The spirit of Halloween was in the air last night at New York City’s Webster Hall: Fans were decked out in costumes that ranged from a vampire to a Viking. And the evening’s headliner, SPIN cover boys MGMT, were in celebratory form, blasting their brand of psych- and dance-pop while clad not in characteristic hippie garb, but south-of-the-border mariachi band get-ups.
MGMT took the stage with their backing band and launched into an appropriately trippy set with songs mostly culled from their sensational major label debut, Oracular Spectacular.
The stage setup was a bit of an oracular spectacular itself, as blinding strobe lights, prismatic hanging sheets, and faux-crystal cacti created an atmosphere that recalled Logan’s Run as much as it did a bad psychedelic trip in the desert.
Oracular highlights “The Handshake” and “Of Moons, Birds, and Monsters” were propulsive fun, but the rest of the hour-long set wasn’t exactly smooth sailing: At times, lead singer Andrew Vanwyngarden’s vocals were obscured by Webster Hall’s sub-par sound system and hampered by the limitations of his range (especially on “Pieces of What”).Nonetheless, the band’s muscular psych-epics made up for whatever shortcomings they faced.
The performance was particularly strong when Vanwyngarden and keyboardist/co-vocalist Ben Goldwasser sang as a duet, as they did on the crowd-pleasing highlight “Time To Pretend.”
But the night’s coolest — and strangest — moment occurred after a spirited rendition of “Kids,” when the band launched into a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Vanwyngarden’s falsetto providing a little comic relief.
More photos from last night on page 2 >>MGMT / Photo by Eric NowelsMGMT / Photo by Eric NowelsMGMT / Photo by Eric NowelsMGMT / Photo by Eric NowelsMGMT / Photo by Eric Nowels