July 1, 2009
After shying away from the spotlight to work on new music, MGMT is back: first with the release of a trippy, zombie-infested music video for the hit single ‘Kids,’ and now a show at Brooklyn’s packed Prospect Park. With more smoke blazing from the audience than from the fog machine on stage and crowd-surfing people and beach balls, it’s like a modern-day Woodstock.
The band walks on stage to a roaring applause (the crowd has waited long enough after two opening acts: Suckers, who received approving nods from the audience, and Kuroma, whose set ran on a little too long, and impatience grew for their awkward mesh of various sounds from song to song).
And then MGMT. Ben Goldwasser appears, rocking his Ray-Bans and a white tee shirt, showing off a tattoo on his right arm, and Andrew VanWyngarden looks like he shed a few years with a boyish short haircut and a simple outfit of skinny jeans and a striped tee shirt. Not the typical “hipster” attire he generally dons, but the crowd doesn’t seem to mind too much, as he still elicits huge cheers and loving admiration.
The first song on the setlist is ‘Destrokk,’ off of the 2005 EP Time To Pretend. Not everyone appears to know it, as the track was never released on the full-length album, but the audience still seems to enjoy it. Similarly, the band showcases a few new songs from their upcoming second album.
The big winners of the night are the electrifying ‘Electric Feel’ and ‘Kids’ (the latter saved for the band’s big encore, preceded by fireworks set off in the sky, aptly kicking off Independence Day weekend).
While MGMT have been criticised for lack of excitement in their live shows, they are certainly working on improving this. Still a little stiff in their performance, they do seem to be loosening up. Perhaps fans would like to see a bit more color and liveliness, as expected from such a masterfully brilliant dance music duo whose videos feature a frontman riding a cat across a psychedelically-colored background and dancing cartoon animals amongst a dance party in the woods. Regardless, we applaud their efforts and consider MGMT’s Brooklyn show a vast success.