There was no question what the audience really wanted: "Here It Goes Again."
You could say Madisonians were a little skeptical of OK Go as the headliner of Freakfest 2010, the Halloween party on downtown Madison's State Street.
"Have you really ever met a person who, when you ask them their favorite band, says OK Go?" one woman, dressed as Mario, asked.
"You just listen to three of their songs and kind of like them," said another member of the audience. "Bring back Third Eye Blind!"
The crowd prior to the show did not help the cause. Between the constant pushing and shoving, accidentally thrown elbows and the general discomfort of the crush, seeing OK Go was more than a concert experience -- it was a test of tolerance.
"It's just OK Go! They're not worth it!" said a concertgoer during a particularly abrupt lurch forward.
Yet when OK Go finally took the stage, with each member sporting a bright, monochromatic outfit, Madisonians had a change of heart. Or, at the very least, they didn't mind enduring a few bruises.
The set opened with an explosive rendition of the hit "Do What You Want," complete with firing cannons to shower the crowd in paper confetti.
The show's set spanned the three albums of OK Go's discography, with selections including "Don't Ask Me" and "Get Over It," as well as songs from the band's most recent album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. In particular, "White Knuckles" and "I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe" were notable performances.
Yet there was no question what the audience really wanted: "Here It Goes Again." And when OK Go finally played the song that spawned an age of viral videos and thrust the group into fame, the crowd was simply ecstatic. Lead singer Damien Kulash made it an unforgettable performance for a few lucky audience members -- including a blue Crayola crayon, a yellow crayon and a few Waldos from "Where's Waldo?" among others -- by pulling them onstage to dance and share a few joyful hugs.
While it's not uncommon for an audience to beg for an encore, OK Go held the Freakfest audience captive. After just a few minutes of chanting, as well as the persistent ringing of a cowbell from a man dressed as Gene Frenkle, the group promptly returned and delivered. OK Go's rendition of "This Too Shall Pass" both closed out the show and completely won over the audience. With a few final explosions of paper confetti, Kulash climbed down from the stage and into the audience with the mike as everyone sang along to the chorus.
For many at Freakfest 2010, seeing OK Go may have been nothing more than casual decision. It was a way to hear the "treadmill song," as audience members called "Here It Goes Again." Yet as the last flashes of confetti settled onto State Street and the crowd dispersed, it was clear that those who were at the show witnessed something better than they anticipated. Despite the wounds and bruises, their time was well spent.