MGMT at Fillmore Auditorium, 9/6/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Brandon Marshall

There were two distinct, dramatically different moods to MGMT's set at the Fillmore, and let's just say that those who came to hear MGMT's breakthrough hits -- bright and peppy synthpop tunes like "Electric Feel," "Kids" and "Time to Pretend" -- were not disappointed, and neither were those who appreciate the more experimental side of the band. Those older songs were interspersed amid newer material -- long stretches of fuzz-infused guitar jams and musical experiments -- forming a psychedelic soundtrack that came along with hallucinatory animations beamed on a screen at the back of the stage.

See also: MGMT's Matt Asti on Spacemen 3 and 1960s psychedelia

Brandon Marshall

Taking the stage shortly after 10 p.m., MGMT drew enthusiastic cheers from the packed house when it rolled out the hits, but the crowd seemed considerably more sedate as the set delved into the more tranquil material. The floor was packed, with people standing elbow-to-elbow all the way to the back of the house, but there was little movement during the long stretches of guitar solos and synth experiments.

Tunes like "Of Moons" and "The Youth" recalled the ambling guitar experiments of early Pink Floyd, and the constant barrage of colorful animations on the screen of the back of the stage added to the surreal feel of such moments. Songs like "I Found a Whistle," "It's Working" and The Youth" featured an impressive array of sounds, musical textures that included softly strummed acoustic chords, piercing synth tones and driving psychedelic electric guitar solos. Drummer Will Berman, bassist Matt Asti and multi-instrumentalist James Richardson rounded out the admirable musical range of the duo's experiments.

Brandon Marshall

During "Flash Delirium," singer/songwriter Jennifer Herrema emerged to share duty on lead vocals. "Your Life is a Lie" veered far from the formula that made tunes like "Kids" and "Electric Feel" such commercial successes. With accompaniment from giant cowbell, the song features two minutes of choppy guitar work and ambling lyrics. Before the encore, the band played the "Alien Days," a similarly rambling psychedelic anthem with minor chords and a trudging drum line.

The vibe of the crowd changed dramatically toward the end of the main set when the band busted out the hits, "Electric Feel," "Kids" and "Time to Pretend." The mood suddenly shifted from a shared subdued hallucination into an energetic dance party. The feel of the whole venue shifted -- fans danced on the floor, in the aisle and on the upper levels as the group delivered well-honed versions of their best-known tunes.

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