MGMT bubble to life on their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, unleashing the youthful daydreams and playful lyrics that are the product of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser. The pair met at Wesleyan University and immediately began working on songs worthy of drawing the most coveted prize of any fledgling band, a record deal with a major label. Feeding off of the industry buzz surrounding this fledgling band, I was eager to see how their sound would fill the large space of Williamsburg Music Hall.
Amid a crowd of their peers, melancholy hipsters and local music industry characters, MGMT delivered a carefully crafted and posed product. While their sounds draw on elements of classic 70’s British Pop that at times remind one of T-Rex or David Bowie, their live show is rather subdued. VanWyngarden and Goldwasser spared nary a moment of intimacy with those gathered before them, instead concentrating completely on maintaining their carefully coiffed facade. Dedicating their affection simply to their instruments, they delivered a voluminous sound that stunned the stoic scenesters.
Audience members swayed and shook to favorites, “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” allowing themselves to be swallowed by the electro-dance smashing curves, clicks, buzzes and rhythms that have made MGMT one of the latest gems on the New York dance scene. Other moments found the room silent and still, with all energy and emotion focused on more classically composed tracks “The Youth” and “Pieces of What,” which showcase their depth as lyricists and musicians. Slower tracks exhibit the bands’ true ability to rock any room to the core with the overwhelming presence of guitar synth, looped bass and strength. Their sound is seasoned with a mixture of emotions: joy, cocky confidence, yearning, heartbreak and naivete.
Although MGMT has yet to obtain the fame like many of the bands they idolize, you leave their show saturated by the lyrics from their title track, “Time to Pretend,” and convinced of all the riches they aim to reap. Recalling their short set which is the product of only having one album to draw from you are left with their harmonic melodies ringing in your ears and your curiosity wondering when their next show will be.