That was nice, OK Go

Band + screens + crazy graphics = OK Go tour 2014. (Photo courtesy of OK Go’s Facebook page.)
If you don’t have anything nice to say, let Devon D. of Turlock, Calif., say it for you on Yelp: “Too fucking hot, turn on the a/c and I might come back. Been inside for 20 minutes, not moving (horrible dj) and drenched in sweat.”

Thus encapsulates the experience of waiting for OK Go's tour-opening set at Assembly Music Hall on July 15.

And I won’t mention the name of the deejay, because that wouldn’t be nice, would it? But maybe it was because I was nauseated all day anyway, and that I had to wait a half-hour in line outside, where it was still sickeningly sultry, next to the smelly Dumpsters in the alley.

I wanted to bail. So bad. So many times during that hour-plus deejay set. Or pass out. Whatever came first.

But if you know anything about OK Go—apart from its penchant for making viral videos so good you’ll accidentally pee your pants—then you know it puts on a show worth staying for. This time, the stage setup included a translucent screen in front of the band that projected their faces in garish Kiss-like makeup and other geometric or psychedelic digital art to intensify the electricity and brightness of their songs, plus screens behind drummer Dan Konopka that also glowed with a spectrum of morphing lines and dots, or with images from cameras placed onstage, so that it kind of looked like a rock ‘n’ roll version of a loss-prevention monitoring room.

And, yes, there was confetti. Confetti exploding from the stage at the crescendo into the chorus of “The Writing’s on the Wall,” plus several other times, which always made the audience explode in cheers, too. And some of those white 2-inch rectangles landed on some of the band members’ faces and stayed there, thanks to what anyone there could only assum was more excessive sweating than normal.

Seriously, Assembly, you need to install some air ventilation in that little black hot box. Not cool. In any way.

Oh, that wasn’t nice, was it?

Um, well, was it nice when talkative frontman Damian Kulash called Sacramento a bunch of pussies for not singing a refrain of “This Too Shall Pass” as loudly as San Francisco?

Whatever, he was being playfully manipulative. And the crowd loved it. And then Kulash called himself a dick for calling everyone pussies. No biggie.

In the end, I stayed in the back so I would not get trampled to death if I did pass out, and I was glad. Despite technical hiccups and no airflow in the building, OK Go made lemonade out of the situation, and it probably helped that the crowd was so dang happy to see the band play. And they band even let the audience play percussion on one song by looping recorded foot stomps, claps and hisses on Kulash’s smartphone.

Kulash took a moment to snap a photo of the crowd because he’s “an Instagram whore,” and posted it with the caption “The good people of Sacramento.” Except that photo was of the audience in San Francisco. Oh, that is not nice!

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