When a song spontaneously combusts into stereophonic gold, becoming bigger than the band itself and represents the reemergence of counter-culture ideals – mythical, unrealistic expectations are ingrained into the minds and ears of anyone expecting to see that same fire in a live show.
Enter MGMT, seemingly lost in its own global success, whimpered through the motions to a sold-out LC Pavilion on Tuesday night. Songs from Oracular Spectacular and its highly underrated counterpart, Congratulations that, on album, showcase MGMT’s ability to construct psychedelic sonic landscapes fell flat with lifeless renditions.
Things got moderately exciting during “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters,” “It’s Working,” and “Weekend Wars” when lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden and his band kicked the emotion level up a notch and delivered solid performances. There was a mass exodus to refill beverages when the last note of “Time to Pretend” rang out as the audience was parched with anticipation waiting to hear MGMT’s masterfully crafted anthem.
For the first 14 songs of their 16-song set, MGMT appeared to be sleepwalking, or more apropos, sleepsinging, their way back to the tour bus and on to the next stop. The irony of MGMT’s lackluster performance was that the band seemed to come alive for their encore “Kids,” a song they no doubt loathe. Dancing, singing, smiling, and drawing upon stagehands to play multiple instruments, MGMT came alive by the way of melodic defibrillator and finally let their guard down and had fun playing fun music.
The song of the night and evening closer was the title track off Congratulations, a sweet and earnest coda that let the audience down gently after being lead-on for over an hour by a band that may or may not have wanted to be playing in Columbus.
This review was written by Josh Fitzwater and brought you by the Franklin University Plaza at the LC Pavilion. For more information about shows that Josh and the Franklin crew will be attending and for chances to win tickets to concerts all summer long, visit www.franklin.edu/concerts or like us on Facebook.