MGMT w/ Tame Impala @ The Riverside Theater
June 20, 2010
Playing in front of a giant video-panel
backdrop, MGMT didn’t waste much time, jumping between their two albums’
differing brands of energized rock and pop dripping with synthesizers, guitars,
keyboards and other instruments. The sold-out crowd got the best of both
worlds; there were high-octane guitar punches of energy, hypnotic, psychedelic
doses of ’60s-drenched rock ’n’ roll, surf rock and New Wave songs, many of
which floated slowly before bolting to life in a full-blown sprint.
The band’s set included album
selections like “Flash Delirium,” “Electric Feel,” “The Youth,” “It’s Working,”
“Weekend Wars,” “Brian Eno,” “Time to Pretend” and a slightly stripped-down
acoustic version of “Pieces of What,” which gave way to the band jamming out.
Many songs played out like a journey, especially the 12-minute epic “Siberian
Breaks” from Congratulations, a song
that wandered through fields of echoing piano and guitars.
The night’s only flaw came when the
band played their mega-hit “Kids” at the beginning of the encore, which produced a
sea of jumping fans as the group (and members of opener Tame Impala) brought
their energy to climactic proportions. It seemed like a bit of a letdown when
the band ended with slower, more subdued songs—then again, the band has
repeatedly shown that they don’t want to let that one hit define them. They
finished the night with the title track “Congratulations,” as if to thank the
crowd for following along with them as they explored new directions.
Opener Tame Impala played swaggering
rock ’n’ roll marked by trippy guitars tuned way up, droning distortion and
Photo by CJ Foeckler