The real MGMT: dynamic, daring and dedicated to authenticity
Now is a very good time to see MGMT. With a new album fresh off the press, the American psychedelic rockers have got something to prove. Their self-titled release is a throwback to some of their more abstract creations and it hasn’t been without its share of detractors. This seems to have emboldened the band, and this tour will be one of their most interesting, showcasing the best of an act who refuse to be stereotyped.
Formed by college friends Ben Goldwasser and Andrew Van Wyngarden, MGMT initially performed under the name ‘The Management’, but were forced to use the shortened version after learning of another band with the same name. They soon hooked up with a host of talented musicians and an innovative producer leading to their first full-length release.
Very few bands have had a debut album received as well as MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. Released in 2007, the album attracted almost immediate worldwide attention, with the single ‘Electric Feel’ receiving heavy radio play. Two other singles fom the album, ‘Kids’ and ‘Time to Pretend’, were also received well, and the album went on to win a host of accolades, including ‘Best Album of the Year’ in NME’s 2008 poll. Oracular Spectacular was included in Rolling Stone’s ‘Albums of the Decade’ list and earned the band some respected fans, including Paul McCartney who they supported in 2009.
Their second album, Congratulations, was released in 2010. They didn’t try to compete with their first album, resisting the urge to put out a replica. Instead, Congratulations was a more creative effort, featuring some interesting extended epics, with tracks like ‘Flash Delirium’ and ‘Siberian Breaks’ standouts.
Some have commented on MGMT’s refusal to be successful, lamenting their decision not to release more of the electro-pop hits that sky-rocketed them up the charts. It’s a decision they take willingly, and it’s refreshing to see the band move in the direction of their choice, rather than one ruled by commercial considerations. Their latest release is firmly within the psychedelic realm, containing a host of spacious and quirky songs that don’t seem destined for heavy radio play. Their single ‘Your Life is a Lie’ sounds closer to the bands of the late 1960s than themselves back in 2007, and this is testament to their desire to remain true to themselves.
MGMT was released through the net first, with full and part versions available to stream. The album is accompanied by ‘The Optimizer’, an artistic video produced by friend Alejandro Crawford. It’s an intense visual experience that ties in well with the range and breath of the album. Crawford also works on the visuals for their live shows.
Naming their new release after themselves is as much a statement as anything else. This is the real MGMT, a band who aren’t afraid to move away from what’s popular. Their live shows are designed to impress with a full band and dynamic production that creates the perfect atmosphere for their live experience. Expect a show with a host of new tracks played by a band who genuinely want to play them.
Vega, Enghavevej 40, Cph V; Tuesday 20:00; Tickets: 270kr, www.billetlugen.dk