MGMT at the Forum
It feels strange to describe something as “psychedelic” these days, but MGMT’s gig at Kentish Town’s Forum Wednesday night was. The band have not played in London for three years and they were definitely missed.
The band opened with Introspection from their newest album, the self-titled MGMT. The song played as a nice, slow introduction, with founding members Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser joined onstage by their live band, including a prominent lead guitarist, who took on VanWyngarden’s usual role while he recovers from shoulder surgery. The group was well received, and the excitement in the air was palpable.
This only increased with the second song, the highly popular Time to Pretend. Material from MGMT was supplemented with the band’s best-liked hits from Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations, which seemed a good choice as the newest album had some very light material, more acoustic than electronic, which got boring very quickly and lost a lot of attention.
MGMT were consistent throughout. Some songs had a more psychedelic rock feel, others had powerful guitar solos and a 70s vibe. Their music was definitely helped by the captivating projection screen, featuring birds flying around in space, alien simulations and giant rainbow coloured rings, with a menacing giant eye in the centre, that synchronised with the music for a very “trippy” experience,. For Alien Days a toy UFO was also controlled by someone behind the stage and flew around the band, making flips it the air.
The biggest hit of the night was Kids – not just because it is such a well-known song to begin with, but also because it was adapted by the band into something extra special. Starting with a countdown, VanWyngarden coyly instructed the audience to count “Five, four, three, three, two… I mean just one three.” As they counted down, there was a brief scream, and then they burst into the famous synth start. The song played straight, until the band cut it with an extended instrumental that was enthralling – and maybe ended too quickly, just as you were hooked. VanWyngarden shone as a lead singer during Kids, leaning into the audience, and using a giant wooden stick to cheekily hit cymbals while the drummer tried to play.
For further information and future events visit MGMT’s website here.
Watch the video for Kids here: