OK Go, Shepherd's Bush O2 Empire, London

3.00

 

Just as Ozzy Osbourne's live shows will always seem tame in comparison to the famous incident of the decapitated bat, so any band whose success is predicated largely on one of the most iconic music videos of the YouTube age will struggle to have the same appeal live. It is with this unfortunate caveat that OK Go hit the stage tonight, without the treadmills that made "Here It Goes Again" an online sensation. They rattle through a back-catalogue that veers between some uncomfortably generic earlier material and the improved offerings from recent LP Of The Blue Colour of the Sky.

Largely, the veteran producer Dave Fridman is to blame for this disparity – his excellent work on the new album draws out a sound familiar to those who have heard his efforts with MGMT and The Flaming Lips, adding new depth to the OK Go's previously so-so recordings.

When these earlier songs are given a run out, the band's eclecticism is sometimes stifling; on tonight's rendition of "Oh Lately It's So Quiet", the falsetto musings of a lonely young man whose girlfriend has taken on some worrying spectral properties sound more like the ghosts of radio-friendly soft-rock past revisiting Shepherd's Bush Empire for one last hurrah. Without the energy of the opener, the frantic pop-punk staple "Get Over It", it's hard to see what there is to raise them above the "cookie cutter" indie charges that have been levelled at them.

At times, though, this straightforwardness is an advantage; with "You're so damn hot" and "I want you so bad I can't breathe", the band revel in their set's asphyxiating simplicity with an enthusiasm that is enough to leave even the most hardened cynic light-headed, and by the time we hit their acoustic counterpoint in "Last Leaf", things are looking up. Before that though, there's an example of the kind of one-take setpiece for which they're famous, albeit in video form, when the four band-members perform "What To Do" on hand bells in a charming display of musicianship and charisma.

Over the course of the evening it becomes clear that their earlier material is an artistic ball-and-chain for a group whose recent maturity could propel them, if not into the mainstream, then at least towards greater critical success. With more ambitious new tracks like "WTF" and "Skyscraper", it's clear there's hope for the band yet.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate