What can you say about the hipster band of the decade coming to KL? Not a lot that hasn’t already been said, but being the hipster magazine of KL, we’ll try our best to be original. And if that doesn’t do it for you, then youtube ‘Congratulations’, watch the ET-bird with four legs fall apart, and pretend this report was ideal.
We could go on about how there wasn’t any booze (but plenty of cigarettes), the colourful people (some VanWyngarden look-alikes), Kyoto Protocol or queues but we’re not going to because, well, they’re not MGMT.
On a serious note, MGMT are as average as you can get. But that’s not bad considering we expected far worse! We won’t lie to you, we’re from the camp that loves MGMT for their hits. If someone at a party requested ‘Siberian Breaks’, we’d put on some Zappa instead. We gave their album Congratulations a so-so review (even after several listens) and are still not familiar with most of the songs on it. So we were actually surprised that we liked most of their set. But then again, we went to the concert without any expectations (except for ‘Kids’ and ‘Time To Pretend’).
To be fair, this band has opened for Radiohead and Beck. But watching them live with pretty lights and psych imagery doesn’t really compare visually to someone like The Flaming Lips. Musically, they don’t quite pull it off either. We overheard someone saying she preferred them on a CD. And who can blame her?
MGMT’s lesser known songs carry some ambiguity and a lot of psyched-up slush. If you’re not a fan of LSD or LSD-inspired music, that would probably be a put off right away. The chorus on their set-opener ‘Flash Delirium’ made us feel like hobbits in the Shire instead of hipsters on fire. Throughout most of the concert, those who were not diehard fans were either talking to each other, swaying like trees or standing in innate blurriness.
Luckily, ‘Weekend Wars’, ‘Electric Feel’ and other more melodic dance stuff off Oracular Spectacular fared better. Of course the crowd went mental and shook the ground during ‘Kids’ and ‘Time To Pretend’. But adversely, most of them left after that while some stayed for ‘Congratulations’. Those who remained after ‘Congratulations’ were true blue MGMT kakis and were rewarded with a 3-song encore (‘The Handshake’, ‘Pieces of What’ and ‘Brian Eno’).
So what did we learn? Granted, cigarettes can’t replace alcohol’s role in a party. But more importantly, what you come with is what you get. So control yourself, take only what you need and you might just enjoy the rest.
MGMT made us smile on Friday 25 March 2011 at Bukit Kiara Indoor Stadium. Pretty lights and hipsters at our gallery.
Image Future Sound Asia