Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MGMT @ McCarren Park Pool

This past Sunday ML-ers Buck Dancer and yours truly had the distinct pleasure of seeing MGMT perform live in front of a hometown audience at McCarren Park Pool. After a ride on the elusive G-train, we stepped out of the subway into the tense summer air to swarms of concert-goers milling about. We felt pretty ambivalent about our desire to wait in line, jockey for position, etc., but we persevered nonetheless, through the first symptoms of disaster (that is to say the large, disorderly crowds) to gain some perspective on the situation. In a few short minutes, the situation was assessed and spirits were ushered into the cellar. We had found the beginning of the line, but the exact location (I’d even venture to say the vicinity) of its end remained shrouded in mystery and a wall of ominous storm clouds.

We stopped and unconsciously decided to join those who were milling about. We milled about for a bit, sat down on a bench, and then got up again. Buck Dancer had been TXTing for a little while at this point, and, when we ran into a flock of chiquitas that he somehow knew, I wasn’t sure whether it was a strike of divine providence or simple networking. So, we cut the line. I realize that cutting is always a source of controversy, and I hate when people cut me…but, come on, the show was free, everybody was doing it, and nobody was stopping it. It was a mothafuckin’ state of nature. Plus, we kinda knew these people.

The crowd was a veritable freak show—without a doubt the largest collection of hipsters I have ever seen to date. Scouring the line-up waiting outside to gain entry, I could say with a fair amount of certainty that, indeed, every “fringe movement of the postwar era—Beat, hippie, punk, …grunge, [and] white trash chic” (what up Wikipedia) was represented…some even in individual ensembles. That said, there were also a few select items that were nearly ubiquitous—those being Wayfarer shades, Vans kicks, and, the ML-fave and inspiration for perhaps the coolest party of the summer…short shorts.

So, we got inside before any of the acts had even taken the stage. By this time it had started raining, so we resorted to some pretty puny umbrella cover for refuge…apparently, we had missed the boat on the promotional towels they were giving out, but one of those would’ve been nice. We wandered about for a bit and then camped out the slip-and-slide after finding some pleasant viewing/chilling seats. The slip-and-slide occupied the foreground—stage and crowd in the background—and the varying degrees of intensity and pure enjoyment expressed on the faces of those who participated provided some top-notch entertainment…The place was crowded, it was raining, and chicks were dancing around like heathens in some of the murkiest puddles I’d ever seen. It was pretty awesome…as one of our more outdoor-show-na├»ve companions repeatedly suggested, “I feel like we’re at Woodstock!”

The Ting-Tings sucked, which came as no surprise as I had already reached this conclusion after a 30-second trial period I gave them during their short-lived blog run. Pretty run-of-the-mill New Wave stuff with an overly aggressive blonde vocalist raving away wishing she were Blondie. By most accounts the second group, Black Moth Super Rainbow, sucked too, but I’d give them more credit than that…at least they sounded different. At this point I had already ingested two tabs of blotter acid, two joints, and eight beers four delicious beers, and was feeling great. MGMT finally went on and fans flocked to the stage like kids to an ice cream truck.

Now I haven’t ever seen MGMT live, nor do I purport to be a huge fan, but on the whole I
thought their set was spectacular. One of the great things about the band is that they translate so well to the stage—these guys can jam, and they can jam well. Not to mention they all have pretty awesome stage personas…(I don’t know why they don’t have the bassist, drummer, and lead guitarist hop on board full-time). They played all their best-known songs, in addition to throwing in some new material at the end, a sprawling 14-minute progged out epic. MGMT will be big, and for the same reason that other indie bands get big—they appeal to a lot of people. Their unique concoction of pop, psychedelic, electronic, jam, and straight-up rock runs the gamut of musical tastes. For all of you detractors out there who post comments on brooklynvegan like MGMT is “mediocre dribble that high school kids eat up like lap dogs (no disrespect to lap dogs)” and “MGMT songs sound just like their album live, and the album sucks” take a step back and quit trying to be so darn snarky. Just because they’re blowing up doesn’t mean you’ve gotta jump ship.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Thanks to Metromix New York for the pics.


rredmond said...

Dude, I dig the review. Highlights: TXTing, darn, freakshow, epic, and - of course - CHICKS! wish i went; wish i could see some mediocre dribble.

Madame Lamb said...

i like their outfits.

rredmond said...

where's the ml tellier review??

Madame Lamb said...

yeah where is the tellier review???

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