Your normal Saturday night in and around Market Street in San Francisco is always far from normal. Tourists skittering around with their shopping bags, sketchy-looking kids hanging at the Powell Street BART station escalator and panhandlers out in force. And then there’s the drunk guy that will later turn up later in the night, leaning up against a wall and bathed head to toe in his own vomit … friends debating whether to call an ambulance or Uber.
If you wandered a few blocks further down Market to Sixth Street this past weekend, you would have also seen a line of nondescript concert goers waiting patiently for the doors of the Warfield to open at 8 pm, OK GO emblazoned on the lighted marquee. While it all appeared tame in comparison to what else was going down in the Tenderloin, it was most-definitely not an indication of what was in store for the few thousand people that crammed the floor and squeezed up into the balcony.
If you were there marveling expectantly at the heaps of equipment piled onto the stage, openers White Arrows, who squeezed to the front edge of the dimly stage, gave no hints. In fact, their mellow 30 minute set could not have stood in starker contrast to what was to come from the headliners.
Ok Go is well-known for their clever videos that are frequently used as the delivery mechanism for their brand of catchy nerd-rock. If you’ve never seen OK Go before, rest assured that their live shows take that same approach. A giant see-through drapery blocked the band and served not only as a screen for a clever video intro, but also as a psychedelic screen for the first two songs, allowing an occasional glimpse of the band when the back lights popped.
Once the barrier between the crowd and the band finally dropped, the confetti started blowing and the energy in room sky-rocketed as OK Go launched into The Writing’s On the Wall from their 2014 release, Hungry Ghosts. Proving themselves as unpredictably as they are creative, OK Go pulled one trick out of their collective sleeve after another … pausing to take questions from the audience, using samples of the crowd for percussion, playing a Led Zep cover and Damien performing Last Leaf with an acoustic guitar from the middle of the orchestra pit. And there was confetti. Lots and lots of confetti.
You would think that at some point in time these guys would run out of ideas. Nope, not even close … with the 5 song encore came costume changes, choreography and an invitation on stage to dance along to the closer, Here It Goes Again. The good news is that no one ever seems to get tired of confetti. Don’t miss this one, folks.
Supporting act: White Arrows
- Upside Down & Inside Out
- You’re So Damn Hot
- The Writing’s On the Wall
- I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe
- This Too Shall Pass
- There’s a Fire
- Last Leaf
- I’m Not Through
- Get Over It
- The One Moment
- Do What You Want
- Black Dog (Led Zeppelin cover)
- Turn Up the Radio
- Fake It
- A Million Ways
- White Knuckles
- I Won’t Let You Down
- Here It Goes Again
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