2015 Middle of the Map Fest

Damian Kulash - OK Go

Damian Kulash – OK Go

The 2015 Middle of the Map Fest began Wednesday night with the Lawrence founded band Noise FM, followed up by the Republic Tigers, well known for their 2008 single “Buildings and Mountains.”

The headliner of the night was OK Go, world famous for their creative, one-take, YouTube masterpieces. Their first viral video for “Here It Goes Again” featured the band performing a complex dance routine using motorized treadmills. Over time their videos became even more ellaborate like their Rube Goldberg machine created for their video “This Too Shall Pass.”

If their creative videos served as any indication of the level of entertainment that could be expected at a live concert it was bound to be an audio/visual spectacle on a grand scale. To those who shared these preconceived notions, OK Go delivered.

From start to finish the band kept the audience entertained the whole evening with a variety of visual spectacles specifically orchestrated and synchronized to each song.

Using an iPhone app, the band directed the audience to stomp, clap and crash in unison to help sample a few crowd-sourced percussion sounds which they built a drum loop with to start “There’s a Fire.”

Several times during breaks between songs, lead singer Damian Kulash was begin an open discussion with the audience by asking, “Any questions?” letting the crowd participate in many informative and humorous exchanges.

To get even closer to the audience, Kulash also made his way out into the middle of the theater with an acoustic guitar for a solo acoustic performance of “Last Leaf.”

Confetti rained from the sky throughout the show, as video from mic-stand-mounted cameras was projected onto screens behind the band and onto a scrim screen in front of the band, creating an immersive artistic experience Kansas City will not soon forget.

The Uptown Theater may continue to find stray pieces of confetti for years to come as well.


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