SFCoachella: MGMT at The Fillmore


Last week was San Francisco's Coachella, the pre-Coachella Bay Area takeover, better know as SFCoachella (try saying that five times fast). While many fans decided to trek south for the real Coachella, the Bay Area got its own taste of the festival's offerings.

MGMT at The Fillmore

If any of you have read my review at SFCritic of MGMT's sophomore album Congratulations, you might be wondering why in the world I even bothered to venture to the Fillmore last week to watch them perform most of it live. My answer prior to that evening would have been "no idea." Thankfully, I recovered from my haterade hangover in time because, whew, those boys sure can put on a show. As for the album, I kind of love it now (most of it anyway, "Lady Dada's Nightmare" is still the worst). I am not ashamed to stick my foot in my internet-mouth.

The stand-out tracks on the album, the first single "Flash Delirium" as well as "It's Working,” sounded more energetic and lushly layered when backed by a real (and really good) live band. The goofy, vanity track "Brian Eno" was louder, tighter, and more sincerely ridiculous in person. Even "I Found a Whistle" turned out to be a pretty solid techno ballad. Indeed all of their new material, in its psychedelic synth-surf-rock glory, benefited from this. Oracular Spectacular's mega-hit singles, however, didn't really sound as magical as they have in the past. "Electric Feel" came off a little flat, and by the time they got to "Kids" the band had exited the stage and the crowd was left with basically Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser singing karaoke.

But it was ok! Everyone in the audience was singing along too. This was oddly one of the most intimate moments, because for the majority of the show the audience chatted pretty loudly throughout the ballroom when unfamiliar songs (read: everything on Congratulations) were played. While the set barely stretched to an hour including the encore, it was great to watch MGMT settle all the critical chatter surrounding their new work with a more than solid show.

- Eve Marcellus

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] MGMT - Time To Pretend

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