OK Go booked for A&O Fall Concert in Reading Week

Matt Spector

You’ve seen them prance across treadmills and rock out to homemade choreography. Now the power pop band OK Go will play its unique brand of rock at Patten Gym on Dec. 5, headlining A&O Productions’ annual Fall Concert, the group announced Friday.

The treadmill-trotting rockers garnered Internet acclaim and worldwide fame for their low-budget, self-choreographed music videos for songs such as “Here It Goes Again,” released in July 2006.

A&O Chairman Alex White said the geek glam band’s broad appeal made them an obvious choice to headline the concert.

“It’s more of a mainstream act and less indie than some of the acts that we’ve done in the past, and caters to that more mainstream audience,” the SESP senior said. “(A&O chooses) whatever pleases the students, whatever are the best bands we can get.”

A&O representatives said a yet-to-be-named singer-songwriter will open for the band.

Organizers said the concert is unprecedented because Dance Marathon, Northwestern’s largest philanthropic organization, will work with A&O to produce and publicize the concert. Accordingly, a portion of ticket sales will be funneled to DM’s primary beneficiary, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which supports cancer research and assists families of cancer patients.

“We are tremendously excited to be working with A&O,” said DM co-chairwoman Tara Corrigan, a Communication senior. “We are two organizations that have talked about doing things in the past but this would be our largest project ever in collaboration.”

White said a confluence of circumstances, including the concert’s date at a time when both organizations were ramping up publicity efforts, made the event a prime opportunity for the two groups to work together.

“This is kind of a perfect storm where it worked out that we also want help promoting (the concert),” White said. “The fact that it was a charity show, the band also liked that.”

He added that A&O reached out to other student organizations earlier this year and offered to co-sponsor events and help produce concerts. A collaboration with DM has been in the works since last year, he said.

“I’ve been talking with (the DM chairwomen) for the past year about events or things we can do where both organizations stand to benefit – and there were tons of ideas thrown out,” White said. “This concert was something that was both feasible and mutually beneficial.”

A&O Director of Productions Syd Cohen, a Music senior, said she hopes other campus groups will follow her organization’s example.

“A&O and DM are setting a wonderful precedent of student groups working together,” Cohen said. “I hope that students in other organizations can look at our collaboration and be inspired to do more for charity and to just be more involved in the school community.”

Cohen said OK Go’s representatives were instrumental in planning what will be a “landmark” event.

“So far the management that I’ve been working with has been wonderful and responsive,” Cohen said. “I think it’s going to be fabulous and students are missing out if they don’t show up.”

A&O representatives added that the Fall Concert, which is traditionally held in November, was moved to Reading Week based on this year’s late Fall Quarter schedule and calendar conflicts with performers.

“I don’t know if any A&O show has ever been during Reading Week,” White said. “We’re hoping that people will take a study break and come on out.”

He said he hopes the band’s popularity and the event’s charitable nature will connect students from across the university.

“It’ll be a rock show that draws the student body together,” White said. “And with portions of every ticket sale going to charity, you can’t go wrong.”

Tickets will cost $10 and will be available the week of Nov. 26 at the Norris University Center Box Office.

Reach Matt Spector at [email protected]