|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|
July 18, 2010
Fox Theater in Pomona
Last April, a sea of people crowded Coachella's Outdoor theater for MGMT's set. It was easily one of the more anticipated sets of the day. When they finally played, MGMT had strategically omitted their biggest hit--"Kids"--leaving most fans extremely puzzled. Last night I wondered if they would they dare omit it again. Would the young girls lining the barricade hours prior to the opening of the doors get their wish?
MGMT made a lot of wishes come true with a hearty 17-song set
covering a high percentage of their catalog. The screams were deafening
when MGMT finally took the stage. The psychedelic surf vibe of "Its
Working" was a perfect introduction to the mind expanding jams that MGMT
Andrew VanWyngarden took center
stage with his Gibson Les Paul while MGMT co-founder Ben Goldwasser was
stationed in front of a two-tiered keyboard stand. Turning back the
clock to their 2005 Time To Pretend
EP, the hard core fans
recognized "Destrokk." Seemingly channelling the acid wash psychedelia
of the Flaming Lips, "The Youth" had the crowd singing along "together."
|Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly|
a falsetto falling in the Bee Gees territory, "Electric Feel" had the
whole floor dancing as the letters MGMT flashed behind the band.
Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux joined the band to sing the Beach Boy
inspired harmonies of "Flash Delirium." After a spiraling out of
control noisy ending to "The Handshake," MGMT smoothly transitioned to
the acoustic laced "Pieces of What."
rambling jangle of "Song For Dan Treacy" reminded me of the Lemonheads
with its foot tapping bass line. VanWyngarden politely thanked the fans
and introduced the new songs but everyone seemingly knew all the new
material judging by how loudly they sang along. "Weekend Wars" was
another mind expanding vacation with a guitar wah-drenched ending.
Fox theater collectively went bonkers upon hearing the opening
synthesizer notes of "Time To Pretend." If you thought the synthesizer
died in the '80s, you are sadly mistaken. Naming a song after an
electronic music pioneer "Brian Eno" is a dicey proposition but MGMT
meshed together such varied influences like Devo and the psychedelic
weirdness of Roky Erickson for one catchy tune.
sea of digital cameras erupted from the audience for the opening notes
of "Kids" as the band performed it almost karaoke style with Goldwasser
finally getting out from behind his keyboards to help VanWyngarden sing.
As the hour was getting late, a high percentage of the crowd filed for
the exits, missing the first encore song "Metanoia" which was an almost 10-minute psychedelic jam.
capped the evening as it impressive to see MGMT sample from a vast
amount of unique influences, yet add a pop sensibility that held the
listener's attention. MGMT seemed to be more polished compared to their
Coachella performance and easily lived up to the hype.
for MGMT, Francis and the Lights wowed the crowd with their synth laced
dance numbers. Helios Creed seemed to have some technical problems and
never really get on track with their noisy drone.
Bias: One of my synthesizer heroes Peter Kembler of Spectrum and
Spacemen 3 helped record Congratulations.
Crowd: Headbands and neon. It doesn't get any more hipster than an
Overheard in the Crowd: "You
better not suck!" was screamed moments before Helios Creed took the
stage. Oops. "Are they going to play "Kids"?! was also asked of me when
some fans saw me take a peek at the setlist.
Notebook Dump: The beer on stage for MGMT was Miller High Life.
"Song For Dan Treacy"
Found A Whistle"
"Time To Pretend"
"Of Moons, Birds and Monsters"