Monday 5 February 2018

On Stage: MGMT @ Paradiso

It's been over ten tears since MGMT released their hit debut album Oracular Spectacular, the one that put them on top of the indie food chain right away. After that everything they did was measured up to it which proved to be an impossible mission. Not that it is bad what they did, not at all, but it never had the freshness and impact of their first record. But when the band announces a new LP and starts touring you can still feel a trace of the same anticipation among the fans about what they are coming up this time.

MGMT at Paradiso Amsterdam, February 2 2018

That's why the duo Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser are showing up at a sold out Paradiso with their band on this Friday night. Visuals are projected on the back but also on a smaller screen behind singer VanWyngarden. It turns out they really need this to make the show more lively since the band is struggling with their songs and themselves. The hit songs of Oracular Spectacular score big cheers around the venue but the other songs are greeted with a mellow response.

Many of these songs are new but but sound bleak compared to monumental songs like 'Time To Pretend' and 'Electric Feel'. It is a more psychedelic prog like sound and new single 'When You Die' is actually not a bad one. But the danceable high energy hit songs simply are better. Together with a somewhat messy performance this night is running far from smooth. During 'She Works Out Too Much' a hometrainer is placed in front of the screen showing old eighties fitness videos, but VanWyngarden only rides it for a few seconds.

This is one of the first shows they are playing so maybe things are still not comfortable enough. VanWyngarden does seem frustrated at some points in the show and may have not been too happy himself. 'Kids' is the highlight of the night and is stretched out into a disco banger with nice twists. It proves MGMT is definitely still capable of playing exciting and surprising music. But it's not enough to save this night. It does make the release of their new album Little Dark Age at the end of this week something to worry for.

All Pictures

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01. Intro
02. Little Dark Age
03. She Works Out Too Much
04. Time to Pretend
05. When You Die
06. Alien Days
07. When You’re Small
08. Electric Feel
10. James
11. Ashes & Diamonds
12. Congratulations
13. Me and Michael
14. Kids
15. Hand It Over
16. Flash Delirium
17. The Youth

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