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20.3.10

MGMT, London 18/03/10


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The last time I saw MGMT was at Reading Festival 2008. Their debut album ‘Oracular Spectacular’ had been released a year prior and was taking the music scene by storm. It’s undoubtedly an electrifying record and NME even named it the best of the year. At the festival, there were so many people eager to see this band that I could barely make it into the tent. Due to the hype surrounding them, I had very high expectations. However, the only thing that I seemed to have come away remembering was Andrew’s amazing technicolor dreamcoat outfit. Don't get me wrong, it was an entertaining show good show and the crowd loved every out of tune second, but they were either so off their faces or nervous (or both) they could hardly construct a song. However, instead of thinking they are a over-hyped piece of psychedelic poop, I decided not to let this performance affect my opinion of them and just put it down to alcohol/unnamed substances consumption and being overwhelmed at playing such a big show.

After almost two years of being away from the spotlight, the duo are finally back with a brand new album entitled ‘Congratulations’. Fortunately for me, they chose to show it off to the U.K at London’s Heaven Nightclub. It was weird going from seeing them two years ago within a crowd of 10,000 to standing in a tiny venue amongst only a few hundred people, but I wasn’t complaining. I was eager to see them up close and personal without any fancy props to hide behind. This time I can proudly say that they definitely proved their worth. Even though their set was mostly made up of new songs such as ‘Flash Delirium’ and album titled track ‘Congratulations’, the crowd were very encouraging and received the new material with enthusiasm. I was pleasantly surprised at just how good vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden’s voice sounded live. The new songs definitely seem to show it off a lot better. Amongst the set was a 12 minute track called ‘Siberian Breaks’ which Andrew describes as “an epic folk song’. It wasn’t really that folky, but it was still good all the same. All of the new songs come across as equally good, none of them seem to majorly stand out on their own (unlike the first album which featured a lot of radio friendly’ songs such as 'Kids', 'Time To Pretend' and 'Electric Feel'. I understand now why they confirmed that they’re not releasing any singles from this one.

Their onstage presence has noticeably matured over the last few years. There’s no awkwardness anymore, instead they seem comfortable, something that is portrayed through them constantly smiling at each other and the crowd. ‘Hmm I think we should have played that one last!’ was Andrew’s gratifying reply to the wild reception they received from playing ‘Time to Pretend’. Shortly after, they concluded their set with another new song (not ‘Kids’ like everyone in the room assumed), thanked the crowd and left the stage to a deserving ovation. As a result of not playing one of their biggest hits, the night ended with everyone simultaneously shouting ‘Kids’ in desperate hope for an unlikely second encore. There was slight chaos for a moment, but soon people got the hint, booed for a bit and then finally accepted it. Overall, a satisfying performance that perhaps would have been made better if they had played more of the familiar stuff, but then I guess if they had, that would have defeated the whole point of the gig.

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4 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks :) Yours is lovely too! x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great blog!
    Love the pics, follow each?
    kisses

    ReplyDelete
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