I have had the misfortune of seeing MGMT perform live twice. Prior to seeing them at Sasquatch and Capitol Hill Block Party a few years ago, I was a huge fan and imagined their live performance would be some kind of spiritual or psychedelic life-changing experience. I don’t typically rant or get this negative on the blog, but I want everyone to have fair warning before they make a tragic mistake.
In early 2010 MGMT had everyone fooled. "Oracular Spectacular" was a great record and everybody was waiting to see what they would do next. With the release of their next record "Congratulations" right around the corner, the band was hitting the festival circuit hard and I was planning to see both of their Washington performances. What a wild disappointment that turned out to be. "Congratulations" turned out to be an extremely underwhelming (as my roommate Ben likes to say) record and their performances were just terrible.
Right before they took the stage at Sasquatch, you could feel the anticipation building in the crowd. Thousands of fans poured into the pit in front of the main stage and took seats on the hills at the Gorge. MGMT took the stage and everyone went insane. Then we all quickly fell asleep, waking up briefly to dance during “Electric Feel” and “Time To Pretend.” The whole band seemed like they were sleepwalking through the performance. It was boring, lacked energy and sounded terrible.
Then, at the end of this snooze fest, one member of the band grabbed the microphone and slurred the words “This is the best night of our lives. Seriously.” It was a good thing he mumbled “Seriously” at the end of that statement so we would all be sure to really let that sink in. I am glad though that it was the best night of their lives because it was certainly the worst part of my day. This sad performance was repeated at the Capitol Hill Block Party that same summer.
So, if you read this and think I’m crazy and plan to pay too much by scalping tickets on Craigslist or buying them Stubhub, please don’t do it. Keep your innocence and stay home to listen to their old stuff. But if you still insist, then buy a Monday ticket to Bumbershoot instead. That way if they are still as terrible live three years later, you can at least leave that stage and go see someone else.
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