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MGMT – Popaganda, Eriksdalsbadet, Stockholm, 2009-08-28


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This was probably the most spur of the moment concert I’ve ever been to. I bought tickets just a couple of hours before showtime. I really like MGMT, but after all the concerts this summer I wasn’t sure I wanted to trade a lazy night in the couch for being crowded with thousands of people. But the music nerd in me won, and off I went.

MGMT started at 10pm sharp. Being how this was a festival in the middle of the city there’s a curew at 11, so I was glad there were no delays that would cut the concert short. First song was The Youth, not the most obvious opener, but it did work well in a live setting. Touring guitar player James Richardson commented on how much the band enjoyed Swedish artist Lykke Li, who played before MGMT. Just as the second song of the night started, the sky opened up, and for the rest of the show it rained on and off. Although I was pretty soaked towards the end, it was actually quite nice to stand in a warm summer rain for an hour. The second song I did not recognize, could have been from the upcoming album, Congratulations, or a cover. Opening track of Oracular Spectacular, Time to Pretend, was the third song. This really got the crowd going. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the audience knew all the words to the songs. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that most attendees were teenagers. I remember paying more attention to lyrics when I was younger. Now the musician in me mostly listens to the guitars, and tries to figure out what effects are being used. Dorky, I know!

Electric Feel was obviously one of the highlights of the night. It has a sound that brings to mind The Bee Gees, in a good way. I’m impressed with how the band manages to recreate the songs so well in a live setting. Even though MGMT is a duo, consisting of guitarist/singer Andrew VanWyngarden, and keyboardist/singer Ben Goldwasser, they bring along a drummer, bass player, and guitar player who all do a great job recreating their trademark sound.

Of Moons, Birds & Monsters worked surprisingly well as a live song, with a nice extended jam that was right up my alley. The chorus makes me think of The Mamas and the Papas. Another song that I really enjoyed was Weekend Wars. It is always a good testament to a bands strength when their songs sound even better live than on record. Second to last song was show highlight and crowd pleaser Kids. It amused me that most of the song was a backing track, leaving the guys to play maracas, tambourine, and what not. VanWyngarden, and Goldwasser traded vocals, and for a while Ben was lying on the stage singing. The maracas was thrown into the crowd towards the end. Kids ended with a great guitar solo by James Richardson.

I did not recognize the last song, could have been new or a cover. However, the two songs that were announced as new I did not care too much about. But they will most likely go through quite a lot of changes before the next album comes out. The show ended at exactly 11pm. All in all I thought it was a great concert, and I’m eagerly awating MGMT album number two and an indoor show next time around.

Pictures (Click on an image to enlarge it)

Swedish newspaper reviews:
Aftonbladet | DN | SvD

6 Responses to “MGMT – Popaganda, Eriksdalsbadet, Stockholm, 2009-08-28”

  1. Maria K says:

    Wow! You saw MGMT!! So cool, I’d love to see them!

    Thanks! I’m not sure I remember where they played God Put A Smile Upon Your Face, but if you looked at the stage I was on the left-hand side, beside the catwalk thingy.

  2. Daniel says:

    Then we were on the same side. :)

  3. trixiedog says:

    James Richadson is the guitarist, not Hank Sullivant. Hank has his own band, Kuroma, and hasn’t been in the MGMT touring combo since March ‘08.

  4. Daniel says:

    trixiedog: Thanks for pointing that out! I didn’t realize Hank wasn’t playing with them anymore. I guess it just goes to show you can’t trust everything you read on Wikipedia. ;) I’ve updated the review with the correct name.

  5. max says:

    second song was destrokk from the time to pretend EP

  6. Daniel says:

    max: Thanks for pointing that out man! :)

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