It’s Fall, and the arts and entertainment calendar is full, with all sorts of offerings to stretch your smarts and delight the senses. But frankly for me it is a struggle, what with the state of the world.
These days are not fun days, with almost daily assault of our democracy and sense of decency by a dangerous president and his deceitful followers.
Then it seems there is an almost biblical plague of natural disasters and senseless slaughters. This put m in very real need last weekend of some diversion to raise my spirits.
Answering my wish was UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, with a concert, or was it a happening, featuring the band OK GO .
Whatever, with a bursts of confetti fluttering out over a packed-to-the-rafters Royce Hall, the group performed an immersive medley of their hits against a big screen backdrop that showed their imaginative videos.
Included among the favorites were “Here It Goes Again,” played out on a treadmill, the amazing “This Too Shall Pass,” featuring a fantastic Rube Goldberg machine going full blast, and the most recent, “Upside Down and Inside Out, “ in which the group performed weightless in a Russian jet maneuvering to create a gravity free interior.
If this all sounds wild and crazy, it is. With OK GO you expect the unexpected.
And if you ever wondered how they did what they do, lead singer Damian Kulash tried to explain it, despite an audience of many children who should have been in bed instead of jumping up and down screaming. But so what.
As an immodest Emmy award winner and former Disney Imagineer, I absolutely loved it.
For those who have not monitored what their kids have been watching in the last decade, OK-GO was a rock band out of Chicago 20 years ago that never made it as musicians. Their sound was, and frankly I feel still is, not very different than so many hard driving garage bands.
But in a flash of inspiration when they moved to L.A. a few years later, they started to experiment with video. What emerged is a series of music videos that are pure delights, and wonderfully diverting.
As the group itself describes themselves, they went from OK GO-The-Rock-Band, to OK GO, The -Guys-Who-Make –Those –Art-Project –Music-Videos, to OK GO –The Creative-Guys., employing a bagful of tricks. These include stop motion, optical illusions, mass choreography, and let us not forget exploding paint balloons.
Can’t wait to see what the innovative dance company AteNine will do this weekend at the ever-au courant UCLA for the Art of Performance.