Review: MGMT Live at The Riviera

Feature photo by aguichard

“We’ve got the handshake under our tongue.” -MGMT

Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden took the Uptown stage last night in what proved to be evidence that the next generation of music is alive and well. Intertwining timeless songs from their knockout 2008 debut, Oracular Spectacular with newer music off of this year’s epically thoughtful Congratulations, MGMT opened the show with the mellow and intoxicating POW, and they followed it up with the more upbeat and rugged, Song For Dan Treacy. The show was sponsored by XRT, so it wouldn’t be complete without the third song of the evening, the very danceable, very sing-along-able, the extremely likeable Electric Feel. The crowd, as if cued from the song’s title, transmitted that very electricity with absolute enthusiasm.

Lost among the radio savvy crowd though were the gems sandwiching Flash Delirium including Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters off of Oracular and Destrokk of their Time to Pretend EP. MGMT brilliantly alternated songs from both albums, incorporated well placed visuals to entice the audience, and jammed throughout, but it wasn’t until about midway through when lead singer/lyrical genius VanWyngarden followed Siberian Breaks by asking the audience two very simple questions: Do you guys like our new album? and Do you guys like the first album?

All that needs to be said is that the crowd was loud in both responses.

But in this case, there seem to be two sides to the fence. I happen to love both albums, but in different ways. They’re like two friends: one is like a best friend who you know really well and the other is that cool friend I’m still getting to know.
The more important questions regarding the band’s evolution pertain to musical exploration and thought provoking, yet relatable lyrics. If MGMT’s body of work speaks for itself, I’d say they’re on the right track.

Set List:
1. POW
2. Song For Dan Treacy
3. Electric Feel
4. Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters
5. Flash Delirium
6. Destrokk
7. It’s Working
8. Weekend Wars
9. I Found a Whistle
10. Siberian Breaks
11. Time to Pretend
12. The Youth
13. Someone’s Missing
14. The Handshake
15. Brian Eno
Future Reflections

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