you most excited for fans to hear?
Tim Nordwind: Well a song that’s been going over really well live that’s not on the EP but will be on the record is called “Obsession”. It’s like a super minimal dance song, you know it sounds kind of like late seventies sleazy dance club style. There’s almost no bass in it, it’s mostly just guitar and like a big beat and it transitions from the sleazy club feel to a big rock song. I’m excited for fans to hear that one.
Which is more exciting, playing new songs or going back to old songs that fans know by heart and sing along with?
Tim Nordwind: I think having new stuff now has made playing the old stuff more exciting in a new context. When we toured on Of the Blue Color of the Sky, which was our last album, we toured for two and a half years so it was exciting to play those songs in the beginning but by the end those songs started to feel old night after night. It’s nice to have new songs to play and see how they stand next to them.
So a question we got from twitter was if you could take a selfie with any person alive or dead who would it be?
Tim Nordwind: Well a person that I would just be proud to stand next to and shake hands with is Christopher Guest. He’s made some of my favorite, favorite films like This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show. I admire the way he makes his films, a lot of his techniques come from improvisational comedy where he makes a blueprint to follow but he doesn’t write a script for his actors and gets just funny actors who then just play. I love the spirit of that and in a lot of ways its like how we make our videos. We come up with a general concept, but it’s not until we get ourselves in the situation and allow ourselves time to play that the whole thing gets good.
10/10/2014 Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
10/11/2014 Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, MI
10/12/2014 Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
10/13/2014 Mr. Small’s, Pittsburgh, PA
10/14/2014 Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY
10/15/2014 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
10/17/2014 Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
10/18/2014 Tipitina’s Uptown, New Orleans,
LA 10/20/2014 The Parish, Austin, TX
10/24/2014 Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
10/25/2014 Life Is Beautiful Festival, Las Vegas, NV
Interview and Write-Up Credit: Delaney Strunk
Editing Credit: Jasmine Alyce & Christina Guerrero
Photo Credit: Twitter