MGMTMar 03, 2018
I got the sense, from asking people before the show, that MGMT means a lot to the people at the Myth tonight. A lot of our generation remembers MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular as their first steps into the larger alternative community and have remained on the MGMT roller coaster since. March 2nd was their first time in Minneapolis in about five years, and we didn’t exactly know what to expect from this show. MGMT has spent their adult careers reckoning with their indie-pop designation that they were given when they were a young band out of college, and I was excited to see what they would do now that they’ve released their redemption album Little Dark Age.
Cola Boyy, a bedroom pop act from Oxnard, started off the show with a short but very empowering set. Some true 808 funk set the stage for his empowering lyrics. The clear message: “All power to the people with love and rage.” His performance was easygoing and elegant. Overall, Cola Boyy left this reviewer was pleasantly surprised.
MGMT opened with the title track from their new album, and it marked one of the only times front man Andrew VanWyngarden didn’t have a guitar in his hands. He delivered evocative solos on “Alien Days” from their self-titled and on “TSLAMP.” Co-front man Benjamin Goldwasser also remained faithful to his keys for most of the show except for the stand-out ballad to downsizing, “When Your Small” when he took over lead vocals as he was playing on a Schroeder-sized toy piano.
MGMT has achieved something of a god status in the alternative community, and like Zora Neale Hurston once wrote: “Real gods require blood.” That was this 9-minute rendition of the song “Kids,” delivered, at one point, from behind a large faux plant. If their intention was to prevent anyone from ever being able to enjoy that already overplayed song from 2004, it wasn’t effective because it was still dope. They also came through with “Electric Feel,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Flash Delirium” from their earlier albums. That being said I thought the standout songs were the shockingly sexy “Hand it Over” and “She Works Out Too Much” which VanWyngarden sang while riding a stationary bike.
For their encore, they played “James”—the baritone goth pop tribute to the bands lead guitarist James Richardson, and “The Youth”—another Congratulations classic. Overall it was a fabulous show of earnestly delivered new music as well as indie-pop classics served with a side of ironic detachment.