MGMT @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, Summerfest
July 3, 2013
No matter how much MGMT pushed people away with their trippy-ness, there will forever remain a demand to hear the three hit songs (“Time to Pretend,” “Electric Feel” and “Kids”) from their debut Oracular Spectacular. It was immediately apparent that the young crowd that camped out at the Harley-Davidson Roadhouse on Wednesday night, filling every bench seat three hours before the band’s set began, came for those in particular. Restlessness seemed to spread throughout the masses until MGMT finally strode into “Time to Pretend” about 40 minutes into its performance. The silky, synth jam “Electric Feel” provided another moment of sheer pandemonium later, as well.
But MGMT would mainly focus on its weird, blistery, psych-pop jams for the remaining hour and 20 minutes. Backed by a visualization running through a bright neon-colored galactic odyssey, the tunes sounded far-out but nonetheless enjoyable. At some points, the sun-drenched songs would barely lurch forward. Lead singer VanWyngarden looked dazed as he mainly shook a tambourine on stage. MGMT threw in a few new ones from their upcoming record, each bizarre, of course. They introduced a slow meandering cover of “Introspection” from little known '60s psych-rockers Faine Jade and its exploratory, whimsical new single “Alien Days.”
MGMT ended up closing the night with the title track “Congratulations” from its cantankerous record, confounding everyone who showed up to hear them play arguably the most popular of its three pop songs, “Kids.” But that’s MGMT for you. They love throwing you for a loop.