Monday, April 12, 2010
Better than: Watching a band that's stuck making formulaic radio (or blogger) hits.
had barely taken the stage at 8:15 last night, and a female party train was already whoo-whooing
its way to the front, girls a half-dozen deep conga lining their way through the packed venue. The tall, skinny caboose threw her hands high above her head. Party time!
These were the fans ready to hear some "Kids," and some "Electric Feel," and definitely some "Time to Pretend," MGMT's last big singles. I hope they brought some weed, though, because the boys they came to holler for are on a different track these days, exploring a sound that floats in (head) space somewhere between Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, and the Flaming Lips. MGMT is deep inside its progressive pop phase--down to playing a 12 minute soft rock opus mid-set. It makes them a helluv of a lot more interesting musically, even as it perhaps derails some dancefloor party trains along the way.
MGMT's songwriting team, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, offer up the name of their new idol pretty clearly on their new record, Congratulations (out today)--and they played that homage, the funhouse glam ditty "Brian Eno," early on in the set. It was one of many new investigations of demented glam and hallucinatory pop performed live, genres that went well with the flashing colors of the projector-like lights behind the full band. Together with the intense, skunky scent overwhelming the Fillmore, we were transported far away from a world of one-hit wonders and into a pop carnival stocked with some really amusing rides.