This is the second time I’ve had the privilege to take photos of an OkGo show, and like the first time, they didn’t disappoint.
For those who aren’t aware of OkGo, they are the crazy band who had that treadmill video for “Here We Go Again” a while back. They are also Chicago boys, which makes me love them just a little more.
Last time I saw OkGo, it was at Columbia College’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival, which took place in Grant Park, and had thousands of people in attendance. The stage was huge, the lights were insane, and there was a massive crowd to feed the energy of the band. I was curious to see what they would do in the relatively small venue of Double Door, which I believe holds less than 1000 people.
They still brought it.
In fact, not only did they bring “it,” but they also brought a confetti cannon and handbells. Yes, handbells. Damian told the story that a church wanted to use one of their songs, and since OkGo was being brought into church, then church should be brought to OkGo, so they played “What To Do,” with handbells. It was pretty amazing to see them carry off an entire song with handbells, and pretty much acapella.
The setlist was long, and is as follows:
Shooting the Moon
Get Over It
A Million Ways
I Want You So Bad
Oh Lately It’s So Quiet
Back From Kathmandu
Here It Goes Again
What To Do (with handbells)
Last Leaf (acoustic)
This Too Shall Pass
Do What You Want
I shoot at Double Door all the time, and I’m normally pushing my ISO and cursing the colored light. Not this time, however. Not only did OkGo bring in some of their own lights, but Double Door also cranked their existing light set-up. I was able to get away with ISOs lower than 3200 much of the time, with my typical f-stop of 2.8, and a shutter speed ranging between 1/80-1/200.
My two main problems were the fact that there was no photo pit, and the fact that the stage is awfully small for the four-piece band when they bring along all of their accessories (keyboards, chimes, etc). I was second row for much of the set (except when the awesome girls in front of me let me sneak up front for a few songs – thanks girls!), so between that and the obstructions on stage, I wasn’t able to get all the angles that I normally enjoy getting. However, it was fine, because OkGo is such a fun, charismatic band that they still carried slightly less dynamically composed shots well.
If you’re shooting OkGo, you should be on the lookout for some crazy antics that translate well to film. First off, they like confetti. The confetti canon went off three times during my show, so if you miss it once, you still have a few chances for a redo. Also, as previously mentioned, they played handbells, which is a great photo op because of its uniqueness. And finally, they also employ a projector that projects crazy patterns on the back wall – for my show, Damian and Andy were often in the line of the projector and thus had colored patterns on their faces. This might have been a limitation of the club, but just be prepared for it. Also, Andy stays behind his keyboard much of the set, so grab shots of him when you can!