Thursday 5 December 2019

Review: MGMT, Acadmey, Dublin

MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser. Photo: Getty Images
MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser. Photo: Getty Images
John Meagher

John Meagher

It is cynical and dishonest and it leaves a rancid taste in the mouth. MGMT can attribute much of their success to the single 'Kids', and it's this song that closes their set.

But MGMT can't be bothered to play it like a normal band would. Instead, principals Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser sing along to a backing track, while their three anonymous bandmates goof around with cuddly toys behind them. They have pulled this cheap stunt before, so it's dismaying to see them being so lazy and dismissive of their audience once more.

It's a shame, too, because for much of the previous hour they go a long way towards convincing those of us who don't rate them as a live entity to reappraise. Several new songs from forthcoming second album 'Congratulations' are aired and they sound good, not least the catchy racket of 'Brian Eno' and 'Song for Dan Treacy', which is about the leader of the cult 1980s band The Television Personalities.

Neither of these newbies boast the catch-all appeal of the hits from their first album, 'Oracular Spectacular', but they're loaded with a fuzzy, shambolic charm that augurs well for the new record.

Another new song, 'It's Working', sounds like early REM meets Big Star, but it suffers from VanWyngarden's pitifully weak vocal.

Even on crowd favourite 'Time to Pretend' his voice struggles to do the song justice.

In London the night before, they didn't play 'Kids', much to the crowd's chagrin. Yet, ignoring their most popular song is much more respectful than delivering it like bad karaoke. Shame on them.

Irish Independent

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