JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

October 10, 2013
Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn
Utrecht,  ANT
Review by James Rowe
Photos by 


Ladies And Gentleman, This Is MGMT

Just before MGMT appear on stage an introduction is made. A voice from the backdrop screen of the stage on video awash with color. "There're not from Montego Bay. There're from Eastern shores. Ladies and Gentleman this is MGMT".

Andrew Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, aka MGMT, start the set with the track Flash Delirium taken from their second album Congratulations. They are very polite sometimes not saying much more than thank you after every song. But when you see how engrossed they appear in every track, it's easy to understand why?

Only the 2nd song in and it is the song of the night for me and my personal favorite a cover of a Faine Jade song "Introspection" that is on their 3rd album. It is a concoction of flutes, guitars and the following lyrics. Striving for perfection and hiding when it comes, seeing it's reflection and the fire it becomes (Chorus) Introspection, what I am really like inside? Introspection why have all the prophets lied? There's a season when I will find out where I am and there's a reason and I will someday find the plan.

Andrew Van Wyngarden dressed in white t-shirt and what can only be described as the coolest pair of pants I have ever seen. Gold with purple squares on. During his guitar solo at the end "Of Moons, Birds & Monsters" appears to have morphed into a guitar player of immense quality. Not just the lead singer in a psychedelic rock band. As the tracks are reeled off from all 3 albums. It becomes clearer that in my mind. MGMT are modern age story tellers. Songs with a beginning, a middle and an end.

"Electric Feel" was also a standout track of their set. Hats off to Ben Goldwasser whose synthpop and keyboards are prominent. It's as if an electric charge is generated though the crowd upon hearing "All Along The West Front", people line up to receive, she got the power in her hand to shock you like you won't believe. Then a strange thing happens. One their band. A guitarist puts on a kind of miners light hat. The entire bands then form a huddle. Out of nowhere you then hear the opening to the track 'kids'. It is at this point that Van Wyngarden having throughout the set not moved from his microphone (Only to get water) . Grabs the mic and surveys the audience from both sides of the stage, we see a smile and he is more animated. Towards the end of the song he joins the keyboardist for the keyboard solo of that track. He plays it as if he could do it with his eyes closed at breakneck speed.

A new and very appealing track on their new album is "Your Life is a lie". At the end of every sentence spoken is then met to the sound of a glockenspiel or a tin pot in the case of their video with aggressive drumming too. MGMT give advice about counting your friends. Being honest to your wife and surviving the lessons of life. Who knows in years from now the short bursts of 2 minutes may become as relevant as Baz Luhrmann's Sunscreen, Just a thought?

MGMT finish their set with "Alien Days". You see then on the video backdrop. An alien dressed in a nice jumper and umbrella attached to his neck dancing through landscape with a smile on his face. Then out of nowhere a small black flying saucer appears above the stage navigating from side to side and lit up in green and red lights. It accompanies the climax of their set perfectly. They then thank the crowd and depart backstage.

I discovered MGMT upon liking the name of their debut album Oracular Spectacular in 2009. It was on the Rolling Stone Best albums of 2008. They appear to have matured since then and they will be around for a while. Here on Earth that is. In other galaxies. They may already be legends?