The Austin Chronicle

ACL Live Shots

Reviewed by Daniel Mee, October 3, 2008, Music


Saturday, Sept. 27, Zilker Park

MGMT's full-band lineup has a reputation for uneven live shows, and watching them here it's easy to see why. Their huge hooks sound great in a large setting, and the washes of noise that end many of their songs are downright spectacular, but the band doesn't look comfortable. The lead guitarist in particular is on the verge of having negative stage presence. Near the end of "Electric Feel," the bass went out, and bandleaders Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser didn't have much to say about it. They recovered, though, and by the time they reached crowd favorite "Kids," the set had reached a thrilling climax. Too bad there were still three songs to go. The defining moment came from ubiquitous single "Time to Pretend": thousands of people thrusting their hands in the air to a thematically ambiguous caricature of debauched stardom.

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