Rock Show!

| On
Friday, June 10, 2005
What: OK Go concert
Where: The Aladdin Theater
When: Tuesday, June 7 2005
first, some stats:

number of acts: 3
average age of people in line: 16 (we'll say that the lady over 70 and the kid under 10 balance each other out)
hand stamp reads: You Are My Inspiration
time show began: 9pm (am I REALLY a fogey, or does this seem late to start a 3 act show on a tuesday night? Nevermind, I am a fogey.)
number of mohawks spotted: 3
number of fauxhawks spotted: 1
number of chuck taylor all stars spotted: countless!
number of faux chuck taylor all stars: all I noticed were mine, suddenly burning my feet with SHAME.
number of unflattering beards: at least 3. I know this is portland, people - but come ON.

First act: De Haviland They are local, and the guy who later appeared to be the lead singer brought the old lady (I say this with all respect! She was awesome!) a beer. Maybe she is his grandma, or maybe he just respects that senior citizens need to rock as well. OK. they get on stage -first song (no singing) is great. Sort of a psychedelic vibe, which I really dig despite not being huge with the hippie love. (although the hippie dance lady was really rocking out and having a great time. I hope she left because she met all of her hippie dancing requirements and not because some kids appeared to be making fun of her.) Second song - with vocals - OK, but not as good as the first. third song - just so bad. I think this must be where they are beginning the "anthemic" portion of their set. It continues to suck from here to the end. I applaud - I want to like them more than I do because I really was into it at the beginning and they're local. A couple of thoughts on where this went sideways: 1) you can NOT be rocking out sitting on your ass!!! * Lead singer in an ergonomic office chair in front of a keyboard does not inspire me to sing along, or throw my bra on stage, or do much besides people watch or check my purse for gum. The Coldplay guy even stands up sometimes. 2) you CANNOT be drinking coffee on stage! Or tea, or whatever. Starbucks sippy cups are NOT rock and roll, I'm sorry. You may have a long neck glass bottle filled with a beverage of your choosing, or water. That's it. Suck it up future rock star, and have your chai AFTER the show.

Second Act: Careen. They are also local, and had a huge contingent of fans. Way to go Jumping and Pointing Guy! You totally took over for the hippie dance lady. JPG was VERY into Careen, and I've got to say, he is on to something. I could totally see them playing the Crab Shanty or whatever that place is on the OC where Seth, Ryan, and the gang go to drink fancy juice, listen to music, indulge in the weekly massive misunderstanding, and get into fights. Woo! Double rock-star fashion points for the singer with his zipped up hoody worn under a suit jacket. Ditto, bass player. He wasn't wearing the hoody/suit combo, but managed his own shaggy-haired skinny-assed rock-dude look quite well.

Third and most wondrous act: OK Go. I am awarding them all standard and bonus points in the world for talent, energy, joie de vivre, mien, dance skills, and total acknowledgment that they were there to entertain (and did they ever!) They really give it ALL, even for a smallish crowd. There were synchronized guitar leaps, there was sweat, there was song after song of 3 minute pop-perfection, there were broken guitar strings, there was a dramatic recreation of a scene from Les Miz, and a special encore bonus. (it really was fantastic. and choreographed.)
As fantastic as this show was, I think it would have been even better if there were a couple hundred more people there. Then pdx could have done its part to meet up with what the band offered. The Old 97's show last October was a perfect example of the right venue, the right band, and the right crowd. I think we had two of those three things here - a few more people and the crowd energy would have been even higher. The venue was distressingly not-full. Why?? It is a total cliche by now to say "these guys should be huge," but it is true! How can some no-talent ass-clowns (I am reluctant to name names) be filling bigger venues and OK Go is not? I mean - it would be one thing if they just had clever lyrics, or one great song. I understand that some people don't like clever things - but they have clever lyrics, fantastic singalongability, great showmanship, sense of humor, etc. etc. etc, AND crazy Austin Powers-meets-barbershop quartet-rock star clothes. What is not to love, people? I mean, there really is something for everyone!

To sum up: Their new record comes out on August 30th. Buy it. I keep hoping that since this was kind of a fill-in date that they might come back to Portland again some time this summer.

*the irony of the ass-sitting is not lost on me. I was, in fact, one of the people who paid money to watch a rock show from a chair. The reason why is a long boring story that I will relate another time.
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