Monday, June 06, 2005

OK Go

Seriously? Here?
The Comet, Seattle, WA

For context, let me tell you that power-pop band OK Go is currently on tour with The Ceasars and Kaiser Chiefs - two hot bands that command huge venues. While the boys aren't quite as popular on the West coast as on the East, they at least managed to pack The Crocodile last year. So it was a bit of a shock to learn that they would be playing at former grunge-central / beer and cash-only Comet Tavern.

The staff at the Comet are all nervous about the potential crowd, so there are weird "no hand stamps, no leaving" rules flung about. OK Go won't come on until midnight. Until then we will be watching non-pop screamers The Ones and butt-rock shticksters Chinese Fingercuffs. Huh?

You can imagine what the crowd is like: take one part Comet regulars wondering what all the fuss is about, add two parts opening band members & entourages, mix with five parts freshly-scrubbed OK Go fans who maybe heard them for the first time on Queer Eye. It is a beautifully odd combination that provides no end of entertainment to the uncasual observer.

The Ones scream for a while and then are done. Some people look like they are into it, but I think they're the band's friends. And then Chinese Fingercuffs comes on. Everyone not in the freshly-scrubbed category are won over right away. They're this great blend of White Snake and The Darkness. The people at tables on either side of us are literally checking their watches and waiting for it to be over, but the rest of the bar is rocking out, as they are rockers.

Finally finally OK Go comes on (there is no backstage at the Comet, so they've been wandering around the crowd for the whole show anyway). All the superfans rush up the steps to the stage-ish area, and suddenly it feels like we're at the last hometown show before the boys go off to make it big. Every person standing around them loves or wants to love the band. It is loud and messy and perfect, and since we've been waiting so long there is beer in us which makes us love them even more. What other band performs a scene from Les Miz while a guitar gets re-strung?

My favorite fan behavior is Dueling Beautiful Girls. Every show sports a gal or two who wears her sexiest clothes and hair in hopes of snagging a band member later. Two of said gals are on opposite sides of the band, maybe 20 feet apart. The one in white makes oogly eyes at lead singer Damian AS HER BOYFRIEND HOLDS ON TO HER. The one in blue does the patented sexygroovedance, where you slowly move to beats 1 and 3 while the rest of the crowd pogos to 1, 2, 3, and 4. I don't know if they got lucky later, but the I bet the gal in blue couldn't hear a thing the next day because she was right next to the speaker.

I know it was a weird booking choice and an odd show for the band, but it was a HUGE TREAT for their fans. RYAN AND JAY - If you made it to the Vancouver show the next night, let us know how different and sad that was compared to this, ok?

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