Thursday, July 31, 2008

Live Review: MGMT @ 9:30 Club, July 28

It’s already a pretty well-established fact that I’m a big fan of the dynamic duo known as MGMT. Evidently, so are a bunch of other people in the DC metro area, as tickets for the show sold out many days in advance, and my local sources reported Craigslist ticket sales upwards of $100 a pop. I was just excited to finally be able to see the band, instead of just enjoying their musical stylings from a mightily obstructed viewing post at Coachella earlier this year.

If you haven’t yet seen a show at the 9:30 Club, there’s a reason it keeps winning Best Club awards. The sound was fantastic, as usual. MGMT put on a splendid show, thanks in part to that glorious sound system. The addition of three extra musicians proved imperative, as the boys really fleshed out the songs and gave them less of the electro-based vibe found on Oracular Spectacular.

“Weekend Wars” was the opener, and was dynamite. In my notes I have written “the drummer is insanely rad,” because, well, he was. During the course of the evening he did some serious skin-pounding. “The Youth” gave off a whiff of hippie love, but that could just be the longish hair and bandanas both on stage and in the crowd. The crowd who, like at many a DC show, was jam packed but relatively tame. At least, for the first half or so of the show.

My two favorite MGMT songs were conveniently played back-to-back (thanks, guys). First the acoustic guitarily awesome “Pieces of What,” which sounded even better with the live benefit of slightly less nasal vocals. It was atmospheric enough on its own, but made even more so with blue lights and the famous 9:30 Club disco ball. The crowd (finally) got worked into a frenzy as soon as “Electric Feel” began, arms waving and bodies undulating in joyful abandon. Naturally, everyone sang along with the “electric eel” line in the song, yours truly included. It was full throttle after that, with a rather rousing rendition of big deal song “Time to Pretend.” The kids on the floor were going absolutely insane, and with good reason.

I abandoned my balcony perch during “The Handshake,” so there was no “Kids” for me. But a girl has needs, you know. I highly recommend not only seeing MGMT live, but also sampling the Pink and Blue Things at the 9:30 Club’s Back Bar (AKA the bar in the basement). They’ll knock you on your ass, much like MGMT, but it’ll be well worth it. Much like MGMT.

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